May start for Class 800 Azumas on London-Leeds route

Azumas will enter passenger traffic on the East Coast Main Line from May 15.

Operator LNER confirmed to RAIL that the delayed introduction of the Hitachi trains will begin that day on the London King’s Cross-Leeds route, with other services to follow.

“This is what customers up and down the country have been waiting for, and represents a monumental milestone for rail travel,” said LNER Managing Director David Horne.

“We’ve worked very hard alongside our partners and suppliers to reach this point, and I look forward to giving all our customers an excellent experience every time they travel with us.”

Testing and training is continuing on the East Coast Main Line, while the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) has so far authorised the Class 800 fleet for passenger use. These are the bi-mode trains, of which 13 nine-car and ten five-car sets are on order, although while 11 of the nine-cars have been delivered for testing, so far only two of the five-cars have arrived.

Hitachi Rail Managing Director Karen Boswell said: “Our British train factory has sourced parts from across the country to build the Azuma trains, which herald a new era for this famous route.”

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 875, published on March 27, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from March 23.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 17/03/2019 16:24

    About time that LNER should start using the Class 800 and Class 801 to be introduced in service. And to start replacing the Class 43 HST MK3 and Class 91 MK4 fleets that served the East Coast Main Line when they were first introduced in the 1970s & 1980s as the East Coast Main Line was electrified back then. And the Class 800s can also expand to other routes which they are built as Bi-mode trains and LNER would use them on services such as Scarborough, Lincoln, Grimsby, Hull, Bradford, Harrogate, Huddersfield & Halifax. And cities in Scotland including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, Aberdeen and Inverness.

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