September 16 launch for Class 801 Azumas on London-Leeds route

Class 801/1 Azumas will make their passenger debut on September 16, when a pair is introduced on the London King’s Cross-Leeds route.

From August 1 there were expected to be seven nine-car Class 800/1 Azumas in daily passenger traffic, the maximum available, LNER Managing Director David Horne told RAIL on July 31. LNER has 12 five-car Class 801/1 electric multiple units on order, with all 12 released for testing and commissioning.

From September 16, one pair of Class 801/1s will enter traffic, and this will allow an ‘800/1’ to transfer to Anglo-Scottish services. A week later two pairs of ‘801/1s’ will be introduced, with two ‘800/1s’ moving to the Scottish route including running to Glasgow Central. On September 30 another pair of ‘801/1s’ will be introduced, meaning four pairs (eight trains) will be in passenger traffic.

A fifth pair will be used for driver training and also coupling and uncoupling tests. LNER Engineering Director John Doughty said those tests have not yet happened, but most of that was to be carried out at London King’s Cross, with five-car trains used on off-peak Lincoln services. It will be rare to see a five-car set by itself on other routes, he added.

  • For the FULL story, read RAIL 885, published on August 14, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from August 10.

  • For the FULL story on the Azuma launches at York and Edinburgh, read RAIL 885, published on August 14, and available digitally on Android, iPad and Kindle from August 10.

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  • AndrewJG8918 - 05/08/2019 02:00

    Wonderful news. Hopefully Class 801s can also go from London KX to Newcastle and Edinburgh Waverley. Along with the Class 800s which could operate as far as Perth, Aberdeen, Inverness and Stirling.

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  • David Haggas - 09/08/2019 16:16

    Glasgow central? Why are Class 800 sets diagrammed on routes which are electrified throughout? The whole point of them surely is for the far north routes and to a lesser extent the short sections to Hull/Harrogate/Lincoln etc where wires have not been provided.

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