Intercity Express Programme trains reached Scotland for the first time on August 16, when the first IEP ran to Dunbar for testing.
Nine-car 800101, the first Virgin Trains East Coast Azuma, ran from Doncaster to Dunbar and back as part of the continued testing of the trains ahead of their planned introduction next year. It was met by a piper as it arrived at Dunbar.
VTEC Managing Director David Horne said: “Having the train visit Scotland for the first time as part of testing is a really important moment, and reminds us of the excitement it will bring to UK train travel when it is introduced into service.”
Sixty-five IEP Class 800/801s are on order from Hitachi Rail Europe. VTEC aims to use the trains to reduce journey times between London and Edinburgh by up to 22 minutes. The operator says the trains will also help boost capacity from King’s Cross by 28% at peak-time. The interiors have been designed by Virgin.
VTEC has 13 nine-car Class 800/1 (800101-800113) and ten five-car Class 800/2 (800201-800210) bi-mode IEPs on order, as well as 12 five-car (801101-801112) and 30 nine-car Class 801 (801201-801230) electric multiple unit IEPs.
For more on this story, see RAIL 834 (published August 30).