LNER Azumas are ready for May

LNER Azuma in Leeds
Credit: Harry Gribbins (RailAdvent)

London North Eastern Railway have announced that their brand new fleet of Azuma trains will be ready to enter passenger service on Wednesday 15th May 2019.

After months of testing as well as various setbacks, LNER has announced that their first Class 800 ‘Azuma’ bi-mode multiple units will enter service between Leeds and London Kings Cross on Wednesday 15th of May, with more trains being phased into service over the coming months.

Customers will see more seats and more trains as Azuma is rolled out, with LNER’s fleet increasing from 45 to 65 train sets.

LNER will be announcing dates for the further roll-out of both their Class 800 bi-mode multiple units and Class 801 electrical multiple units throughout the year.

What did the officials say?

LNER’s Managing Director, David Horne, said:

“The first Azuma train will run on the service between London and Leeds. This is what customers up and down the country have been waiting for and represents a monumental milestone for rail travel. 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.”

Karen Boswell, Managing Director for Hitachi Rail added:

“Passengers on the East Coast mainline will soon be able to enjoy a fleet built in the North East of England harnessing Japanese bullet train technology. 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.”

Route Director Rob McIntosh said:

“We’re absolutely delighted that passengers will soon be able to travel on the new Azuma trains and we look forward to them reaping the benefits. A huge amount of work has gone into reaching this significant step and we have worked extremely closely with both LNER and Hitachi on this.”

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  • Finally the Class 800 and Class 801 Azuma IET units will be taking over the East Coast Main Line from May. Once these new trains are in service. I personally think that LNER should do a farewell to the Class 43 Mk3 HST and Class 91 Mk4 Intercity fleets that are to be replaced by the new Azuma trains throughout this year and next year.

    Along with TPE and Hull Trains Class 802 IETs which is also to operate on the ECML when introduced in service later on this year.

    • LNER should also consider introducing new services in the future such as London KX-Scarborough, Lincoln, Grimsby, Harrogate, Redcar, Hartlepool, Aberdeen, Perth and Inverness in the future. As Class 800s would be ideal because they can work on Non-electrified Lines.

  • Richard Law

    Well done to both LNER and Hitachi. Really looking forward to this amazing upgrade. Thank you David Horne and Karen Boswell the long wait will be worth it.

  • Great news put they are not ready yet from Darlington so good news for Yorkshire put not on north east station in Newcastle and Darlington