Rail revolution: Azuma launches on the East Coast
LNER has officially launched the next generation of trains for the East Coast Main Line.
At a star-studded ceremony at London’s King’s Cross station, LNER ushered in the new era for the ECML by revealing one of the first of its new trains to hit the rails.
Built using Japanese bullet train technology at Hitachi’s plant in County Durham, it’s the first of 65 new bi-mode Azuma trains set to replace LNER’s existing fleet of Class 91 ‘Intercity 225’ and HSTs.
Azuma trains feature a vibrant, sizzling red interior in Standard class, with deeper burgundies and dark wood-effect trim in First. First class also features reclining seats, bigger tables, and both 3 pin plug and USB power at every seat. In both classes, you’ll find a range of creature comforts, including plug sockets, and clear, colour-coded ‘traffic light’ electronic reservations above each seat.
Nine and 10-coach Azuma trains will have eight bicycle spaces, with five-coach Azuma trains equipped to carry four bikes.
From Thursday 16 May, Hull will be the first destination to have an entirely Azuma operated service. Azuma will replace LNER’s daily HST service at 0700 with the return train from London King’s Cross at 1718 also being provided by an Azuma.
What do you think?
Have you seen an Azuma – or will you be travelling on one soon? We’d love to know what you think!