London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has confirmed the company’s world-class Azuma trains will be introduced on the route connecting Edinburgh, the North East of England and London King’s Cross from Thursday 1 August 2019.
The first Azuma train from Edinburgh will be the prestigious LNER ‘Flying Scotsman’ service departing Edinburgh Waverley at 05:40, calling at Newcastle at 07:05 and is due to arrive at London King’s Crossat 09:40. The inaugural northbound London to Edinburgh service will depart London King’s Cross at 17:30.
The Azuma train will be one of 65 new trains being introduced on the route to replace the existing fleet of 45 trains operated by LNER on the East Coast route over the coming 12 months. Leeds and Hull were among the first destinations to welcome Azuma services from Thursday 15 May 2019.
With Azuma trains being introduced as far north as Edinburgh, it will signal the first opportunity for customers to travel on the state-of-the-art trains along the 393-mile route between the capital cities of England and Scotland.
David Horne, Managing Director of LNER, said: “The launch of the first Azuma trains to and from Edinburgh and the north east of England is a pivotal moment for LNER in demonstrating the transformation of services for our customers and communities that we serve. Establishing new standards in rail travel is part of our DNA, and the new Azuma trains are already making the customer experience better than ever. They will transform travel for customers with improved reliability, greater levels of comfort and an average of 100 more seats on every train compared to the current fleet. From improved WiFi and extra leg-room to being more environmentally friendly and accessible to more people, the Azuma experience is a real revolution in rail travel.”
Customers will be able to book tickets for travel on the LNER website where services operated by Azuma trains will be clearly highlighted. Andrew Jones MP, Rail Minister, said: “The arrival of the state-of-the-art Azuma trains delivers more comfortable journeys and better services for passengers along the East Coast Route. Alongside the introduction of these new trains, we have also worked closely with Transport Scotland to upgrade platforms at Edinburgh Waverly to support longer trains with more seats.”
Azuma trains boast a dedicated ‘Let’s Eat Cafe Bar’ in addition to the ever-popular at-seat trolley service in Standard Class. Customers in First Class will enjoy complimentary two-course meals freshly prepared in the onboard kitchens using locally sourced ingredients.
A new traffic light seat reservation system alongside clear digital displays above seats in First and Standard Class will make it easy for customers to find reserved or available seats on-board. With a new timetable from December 2021, more regular journeys between London and Edinburgh will take just four hours. The launch of Azuma on 1 August 2019 can be followed on the LNER Twitter feed by following @LNER or searching the #Azuma hashtag.
The first Azuma southbound weekday service will be the 05:40 Edinburgh to London King’s Cross ‘Flying Scotsman’ service calling at Newcastle.