LNER re­veals new de­sign for Azuma fleet in­te­ri­ors

Rail (UK) - - News -

LNER has un­veiled the in­te­ri­ors for its Class 800/801 Azuma fleet, which RAIL un­der­stands will en­ter traf­fic from Fe­bru­ary.

The Hi­tachi trains are be­ing tested on the East Coast Main Line, with the first trains due to be ac­cepted by the op­er­a­tor on Novem­ber 30.

RAIL un­der­stands that ninecar bi-modes 800103 and 800107 have com­pleted their mileage ac­cu­mu­la­tion but have yet to be fit­ted with the new in­te­ri­ors, which were un­veiled on Novem­ber 20.

The 65 trains will pro­vide an ex­tra 12,200 seats com­pared with the ex­ist­ing 45 trains cur­rently used by LNER. They will be in­tro­duced ini­tially be­tween Lon­don, Leeds and Hull.

The op­er­a­tor claims the seats aboard the new trains are er­gonom­i­cally de­signed, while it also claims that cater­ing on the Azu­mas will be su­pe­rior to what is cur­rently avail­able.

When in­tro­duced by Great West­ern Rail­way in Oc­to­ber 2017, the seats aboard the Class 800s were de­rided for their lack of com­fort and de­scribed as ‘iron­ing board’-style seat­ing.

The com­pany also of­fi­cially un­veiled its new Azuma liv­ery, al­though this has been ap­plied to 800103 for more than a month ( RAIL 865). So far 800103/107/ 109 carry the new liv­ery.

Mean­while, RAIL sources have said that meet­ings con­tinue to solve prob­lems pre­vent­ing the LNER fleet’s ac­cep­tance into pas­sen­ger use. The Of­fice of Rail and Road has so far de­clined to au­tho­rise the trains, due to the in­ter­con­nec­tor ca­bles be­tween the ve­hi­cles ( RAIL 863), de­spite sim­i­lar ar­range­ments on GWR’s Class 800/802 fleets.

The trains are also be­ing mod­i­fied to en­sure com­pat­i­bil­ity with sig­nalling on the ECML. Tests should start in Jan­uary.


An artist’s im­pres­sion of the First Class in­te­rior planned for the LNER Azu­mas.

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