LNER reveals new design for Azuma fleet interiors
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.