Date announced for first East Coast Azuma in service

LNER has said a Class 800 Azuma train will carry passengers on the East Coast Main Line for the first time on 15 May.

The news comes after months of tests in a bid to prevent electro-magnetic emissions from the Hitachi-built Intercity Expresses interfering with lineside equipment. Approval was given by the Office of Rail and Road for operation in passenger service between London King’s Cross and Leeds earlier this week.

LNER managing director David Horne said: ‘I am delighted to confirm that LNER will run the first Azuma train from 15 May.

‘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.’

Hitachi Rail managing director Karen Boswell added: ‘Passengers on the East Coast Main Line 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.’

Rob McIntosh is Network Rail’s route managing director. He 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.’

Work is continuing on the installation of equipment to shield signalling on the rest of the East Coast Main Line between Doncaster and Edinburgh.

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