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15 May 2019, 11:50
The first scheduled arrival of the new LNER bullet train has taken place in Peterborough.
The multi-million pound make-over of the entire fleet begins today as the current ageing fleet of electric and diesel inter-city trains will be replaced over the next year.
Around once a week, a new Azuma train, (Azuma meaning East in Japanese) will take to the tracks.
After having left Kings Cross this morning, the first port of call is Peterborough at 1150am for an 1153am departure.
David Horne, Managing Director of LNER, said:
“The launch of the first Azuma trains is a truly momentous event for LNER and the communities that we serve.
Setting new benchmarks in rail travel is part of our DNA, and the new Azuma trains are the next big step for LNER in making the customer experience the best that it can be.
They will transform travel with improved reliability, greater levels of comfort and an average of 100 more seats on every train compared to the current fleet.
From extra leg-room and improved WiFi to being more environmentally friendly and accessible to more people, the Azuma experience is a real revolution in rail travel.”
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.
First Class also includes larger tables, reclining seats and both USB and plug sockets at every seat. The seats have been designed to maximise comfort and support posture. 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.
The new Azuma trains are part of the Government’s £5.7billion Intercity Express Programme which will modernise LNER services on the key intercity route used by more than 22 million people each year.
Rt. Hon. Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport, said:
“The arrival of the state-of-the-art Azuma trains along the East Coast is the next step in one of the biggest transformations on the UK’s railway, in which we are spending a record £48bn to modernise our rail network.
“It underlines significant investment by both government and train operators as part of a joint commitment to introduce a host of modern, spacious and comfortable new fleets right across the country.
We are proud that the Azumas have been built in the UK, supporting our supply chain and creating hundreds of skilled jobs."