5 AUGUST 2019
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LNER, the East Coast rail operator owned by the Department for Transport (DfT), has introduced the first of its Durham-assembled trains on services between London King's Cross and Edinburgh.
Called ‘Azuma’, Japanese for East, the new nine-coach units offer extra seats, more legroom, better wi-fi, improved accessibility, greater reliability than the current fleet and ultimately faster journey times.
Small details count, with enhanced washroom accessibility for disabled passengers and a pair of toilets opposite each other at the end of each coach.
There are quiet zones and the LNER App will locate available seating. Keeping up with the times, improved facilities have been added for cycle storage.
BTN travelled from London on the old BR 225 unit to York for a short familiarisation run to Darlington, the new train noticeably smoother than the one it will replace, also with larger tables for working and dining, plus three-pin electric plugs and twin USBs.
Typical train journeys will include the Edinburgh to King’s Cross leaving at 05:40 and arriving in central London at 09:40. For those with a strong constitution, the last return leaves central London at 17:30 and arrives in Edinburgh at 22:10.
Even with the old units, the fast York to London takes just 1hr 51min, rattling along at 125mph. Some services stop at various intermediate stations including Doncaster, Newark and Peterborough. (see also BTN 20 May)
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