They will soon be running on the LNER East Coast Mainline network
There’s been a fantastic amount of publicity over the past couple of days on the new Azuma trains will not just benefit County Durham where they have been built but the rest of the North East and the whole of the East Coast of Britain.
Azuma trains will soon be running on the LNER East Coast Mainline network. From 15 May trains will initially be used on the London King’s Cross-Leeds route and will then be introduced to the rest of the network including Newcastle, Durham, Darlington, Berwick, Morpeth and Alnmouth stations next year. We are supportive of any measures needed to be taken on the East Coast Mainline to ensure that these trains can seamlessly connect the North East to the rest of the country.
They are an electro-diesel hybrid which helps to make them more resilient during any disruption - which should increase reliability. The electro-diesel engines are also better for the environment, even on diesel mode the modern engines reduce harmful emissions by up to 90% compared to the existing fleet.
The new trains will also reduce journey times and increase capacity on the network. This will help the North East in many ways, even providing the potential for a direct route from London to Middlesbrough.
The North East’s economy has already benefited from the Azuma trains with Hitachi’s state-of-the-art factory in County Durham creating over 700 permanent jobs. Hitachi also has an extensive supply chain which also brings opportunities to the wider region with over 70% of parts for Hitachi’s intercity trains come from within a 40-mile radius of the factory. In terms of the nation-wide impact Hitachi have spent £1 billion with 1,163 British suppliers since 2013.
Seeing the first Azuma trains run in May will help to showcase the talent in the region which has helped to create the trains and we look forward to seeing them run in the North East.