Perhaps it’s not surprising that rail operator LNER would revive the former British Rail (BR) livery.

After all LNER is government-managed. It operates the flagship ECML (East Coast Mainline) linking London with Scotland.

Granted its ‘new’ livery is not exactly the same as the BR original (the LNER logo has been applied in place of ‘Swallow InterCity’) but I doubt if many travellers will notice the difference.

At this point I must stress that the plan (at present) is to repaint the fleet of InterCity 225 trains which entered service with BR in 1989.

Indeed the livery carried by the Azuma trains is almost exactly the same as that designed by Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) before it ‘handed in the keys’ to LNER.

InterCity 225s are conventional trains (locomotive plus coaches) and although many have been scrapped (when the Azuma units arrived) LNER retains eight sets plus 12 locomotives.

Over the decades the ECML proved to be a troubled franchise and three operators tried their hand at the route but all failed.

After privatisation in the 1990s the ECML franchise was operated by Great Northern Eastern Railway (GNER), National Express, East Coast (government-managed), VTEC and now LNER (also government-managed).

John Doughty, LNER’s director of engineering, said:

“The new livery is not essential for the upkeep of the fleet but it also brings it into the LNER family.

“The livery was inspired by the operator of the original InterCity 225 design.”

These InterCity 225 units are rostered for LNER’s services between London Kings Cross, Leeds and York.