Virgin unveils new Azuma trains

18 Mar 2016 by BusinessTraveller

Virgin Trains has unveiled its forthcoming Azuma trains, which will launch on the East Coast line from 2018.

Literally translating as “East” in Japanese, the Azuma trains will increase capacity into King’s Cross by 28 per cent, with 65 trains providing an extra 12,000 seats.

The new trains will enable faster journeys because they can accelerate more quickly than existing stock – around one minute quicker to get to 125mph (the current top speed allowed on the line).

Virgin Trains Azuma

Virgin East Coast says that this will reduce London-Edinburgh journey times by “up to 22 minutes”.

The operator says it has also created a cross-industry working group, including Network Rail, to “investigate the potential for the East Coast route to enable their operation at 140mph”.

Other features of the new trains will include:

  • Faster and free wifi
  • Power sockets for every seat
  • More overhead luggage space
  • "some of the best leg-room on the rail network, as well as ergonomically designed seats in both first and standard"

The new trains are being manufactured by Hitachi in County Durham, and will be “lighter and more energy efficient, making them some of the most environmentally friendly in the UK”. They will also feature an onboard shop for passengers.

Virgin Trains recently began a re-fit of existing trains (see news January 21), and from May will increase the number of frequencies between London and Edinburgh (see news February 15).

Mark Caswell

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