The Rail Minister has today hailed the launch of a new fleet of trains - modelled on the iconic Japanese bullet trains - which will provide thousands more seats from London to the North every day.
Rail firm LNER, which operates on the East Coast Mainline, has added 65 new Azuma trains to its stock, with the first journey taking place tomorrow morning at 11.03, going from London to Leeds.
Speaking at the launch in Kings Cross, Harrogate MP and Transport Minister Andrew Jones said: “These train combine cutting edge design, inspired by the Japanese bullet train, with the very best of British manufacturing and engineering expertise.
“And they mark the start of a new age of rail travel in this country.
“These trains will provide thousands more seats every day, better on board facilities and be more accessible enabling everyone to enjoy their benefits.
“Additional services will strengthen links between London and the North and benefit cities and towns along the route, creating better connections that will help the local economies to thrive.
The new trains will have up to 100 extra seats per train, extra leg room and free wifi.
They were built in County Durham and will be maintained in Yorkshire, London and Scotland.
Mr Jones added: “At every stage in their development Azuma trains have benefited the economy and particularly in the North East.
“I was very glad to see Hitachi continuing the tradition of railway engineering, pioneeringengineering in the region by choosing to build the trains at a specially designed factory in Newton Aycliffe.”
Transport Secretary Chris Grayling 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.”