LNER Azuma (Class 800/801)

3973EXL

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Just for interest I noticed 5X98 left Eastleigh TRSMD via the south curve onto the Botley line, then through Eastleigh P3. I wonder if that was done to get the pair set up for a particular leading unit or leading cab?
It is not unusual to leave that way.
I'm not aware of the reason but suspect it's orientation dependant.
 
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swt_passenger

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More likely a workaround to avoid the damaged pointwork that's caused havoc within Eastleigh for the past couple of weeks. That section of points has now been plain-lined temporarily.
All the AT300 moves out of Eastleigh TMD were canned because of it, until today.
They would still use the same pointwork towards P3 whichever route they take out the depot. A XC ECS exited the TRSMD by the usual route only 5 mins later.
 

7522

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Possibly a silly question but could an 801/1 and 800/2 pair up in service? Has this ever occurred? I wonder how this would perform on Diesel with a total of 4 engines (instead of 6 engines on 2x 800/2s).
 

JonathanH

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Possibly a silly question but could an 801/1 and 800/2 pair up in service? Has this ever occurred?
Yes, a number of times, but only on electric workings.

801112 and 800207 worked together all day on Saturday on Leeds to Kings Cross journeys.

I wonder how this would perform on Diesel with a total of 4 engines (instead of 6 engines on 2x 800/2s).
This has been asked before and not answered. I don't think it is going to happen in passenger service.
 

3973EXL

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59CosG95

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An interesting point raised in the January/February issue of The Rail Engineer, taken from the article "Azuma's HIGHEST Challenge": https://www.railengineer.co.uk/2020/02/04/azumas-highest-challenge/
The Rail Engineer said:
Powering the Azumas
The rapid withdrawal of LNER’s HST fleet was made possible by the commissioning of Potteric Carr OLE feeder station, which feeds both Hitachi’s new Azuma depot at Doncaster and provides additional clean power for the East Coast main line. Prior to then, HSTs had to run through Doncaster as there was insufficient power for a full electric service.

This 25kV traction feeder station is fed from the local 33kV distribution network operator (DNO) network. It is the first in the UK for Network Rail to use a power electronics based ‘PCS 6000 Rail’ 50MW Static Frequency Converter (SFC), supplied by ABB Power Grids under a £14 million contract.

The Potteric Carr SFC feeder station was successfully commissioned into commercial operation by ABB on the ECML end of October 2019, following the completion of Network Rail product and system acceptance tests and the issuance of trial certification.

One key advantage of this technology is that it enables connection to the utility grid at lower voltages (compared to normal 132kV and above for the range of power required). It also potentially eliminates neutral sections on the railways and enables the power utility to see a ‘balanced’ supply into the railway power infrastructure. Based on an earlier engineering and option selection scheme by Network Rail, it is estimated that the chosen SFC solution, which eliminates the need for a costly high-voltage grid connection, reduces the cost of a new feeder station by 60 per cent. High-voltage grid connections were previously needed, as a single-phase 25kV OLE supply would otherwise result in an unacceptable phase imbalance in the grid supply.

This is not a problem with an SFC, which takes a three-phase supply, converts it to DC and then into a clean single phase 25kV supply for traction OLE and depot use. As a result, it is possible to take a three-phase balanced load from a local distribution network 33kV supply to power the single-phase 25kV OLE system.

ABB Power Grids has already installed SFC feeder stations in Brisbane and Queensland, Australia, as well as several other European countries.

SFCs were developed to interconnect power networks operating at incompatible frequencies. A typical example of this is a cruise ship, with a 60Hz on-board network that may have to be connected to a 50Hz shore supply. Other examples in the UK for 60Hz to 50Hz connection include interconnectors within the Western Power Distribution network area and the Maygen Renewable Generation project in Scotland.

Further power supply enhancements are required to maximise electric running on the ECML, and these are being delivered by phase two of Network Rail’s ECML power supply upgrade. This includes the commissioning of a new feeder station and 132kV connection at Hambleton Junction, near Selby, to provide resilience of supply, as well as two static frequency converter compounds at 132kV supply points and the upgrade of the feeder station at Marshall Meadows, immediately south of the Scottish border.

It is the Marshall Meadows feeder station that won’t be upgraded until at least 2021. Until then, some LNER services and all the new TransPennine Express services (30 trains a day) will have to operate on diesel power for the 64 miles between Longniddry and Chathill.
 

St. Paddy

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I had my first ride on an Azuma last week from Peterborough to Lincoln. I don't know why I consider them a new train, seeing as they're pretty much exactly the same the GWR ones I've grown accustomed to over the last two years.

I do prefer them to their GWR counterparts. They actually have a decent livery that doesn't make me wanna fall asleep, and the interior is nice and bright. Not the dull and awful grey on the GWR ones. Seats are still far too hard though.

I don't think they even compare to the HSTs and Mark 4s they're replacing however. The old trains just have a much nicer atmosphere, not to mention decently comfortable seats. Why do we have to put up with such a downgrade in quality? It is possible to have nice interiors in multiple units, you need only look at Voyagers, Meridians, 170s and 185s to see that. Am I alone in thinking this?
 

class26

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I had my first ride on an Azuma last week from Peterborough to Lincoln. I don't know why I consider them a new train, seeing as they're pretty much exactly the same the GWR ones I've grown accustomed to over the last two years.

I do prefer them to their GWR counterparts. They actually have a decent livery that doesn't make me wanna fall asleep, and the interior is nice and bright. Not the dull and awful grey on the GWR ones. Seats are still far too hard though.

I don't think they even compare to the HSTs and Mark 4s they're replacing however. The old trains just have a much nicer atmosphere, not to mention decently comfortable seats. Why do we have to put up with such a downgrade in quality? It is possible to have nice interiors in multiple units, you need only look at Voyagers, Meridians, 170s and 185s to see that. Am I alone in thinking this?
I wouldn`t call a Voyager interior nice at all. Personally i think the seats are really bad but that`s probably just party of a trend that has inflicted our stock this century.
 

samuelmorris

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I had my first ride on an Azuma last week from Peterborough to Lincoln. I don't know why I consider them a new train, seeing as they're pretty much exactly the same the GWR ones I've grown accustomed to over the last two years.

I do prefer them to their GWR counterparts. They actually have a decent livery that doesn't make me wanna fall asleep, and the interior is nice and bright. Not the dull and awful grey on the GWR ones. Seats are still far too hard though.

I don't think they even compare to the HSTs and Mark 4s they're replacing however. The old trains just have a much nicer atmosphere, not to mention decently comfortable seats. Why do we have to put up with such a downgrade in quality? It is possible to have nice interiors in multiple units, you need only look at Voyagers, Meridians, 170s and 185s to see that. Am I alone in thinking this?
Devil's advocate time - I had my first trip on an Azuma on Monday and honestly, I really enjoyed it.

I'm on the same side of the people criticising the trend for absurdly hard seats on trains these days but I didn't find them anywhere near as bad as those on the 800/0 I rode a while back. They're definitely going to be too firm for many but 2h30 sat in one was honestly fine. It didn't feel like it was getting any less comfortable toward the end of the journey and the supportive upright back was quite helpful. The ambience is considerably better than the GWR (and Hull Trains for that matter) interior design, the PIS and seat reservations worked fine, the audio was nice and clear from the announcements - the guard's announcements had quite a lot of electrical noise in the background which wasn't great but he was still clearly audible, whereas that definitely wasn't the case with the HT 802 I rode earlier in the day. The trolley appeared at a useful time and I didn't think the value for money of the food on offer was that bad, all things considered. Ride quality seemed fine, you still get stuff sliding across the table on the sharper curves at full speed, but both types of legacy stock had that issue too, without tilt I don't really see how you solve it.

The only real negative points were seeing a Mk4 set go past the other way and realising how much better their information screens are than the rather dated version on the Azumas (though I didn't spot the flickering issue the GWR units have annoyed me with, might just have been as I was further from the display sitting towards the rear of the coach) and the other isn't the train's fault at all, it's the sort of 'train impostor syndrome' - the fares on LNER are so high that their trains will only ever feel like a luxury I can only afford every now and then, a bit like flying (for those who don't fly business on a regular basis, anyway), you get that strange sense of detachment of 'this isn't something I could ever do routinely, I don't really belong here'. The £16 advance fare on Hull Trains did not give that impression, that was very good value by comparison. I don't think my £58 super off-peak single was terrible value but I'm very mindful of the conditions it has, and how much more I'd have had to pay if I'd also used LNER for my morning peak trip outbound.

All things considered though, having spent 5 hours on 80x units, I've actually warmed to them. LNER's are definitely the best of the bunch (I confess I haven't tried TPE's yet, but I've done all the others now) but I'm far less bothered by them cropping up everywhere on the UK's express routes now that I've actually done some long journeys on them.
 
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Devil's advocate time - I had my first trip on an Azuma on Monday and honestly, I really enjoyed it.

I'm on the same side of the people criticising the trend for absurdly hard seats on trains these days but I didn't find them anywhere near as bad as those on the 800/0 I rode a while back. They're definitely going to be too firm for many but 2h30 sat in one was honestly fine. It didn't feel like it was getting any less comfortable toward the end of the journey and the supportive upright back was quite helpful. The ambience is considerably better than the GWR (and Hull Trains for that matter) interior design, the PIS and seat reservations worked fine, the audio was nice and clear from the announcements - the guard's announcements had quite a lot of electrical noise in the background which wasn't great but he was still clearly audible, whereas that definitely wasn't the case with the HT 802 I rode earlier in the day. The trolley appeared at a useful time and I didn't think the value for money of the food on offer was that bad, all things considered. Ride quality seemed fine, you still get stuff sliding across the table on the sharper curves at full speed, but both types of legacy stock had that issue too, without tilt I don't really see how you solve it.

The only real negative points were seeing a Mk4 set go past the other way and realising how much better their information screens are than the rather dated version on the Azumas (though I didn't spot the flickering issue the GWR units have annoyed me with, might just have been as I was further from the display sitting towards the rear of the coach) and the other isn't the train's fault at all, it's the sort of 'train impostor syndrome' - the fares on LNER are so high that their trains will only ever feel like a luxury I can only afford every now and then, a bit like flying (for those who don't fly business on a regular basis, anyway), you get that strange sense of detachment of 'this isn't something I could ever do routinely, I don't really belong here'. The £16 advance fare on Hull Trains did not give that impression, that was very good value by comparison. I don't think my £58 super off-peak single was terrible value but I'm very mindful of the conditions it has, and how much more I'd have had to pay if I'd also used LNER for my morning peak trip outbound.

All things considered though, having spent 5 hours on 80x units, I've actually warmed to them. LNER's are definitely the best of the bunch (I confess I haven't tried TPE's yet, but I've done all the others now) but I'm far less bothered by them cropping up everywhere on the UK's express routes now that I've actually done some long journeys on them.
You aren't the only one who doesn't think the seats are too bad. I think they are a marmite thing. My father also has no issues and doesn't think they're hard at all. As for me, well on a typical journey from Paddington to Cardiff, I'm getting uncomfortable in my seat by Slough. I would be extremely reluctant to do more than two hours on one personally.

I have also yet to try the TPE ones but on the same day as I had my first ride on an Azuma I sampled a Hull Trains set. I don't think they're quite as good as the Azumas, but they are better than the GWR ones. I wish FGW hadn't rebranded to GWR, because then the Great Western sets would probably be similar both externally and internally to the Hull Trains ones, and I wouldn't have such hostile feelings towards them.

On the topic of trolleys, on my hour long Azuma ride it didn't even show up, despite it being only five cars and not particularly busy. I probably would have only bought a packet of mini cheddars anyway.

Did you visit the food bar on your trip? I couldn't be bothered to visit it on my trip but I am curious what it's like, especially as GWR sets don't have one.
 

samuelmorris

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You aren't the only one who doesn't think the seats are too bad. I think they are a marmite thing. My father also has no issues and doesn't think they're hard at all. As for me, well on a typical journey from Paddington to Cardiff, I'm getting uncomfortable in my seat by Slough. I would be extremely reluctant to do more than two hours on one personally.

I have also yet to try the TPE ones but on the same day as I had my first ride on an Azuma I sampled a Hull Trains set. I don't think they're quite as good as the Azumas, but they are better than the GWR ones. I wish FGW hadn't rebranded to GWR, because then the Great Western sets would probably be similar both externally and internally to the Hull Trains ones, and I wouldn't have such hostile feelings towards them.

On the topic of trolleys, on my hour long Azuma ride it didn't even show up, despite it being only five cars and not particularly busy. I probably would have only bought a packet of mini cheddars anyway.

Did you visit the food bar on your trip? I couldn't be bothered to visit it on my trip but I am curious what it's like, especially as GWR sets don't have one.
All the liveries the 80x classes wear are quite good I think - the LNER livery is probably the weakest from the outside, but when immaculate and new as it was on 801213 this week (not sure how old that unit is, but judging by the look of it, not very!), it looks very smart. A bit of dirt, however, and it'll soon look the worst. Inside, it's the opposite. I find the First corporate livery inside the HT unit a bit dull really. The GWR lime green stripe inside looks absurd but it does at least add some colour.

I didn't visit the food bar I'm afraid, on a walk-on ticket, when I see a coach with unreserved seats, I board it, so I was at the back in Coach B, it would have been a long walk to the food bar. I've used the foodbar on the previous DOR East Coast offering and I found it quite good then, but that's going back a few years now.
 
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All the liveries the 80x classes wear are quite good I think - the LNER livery is probably the weakest from the outside, but when immaculate and new as it was on 801213 this week (not sure how old that unit is, but judging by the look of it, not very!), it looks very smart. A bit of dirt, however, and it'll soon look the worst. Inside, it's the opposite. I find the First corporate livery inside the HT unit a bit dull really. The GWR lime green stripe inside looks absurd but it does at least add some colour.

I didn't visit the food bar I'm afraid, on a walk-on ticket, when I see a coach with unreserved seats, I board it, so I was at the back in Coach B, it would have been a long walk to the food bar. I've used the foodbar on the previous DOR East Coast offering and I found it quite good then, but that's going back a few years now.
I think liveries are quite subjective. Words cannot describe how much I detest the GWR livery. It's just so boring and unimaginative. It doesn't look TOO bad in the sun, but on a cloudy/ rainy day (which in South Wales it is 90% of the time), it may as well be plain black. I was legitimately shocked when I heard the majority of members on this forum singing their praise for it.

The TPE one is by far my favourite. That livery looks good on any train, but the 802s (along with the 397s) look like they were made to wear those colours. I like the LNER one but I don't think it's particularly special.

I also like the Hull Trains livery, although I think the 180s wore that colour scheme better in my opinion.
 

samuelmorris

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I think liveries are quite subjective. Words cannot describe how much I detest the GWR livery. It's just so boring and unimaginative. It doesn't look TOO bad in the sun, but on a cloudy/ rainy day (which in South Wales it is 90% of the time), it may as well be plain black. I was legitimately shocked when I heard the majority of members on this forum singing their praise for it.

The TPE one is by far my favourite. That livery looks good on any train, but the 802s (along with the 397s) look like they were made to wear those colours. I like the LNER one but I don't think it's particularly special.

I also like the Hull Trains livery, although I think the 180s wore that colour scheme better in my opinion.
Agreed. TPE is probably the best livery around at the moment, though that's getting a bit off topic now.
 

RailWonderer

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it's the sort of 'train impostor syndrome' - the fares on LNER are so high that their trains will only ever feel like a luxury I can only afford every now and then, a bit like flying (for those who don't fly business on a regular basis, anyway), you get that strange sense of detachment of 'this isn't something I could ever do routinely, I don't really belong here'.
Funny you mention that, twice I went to York on the 09:00 and the 10:00 I felt exactly the same. Walking through a packed first class felt even more so.

The LNER 800s are the best of the bunch, the seat design is the same as the other 800s but with a better material that is more comfortable for around 2 hours (though I'm not sure its comfortable for KX - Scotland journeys.

I didn't visit the food bar I'm afraid, on a walk-on ticket, when I see a coach with unreserved seats, I board it, so I was at the back in Coach B, it would have been a long walk to the food bar. I've used the foodbar on the previous DOR East Coast offering and I found it quite good then, but that's going back a few years now.
Don't bother. More overpriced than Avanti with a lesser range (bar for some hot bacon rolls and a few other small portions).
 
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404250

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I wish people would stop moaning about on board catering. No wonder the nation is fat. Just eat when you get off. A few hours is nothing.
 

3973EXL

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Class455

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800210 made it to Huddersfield yesterday morning on driver training runs which have now commenced prior to the introduction of services there. One ran again this morning and another was supposed to run tonight but this has yet to depart Neville Hill so assume it’s caped
 

johntea

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Funny you mention that, twice I went to York on the 09:00 and the 10:00 I felt exactly the same. Walking through a packed first class felt even more so.
As I work in Harrogate I now have the luxary of the 17:36 Azuma to Leeds (or Wakefield as I often stay on to), it is quite a weird feeling essentially being on a 'posh' London train daily! Even more strange when you're used to Northern calling at Hornbeam Park, Pannal, Weeton, Horsforth, Headingley, Burley Park, Leeds to first stop Leeds!

Although rather ironically 'the fares on LNER are so high...' it looks like if you're just making a single journey between Leeds and Harrogate (or vice versa) there looks to be a LNER only fare set at £7.90 which is actually CHEAPER than a generic peak/off peak day single offering of £9.10 / £8.70! :D (You can even book advances for between 3 quid and a fiver!)
 

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