LNER Azuma (Class 800/801)

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kje7812

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RAIL is reported September 16th for the 801s https://www.railmagazine.com/news/n...ch-for-class-801-azumas-on-london-leeds-route
From September 16, one pair of Class 801/1s will enter traffic, and this will allow an ‘800/1’ to transfer to Anglo-Scottish services. A week later two pairs of ‘801/1s’ will be introduced, with two ‘800/1s’ moving to the Scottish route including running to Glasgow Central. On September 30 another pair of ‘801/1s’ will be introduced, meaning four pairs (eight trains) will be in passenger traffic.
 

Darandio

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Passing through Darlington this morning and got handed an Azuma goodie bag. I'm sure the lip balm will come in very handy. o_O
 

hexagon789

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Indeed! Although the fabric bag it all came in was rather nice if you are into that sort of thing.
Still rather have the keyring.

Was the first Azuma Edinburgh to London service in electric mode throughout?
Would be interested to know that myself. Certainly the way it kept time leads me to think it was more likely on electric the whole way.
 

7522

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I was on board from Newcastle this morning and it was electric mode throughout (although I can't comment on what happened between Edinburgh and Newcastle).

Overall I was impressed. The main improvement for me was the seat reservations. As someone with visual impairment I really struggle to see the displays on the MK3 and MK4 so the Azuma was much better. The lights were easy to see and also I found the seat numbers better to read also.

Ride quality was fine and I would say slightly better than the MK4 I am on currently. Traction motor noise was only really noticeable at low speeds.

As for the seats, well I went in with pretty low expectations but they are better than I thought. The shape and the fact that they are harder did not bother me too much. My only issue was the head rest. On the MK4 maybe the seats are taller or possibly it's because they are more curved but I can easily rest my head fully on a MK4 seat. On the Azuma my head was above the top of the seat and the head rest was not cushioned so I found it easier not to rest my head on the seat but this was my only real complaint.

The interiors look considerably brighter than a MK4 which may bother some people although this is difficult to comment on as my journey was in full daylight. The interior colour scheme is good in my opinion.

On board we were given the key ring in a pouch. This is a good item and includes the date on the back. Free cake was given out although I was lucky to get some as it had run out 2 people after me.

Arrival into London was with bagpipes playing and it did feel like a special occasion. They were also announcements from David Horne whilst passing Newton Aycliffe and just before Kings Cross.

EDIT: I travelled in standard. seat C65.
 

modernrail

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Why have 801's been ordered at all? I know there is the Lincoln service but that is not really a reason. I understand that other than that the plan is not to run in anything other than doubled up form. I am so confused! Why have the extra cost of 2 cabs and lose all that capacity, and introduce an silly and expensive operational barrier. I can see absolutely no advantage on the Leeds route for operator or customer, just disadvantages.

I don't see the ability to send one unit out if the other has failed as an advantage. Leeds trains are packed and so much better to manage the risk through proper maintenance of a whole unit. That point is proven by the fact DfT thought it acceptable to have 9 car on the Scotland routes.

Is it down to north of Leeds services, allowing a single service to split to serve Harrogate, Bradford or Huddersfield? If so, has this already been programmed into the timetable or is it a firm intention with a new timetable to come?

I can see these doubled up unit causing a lot of confusion at Leeds and Kings Cross where there are often quite a few late joiners who then walk down the train to get to their seat.
 

JonathanH

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Isn't the point of the 801/1 fleet that they will operate 5-car beyond Leeds - e.g. to Bradford or Skipton - or with the 800/2s - 800/2 goes to Harrogate, 801/1 stays at Leeds.

Harrogate services are in from December - presumably these will be 800/2 from Harrogate and 800/2 + 801/1 south of Leeds rather than a pair of 800/2s.

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/sea...6/0200-0159?stp=WVS&show=all&order=wtt&toc=GR

Bradford splitters presumably come later.
 

59CosG95

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Isn't the point of the 801/1 fleet that they will operate 5-car beyond Leeds - e.g. to Bradford or Skipton - or with the 800/2s - 800/2 goes to Harrogate, 801/1 stays at Leeds.

Harrogate services are in from December - presumably these will be 800/2 from Harrogate and 800/2 + 801/1 south of Leeds rather than a pair of 800/2s.

http://www.realtimetrains.co.uk/sea...6/0200-0159?stp=WVS&show=all&order=wtt&toc=GR

Bradford splitters presumably come later.
If 800/2s or 801/1s are used on the Skipton services, Shipley will be likely to gain an additional LNER call, as they can use P1/2, rather than just P3 for Bradford services. Same thing applies to the Bradford services - 5-car Azumas will be able to use P4.
And who knows? Perhaps LNER services to Ilkley may be a future possibility, if the timetable allows.
 

samuelmorris

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Why have 801's been ordered at all? I know there is the Lincoln service but that is not really a reason. I understand that other than that the plan is not to run in anything other than doubled up form. I am so confused! Why have the extra cost of 2 cabs and lose all that capacity, and introduce an silly and expensive operational barrier. I can see absolutely no advantage on the Leeds route for operator or customer, just disadvantages.

I don't see the ability to send one unit out if the other has failed as an advantage. Leeds trains are packed and so much better to manage the risk through proper maintenance of a whole unit. That point is proven by the fact DfT thought it acceptable to have 9 car on the Scotland routes.

Is it down to north of Leeds services, allowing a single service to split to serve Harrogate, Bradford or Huddersfield? If so, has this already been programmed into the timetable or is it a firm intention with a new timetable to come?

I can see these doubled up unit causing a lot of confusion at Leeds and Kings Cross where there are often quite a few late joiners who then walk down the train to get to their seat.
801 does not mean 5-car, it means electric only. There are 5-car iterations of both 800s and 801s on LNER (or at least, there will be).

As far as I know the 5-cars are predominantly intended for those splitting services. Since there aren't many 9-car 800s in the order as there weren't that many HSTs, for flexibility all the 800s (i.e. bi-mode units) are being introduced first. This means that the coupled up 5-car sets are the way of things at the moment but once the 801s have arrived, a timetable recast will likely change that so they do what was intended. It isn't like GWR where joined 5-car sets are the majority. The 9-car fleet ordered for LNER is enough to replace the entirety of the existing fleet by itself.

I have my suspicions that the stopping services to Newark / York (if they continue) will be run with singular 5-car units based on how quiet they were when I used them.
 

59CosG95

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801 does not mean 5-car, it means electric only. There are 5-car iterations of both 800s and 801s on LNER (or at least, there will be).

As far as I know the 5-cars are predominantly intended for those splitting services. Since there aren't many 9-car 800s in the order as there weren't that many HSTs, for flexibility all the 800s (i.e. bi-mode units) are being introduced first. This means that the coupled up 5-car sets are the way of things at the moment but once the 801s have arrived, a timetable recast will likely change that so they do what was intended. It isn't like GWR where joined 5-car sets are the majority. The 9-car fleet ordered for LNER is enough to replace the entirety of the existing fleet by itself.

I have my suspicions that the stopping services to Newark / York (if they continue) will be run with singular 5-car units based on how quiet they were when I used them.
Almost certainly; the Newarks are also due to carry on to Lincoln Central.
 

modernrail

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Apologies for my confusion on the numbers!

Thanks for the confirmation on potential splitters. Whilst I am a fan of the concept of improved services to north of Leeds destinations I am nervous about how this will play out in practice by splitting services at Leeds. The West Yorkshire network and Leeds are horribly lacking in grade separation and subject to regular delays with no chance to catch up time as a result. I can see portions arriving into Leeds out of time very regularly. What would happen then, would they hold the on-time portion, try and send them down separately or cancel the late one? Any of these would cause mayhem and eat into vital Leeds passenger carrying capability and I can see this happening a LOT.

The Newark service was a surprise to me when I ended up on it the other day. Almost empty..was it introduced to take passengers on the southern end off the longer distance services? If so, a laudable aim but I would have thought an extra Peterborough high density high speed 12 car express would do a better job at that, although I can't instantly think of suitable 125mph EMUs to run such a service.
 

Failed Unit

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It is useful for passengers heading to Scotland from Stevenage and Grantham. But normally very empty. Don’t see the extension to Lincoln helping that much. Let’s hope when it does extend the connections to Grimsby are good. The York semi-fast in my experience loads better.

Not sure if people from Newark, Grantham and Peterborough aim for it for space. But recently I joined the 1029 Stevenage to Newark. It was empty. I was still at Newark when the 1030 London - Edinburgh arrived. Reasonable flow got off at Newark. It was full. So passengers don’t seem to pick the train on potential loading. But then APs have reservations so why worry.

York has the same issue. Take the 1100 for speed or the 1106 for peace? Most take the speed.
 

Railperf

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Todays 0540 left 1 early, arrived 2 early Newcastle. Left right time and arrived London right time and had been running 2 to 3 min ahead of time en route.
I bet LNER couldn't wait to use a Class 800 on this service!..such is its usual poor timekeeping and the Class 91s poor time recovery on such a tight schedule.
 

ainsworth74

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Whilst I am a fan of the concept of improved services to north of Leeds destinations I am nervous about how this will play out in practice by splitting services at Leeds. The West Yorkshire network and Leeds are horribly lacking in grade separation and subject to regular delays with no chance to catch up time as a result. I can see portions arriving into Leeds out of time very regularly. What would happen then, would they hold the on-time portion, try and send them down separately or cancel the late one? Any of these would cause mayhem and eat into vital Leeds passenger carrying capability and I can see this happening a LOT.
David Horne was quoted in Modern Railways a few months ago suggesting that LNER had no intention of splitting and joining at Leeds anymore (remember it was DfT that decided the fleet make up not the operator). Now whether or not he was just referring to this interim period whilst the trains are introduced and settling down and in the future they will do complicated splitting and joining moves I don't know. That wasn't, as far as I recall, made explicitly clear in the article. But certainly I think you can be safe in assuming that LNER share your concerns!!

The Newark service was a surprise to me when I ended up on it the other day. Almost empty..was it introduced to take passengers on the southern end off the longer distance services?
The Newark services were introduced as the stub of what should have been regular services to Lincoln using spare 5-car 180s (indeed I believe East Coast was leasing them for a time but sub-leased them to Northern instead before abandoning the plan entirely). That was an NXEC plan which East Coast inherited and quickly knocked on the head leaving the Newark service behind as an alternative. I believe the York extension of some Newark services was done simply to make them a bit more useful where possible. At York it does work as described as you'll find a fast non-stop service to London departing just before the stopping service with people interchanging onto the stopper. Indeed the stopper is regularly held five or ten minutes in order to protect the fast services path and the connections!

As for the seats, well I went in with pretty low expectations but they are better than I thought. The shape and the fact that they are harder did not bother me too much. My only issue was the head rest. On the MK4 maybe the seats are taller or possibly it's because they are more curved but I can easily rest my head fully on a MK4 seat. On the Azuma my head was above the top of the seat and the head rest was not cushioned so I found it easier not to rest my head on the seat but this was my only real complaint.
This is by no means aimed at your good self(!) but the railway really cannot win can it? I can recall bitter moaning from some people about seats that are far to tall and restrict your view down the carriage (GWR HSTs being the "worst" offenders) and how low seat backs are far more preferable. And now here we're seeing critisim for exactly the opposite reason! :lol:
 

Bantamzen

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If 800/2s or 801/1s are used on the Skipton services, Shipley will be likely to gain an additional LNER call, as they can use P1/2, rather than just P3 for Bradford services. Same thing applies to the Bradford services - 5-car Azumas will be able to use P4.
And who knows? Perhaps LNER services to Ilkley may be a future possibility, if the timetable allows.
Just thinking about the Bradford services, whilst it seems Harrogate may gain it's 2 hourly services in December, there has been a noticeable absence of details on when the Bradford services will be run. Local media have recently been speculating that these have been pushed back to at least next year. Has anyone heard anything more on the grapevine?
 

Jorge Da Silva

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Just thinking about the Bradford services, whilst it seems Harrogate may gain it's 2 hourly services in December, there has been a noticeable absence of details on when the Bradford services will be run. Local media have recently been speculating that these have been pushed back to at least next year. Has anyone heard anything more on the grapevine?
May 2020 i heard was the date for Bradford
 

Jorge Da Silva

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Just thinking about the Bradford services, whilst it seems Harrogate may gain it's 2 hourly services in December, there has been a noticeable absence of details on when the Bradford services will be run. Local media have recently been speculating that these have been pushed back to at least next year. Has anyone heard anything more on the grapevine?
https://www.businesstraveller.com/business-travel/2019/05/14/lner-begins-rollout-of-azuma-trains/

The trains will allow LNER to add services to destinations including Lincoln (expected September 2019), Harrogate (December 2019) and Bradford (May 2020), according to Dent. The company plans to launch a new timetable in December 2021.
 

jimm

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" It isn't like GWR where joined 5-car sets are the majority.
How about getting a calculator out before posting incorrect statements?

There are 35 nine-car GWR 800s and 802s.

There are 58 five-car GWR 800s and 802s. Coupled together that would give you 29 2x5 formations, which isn't a majority to begin with, never mind that a proportion of the five-car seats operate Oxford/Cotswold and Bedwyn services as single units.
 

superkev

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Wires down again today Wakefield Doncaster and chaos ensuing.
LNER dont seem to be using alternative routes out of Leeds like via Hanbleton or Knottingley.
Are Azumas not allowed on these routes?
K
 

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