LNER Azuma (Class 800/801)

Strat-tastic

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The first two 9 car 801/2s have now entered service.

801205 worked 1S05 0700 Kings Cross - Edinburgh.
801207 worked 1N80 0706 Kings Cross - York.
 

WesternLancer

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Obv I realise this will have been raised on here many times, but yesterday was my 1st Azuma experience due to a set swap from Kings Cross on a Leeds service - (5 car Azuma replaces 9 car 225 - so pandemonium on boarding etc and repeated announcements from crew trying to encourage people to get off as there would eb room for them on the next train - which at 17.00 on a Sunday is maybe a bit unlikely but there we are).

I was in 1st class and I thought

- poor quality of ride took me aback
- surprised to see no 2 seats facing (all the single seats airline) - I was unable to check other carriage with 1st due to severe overcrowding in vestibule due to set swap - but surely at least some 1st class passengers likely to be traveling in pairs, both for work or leisure? Seems daft not to have a mix of 4 seats, 2 seats and airline
- distance between seats in 1st must be reduced compared with Mk4/HST etc - I was at a table for 4 and my feet were clashing with person opposite (of moderate height) - never really experienced that in 1st on ECML before.
- even 1st class seats pretty 'firm' and not very impressive.

If this is the leap forward for 30 years of rolling stock development it's not impressive IMHO! Compare that to how an upmarket car might have improved internally since the late 1980s...

I think people raving about them are perhaps confusing 'new' with 'better'?
 

Journeyman

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Obv I realise this will have been raised on here many times, but yesterday was my 1st Azuma experience due to a set swap from Kings Cross on a Leeds service - (5 car Azuma replaces 9 car 225 - so pandemonium on boarding etc and repeated announcements from crew trying to encourage people to get off as there would eb room for them on the next train - which at 17.00 on a Sunday is maybe a bit unlikely but there we are).

I was in 1st class and I thought

- poor quality of ride took me aback
- surprised to see no 2 seats facing (all the single seats airline) - I was unable to check other carriage with 1st due to severe overcrowding in vestibule due to set swap - but surely at least some 1st class passengers likely to be traveling in pairs, both for work or leisure? Seems daft not to have a mix of 4 seats, 2 seats and airline
- distance between seats in 1st must be reduced compared with Mk4/HST etc - I was at a table for 4 and my feet were clashing with person opposite (of moderate height) - never really experienced that in 1st on ECML before.
- even 1st class seats pretty 'firm' and not very impressive.

If this is the leap forward for 30 years of rolling stock development it's not impressive IMHO! Compare that to how an upmarket car might have improved internally since the late 1980s...

I think people raving about them are perhaps confusing 'new' with 'better'?
I've been in Standard lots of times, but had my first trip in first on Friday, from London to Edinburgh. I too was surprised by the seating layout - you've only really got a choice of individual airline, or bay of four, which loses a huge amount of the flexibility the HSTs and Mk 4s have. In those you have individual or pair of airline, facing pair, and bay of four.

Other than that, I thought the seat spacing and comfort were absolutely fine. The only thing that annoys me about LNER first class these days is how mean they are with the food. The portions are tiny.
 

WesternLancer

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I've been in Standard lots of times, but had my first trip in first on Friday, from London to Edinburgh. I too was surprised by the seating layout - you've only really got a choice of individual airline, or bay of four, which loses a huge amount of the flexibility the HSTs and Mk 4s have. In those you have individual or pair of airline, facing pair, and bay of four.

Other than that, I thought the seat spacing and comfort were absolutely fine. The only thing that annoys me about LNER first class these days is how mean they are with the food. The portions are tiny.

On the spacing it just seems daft to reduce the amount of space when I think, people are generally getting bigger over time (inc height).

As it was a sunday I had limited expectations of the 'free' food - but I generally think the whole idea of giving people modest amounts of free stuff of not exactly, but maybe acceptable, quality is worse than letting people pay for what they actually want.
 

Journeyman

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On the spacing it just seems daft to reduce the amount of space when I think, people are generally getting bigger over time (inc height).

As it was a sunday I had limited expectations of the 'free' food - but I generally think the whole idea of giving people modest amounts of free stuff of not exactly, but maybe acceptable, quality is worse than letting people pay for what they actually want.
Yeah, National Express screwed up a lot of things, but sold reasonably-priced full meals at-seat in first class, with quite a lot more choice, and I'd happily have that back.
 

WesternLancer

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Yeah, National Express screwed up a lot of things, but sold reasonably-priced full meals at-seat in first class, with quite a lot more choice, and I'd happily have that back.
Yes, I agree - and std class could buy the meals if they wished. GNER and BR before them of course offered the same.

I find the East Midlands 1st class food a better offer - modest prices, simple menu but filling food, good value. Pay for that if you want, tea and biscuits type stuff free. I think they have that right really.

LNER hype up a free food offer and basically you are getting little better than airline style stuff (or what you might once have got on an airline I suppose).
 

Ilkley333

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I’m currently sat in an Azuma trying to work. Floor level ambient heating on but aircon blowing cold air at me. Hands nice and warm if I keep them under the table but really cold if I try to work on my laptop on the table!
 

Marton

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9 Nov 2008
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My first experience of Azuma in Standard today. Kings Cross to Peterborough

Seats are hard as expected, but although I knew the lighting was 'bright', it is even harsher and brighter than i ever imagined.

The ride can only be descried as harsh, and that's being generous. Not only is there a lot of wheel rumble and vibration the lateral swaying is abysmal.

could this be worse as the carriage has only me, one other adult and a babe in arms in it - would another 50 people at 75Kg plus luggage, say 4 tons, attenuate the movement?

At least the tables in standard aren't ridged so i can use my mouse.
 

cf111

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I was impressed with my Azuma yesterday on the 1300 Edinburgh-King's Cross. The ride was fine, nice light and airy interior and I liked the first class seat.
 

GrimShady

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My first experience of Azuma in Standard today. Kings Cross to Peterborough

Seats are hard as expected, but although I knew the lighting was 'bright', it is even harsher and brighter than i ever imagined.

The ride can only be descried as harsh, and that's being generous. Not only is there a lot of wheel rumble and vibration the lateral swaying is abysmal.

could this be worse as the carriage has only me, one other adult and a babe in arms in it - would another 50 people at 75Kg plus luggage, say 4 tons, attenuate the movement?
Nope, I've been on two fully packed FC coaches now with the same horrific ride.

Obv I realise this will have been raised on here many times, but yesterday was my 1st Azuma experience due to a set swap from Kings Cross on a Leeds service - (5 car Azuma replaces 9 car 225 - so pandemonium on boarding etc and repeated announcements from crew trying to encourage people to get off as there would eb room for them on the next train - which at 17.00 on a Sunday is maybe a bit unlikely but there we are).

I was in 1st class and I thought

- poor quality of ride took me aback
- surprised to see no 2 seats facing (all the single seats airline) - I was unable to check other carriage with 1st due to severe overcrowding in vestibule due to set swap - but surely at least some 1st class passengers likely to be traveling in pairs, both for work or leisure? Seems daft not to have a mix of 4 seats, 2 seats and airline
- distance between seats in 1st must be reduced compared with Mk4/HST etc - I was at a table for 4 and my feet were clashing with person opposite (of moderate height) - never really experienced that in 1st on ECML before.
- even 1st class seats pretty 'firm' and not very impressive.

If this is the leap forward for 30 years of rolling stock development it's not impressive IMHO! Compare that to how an upmarket car might have improved internally since the late 1980s...

I think people raving about them are perhaps confusing 'new' with 'better'?
Would you believe the LNER site describes it as "Luxury"?

Let's not forget the ridiculously harsh lighting and rubbish sun shade.
 

High Dyke

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Agreed. I prefer an IET, hard seats and all, over the horrific GWR Mk3 abomination. But I'd take a MK4 any day over an IET, they've been great carriages from day 1, and the Mallard refurb made them even better.
Funnily enough I travelled on a GA Mk3 set the other day from Norwich - London. On those I find the original seat formation with the fixed armrest a nuisance, but many years ago I remember an overnight service from Glasgow - Bristol sitting in such a seat. I noticed that the seat behind the vestibule bulkhead lacked the same armrest...I then realised it's been replaced by a seat similar to those fitted in the Azuma sets. I've only travelled in an 800 class for about an hour to/from locations so haven't experienced a longer trip such as York - Edinburgh etc. I may revise my opinion of the seat quality following a longer journey. I agree with the comments about the lighting. Travelling back from the York meal last month, well until the train was cancelled at Doncaster (DSD fault) I found the interior lighting too bright during darkness - no doubt the 'ergonomic experts' will proclaim that it must be that lux level... Does it have to be so harsh?
 

GrimShady

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I found the interior lighting too bright during darkness - no doubt the 'ergonomic experts' will proclaim that it must be that lux level... Does it have to be so harsh?
I find the views of the North Sea during the day completely ruined by the ridiculous lighting level. There was always a slight refraction on any train but the these things are ridiculous. I can make out an entire reflection of the coach interior on the windows.
 
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High Dyke

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I find the views of the North Sea during the day is completely ruined by the ridiculous lighting level. There was always a slight refraction on any train but the these things are ridiculous. I can make out an entire reflection of the coach interior on the windows.
Indeed. Then again the designers have little concept of the fact people may want to look out of the window at the scenery.
 

Railperf

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Any news on whether LNER's 800's are set at the same diesel power settings as GWR fleet or the original 565Kw output.
 

Northhighland

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Have to say I found them ok, but just ok. They weren’t as uncomfortable as I had been expecting actually ok, I am 6’2.
But they lack a wow factor.
If I was honest and it was a choice between an IET or a refurb HST. I would choose HST. Which isn’t really that good a verdict. Opportunity missed I think.
 

WesternLancer

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Indeed. Then again the designers have little concept of the fact people may want to look out of the window at the scenery.
Good point, yet the last but one page of the LNER timetable book has a full page ad promoting the free wi-fi which says "so sit back, take a photo of the glorious views and watch the likes ticker up to infinity"....!!
 
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westv

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Does anybody know how the standard class seats were actually tested for comfort? Real humans or a computer?
 

trebor79

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Does anybody know how the standard class seats were actually tested for comfort? Real humans or a computer?
I do know that different seats were originally specified. DfT changed them to save a few pennies, everyone on the project was horrified.
 

47271

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Does anybody know how the standard class seats were actually tested for comfort? Real humans or a computer?
I sat in a couple that they had on display at King's Cross five or six years ago with a guy from the manufacturers. I did comment that I found both the Standard and First Class seats a bit on the firm side, and the Standard one quite narrow. But how do you tell when you sit there for all of 90 seconds or so with a man with a clipboard firing questions at you? I can only hope that their testing overall was a bit more rigorous than that. Maybe not, and maybe I'm being personally blamed in LNER seat comfort meetings the length and breadth of the country.

Something that I do distinctly remember is commenting that the unpatterned flat cloth upholstery would be a disaster for marks and stains. That message obviously wasn't passed on to colleagues working on the seats for the GWR IETs...
 
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