Virgin Trains will operate Azuma trains on the east coast
With the introduction of Azuma trains, the travelling time in the UK is going to be cut drastically. These bullet trains by Virgin Trains will run on the east coast. This will help commuters as more of them are travelling by train now and the introduction of high-speed vehicles will reduce the travel time.
The train has been named ‘Azuma’, which translates to ‘East’ in Japanese language in homage to Japanese bullet train technology and the coast on which it will operate. Azuma is a nine-car vehicle which travels on both electric and diesel power and accelerates faster than existing trains on the network.
A test run by Hitachi, the maker of the high-speed trains, was performed during which a train travelled from London to Edinburgh in four hours, saving 22 minutes. Hitachi will roll the new 65-strong fleet which will run on Virgin Trains’ east coast route. The trains are being built at Hitachi’s facility in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.
Scotland’s Transport Minister, Humza Yousaf, welcomed the test run. He said:
“Making rail an attractive alternative is an ideal way to encourage more people out of their cars and onto greener transport. This new fleet of trains serving stations all across the north and east of the country offer more opportunities for passengers to travel by rail in the future.”
David Horne, Virgin Trains’ MD on the east coast route, said:
“The Virgin Azuma will deliver a step-change in services between Scotland and England, taking regular journeys down to just four hours. Having the train visit Scotland for the first time as part of testing is a really important moment and reminds us of the excitement it will bring to UK train travel when it is introduced into service.”
Karen Boswell, MD at Hitachi Rail Europe, said:
“Passengers and enthusiasts in Scotland will be seeing more of the Azuma trains in the coming months as part of our rigorous test programme. Our UK-built fleet harnesses world famous Japanese bullet train technology, giving passengers on the east coast main line the very best in quality and reliability.”