Travelling on an Azuma train
At a glance
- High speed train
Azuma, meaning “East” in Japanese, is LNER’s (London North Eastern Railway) newest fleet of high-speed trains, built with Japanese bullet train technology. Running on Britain’s East Coast route from London Kings Cross station to northeast England and beyond, Azuma trains now run as far as Aberdeen and Inverness in Scotland, these latest additions having been introduced in November and December 2019. An impressive 65 Azuma trains have now replaced LNER’s smaller 45-strong fleet of 40-year-old diesel trains, completely transforming this route between the north and south of the UK.
Azuma trains are diesel-electric hybrids, built in northeast England, using lightweight materials. This means they are not only faster but also more environmentally friendly. Azuma trains travel at a speed of up to 200km/h, reaching this in approximately four and a half minutes, compared to seven minutes for the diesel-powered trains. Travellers can now go from London to Aberdeen in just over 7 hrs. The combination of Japanese technology with UK-sourced parts means Azuma trains will generate fewer emissions, making them one of Britain’s most sustainable trains.
Before you board
When travelling on a 10-coach Azuma train, you will notice that you can’t walk from one end of the train to the other, as the train is made up of two adjoined 5-car trains. This means that before boarding, you need to double check your seat reservation to ensure you are getting on at the right end of the train.
Always make sure that you hold a valid ticket before boarding the train. Some UK train stations require travellers to validate their tickets through automatic gates. Simply insert your ticket orange-side-up into the slot in the gate and it will pop back up through a slot at the top. Take your ticket and the gates will open. If there are no automatic barriers at the station, ticket control will take place once onboard.
Azuma trains have a cafe/bar in coach G, selling a good selection of hot and cold drinks (including beer and wine), hot food, sandwiches and snacks.
There is also ample space for bikes onboard Azuma trains. On 9-coach Azumas, bike storage is located in coach K and on 10-coach Azumas, bicycles can be stored in coaches K and D. Read our Help article on taking your bikes on trains
Booking and printing options
Azuma tickets are open for bookings 90 days in advance. Get the lowest prices on Azuma by booking early and don’t wait until the last minute as cheaper seats sell out quickly.
Classes of service
Azuma trains provide two classes of service: Standard Class and First Class.
Azuma First Class
Azuma trains also offer an excellent First Class service with wider seats that recline, generous legroom, and large tables for those wanting to work en route as well as for those simply looking to relax and recharge. Azuma’s First Class service offers power sockets and USB charging points at every seat, as well as the fastest wifi of any LNER train. On weekday trains on most routes, there is also a complimentary breakfast or a two-course meal for lunch and dinner for First Class passengers.
Frecciabianca Standard Class
These new Azuma trains have been kitted out to a high standard. Offering 5, 9 or 10 coaches, Azuma trains offer more legroom than the older LNER model, more overhead and under-seat storage space and ergonomic seating for extra comfort. Each seat also comes with its own power socket, with every coach offering free wifi and window blinds to suit the needs of both day and night travellers.