Hitachi Rail's new intercity train completes first Edinburgh test journey
Hitachi Rail has conducted a test journey of the East Coast main line's new intercity train under the government's £5.7bn network-wide investment to upgrade intercity rail travel across the UK.
The trial journey saw the train depart from Doncaster and travel to Edinburgh Waverley station.
A fleet of 65 new intercity trains known as ‘Azuma’ is set to commence commercial services in Scotland under the operation of Virgin Trains next year.
UK Rail Minister Paul Maynard said: “This is a key milestone in the testing and introduction of the new fleet of state-of-the-art Intercity trains on the East Coast main line, which will benefit passengers in both Scotland and England.
“Starting from the end of next year, passengers will be able to make full use of 65 brand new trains, complete with 500 new carriages, up and down the East Coast line from London to Scotland.”
The Azuma trains were built using Japanese bullet train technology and are expected to reduce the journey time between Edinburgh and London by 22 minutes to roughly four hours.
The trains previously travelled to Scotland for the first time last month as part of the testing programme.
Construction of the new trains and a number of associated fleet maintenance depots was funded via the government’s East Coast main line investment programme.
Associated infrastructure upgrades are also currently underway to support the new trains' operation on the route.
Image: Test train at Edinburgh station. Photo: courtesy of Hitachi Rail Europe.