Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh to London train journey time to be cut

Virgin Azuma train Image copyright Virgin Trains

New trains with faster acceleration will cut journey times on the East Coast Main Line by up to 22 minutes, operator Virgin has claimed

The Azuma Trains, which will be launched in 2018, will mean most journeys between Edinburgh and London will be reduced to about four hours.

The operator claimed the trains would accelerate from 0-125mph about 40 seconds faster than the current fleet.

Sir Richard Branson unveiled the first of the trains at London King's Cross.

The founder of the Virgin Group said they would make four-hour London-Edinburgh journeys "the norm", although some services would still take longer.

The 65 trains will be built by Japanese firm Hitachi at its manufacturing plant in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.

Azuma is the Japanese translation for "east".

Virgin claimed Azumas could reach 125mph in about four and a half minutes, compared with about five minutes 10 seconds for its current electric-powered trains and almost seven minutes for its current diesel-powered trains.

Flying Scotsman

The UK government's transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, said: "The state-of-the-art Intercity Express trains will transform rail travel for passengers between London, the north east and Scotland.

"These new trains, combined with Virgin's exciting plans for the franchise, will provide more services, more seats, and faster journeys, helping to place passengers at the heart of the railway."

Image copyright Virgin Trains
Image copyright Virgin Trains

Sir Richard said: "This is a hugely important moment for passengers on the east coast.

"A line which has witnessed the historic Flying Scotsman and Mallard will now see passenger services transformed with the UK's most advanced long-distance trains.

"Our customers on the west coast have already seen what Virgin can bring to train travel and how the Pendolinos have made a huge difference to speed and comfort.

"Our new fleet of Azumas will bring a similar transformation to the east coast, and propel one of the UK's most prestigious lines into the 21st Century."

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