LNER Azumas cleared for passenger service

InterCity East Coast operator LNER has received approval for its Class 800 Azumas to enter passenger service, conditional on final testing being completed.

The Office of Road and Rail has written to manufacturer Hitachi Rail Europe, giving authorisation for the Class 800/1 nine-car and Class 800/2 five-car bi-mode sets to work in five, nine or ten-car formations at up to 200 km/h, but with a few restrictions when 800/2s are in multiple with more than one pantograph raised.

So far LNER hasn’t confirmed a start date for using the units, but it is expected to be either April or May, with the first destinations being Leeds and Hull.

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