LNER will operate its first Azuma services between London King’s Cross and Lincoln from 21 October.
The company will introduce four additional return weekday services from this date, operated by five-car Class 800/2 bi-mode units, running under electric power from London to Newark and then switching to diesel. Currently LNER is operating nine-car Class 800/1 bi-modes between London and Leeds/Edinburgh, with the first Class 801/1 five-car electrics due to begin operating in pairs between London and Leeds in September. The existing service departing Lincoln at 07.30 and returning from London at 19.06 will initially continue to be operated by an HST but is planned to switch to an Azuma later this year.
The additional workings will be extensions of current King’s Cross to Newark Northgate services, departing London at 10.06, 12.06, 14.06 and 16.06, with returns from Lincoln at 11.18, 13.23, 15.26 and 17.14. A sixth daily return, including an earlier departure from King’s Cross at 08.06, is planned to be introduced at the December timetable change, along with five additional services on Saturdays and five return workings on Sundays. The Saturday Azuma services will be introduced ahead of the timetable change from 7 December to coincide with Lincoln Christmas market.
LNER has 65 Azumas on order from Hitachi in both five-car and nine-car electric and bi-mode configurations, with the full fleet due to be delivered and in service by June 2020.