LNER Azuma

Step on board Britain's newest long-distance trains - so new in fact that ShowMeTheJourney has yet to travel by them, though the aim is to rectify that very soon.

Though SMTJ has travelled on their cousins, the Intercity Express trains, which operated by Great Western Railway.

The operator LNER is understandably keen to showcase the experience of travelling by these Azuma trains on its website.

For the time being LNER is using these trains on some depatures on the London <> Leeds and London <> Hull route.

When looking up a journey on the LNER website, you which departures will be by these new Azuma trains.

BOARDING   l    CATERING

ASSISTED TRAVEL
   l    SUMMARY

Nine things that are good to know about travelling on an Azuma train:

(1) Complimentary Wi-Fi access is available throughout the train.

(2) Power sockets are available at all seats and USB sockets are also available at table seats in First Class.

(3) All First Class seats have tables, but in Standard Class there is a mix of tables and an airline-style seats - when booking tickets for Standard Class journeys on the LNER websit, you can select table or aisle seats as a prference.

(4) When buying tickets on the LNER website ShowMeTheJourney recommends checking the location of the seats you'll be assigned on the seating plan you'll be able to access during the booking process
You can check if you have been offered a forward facing seat - and if you’ll be travelling with luggage, you can also check how near you will be to the luggage racks.
If you want to, you can then select alternative seat(s) on the seating plan.

(5) Though something you won’t be able to confirm on the seating plan is whether the seat(s) you have been assigned will have a good view – not all of the seats in both First and Standard Class line up with the windows.

(6) An at-seat catering service is provided in both First Class and Standard Class (second class)

(7) Bike rack storage spaces are available for non-folding bicycles - more info is available here.

Spaces for non-folding bikes must be reserved ahead of travel, but these bike spaces can’t be booked online, instead you can call the LNER support team on 03457 225 111.
ShowMeTheJourney recommends booking your bike space and travel tickets on the same call.

(8) The luggage allowance is three pieces of luggage per person, but another positive of the Azuma trains is that they have more space to store luggage than the trains they will be replacing - the Intercity 225 and Intercity 125 trains

(9) Up to two dogs can travel for free with an individual or group of travellers.

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Boarding:

If you have a seat reservation:

At King’s Cross and the stations in Hull and Leeds where these Azuma trains commence their journeys, the number of the platform (track) that a specific departure will be leaving from, normally appears on the information screens 10 -15 minutes prior to departure.

This will signal the start of a race to board the train, join the throng if you have luggage, the space for storing luggage isn’t particularly generous, particularly in Standard Class.

But if you don’t have luggage, but do have a reservation, you can take your time as your seat(s) will be waiting for you to occupy them.

If you will be boarding at a station the train calls at during a journey, there are now usually signs on the platform (track) which will show you where to wait for speedy boarding into each coach/carriage.

Don’t just check the coach/carriage numbers by the doors, also check the seat number info that’s on the outside of the train.
All coaches will have two doors, one at each end and the other door may be nearer to your seat.

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Worth knowing is that you don’t have to occupy the seat you have been assigned, for your travel ticket to be valid - the train conductor will check the ticket, but not the reservation.

So if for any reason you want to travel in a different seat, you can do so, as long as you check that the alternative seat(s) you want to move to hasn't been reserved, so will be available for your journey.

As you enter the coach/carriage check to see what other seats are free, which is comparatively easy to do thanks to the seat-sensor devices that LNER has installed above each set of seats.

If you don’t have heavy luggage, after departure it can be worth having a walk through the train, to see what seats are available in other coaches.
It’s not unknown for some of the coaches on the train to relatively busy, while others will be comparatively empty.

If you don’t have a seat reservation:

On the main information screens at the larger stations, at the foot of the information for each train departure (below its list of calling points), you should be able to see something which resembles a table/chart.
This info will show which of the coaches on the train will be busy, because most of the seats in them have been reserved, and which will be comparatively empty.

So if you don’t have a reservation, you can indentify which coaches are likely to have the most seats available and head for them when boarding.

Back to the menu.

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Catering:

Standard Class:

On virtually all departures at some point during the journey a catering trolley will be taken through the train, from which you can order hot/cold drinks, snacks and sandwiches at your seat.

There is also an on-board café where you can order hot food and a more extensive range of food/drink items.

First Class:

Complimentary food and drink is served to first class passengers at their seats, but what you’ll receive depends on the day of the week you will be travelling - and on Monday-Friday, it also matters on which specific departure you will be travelling by.

On the majority of Mon-Friday departures breakfast is served until 11:00 and then after 11:00 the ‘Rest Of The Day menu will be available, including a choice of alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.

These two menus come close to being the ultimate complimentary First Class traveller offering on any European train service, but on some business hour departures from London on Mon-Friday, the even more superior Chef’s Signature menu is served.

However, the hot food and alcoholic drink options are not available at weekends, or when Fridays and Mondays are national holidays.
The Weekend menu is similar to what’s available from the Standard Class catering trolley, but with the key difference being that what you are offered in First Class will be complimentary.

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Assisted Travel:

These trains have both wheelchair spaces and seats with additional leg-room, but even if you don’t require these specific services, the LNER assisted travel team can help with planning a journey and booking tickets.

Back to the menu.

Catering
Availability
Restaurant
Bistro (Hot Food)
Bar (Cold Food)
Features
Availability
Double Deck
High Speed
Classes
First Class
First
Second Class
Standard

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