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Travel On Train LNER Azuma (UK)
Azuma trains are now taking passengers from Edinburgh to London

LNER Azuma (UK)

What to look out for so that you can make the most of the journey experience when travelling on a LNER Azuma train service.

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At a Glance

Travel Pass Supplement

Rail Pass Reservation Fees
Reservations

Available
Time of Day

Day
Catering

Food services available

Bistro (bar food and take away meals)
Accessibility

Accessing the train

Wheelchair Spaces
Bikes Allowed
Train Specification

Attributes of the train

Has a Conductor
Country

Which country these trains operate in.

Great Britain
Travel Comforts

WiFi
Travel Passes
Eurail
Other

On Board

First

Perks
WiFi

A complimentary WiFi portal is available throughout this train.

At Seat Catering

According to the time of day of travel, passengers will be able to choose from a menu of catering options, which will then be served at their seats.

Power Socket (UK)

The power sockets on this train are compatible with the standard 3-point plugs as typically used in the UK.

On board:
First Class seating saloon on an LNER Azuma First Class seating saloon on an LNER Azuma

The First Class seats are arranged 2 + 1 across the aisle instead of 2+2 and another difference with Standard Class seats is that you can use a button to recline them.

The power sockets are located out of sight, you have to lift up the arm rests to find them; but in First Class USB ports are also available.
Power socket in First Class on an Azuma

Another less obvious benefit of travelling in First Class is that the luggage racks are larger than those in Standard Class.
Luggage rack in First Class on an Azuma
Though something common to both First and Standard Class is that window blinds are available.

The food and drink service:

Complimentary food and drink is served to first class passengers at their seats, but one of three menus will be available per departure; and this offering will be consistent throughout the journey.
Though as stated on the LNER website, it's website cannot yet indicate which menu will be available on each train.

The three menus are:

  1. Deli = hot/cold sandwiches + salads
  2. Dish = hot/cold sandwiches + salads + pre-prepared hot light meals
  3. Dine This is similar to the Dish menu, but depending on the time of day, either a cooked breakfast will also be available, or a three course meal with dishes cooked to order by the on-board chefs.
    So the Dine menu is in effect the equivalent of a full restaurant service, as is typical on other European trains which offer this service, but on LNER it is only available in First Class and is included in the ticket price.

Prior to the introduction of the three menu options, the equivalent of the Deli menu would have been available at weekends and the equivalent of the Dine menu would have been available on early morning and late afternoon/evening departures on Mon-Fri, with the 'Dish' menu available at other times on Mon-Friday.
Though on the longer-distance services between London and both Aberdeen and Inverness the Dish menu is typically available at weekends.
Two meals are also typically served when travelling between London and destinations north of Edinburgh.

Standard

Perks
WiFi

A complimentary WiFi portal is available throughout this train.

Trolley Service:

A catering trolley with hot and cold drinks and snacks should be taken through the train at some point during its journey.

Power Socket (UK)

The power sockets on this train are compatible with the standard 3-point plugs as typically used in the UK.

On board:
A standard class seating saloon on a LNER Azuma A standard class seating saloon on a LNER Azuma

An unusual feature for a British train are the window blinds which can be used to shield from bright sunlight, though when using them be aware that it won't only be your seat(s) which will be impacted.

The food and drink service

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.

You can now also use the LNER app to order food/drink from the on-board cafe menu and have the chosen items delivered to your seat(s).

Note the bike symbol indicating that this coach houses bike storage racks Note the bike symbol indicating that this coach houses bike storage racks
Note the symbol which indicates that this coach has wheelchair spaces Note the symbol which indicates that this coach has wheelchair spaces
Azuma trains travel at up to 125 mph/200 kmh Azuma trains travel at up to 125 mph/200 kmh

LNER Azuma travel guide:

Step on board Britain's newest long-distance trains.
The operator LNER is understandably keen to showcase the experience of travelling by these Azuma trains on its website.
When looking up a journey on the LNER website, you can see which departures will be by these new Azuma trains.

These Azuma trains either have five or nine coaches, though on some departures two five coach trains are joined together to make a 10 car train.
Here are the seating plans for both types of train.

Route summary:

LNER is now using these trains on most departures on the London <> Leeds route plus most departures on the London <> Edinburgh route.
All of the services which continue beyond Edinburgh to Aberdeen, Inverness and Stirling are now operated by Azuma trains
The London <> Hull service operated by LNER is also now an Azuma train.

Facilities summary:

Eight 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 website, you can select table or airline seats as a preference.

(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; there is a direction of travel indicator at bottom right on the plan 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 well with the windows; though seats with hardly any window access at all are marked with an R for restricted view.

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

(7 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 have replaced.

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

Boarding with seat reservations:

When boarding check the seat numbers which are by each door When boarding check the seat numbers which are by each door

At King’s Cross and the stations in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Hull, Inverness 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, but if you don’t have luggage, and 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.
The seat numbers by the doors on a LNER Azuma train
Most coaches will have two doors, one at each end and the other door may be nearer to your seat.

Also worth knowing:

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.
Green = unreserved and therefore available for the entire journey
Orange = reserved for some of the journey, so check the stations indicated as the seat may be available for your entire journey
Red= reserved for the entire journey and therefore unavailable.

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.

Boarding without seat reservations:

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 identify which coaches are likely to have the most seats available and head for them when boarding.
On most Azuma services coach C in is set aside for Standard Class passengers without reservations, though there is no guarantee that spare seats will be available in coach C when boarding.

Then when you're in the seating saloon look for the green lights on the strip above the windows, a green light indicates that haven't been reserved at all, so are available for an entire journey.
The image below shows the interior of coach C, hence every seat having a green light.
coach C on a LNER AZuma

In other coaches green lights indicate available seats, but if you can't see any green lights look for the orange lights, they indicate that a seat has been reserved only for some of the journey.
The seat occupancy indicator on a LNER Azuma train
So check the text by the orange light; in this example if you were to board the train at Edinburgh, this seat would be available.
As a last resort check the seats which are marked by a red light, as the passengers which booked them may not have boarded.
In those circumstances the red light will remain on, but the seat will actually be available for an entire journey.

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.

Bicycles:

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.

ShowMeTheJourney

This is one of more than 150 train guides available on ShowMeTheJourney, which will make it easier to take the train journeys you want or need to make. As always, all images were captured on trips taken by ShowMeTheJourney.