LNER Azuma 1S17 Train from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh Waverley
The new London North Eastern Railway (LNER) Azuma trains have been a priority for me to ride long-haul on the East Coast Main Line (ECML) as it is a slight improvement over the first GWR Class 800/0 Intercity Express Train (IET) with no buffet. With Lumo offering more competitive fares, however, I’ve not gotten the chance yet.
With a low fare by LNER’s standards, while still double that of Lumo, I bit the bullet to not get another Lumo ride, but to try out the LNER Azuma service.
London Kings Cross Railway Station
I arrived at London St Pancras International Railway Station by EMR Connect, and it was a quick crossing of street to get to London Kings Cross Railway Station.
Heading into London Kings Cross Railway Station.
London Kings Cross Railway Station Platform 9¾
With about an hour to spare between trains, I headed to Platform 9¾ at London Kings Cross first to have a look. Platform 9¾ is where the Hogwarts Express departs for Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
As I wasn’t a wizard, I couldn’t actually get into the wall with the trolley. However, despite the failure, there is a Harry Potter-themed souvenir shop just beside the wall leading to Platform 9¾.
A variety of Harry Potter and Hogwarts Express-themed souvenirs are available at The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9¾.
There is also a rather-pricey Hogwarts Express train set available.
For those who wish to be enrolled into the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, the The Harry Potter Shop at Platform 9¾ also sells personalised Acceptance Letters for £15.
Platform 9¾ is now located before Platforms 9 and 10, after Platform 8.
My one-way ticket for the Hogwarts Express from London Kings Cross to Hogwarts.
Unfortunately, the ticket couldn’t seem to be accepted at the gate line, and there was no other wall for me to run into.
Heading back to Edinburgh then, since I can’t visit Hogwarts, I headed to the departure board to check for my LNER Azuma 1S17 train
There was a bit of a burn-in at the corner, but my platform was not ready yet.
Nevertheless, I went to the gate line for Platforms 0 to 8 first since there wasn’t any Azuma trains at Platforms 9 or 10.
Heading into Platforms 0 to 8 closer to departure time.
London North Eastern Railway Class 800/1 Azuma
My LNER Azuma 1S17 train was departing from Platform 4.
Azuma First Class
I snuck a peek at the Azuma First Class section first while walking down the train.
Azuma First Class is laid out in a 2+1 configuration with a mix of table and airline-style seating.
Meals are included in First Class on the East Coast Main Line, and menus are readied at the tables before boarding.
My LNER Azuma set 801217 at London Kings Cross Railway Station.
Train in formation is provided on the LED signs near the train doors.
Boarding the LNER Azuma.
Azuma Standard Class
Heading into Azuma Standard Class where I belong.
Again, I chose to go to Coach C first instead of my automatically-reserved seat in the hopes that it would be empty, and indeed it was. An almost-private Azuma coach to myself.
Luggage racks are available near the train doors on both sides of the aisle.
The interior of the LNER Azuma Class 800/1 train in Standard Class in a 2+2 configuration, with a mix of tables and airline-style seating.
The legroom available on board Azuma Standard Class.
A fold-down tray table is available at the back of the seat in front, with an extendable bar for laptops.
2 3-pin power sockets are available below and between each pair of seats.
An on-board food and drink delivery service from the buffet is available by scanning the QR code and making your order from the portal.
Coach C is usually designated as the non-reserved seat coach, and all seats on my Coach C were marked as available. Perfect.
My LNER Azuma 1S17 train departed from London Kings Cross Railway Station on time at 12.30pm.
Heading into the Gasworks Tunnel.
Passing by Emirates Stadium, Home of Arsenal.
My booked Coach B was almost fully-seated, so it was a wise choice that I made.
Tickets were checked immediately upon departing from London Kings Cross, so I readied both my National Rail ticket and Hogwarts Express ticket.
The conductor was a good sport to check my Hogwarts Express ticket as well, even pulling out his clipper for a photo.
Peterborough Railway Station
Making a brief stop at Peterborough Railway Station.
The route map of LNER’s network is available by the train doors.
Bicycle storage is also available. Reservations are recommended if you need it since there’s limited space on board.
With sufficient luggage storage space inside the coaches, there are also no passengers needing to store luggage in the bicycle storage compartment.
The clean toilet on board LNER Azuma.
Let’s Eat Café Bar
The Let’s Eat Café Bar is a mini buffet counter located at Coach G on this 9-car train.
A member of staff is on hand in the buffet counter, which is a lot more convenient to get refreshments from, in my opinion, than waiting for the trolley to arrive.
The menu on board the LNER Azuma Let’s Eat Café Bar. Click here for the updated menu.
I ordered a Hop on Board Ale which is LNER’s signature golden ale, brewed for LNER by Rudgate Brewery of York. This was served in an LNER paper bag to bring the drink back to my seat.
The beer was served with a plastic cup to get some foam on the top.
Newark North Gate Railway Station
Making a brief stop at Newark North Gate Railway Station.
Lots of LNER Class 91 electric locomotives and Driving Van Trailers for the Intercity 225 are sitting outside Doncaster Works.
Doncaster Railway Station
Making a brief stop at Doncaster Railway Station with trainspotters on the platform.
York Railway Station
Making a brief stop at York Railway Station.
Passing by an incoming CrossCountry Class 221 Super Voyager.
Passing by the National Railway Museum entrance after departing from York.
Passing by the National Railway Museum.
Northallerton Railway Station
Making a brief stop at Northallerton Railway Station.
Leaving the main line to head into Darlington Railway Station.
Darlington Railway Station
Making a brief stop at Darlington Railway Station.
The car park is inside Darlington Railway Station itself.
Durham Railway Station
Making a brief stop at Durham Railway Station.
Crossing King Edward VII Bridge over the River Tyne on approach to Newcastle.
Newcastle Railway Station
Making a longer scheduled stop at Newcastle Railway Station for a crew change.
My LNER Azuma 1S17 train stopped at Newcastle for 5 minutes.
Departing from Newcastle.
Passing by Genting Casino Newcastle.
Approaching Berwick upon Tweed with the seaside town view and Royal Border Bridge up ahead.
The sign for the Royal Border Bridge looks like it needs some repair.
Crossing the Royal Border Bridge over the River Tweed.
Passing through Berwick upon Tweed Railway Station at a slow speed.
Heading back to the coastline.
Crossing the border from England to Scotland.
More seaside scenery along the non-stop way.
Approaching Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station.
Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station
My arrived at Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station at 5.16pm – 2 minutes late probably due to the slow down at Berwick upon Tweed.
My LNER Azuma 1S17 train arrived at Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station at 5.14 pm – 2 minutes delayed, making this a journey of 4 hours and 46 minutes.
My LNER Azuma set 801217 at the buffers of Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station Platform 5.
The main concourse of Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station.
It was a pleasant ride on board LNER Azuma on this fully-electrified sector from London to Edinburgh Waverley. The empty coach and friendly crew on board helped with the comfort level. However, if comparing the seats with Lumo’s, it’s not as comfortable to be sitting on an ironing board for almost 5 hours, especially when the fares are double that of Lumo’s.
Travel time wise, i’s not a fair comparison to do with Lumo on this train, as I took the slower Azuma service with more stops, as this was what the Advance Single ticket offered for the lower fare.