A new era of train travel between Leeds and London began on Wednesday.
Wednesday, May 15 marked the first day of service for London North Eastern Railway's new Azuma train.
It pulled into Leeds at 1.16pm having set off off from London Kings Cross at 11.03am before returning south for the inaugural southbound service at 1.45pm.
The world-class train, built by Hitachi, is modelled on the Japanese bullet train and will cut journey times by accelerating faster than existing rolling stock.
It is the first of 65 new trains to replace the existing fleet of 45 trains operated by LNER on the East Coast route which connects destinations in Scotland, North East England, Yorkshire, the East Midlands and London.
David Horne, managing director of LNER, said: “The launch of the first Azuma trains is a truly momentous event for LNER and the communities that we serve.
"Setting new benchmarks in rail travel is part of our DNA, and the new Azuma trains are the next big step for LNER in making the customer experience the best that it can be. They will transform travel with improved reliability, greater levels of comfort and an average of 100 more seats on every train compared to the current fleet.
“From extra leg-room and improved WiFi to being more environmentally friendly and accessible to more people, the Azuma experience is a real revolution in rail travel.”
Azuma trains boast a dedicated ‘Let’s Eat Cafe Bar’ in addition to the ever-popular at-seat trolley service in Standard Class.
Customers in First Class will enjoy complimentary two-course meals freshly prepared in the onboard kitchens using locally sourced ingredients.
First Class also includes larger tables, reclining seats and both USB and plug sockets at every seat. The seats have been designed to maximise comfort and support posture.
A new traffic light seat reservation system alongside clear digital displays above seats in First and Standard Class will make it easy for customers to find reserved or available seats on-board.
The trains are part of the Government’s £5.7billion Intercity Express Programme which will modernise LNER services on the key intercity route used by more than 22 million people each year.
Rt. Hon. Chris Grayling MP, Secretary of State for Transport, said: “The arrival of the state-of-the-art Azuma trains along the East Coast is the next step in one of the biggest transformations on the UK’s railway, in which we are spending a record £48billion to modernise our rail network.
“It underlines significant investment by both government and train operators as part of a joint commitment to introduce a host of modern, spacious and comfortable new fleets right across the country.
"We are proud that the Azumas have been built in the UK, supporting our supply chain and creating hundreds of skilled jobs."