Watch the moment damaged Azuma involved in depot crash passes through Leeds Station at walking pace

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The LNER Azuma train involved in the Neville Hill depot crash earlier this month has left the site for repairs.

The Class 800, built by Hitachi, is one of LNER's 65 new trains and only went into service on the East Coast Main Line this summer.

It was involved in a low-speed collision with another LNER locomotive, a 1970s-era diesel High Speed Train, at Neville Hill, in east Leeds, on the night of November 13. Both were approaching the depot on the same section of track and were empty at the time.

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Leeds derailment: This is what will happen to the trains involved in the Neville Hill crashBoth trains' power cars were damaged in the incident and the Azuma derailed, causing damage to several of its carriages.

John Sparrow filmed the damaged Azuma passing Platform 16 at Leeds Station on Sunday eveningJohn Sparrow filmed the damaged Azuma passing Platform 16 at Leeds Station on Sunday evening
John Sparrow filmed the damaged Azuma passing Platform 16 at Leeds Station on Sunday evening

Although rail industry experts initially believed the set, numbered 800109, would be taken by road to the Hitachi factory at Newton Aycliffe in County Durham for repairs, it was filmed travelling through Leeds Station on Sunday night.

One coach was fitted with 'wheelskates' to protect its damaged bogies, but this meant its speed was severely restricted.

It was heading for the Doncaster Carr depot, where the Azumas are usually maintained - it had been at Neville Hill for overnight storage on the evening of the crash.

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The journey to Doncaster, which would normally take around 40 minutes, was scheduled to take six hours due to the Azuma being limited to travelling at walking pace. It left Neville Hill shortly after midnight and was due to arrive at the depot at around 6am this morning.

The derailed Azuma at Neville Hill on the morning after the collisionThe derailed Azuma at Neville Hill on the morning after the collision
The derailed Azuma at Neville Hill on the morning after the collision

The power car of the HST involved, which has been in service on the East Coast Main Line for around 40 years, was due to be retired within the next year and is likely to be scrapped earlier than planned due to the damage it sustained. Its carriages are likely to be transferred to another power car for the remainder of the HST fleet's operational life, after which they may be leased to another train company.

The Azuma cost around £30million and is owned by a consortium called Agility Trains, who have leased it to LNER on a long-term basis. It is insured.

The Rail Accident Investigation Branch published an initial report into the accident last week, confirming that a full investigation will take place.

RAIB report

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"At about 21:40 hrs on Wednesday 13 November 2019, an empty passenger train approaching the maintenance depot at Neville Hill in Leeds, caught up and collided with the rear of another empty passenger train moving into the depot on the same track. The low speed movement of trains close together is permitted by the signalling system at this location. The leading train was travelling at around 5 mph (8 km/h) and the colliding train at around 14 mph (22 km/h). No one was injured in the accident.

"The colliding train was a 9-coach class 800 train, part of the Intercity Express Programme (IEP). Its leading end suffered significant damage during the collision. The second train was a High Speed Train (HST) set comprising 9 coaches and a class 43 locomotive at each end. The trailing class 43 locomotive on this train also suffered significant damage.

"As a result of the collision, the trailing bogie of the second and third coaches and the trailing axle of the fourth coach on the class 800 train, derailed to the right in the direction of travel.

"Our investigation will identify the sequence of events which led to the accident and the factors that contributed to its consequences. It will consider:

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- The actions, training and competence of the staff involved

- The design and validation of the class 800 train, including the ergonomics of its cab, its crashworthiness performance and its resistance to derailment in collision scenarios

- Any underlying factors

"Our investigation is independent of any investigation by the railway industry, the Office of Rail and Road.

"We will publish our findings, including any recommendations to improve safety, at the conclusion of our investigation. This report will be available on our website."

Azuma maintenance at Doncaster Carr

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The Azumas' main maintenance base is at Doncaster Carr - the depot is leased from Network Rail by Agility Trains East, a company established to work with the government to provide new express trains for the East Coast Main Line. Hitachi, who operate the depot and who build the Azumas, have a 70 per cent share in Agility Trains East.

The building opened in 1876 but closed in 2014 - its re-opening has seen 250 jobs created and an investment of £80million.

Each evening, 12 'half-sets' arrive at the depot to be serviced - a nine-coach Azuma is the length of two half-sets. Workers can undertake major repairs including bogie replacement.

Around half of the Azumas - 27 of the 65 leased to LNER have gone into service so far - have Doncaster Carr as their home base.