London North Eastern Railway
|Franchise(s)||InterCity East Coast|
24 June 2018 – 2025
|Stations called at||55|
|Parent company||HM Government|
(Department for Transport)
|Predecessor||Virgin Trains East Coast|
London North Eastern Railway (LNER) is a British train operating company owned by the Department for Transport (DfT). LNER operates the InterCity East Coast franchise providing long-distance inter-city services on the East Coast Main Line from London King's Cross to Yorkshire, North East England and Scotland. LNER' s primary destinations are from London to Leeds, Newcastle and Edinburgh. LNER manages 11 stations itself and its trains call at 55 stations in total.
The company is owned by the Department for Transport (DfT). LNER took over the InterCity East Coast franchise in June 2018, after the previous privately owned operator Virgin Trains East Coast returned it to the government following sustained financial difficulties. The DfT intended for the company to provide services until a new public–private partnership could be established in 2020. In July 2019, it was announced that LNER had been given a direct-award to run services beyond 28 June 2020 until 2025, making it the longest franchise on the East Coast Main Line since GNER.
In November 2017, the then Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, announced the early termination of the InterCity East Coast franchise in 2020, three years ahead of schedule, following losses on the route by operator Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC), who had been due to pay more than £2 billion in franchise premiums to the government over the last four years of its contract.
This was brought forward in February 2018 to mid-2018. The Department for Transport (DfT) decided to either negotiate a deal with VTEC to continue to run the franchise on a temporary non-profit basis while a new franchise competition was conducted, or to arrange for VTEC be taken over by the DfT's operator of last resort. On 16 May 2018 it was announced that the latter had been decided and that LNER would take over from VTEC on 24 June 2018. The DfT also announced that LNER would be the long-term brand applied to the InterCity East Coast franchise. As part of the overall strategy for the East Coast franchise, the Secretary of State for Transport stated that Great Northern services could potentially be integrated into the operation when the Thameslink Southern & Great Northern franchise expires in 2021.
LNER is the second time that a government appointed operator of last resort has taken control of the InterCity East Coast franchise; between 2009 and 2015 the franchise was operated by East Coast following National Express East Coast defaulting.
As of April 2021, the current off-peak service pattern is:
|London - Leeds & West Yorkshire|
|Route||tph||Calling at||Peak-time extensions|
|London King's Cross to Leeds||1||Peterborough, Doncaster and Wakefield Westgate||2tpd extends to Bradford Forster Square via Shipley|
|1||Stevenage, Grantham, Doncaster and Wakefield Westgate |
1tp2h extends to Harrogate with 2tpd calling at Horsforth
|London - Lincoln or York|
|Route||tph||Calling at||Peak-time extensions|
|London King's Cross to Lincoln or York||1||Stevenage, Peterborough, Grantham and Newark North Gate
1tp2h extends to Lincoln
1tp2h extends to York calling at Retford and Doncaster
|1tpd extends to Hull|
|London - Newcastle - Edinburgh|
|Route||tph||Calling at||Peak-time extensions|
|London King's Cross to Edinburgh Waverley via Newcastle||1||York, Darlington, Newcastle, Berwick-upon-Tweed||1tpd extends to Inverness|
1tpd extends to Stirling
4tpd extends to Aberdeen (3 from London King's Cross, 1 from Leeds)
|1||Peterborough, Newark North Gate, Doncaster, York, Northallerton (1tp2h), Darlington, Durham, Newcastle, Alnmouth (1tp2h)
Northallerton and Alnmouth are usually served by alternate trains along with alternateing with cross country
|1tpd extends to Glasgow Central|
1tpd extends to Sunderland
An expanded service to Lincoln began on 21 October 2019 when four terminating services at Newark Northgate were extended into Lincoln. This is in addition to the sole one train per day service, which in all, now provides five out and back workings to and from London King's Cross. LNER also plans for December 2019 timetable change that a sixth return service to London from Lincoln will be introduced and 5 extra services on a Saturday will begin from 7 December 2019. From December 2019, LNER introduced a Harrogate to London service 6 times a day. LNER expects to introduce two-hourly services to Bradford and a daily service to Huddersfield in May 2020 when more Azuma trains have been introduced. The Middlesbrough service is expected to begin in December 2021 after infrastructure work required to run the service is completed.
Future destinations include a proposed service to Middlesbrough, though the Rail Minister, Jo Johnson, told Parliament that it was dependent on the Azumas being brought into service on the ECML and other schemes in progress that would provide sufficient capacity to enable the service to run. An additional constraint is the lack of a suitably long enough platform at Middlesbrough, which would necessitate a new build at an estimated cost of £20 million.
London North Eastern Railway operates a number of named passenger trains:
|Flying Scotsman||Edinburgh Waverley||London King's Cross||Service began 1862 in both directions; named by LNER in 1924. Now Edinburgh to London and only stops at Newcastle railway station for a driver/crew swap.|
|Highland Chieftain||London King's Cross||Inverness||The longest LNER route|
|Northern Lights||London King's Cross||Aberdeen|
|West Riding Limited||Bradford Forster Square||London King's Cross||Operates from Bradford to London only.|
LNER inherited a fleet of InterCity 125 and InterCity 225s from Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC). Since September 2016, VTEC had hired three Class 90s from DB Cargo for use on services to Newark, York and Leeds. LNER inherited these locomotives and retained them until June 2019 to cover for the shortage of Class 91 locomotives.
In May 2019, the first lot of Class 800 trains began entering service with the Class 801 trains also following on in September. These units are based on the Hitachi A-train design and LNER retained the Azuma brand for the units which was originally designated by VTEC. The initial operation of these units allowed the InterCity 125 and InterCity 225 fleets to be replaced gradually. The first Azuma train to enter service was a 9-carriage 800/1 on 15 May on the Leeds route from King's Cross. Other subclasses of the 800 and 801 variants entered service afterwards, with the first two 5-carriage 801/1 sets entering service on 16 September operating as a 10-carriage train, the first lot of 5-carriage 800/2 sets entering service to coincide with the launch of the new King's Cross - Lincoln services on 21 October and the first two 9-carriage 801/2 sets entering service on 18 November. As of May 2021, all units in the Azuma fleet have now entered service following unit 800109's return to service, which was the unit involved in the derailment at Neville Hill TMD in November 2019 and subsequently had to undergo repairs.
Following the withdrawal of the InterCity 125 fleet in December 2019, it was previously thought that the InterCity 225 fleet would be fully withdrawn by June 2020. However, LNER announced on 29 January 2020 that they would be retaining a limited number of the InterCity 225 fleet to deliver all of the benefits of their December 2021 timetable. In September 2020, Eversholt Rail Group and London North Eastern Railway extended their lease to 10 by 2023. In addition, there are options to make it operational until 2024. It will be overhauled at the Wabtec Doncaster plant.
At the end of service on 15 January 2021, the remaining serviceable InterCity 225 sets went into storage temporarily as part of the East Coast Upgrade. Originally, the plan was to return the sets to service for 7 June 2021 but instead the first set re-entered service on 11 May 2021 due to a number of Azuma sets having to be taken out of service.
|Trainset[clarification needed – discuss]||Class||Image||Type||Top speed||Number||Carriages||Notes|
|Locomotive hauled sets|
|InterCity 225||91||Electric locomotive||140||225||12||7 sets formed of 9 carriages each||Seating Map
Were out of service between 15 January and 11 May 2021.
|Mark 4||Passenger carriage||135|
|Driving Van Trailer||Control car||8|
|Hitachi AT300||800/1 Azuma||Bi-mode multiple unit||140||225||13||9||Seating Map|
|801/1 Azuma||Electric multiple unit||12||5|
The takeover from the Azuma fleet has allowed all fourteen of LNER's HST sets to be withdrawn from service. The last three sets with LNER worked their last services on 15 December 2019. Nine of the fourteen HST sets transferred to East Midlands Railway, with 2 power cars from one set transferring to CrossCountry to supplement its existing 5 sets.
|Trainset[clarification needed – discuss]||Class||Image||Type||Top speed||Number||Carriages||Transferred to|
|InterCity 125||43||Diesel locomotive||125||200||32||14 sets formed of 9 carriages each||
|Mark 3||Passenger carriage||130||
|InterCity 225||91||Electric locomotive||140||225||17||17 sets formed of 9 carriages each||
|Mark 4||Passenger carriage||158||
|Driving Van Trailer||Control car||19||
London North Eastern Railway train fleet is stored and maintained at the following depot
- Aberdeen Clayhills Carriage Maintenance Depot, managed by LNER
- Bounds Green TMD, London – for heavy duty maintenance of IC225 sets, managed by Hitachi
- Doncaster Carr Rail Depot, managed by Hitachi
- Neville Hill TMD, Leeds – managed by East Midlands Railway and Northern
- Heaton TMD, Newcastle – managed by Northern
- Craigentinny TMD, Edinburgh – managed by Hitachi
- "LNER Timetable" (PDF). lner.co.uk. Notes C and D. p. 4. Archived (PDF) from the original on 22 May 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2019.
- Companies House extract company no 4659712 Archived 17 May 2018 at the Wayback Machine London North Eastern Railway Limited
- "Estimates of station usage | ORR Data Portal". dataportal.orr.gov.uk. Retrieved 9 March 2021.
- Nationalisation of East Coast mainline extended until 2025 Archived 10 July 2019 at the Wayback Machine The Parliamentary Review, 7 July 2019
- Elder, Bryce (29 November 2017). "Stagecoach soars after government intervenes on contract". Financial Times. London: Nikkei. Archived from the original on 3 December 2017. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
- Topham, Gwyn (29 November 2017). "East Coast rail 'bailout' could cost taxpayers hundreds of millions". The Guardian. London: Guardian Media Group. Archived from the original on 2 December 2017. Retrieved 2 December 2017.
- "Stagecoach to lose East Coast Mainline rail franchise". BBC News. 5 February 2018. Archived from the original on 5 February 2018. Retrieved 5 February 2018.
- "Stagecoach East Coast deal to end early". 6 February 2018. Archived from the original on 15 July 2018. Retrieved 21 July 2018 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- Virgin Trains East Coast franchise to end within months Archived 17 May 2018 at the Wayback Machine Railway Gazette International 6 February 2018
- "East coast main line trains back in public hands again next month". Archived from the original on 17 May 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
- "LNER". www.lnerailway.co.uk. Archived from the original on 16 May 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
- "Short-term Intercity East Coast train operator 2018 options report" (PDF). May 2018. p. 20 (numbered 16). Archived (PDF) from the original on 29 November 2020. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
- East Coast rail update Archived 16 May 2018 at the Wayback Machine Secretary of State for Transport 16 May 2018
- "East Coast rail change confirmed". BBC News Online. 5 November 2009. Archived from the original on 24 August 2017. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
- "Stagecoach and Virgin win East Coast mainline rail franchise". BBC News. 27 November 2014. Archived from the original on 30 September 2018. Retrieved 16 May 2018.
- "London North Eastern Railway timetables". Archived from the original on 19 December 2019. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
-  Archived 30 August 2019 at the Wayback Machine lner website: 30 August 2019
- Pritchard, Robert, ed. (June 2019). "Expanded Lincoln-London service in September". Today's Railways. No. 210. Sheffield: Platform 5. p. 17. ISSN 1475-9713.
- New Harrogate-London rail times revealed Archived 17 May 2019 at the Wayback Machine Harrogate Advertiser; 17 May 2019
- "LNER begins rollout of azuma trains". Archived from the original on 14 May 2019. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
- Promised improvements to Leeds train services delayed by up to TWO YEARS Archived 22 May 2020 at the Wayback Machine LeedsLive; 24 April 2019
- Modern Railways September 2019 edition p.11
- Harris, Nigel, ed. (26 September 2018). "Plan for Azuma's to Middlesbrough". Rail Magazine. No. 862. Peterborough: Bauer Media. p. 21. ISSN 0953-4563.
- Johnston, Howard (24 October 2018). "Regional News". Rail Magazine. No. 864. Peterborough: Bauer Media. p. 26. ISSN 0953-4563.
- "LNER". Brand Cooke. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
- "Hitachi Azuma Enters Service for LNER". Railway-News. 16 May 2019. Archived from the original on 29 January 2020. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- September 16 launch for Class 801 Azumas on London-Leeds route Archived 1 August 2019 at the Wayback Machine Rail 1 August 2019
- "LNER launches Azumas to Lincoln". Railway Gazette International. 21 October 2019. Archived from the original on 22 October 2019. Retrieved 23 November 2019.
- Britain's Intercity Express Programme reaches financial close Archived 12 June 2018 at the Wayback Machine International Railway Journal 25 July 2012
- Intercity Rail Travel Presentation Archived 12 June 2018 at the Wayback Machine Department for Transport 27 June 2011
- "Watch the moment damaged Azuma involved in depot crash passes through Leeds Station at walking pace". www.yorkshirepost.co.uk. Archived from the original on 29 November 2020. Retrieved 6 November 2020.
- 8 carriages of 800109 repaired Modern Railways issue 870 March 2021 page 34
- "FROM THE ARCHIVES: Traction transition: HST to Azuma". www.railmagazine.com. Archived from the original on 21 January 2020. Retrieved 17 January 2020.
- Railway, London North Eastern (29 January 2020). "If you're a fan of our IC225 trains, you can continue to enjoy them for a bit longer. We are retaining a number of them in order to deliver all of the benefits of our Dec 2021 timetable plans. Here is our favourite, For the Fallen, at York Station.pic.twitter.com/ry89sQ45JE". @LNER. Archived from the original on 30 January 2020. Retrieved 30 January 2020.
- IC225 Fleet Lease Extension and Overhaul - Eversholt Rail Limited. Retrieved 2020-12-25.
- LNER to retain 10 Class 91s up to 2023, as overhaul contracts awarded - RailAdvent. Retrieved 2020-12-25.
- Horne, David (15 January 2021). "Last day in service for our speed record-breaking #Class91 locomotives today... for a while". Twitter.
- "LNER reintroduces stored InterCity 225 trains into service". Rail Technology Magazine. Retrieved 12 May 2021.
- "VIDEO - Fans bid farewell to the iconic InterCity 125 at York". Minster FM. 15 December 2019. Archived from the original on 16 December 2019. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
- "East Midlands Railway to acquire HS diesel trains from LNER". Business Traveller. Archived from the original on 16 December 2019. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
Media related to London North Eastern Railway at Wikimedia Commons
Virgin Trains East Coast
| Operator of InterCity East Coast franchise