News story

New trains to be rolled out across the country alongside £48 billion investment to upgrade tracks

Trains will be greener with more comfortable seats, improved accessibility, free wifi, power sockets and air-conditioning.

Azuma train
  • 4,500 new carriages to be in use for passengers by 2022
  • trains will be greener and built to the latest modern standards with state of the art facilities for passengers
  • Greater Anglia, South Western Railway, TransPennine Express and Northern set to follow LNER and introduce new trains, as will all new rail franchises

The arrival of state-of-the-art Azuma trains on the East Coast Main Line marks the introduction of modern, spacious and comfortable new trains across the country.

More than 4,500 new carriages are set to be delivered to UK rail passengers by the end of 2022 as part of a significant investment by both government and train operators to transform the railways.

The trains will be greener and will modernise travel, with passengers benefitting from more comfortable seats, improved accessibility, free wifi as standard, power sockets and air-conditioning.

Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling, said:

The introduction of thousands of new trains that are better for both passengers and the environment shows this government’s commitment to improving journeys, and we’re spending a record £48 biilion to modernise our rail network.

Train operators across the country will replace old trains to transform the environment of passengers to enable faster journeys and provide more comfort and better accessibility. The launch of the Azumas on the East Coast Line marks the next step in one of the biggest transformations of fleets across the country.

Alongside these new trains, we have also been clear that we want to see alternatively-powered trains introduced to the UK rail network where required, alongside electric trains.

New trains will appear on Greater Anglia and South Western Railway in the coming months, and on all new rail franchises. The new operator of East Midlands Trains – Abellio – will oversee the introduction of brand-new trains, entirely replacing the existing intercity fleet with more reliable and comfortable trains.

Midlands passengers will see further benefits when West Midlands Trains introduces 400 new carriages across its network next year.

Already, more than 1,140 new carriages have been delivered as part of the Thameslink programme, transforming rail travel through London. Passengers on Great Western are also benefitting from the 729 new carriages – the sister trains of the Azumas – which have been delivered on the network, improving journeys across South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, and large parts of Southern England.

In 2018, the total carbon dioxide emissions on passenger trains dropped by 195 kilotons – the equivalent of taking 85,000 cars off the road. This comes despite the distance passengers have travelled going up by 200 million kilometres in the same period.

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Published 15 May 2019