Several InterCity 225 trains, which has been in temporary storage, are set to be reintroduced onto London North Eastern Railway (LNER) routes to help cover for reduced capacity.
Following the discovery of cracks between the body shell and bogie on several Hitachi Class 800 trains, LNER took the decision to remove from service the majority of their Azuma fleet while safety checks were performed.
This has led to significantly reduced availability across many of the operator’s routes, with the reintroduction of the InterCity 225 trains acting as part of a contingency plan to minimise disruption to passengers where possible.
The operator still anticipates delays and disruption to many journeys, advising passengers where possible not to travel or to check their routes before setting off.
LNER’s Azuma Class 800 fleet have been gradually replacing the previous InterCity 225 trains on many of its East Coast Main Line services in recent years.
A reduced timetable during the early months of the pandemic saw a further 225 trains - powered by Class 91 locomotives - placed into temporary storage until normal service levels resumed.
With the reduction in available Azuma rolling stock, the operator is set to reintroduce at least one of these InterCity 225 trains into service, with more potentially called upon if the safety checks to the Class 800 trains takes significant time.
Some of these InterCity 225 trains were due for reintroduction in June 2021, ahead of anticipated increased passenger demand.
An LNER spokesperson said in a statement: A temporary, amended timetable will remain in place until Friday 14 May across the LNER route. This is due to a number of Hitachi Class 800 trains from several train companies being taken out of service for ongoing checks as a precautionary measure.
"The issue with the Class 800 trains continues to be investigated. Once trains have been checked, they are being reintroduced back into service as soon as possible.
"In addition, LNER is due to introduce an InterCity 225 train back into service tomorrow ahead of the original reintroduction date planned for June.
"Customers are being asked to check before they travel and ensure they have a seat reservation. We apologise for any disruption caused.”
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