British Rail Class 801
The British Rail Class 801 is the electric multiple unit (EMU) variant of the Hitachi Super Express high-speed trains used on a variety of long-distance routes in the United Kingdom. Based on the Hitachi A-train design, and part of the Hitachi AT300 product family, they have been built since 2017 at Hitachi's purpose built facility at Newton Aycliffe, and have been used on services on the East Coast Main Line since 16 September 2019.. They are closely related to the electro-diesel bi-mode units of classes 800 and 802, and all three classes are part of the Intercity Express Programme (IEP)
|British Rail Class 801 AT300|
801102 - 801109 at Kings Cross, November 2019
|In service||16 September 2019|
|Constructed||2017 - present|
|Number built||30 x 9-car sets|
12 x 5-car sets
10 x 7-car sets
|Capacity||5 car set: 254 standard, 48 first class - 9 car set: 510 standard, 101 first class|
|Operator(s)||London North Eastern Railway|
Avanti West Coast (Future)
|Line(s) served||East Coast Main Line|
|Car body construction||Aluminium|
|Car length||26 m (85 ft 3 5⁄8 in)|
|Weight||41 tonnes per coach|
|Electric system(s)||25 kV 50 Hz AC overhead lines|
|Current collection method||Pantograph|
|Safety system(s)||AWS, TPWS, ETCS|
|Track gauge||1,435 mm (4 ft 8 1⁄2 in) standard gauge|
London North Eastern Railway are using the brand Azuma to refer to all of their new Hitachi rolling stock, including the Class 801s.
Background and design
As part of the UK Government's Intercity Express Programme, the Class 801 units were intended as replacements for the ageing InterCity 125 and InterCity 225 trains which currently operate services on the Great Western Main Line (GWML) and the East Coast Main Line (ECML). The Class 801 units were designed as electric multiple units, with one diesel engine fitted to each set for emergency use. In the 5-car sets,the single diesel engine is located in car 4. In the 9-car sets, the diesel engine is located in car 8. However, owing to delays in the electrification of the GWML, in June 2016, the Government announced that the 21 nine-car units (Class 801/0) planned for use by Great Western Railway would instead be converted to bi-mode operation, and they were later reclassified as Class 800/3. As a consequence, Class 801 units will be used exclusively on the ECML.
Introduction into service
The first two Class 801s entered service on 16 September 2019 with LNER. LNER announced this as the first 10-car Azuma to come into service. 801109 and 801110 were the units, having started and finished their diagram at Leeds.
As more 5 car 801/1 sets have entered service gradually, the 9 car 801/2 sets have also been able to start being introduced. The first two entered service on 18 November 2019, with 801205 working an Edinburgh service and 801207 working a York service both from Kings Cross.
As well as the 42 being built for London North Eastern Railway, Avanti West Coast has announced that they wish to acquire 10 seven-car units of the same build as the 801's . It is still unknown if these will be classed as 801's.
|Class||Operator||No. Built||Year Built||Cars per Set||Unit nos.|
|Class 801/1 Azuma||London North Eastern Railway||12||2017-||5||801 101–112|
|Class 801/2 Azuma||30||2017-||9||801 201–230|
|TBA||Avanti West Coast||10||2019-||7||TBA|
- September 16 launch for Class 801 Azumas on London-Leeds route RAIL; 1 August 2019
- Government gives green light for more state-of-the-art intercity trains, Department for Transport, 18 July 2013
- "Our new Azuma trains have arrived". www.lner.co.uk. Retrieved 21 August 2019.
- DfT Confirms Second Intercity Trains, Railnews, 18 July 2013
- Hitachi converts GWR ‘801s’ to bi-mode operation, Rail Magazine, 8 June 2016
- "Great Western bi-mode '801s' to be reclassified as Class '800/3s'". Rail. Peterborough: Bauer Media. 20 July 2016. p. 33.
- Clinnick, Richard (9 December 2019). "Confirmed that the @HitachiRailEU order for @AvantiWestCoast will be the standard Cl.800 bi-mode and Cl.801 trains rather than the Cl.804 on order for @EastMidRailway". @Clinnick1. Retrieved 9 December 2019.
- "EMU Formations". AbRail. AbRail. Archived from the original on 15 August 2017. Retrieved 18 November 2015.
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