Railcam News & Features Launch with New Azuma Service.

Welcome to Railcam News & Features!

So what is this all about you may ask? Well, as Railcam continues to grow with even more camera installations the number of subscribers grows too. To provide you with some additional information and special events from Train Operating Companies we have decided to go ahead with a dedicated News & Features section on the Railcam pages.

The media team is made up of three. Jamie will continue with his daily movements information and Steven (Cheggs) will be posting in Cheggs Corner. I am the newest member and my name is Simon and I will be covering special events and features along with Jamie. We hope that you will enjoy the section and show your support. If you have anything newsworthy then we can be contacted via media@railcam.uk

Please make sure that you read to the end as we have a few goodies to give away as competition prizes to launch the section.

SO introduction done!

Monday 21st October and Jamie and myself were kindly invited by the wonderful team at LNER to attend our first event as Railcam News & Features. Our first event was to be the introduction of Azuma services from Lincoln to London Kings Cross.

As always, not everything went to plan and my attempt to interview Modern railways Journalist Phil Sherratt, live on facebook was thwarted by the mic not working. Apologies to those who watched and we’ll get it better next time!

Jamie and Simon meet up with the well known Tim Dunn for our journey south

LNER have invested in a new fleet of 65 class 800 & 801 Hitachi units. The class 800 are bi-mode while the 801 is an Electric unit. Modern clean and efficient, the units have much better acceleration and braking capabilities than the romantic HST sets or the class 91 225 sets which are all now very old. The more efficient performance will help reduce journey times as new timetables are introduced.

This new service from Lincoln increases the number of direct daily services to Kings Cross to five and according to Suzanne Donelly, Commercial Director of LNER, puts Lincoln firmly on the LNER map.

Interior of the LNER Azuma

“We’re thrilled that Lincoln is the first destination along our route to benefit from additional services with our new Azuma fleet. This marks an important moment for the city, and we are confident that our Azuma trains will not only revolutionise the customer experience for those who travel with us but open up huge economic benefits for the city and wider area.

“The new services provide significantly more opportunities for business travel, tourists and international visitors wanting to experience the many historic and cultural attractions Lincoln proudly offers including the cathedral, castle and magnificent views from the medieval wall.”

The Azuma fleet will provide a two-hourly Monday to Friday service departing London at 10:06, 12:06, 14:06 and 16:06. Southbound services will depart Lincoln at 11:18, 13:23, 15:26 and 17:14.

The current 07:30 Lincoln to London and return service from London at 19:06 will be replaced by an Azuma train later in the year as the transformation of LNER services on the route continues, and additional weekend services will be introduced in December.

Twin Azumas at Kings Cross. The name Azuma is derived from an archaic word used to mean ‘east’, originally applied to the fifteen northern and eastern provinces of Japan. According to legend, the hero Prince Yamatotakeru, on his mission to conquer the eastern barbarians, was badly homesick and cried ‘Azuma wa ya!’

If you are yet to travel on the Azuma, which is the LNER brand name, then we suggest you give it a go. OK we accept the seats are not the same as our beloved HST mark 3 or mark 4 coaches but they are specified by the DfT and not the operating companies. Personally I find them comfortable and I have heard a number of people within the industry as well as outside of it that find them more than acceptable for long distance journeys. Many of the complaints seem to be coming from HST romantics who have yet to even board an IET set.

We are all very different and all opinions are respected but please do go and try for yourselves. The 80x classes are here to stay and will form the backbone of the network for years to come. The light and airy coaches are an improvement. There is additional legroom, more seats, improved wifi and additional storage.

LNER class 800 Azuma ready to leave Lincoln on it’s inaugural service

Our journey from Lincoln left at 1118 and left under diesel power, switching to Electric at Newark for a very quiet and smooth run to Kings Cross where we arrived a few minutes early. The journey was relaxed while we discussed the implementation of the class with other journalists and invited guests. There appears to be real optimism about how the current influx of new trains is going across the entire network. There are some delays, a few teething issues and the age old resistance to change but overall there is real optimism that the UK Rail Network is being brought into the 21st century.

Now for the all important competition!

We have a few giveaways including a departure board, Azuma goody bag and some Railcam merchandise.

First Prize is from https://ukdepartureboards.co.uk and we would encourage you to visit their site to put in your Christmas wishlist from the family!

No more fiddling about with apps just glance at your very  own real departure board. Displaying departures from any UK train/tube/bus station/stop. Fully customisable via online configuration web app.

The board uses a 3.2inch crystal clear OLED display and comes in four colours. Dimensions: Width: 10cm Height: 4cm Depth: 3cm. WiFi ready and even has a built in alarm clock / buzzer. Perfect for your bedside table or office desk.

Second prize is an exclusive LNER Azuma Goody Bag. This includes a notebook, pen, jellybeans and some very special postcards.

The contents of the LNER Azuma Goody bag. The bag itself is featured in the earlier gallery.

Joint third prizes, (first winner to contact us will have the choice) is our fabulous Railcam UK Merchandise. One prize contains a baseball cap, badges and pen, the second option contains the mug, keyring and badge.

Entry will require you to Like and share this post on social media and answer the following question….

What does Azuma mean in Japanese?

The answer is somewhere in the above feature so if you have missed it please go and have another look. Best of luck and the winner will be announced on Sunday 10th Novemeber 2019 during the evening.

You can enter by answering directly on this article or via our Facebook post or Twitter post. We ask you to share the Facebook and Twitter posts to help spread the word about our News & Features extension to the site.