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The East Coast Main Line services to Leeds and Harrogate will continue unchanged – apart from the logo. The service will be re-branded LNER -but the actual East Coast mainline line management continues unaltered. David Horne is staying on as Managing Director and Suzanne Donnelly as Commercial Director.
Brian Dunsby OBE, Transport spokesman for the Harrogate District chamber added:
Both David Horne and Suzanne Donnelly have shownkeen interest in serving Harrogate. They actually arranged for extra direct services from Kings Cross to Harrogate for the Christmas Market in November 2016, but could not do so last year due to engineering work requiring all the diesel trains to replace electric units.
We understand that the new AZUMA trains being built by Hitachi in Japan and fitted out at Newton Aycliffe are on schedule. The very first AZUMA train came into Harrogate Station approaching midnight on Friday 20 April to check the track and platform clearances, which were all OK.
Despite losing the Virgin Trains East Coast name, the new trains will still carry the AZUMA brand name – which means “East” in Japanese!
We have also been assured that the new “extensions” of the Kings Cross to Leeds trains to Harrogate and Bradford are still in the plan for May 2019. This should give us direct trains between Harrogate and Kings Cross every two hours with a journey time of around 2 hours 40 minutes, and stopping at Leeds, Wakefield, Doncaster and Peterborough.