Harrogate will benefit from an extra five LNER services, providing a daily two hourly service to and from London from mid-December.
- Azuma services will begin operating from Harrogate on Sunday 15 December 2019.
- Five new weekday departures to and from London King’s Cross will begin.
- The current 07:34 Harrogate to London and return service from London at 17:33 will continue to operate.
- Trains will call at Leeds, Wakefield Westgate, Doncaster, Grantham, Stevenage and London King’s Cross, with two in each direction serving Horsforth.
David Horne, Managing Director at LNER, said:
Harrogate is an incredibly important destination for LNER. We hope that our new Azuma services will not only revolutionise the customer experience for those who travel with us but also open up huge economic benefits for the area thanks to the increase of services from one train each way to six.
With these new regular services in both directions, it offers significantly more opportunities for business travel, tourists and international visitors wanting to experience the many cultural attractions the famous spa town offers, including the Convention Centre, Royal Pump Rooms, Turkish Baths and ever-popular tea rooms, as well as the stunning surrounding countryside.
Convention Centre director Paula Lorimer said:
This is an absolute game-changer for us. We know that one of the big attractions to event organisers, when choosing a venue, is transport links. This new service completely opens Harrogate up to visitors from London and the South, who can now easily get direct to our venue and back, with return trains six times a day.
Our central location in the UK has always been a big selling point for event organisers but these new train services allow us to dramatically build on that offering.
LNER say they have the best ever WiFi, plug sockets at every seat and more legroom in Standard to extra space for bags, ergonomically designed seats and an excellent range of refreshments served at seat or from the Café Bar, the new Azuma fleet will transform the journey experience.
To see the timetable:
The Azuma fleet offers significant environmental benefits. Azuma trains will run using overhead electric wires between London and Leeds. The bimode Azuma fleet will then operate under diesel power for the 18 miles (28.97 km) between Leeds and Harrogate.
Passengers won’t see improvements until further Azuma trains join the fleet. LNER is replacing all 45 of its existing trains in its fleet with 65 Azuma trains, which will be completed by June 2020.
Brian Dunsby OBE, Harrogate Line Supporters Group, said:
Today we celebrate the imminent start of six trains per day each way between Harrogate and London Kings Cross. They will be ideal for business travellers, leisure visitors and commuters living and working along the whole East Coast mainline. We welcome the new AZUMA trains and their LNER crews and management.
They will improve services for passengers, develop new markets like Harrogate and Lincoln and transform rail travel along the East Coast. They will stimulate enhanced business connections between Harrogate and London.
Congratulations to David Horne and his team at LNER for delivering this tremendous improvement in the quantity and quality of direct services between Harrogate and London Kings Cross. Thank you very much.
John Fox of the Harrogate Business Improvement District (BID) said:
The increased frequency of direct trains between Harrogate and London is great news for Harrogate businesses and residents. It’s good news for the conference and exhibition business, as by the end of 2020 the journey time will be much quicker, making Harrogate an even more attractive destination.