First London North Eastern Railway (LNER) services to run on East Coast Main Line25/06/18
The first London North Eastern Railway (LNER) branded train will depart from London King’s Cross to Edinburgh today (Monday 25 June), following the transition of operation of the East Coast Main Line service from Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) yesterday.
The journey marks the return of one of Britain’s iconic rail brands, with LNER – last seen in 1948 – now responsible for running services from London to Yorkshire, the North East and Scotland.
David Horne, Managing Director at LNER, said:
“As LNER launches, our message to customers, employees and everyone who depends on this service is that it is business as usual.
“Existing tickets are valid for whenever customers plan to travel, new tickets can be bought in the same way and the same scheduled trains are in operation.
“As we go through the initial transition period we remain absolutely committed to running the high levels of service that customers have come to expect. It is the staff who underpin the customer experience on the East Coast, so we’re delighted they have transferred with us and that customers can rely on seeing the same faces at their local station and on their usual train.”
Rail Minister Jo Johnson said:
“The launch of LNER is the first step towards the East Coast Partnership, which will bring track and train closer together on this historic railway.”
To ensure that customers continue to receive the highest standards of service and enjoy an effective and safe railway, the team from VTEC has transferred across to LNER – from operational management to station staff and train guards. LNER is working hard to ensure the transition is as smooth as possible for existing employees, allowing them to focus on delivering for customers.
Customers can expect no change to the services they use on the East Coast Main Line. All existing tickets are valid for whenever customers plan to travel, new tickets can be bought in the same way and the same scheduled trains are in operation. All customer accounts will also transfer from VTEC to LNER and LNER will take over VTEC’s social media channels, meaning customers can continue to get in touch with the dedicated customer service team to resolve any issues.
LNER will also continue to invest in and develop the East Coast Main Line, including working with Hitachi and the Department for Transport to introduce brand new trains through the Azuma project, the majority of which will be built in Newton Aycliffe in County Durham, supporting 700 local jobs. LNER will also work to deliver improvements to timetables and station upgrades, delivering better journeys for customers.
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We're delighted to announce our brand-new Azuma trains will be ready for passenger journeys from London King's Cross to Leeds from Wednesday 15 May 2019.
Improvements at the station include a new Costa and Travelines outlet, an original ‘LNER’ drinking water fountain on the platform has been restored and the ticket office has been returned to its original position.
Last June LNER took over the running of the East Coast Mainline franchise. Since June we've achieved a customer satisfaction score of 87%.