Class 800

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The Class 800 units built by Hitachi, are Electro-Diesel or 'Bi-Mode' trains, capable of working from 25kV Overhead electric power.
800 002 leads 800 001 on 5X11 away from Edinburgh Waverley. 14/9/17. Photo by PIERSHILL2001

As part of the UK Government's Intercity Express Programme (IEP), the Class 800 units are to be partial replacements for the InterCity 125 trains operating services on the Great Western Main Line and the East Coast Main Line.

On 18th March 2016 at London Kings Cross, Virgin Trains East Coast showed off their first unit 800101 in Virgin livery and launched the brand name "Azuma", the Japanese word for "East".

The Class 800 units are to be introduced in on Virgin Trains East Coast services in December 2018, and will replace class 43 HSTs on the services from London Kings Cross to Aberdeen and Inverness.

VTEC will also receive Class 801 EMUs to replace Class 91 and Mk4 stock.

The intermediate car bodies are 25.0m long (26.0m including gangway and coupling), and the cab end car bodies are 25.35m long.

The Class 800 motor-cars are powered on all axles and will have a MTU 12V diesel engine and generator unit under the floor. The cab end cars are trailers and have pantograph and transformer.

The 9-car Class 800/1 units have 5 motor-cars, and 5-car 800/2 units have 3 motor-cars.

VTEC 'Azuma' fleet:
13 9-car EDMU 800 101-113
10 5-car EDMU 800 201-210

12 5-car EMU 801 101-212
30 9-car EMU 801 201-230

First Visits to Scotland

The first Class 800 to cross the border was VTEC 9-car unit 800 101, Wednesday 16th August 2017 Working the 5X08 10:38 Doncaster Carr IEP Depot to Dunbar. It returned south as 5X09 13:12 Dunbar to Doncaster Carr IEP Depot.

On Thursday 7th September 2017 a pair of 5-car units destined for GWR, 800 001 & 002, arrived in Edinburgh as 5X08 07:38 Doncaster - Edinburgh, returning south as 5X09 12:33 Edinburgh - Doncaster.

The same pair made two visits the following week, on Tuesday 12th & Thursday 14th September as 5X10 08:29 Doncaster Carr IEP Depot - Edinburgh, return south as 5X11 13:34 Edinburgh - Doncaster Carr IEP Depot.

Azuma 800101, made a second visit to Dunbar on 7th November, and two days later reached Edinburgh for the first time on Thursday 9th.

On Friday 15th December 2017, 800101 ran as 5X71 from Doncaster to Inverness (returning that night as 5X72), running on diesel power north of Newbridge Junction.

A pair of GWR green 5-car Class 800s, 003 & 004, visited Edinburgh on the evening of 25th January 2018, and next evening on 26th became the first Class 800s to reach Glasgow Central.

The first of the 5-car EMU variants, unbranded white 801101 did 5 consecutive days of test runs from Doncaster to Edinburgh and back starting Monday 12th February 2018.

Unbranded GWR green 9-car 800303 ran from Doncaster to Craigentinny on the evening of Monday 26th. On 27th February it ran as 5X71 12:40 Craigentinny to Inverness, arriving at 17:34. The southbound working planned for the 28th was cancelled due to severe weather, so the unit remained parked in the former Motorail Sidings for several days.

See Also

External Links