To ask Her Majesty's Government which organisation made the decision to order the new Azuma trains; what is the extent of any technical problems with the Azuma trains; what plans are in place to deal with those problems; and when they anticipate the new trains will be fully operational as part of the regular timetable.
The Intercity Express Programme (IEP) to deliver the new Great Western and East Coast Mainline Intercity Express Trains (IETs) is a government-led investment which was initiated by the Department for Transport when the Invitation to Tender was published in 2007. It is not uncommon when introducing new trains on an existing network for there to be some teething problems. This is why time is set aside to identify any issues as far as possible before the launch of passenger service and Hitachi and Network Rail are working together to resolve these issues with the aim of getting these trains ready for passenger service. The introduction of the new trains will deliver more seats and faster journeys for decades to come. The full benefits of these IETs will be delivered once the full fleet is in service alongside introduction alongside introduction of a new timetable.