NEW fleets of Hitachi-built Intercity Expresses will not be entering service on the East Coast Main Line before next year.
LNER had been hoping to introduce the ‘Azumas’ with the December timetable change, but the launch has now been cancelled.
As predicted by Railnews on 10 October, the launch had been looking increasingly unachievable because various problems have arisen during tests, particularly emissions of electromagnetic interference which are affecting signals and other safety-critical equipment.
An LNER spokesman told Railnews that 'a number of matters' had contributed to the postponement of the launch, but he agreed that the electromagnetic interference was a cause of the delay.
He added that it is understood that Network Rail and Hitachi are close to reaching a workable solution to the electrical problems, but that LNER felt it would be better to introduce the trains into service only when all the queries had been resolved.