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Virgin's Azuma train makes first journey to Scotlan

Virgin's new high-speed train has completed its first journey from Doncaster to Dunbar.

The company tested the first Virgin Trains East Coast Azuma, as it travelled across the border to Scotland.

VTEC Managing Director David Horne said: "Having the train visit Scotland for the first time as part of testing is a really important moment, and reminds us of the excitement it will bring to UK train travel when it is introduced into service."

It is hoped the new trains will be able to cut journey times between London and Edinburgh by around 22 minutes.

Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin, said: "The state-of-the-art Intercity Express trains heading to Virgin will transform rail travel for passengers between London, the north east and Scotland.

"These new trains, combined with Virgin's exciting plans for the franchise, will provide more services, more seats, and faster journeys, helping to place passengers at the heart of the railway."

Whilst Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group, added: "This is a hugely important moment for passengers on the East Coast. A line which has witnessed the historic Flying Scotsman and Mallard will now see passenger services transformed with the UK's most advanced long distance trains.

"Our customers on the West Coast have already seen what Virgin can bring to train travel and how the Pendolinos have made a huge difference to speed and comfort. Our new fleet of Azumas will bring a similar transformation to the East Coast, and propel one of the UK's most prestigious lines into the 21st century."

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