London train station
The journey between London and Edinburgh will be around four hours via the faster train service ISABEL INFANTES/AFP News

The UK is set to have a new train service connecting London and Edinburgh; the journey is expected to be faster than flying.

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) has announced that the much-awaited train service between Edinburgh and London will launch in December this year. This rail service was initially due to begin almost four years ago, but it was delayed due to the work not being completed and then the COVID-19 pandemic.

Faster-accelerating Azuma trains, introduced in 2019, will link the two capitals in four hours while skipping a number of stations along the way. The trains will only stop in York and Newcastle, meaning those using stations such as Doncaster, Darlington, Peterborough, Durham and Berwick-upon-Tween will not benefit from the new service.

Travelling between England and Scotland has always been a hassle, whether a person opts for the eight-hour road trip, over four hours on the train or hours in the airport just for an hour-long domestic flight.

There would be two trains an hour between King's Cross and Edinburgh Waverley at peak times. The northbound journey by LNER's Azuma train will take four hours and five minutes, while the southbound trip will take four hours and eight minutes.

Taking into account getting to and through the airport, the said train would make the journey between London and Edinburgh much quicker than flying, which is 13 times more polluting, as per reports in the English media.

LNER aims to make the train journey time as fast door to door as flying – while being more environmentally friendly. The company has also claimed that if and when the train is launched, it would attract 60 per cent of travellers journeying between the cities by rail or air.

David Horne, managing director of LNER, said a formal announcement of the train has not been made yet because there is a final decision to be taken by the Department of Transport.

"There's still some work taking place by Network Rail and the [rail] industry to make sure the precise timings of freight trains can still be accommodated. When we launch the service, there is going to be more capacity on Edinburgh-London services generated by transferring intermediate journeys off the Edinburgh trains.

If you're in Edinburgh, you're now going to have an hourly fast service which will be quicker, or at least as quick, door-to-door, as if you had been travelling by air," added Horne in an interview.

Meanwhile, LNER is also discussing a faster service from the Big Smoke to Sheffield.

New train routes from UK to Germany, Switzerland

Meanwhile, it was earlier reported that travellers from the UK who do not wish to take a flight can now head to several cities across Europe by train. The UK is already well connected to Western European countries, thanks to Eurostar. The new plans will include direct trains from London to countries such as Germany and Switzerland.

The Swiss National Railways (SBB) has proposed a new route between St. Pancras International train station in London, and Basel in Switzerland. The route, which is expected to take five hours, will run through the Channel tunnel and use Eurostar trains.

Competing against Eurostar, Spanish railway firm Evolyn is planning to begin direct trains to Frankfurt, Cologne, and Zurich from London.

As of now, people in the UK currently struggle to reach the Swiss city of Basel via rail. They need to use at least three train services to reach Basel with the total journey taking up to seven hours.

Passengers from London take a train to Paris Gare du Nord, and travel by metro to the Gare de Lyon, where they can pick up a service to Basel. However, the new route would only require one train.