LNER has announced that it aims to slash train journey times for those travelling from Edinburgh to London by 30 minutes.

The announcement forms part of a long-awaited plan to make "door-to-door" train journey times as fast as flights between capitals.

Rapid Azuma trains introduced in 2019 are set to cut the time taken to make the 400-mile journey significantly.

This comes after plans to cut train journey times were shelved after the coronavirus pandemic halted projects.

The National: Train journeys between Edinburgh and London could take just four hours.Train journeys between Edinburgh and London could take just four hours. (Image: PA)

If these LNER plans are approved, one of the two trains an hour between Edinburgh and London would take four hours and five minutes northbound and four hours and eight minutes southbound.

A final decision on proposals to speed up eastern railway routes between the two cities is still to be made by the UK Government.

LNER 'hoping' to launch faster routes between Edinburgh and London by December

LNER managing director David Horne said: "What we're hoping to do, come December, is launch the new east coast timetable, which will give you, on Edinburgh-London, an hourly service taking just over four hours, with two stops en route.

"It's not been announced because there is a final decision to be taken by the Department for Transport (DfT).

"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."

He added: "Because of the progress we have made coming out of the pandemic, and knowing that sustainability is a factor that is driving demand to trains, I think we can be more bullish than that and say we ought to be able to get 55-60 per cent or even more onto rail."