A YORK-BASED train firm has marked an historic milestone that will lead to "faster and smoother" train journeys to more destinations.

After 40 years lying dormant, London King’s Cross station’s Eastern Gasworks tunnel has reopened and seen the first LNER Azuma passenger service to arrive into Platform 0.

The reopening of the tunnel on the approach to the station is a major part of the East Coast Upgrade - which will provide two additional tracks, reducing congestion while making it easier for trains to arrive and depart the station.

Warrick Dent, LNER safety and operations director, said: "Seeing our first Azuma passenger service arrive through the reopened tunnel means we’re even closer to being able to offer our customers even faster, more frequent and smoother journeys.”

Before its closure, the tunnel provided one of the vital links into one of the country’s busiest stations.

Dr David Turner, a railway historian with the University of York, said: "The late-1970s saw the tunnel mothballed as tracks were rationalised at King’s Cross.

"The preservation of the tunnel has ensured that this piece of Victorian railway engineering could be brought back into use."

Train drivers have been in training to learn the new layout ahead of the first passenger services.

LNER is operating a temporary timetable until early June, when the engineering work at King’s Cross is due to be completed. The latest information can be found at lner.co.uk.