The Azuma Living Wall installation had a special guest in the form of comedian Bill Bailey during COP26.
The Azuma Living Wall was created by the teams at London North Eastern Railway (LNER) at Edinburgh Waverley station to bring awareness of the small changes that people can choose every day to help lead a more sustainable lifestyle – including travelling by train.
Passionate about conservation and environmental issues, the Never Mind the Buzzcocks star travelled to Scotland during COP26 on an LNER Azuma service, with rail travel being his preferred way to travel domestically and in Europe.
The Azuma Living Wall was created to mark COP26 along with the launch of a new LNER Environment Report designed to promote rail as the most sustainable mode of motorised transport. More than 600 individual plants from six species have been used to create the Azuma Living Wall, which has been made in the semblance of an LNER Azuma train.
The wall fast became a growing attraction at Edinburgh Waverley, and was on display until 12th November for travellers to experience in the station. The installation measured six metres wide by 2.5 metres tall and weighed 1000kg.
The Azuma Living Wall was developed in partnership with the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh which has a mission to promote biodiversity and green tourism in the city of Edinburgh. The wall consisted of plant box units that have been developed by Biotecture, a leader in sustainable living wall systems. The units are fully recyclable.
The installation has been built by GP Plantscape, a local supplier from Lanarkshire that specialises in cultivating and building plant displays.
The LNER Environment Report, meanwhile, consists of LNER’s programmes to support the sustainable business objectives of the company. It maps out future plans to reach Net Zero carbon by 2045 including increased traction and non-traction decarbonisation, waste and water initiatives and improving air quality on board and in stations.
The report is available to customers in a digital format on the LNER website.
On visiting the wall, Bill Bailey said: “I’m passionate about our planet and always eager to make small changes to help do my part to protect it. I am visiting Scotland for the second week of COP26 and I travelled here with London North Eastern Railway. Train travel is one of the most sustainable ways to travel in the UK. Just switching half of your domestic journeys each year from car or plane to the train would save 331kg of carbon per person – that’s the weight of two adult lions!”.
After 12 November, the Azuma Living Wall was derigged into sections and the plants donated to local schools in the area to help inspire the next generation to support the environment.
The inspiration for the wall, the LNER Azuma fleet was introduced in 2019 and runs on electricity between London and Edinburgh along the iconic East Coast main line. Azuma trains also serve other popular LNER destinations in Scotland including Glasgow, Inverness and Aberdeen.
In the first two years of the fleet’s introduction, it is estimated that more than 26.5 million litres of fuel have been saved as a result of the bi-mode capabilities of the Azuma services, which allows the train to switch between electric lines and diesel modes where needed.