New Lumo train service linking London and Edinburgh launches

Photo: TRM editor Paul Bickerdyke

A new Anglo-Scottish train service has launched in an attempt to compete with cheap airlines.

The inaugural London King’s Cross to Edinburgh Waverley Lumo service departed at 10.45 am BST on Thursday.

The journey along the East Coast Main Line is scheduled to take around four-and-a-half hours, stopping at Stevenage, Newcastle and Morpeth.

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Lumo – owned by FirstGroup – will initially operate four daily services. This will be increased to 10 early next year.

One-way fares were advertised as being available from £14.90, although many of the cheapest tickets are sold out.

The firm is competing with state-run train operator London North Eastern Railway and airlines in providing Anglo-Scottish travel.

It is using five new Hitachi AT300 intercity electric trains with no first class section. Instead, Lumo is pledging to provide all passengers with “good seats” which have “optimised leg room and larger tray tables”.

Managing director Helen Wylde said demand for tickets has been strong, particularly at weekends as people take leisure trips and visit friends and family.

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She went on: “The support we have received for Lumo has been fantastic. We have always said we intend to reimagine rail travel and we are glad people are giving us a chance.

Photo: TRM editor Paul Bickerdyke.

“Tickets are selling well beyond expectations, and we have had great feedback about our commitment to offering a different kind of rail company.

“However, rest assured we are not complacent and understand we must earn travellers’ trust in the Lumo promise.”

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Lumo is an open-access train operating company, meaning it does not receive state funding.

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Shannon Butcher