Lumo’s Ryanair of rail heralds cheap travel
New trains for the East Coast Main Line
A new budget train, dubbed the Ryanair of rail, launched its inaugural journey yesterday connecting Edinburgh and London with a promise to make long distance travel greener and more affordable.
Lumo, owned by FirstGroup, will offer a single-class, five-carriage, 400-seat train with five services a day each way from Monday.
Trains will run on the East Coast Main Line and call at Newcastle, Morpeth and Stevenage, offering alternatives to Newcastle and Luton airports, while also aiming to pick up passengers travelling to both.
Lumo aims to contribute £250m to the economy over the next 10 years, create more than 100 jobs and generate over a million extra seats on the network every year.
It is an ‘open access’ train operating company, meaning it does not receive state funding, and has invested £100m to manufacture and maintain five 100% electric trains, built by Hitachi.
Customers are given the option of keeping their luggage close by or, for an additional charge, having it delivered to their final station or destination. There is “optimised” leg room and larger tray tables. Other services include an all-in-one free Wi-Fi and entertainment centre.
Helen Wylde, managing director for Lumo, said: “Our aim is to encourage tourism and business into Edinburgh while also connecting the capital with London in an affordable and convenient way.
“We are getting reminders every day of how serious the climate crisis is. This is why people want to make different travel choices.
“We aim to marry convenience and comfort with a low cost to both people’s wallet and the planet. Lumo is 100% electric and should help people think twice about flying.”
Why ‘Lumo’? “The word combines illumination and motion – we take our passengers’ wellbeing extremely seriously and want everyone to arrive refreshed and ready,” says the company.