Is This the Future of Uk Rail Travel?
National Geographic Traveller (UK)|January/February 2022
The launch of LUMO — a new, affordable London to Edinburgh rail link — has turned heads. Could this be the way forward for long-distance train travel in the UK? Words: Simon Calder
By Simon Calder. Photographs by Getty and Alamy

For a new transport brand, it’s a good problem to have: for the first five weeks of the Lumo rail link between London and Edinburgh, almost all the seats were sold before the first train had even run on 25 October. It helped that no one needed to pay more than £20 for an advance one-way ticket on the 393-mile, one-way trip. Since that initial promotional push ended on 1 December, fares have risen. But First Group — the firm behind Lumo — believes it has a profitable future while changing the face of inter-city travel.

What’s the big idea?

The blue trains are now running daily on the East Coast Main Line between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh Waverley. They stop at Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Morpeth in Northumberland, and, on some services, Stevenage in Hertfordshire. Lumo began with two daily trains each way, which will increase to five a day next year. It’s an ‘open access’ operator, in competition with state-owned LNER.

How much are tickets?

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