Made to be comfy, the trains respond to a willingness of rethinking and reinventing travel.
A British brand new open-access train operating company seems wanting to reinvent travels. On Thursday the 21st of October, at 10.45am, in King’s Cross station took place the lauching of the first direct train line from London to Edinburgh, stopping at Stevenage, Newcastel, and Morpeth. The inaugural journey, passing by the East Coast Main Line, was to last four hours and a half.
“We have always said we intend to reimagine rail travel and we are glad people are giving us a chance”
Made to be comfy, and to welcome passengers for a few hours by connecting the two capitals, the five Hitachi AT300 electric trains don’t include any first-class section. The train sets are designed with “good seats” and “optimised leg room and larger tray tables”. “We have always said we intend to reimagine rail travel and we are glad people are giving us a chance”, Helen Wylde, the managing director, said, while highlighthing the support Lumo have received for this project. And people already seem to like those travels to come, according to the businesswoman: “Tickets are selling well beyond expectations, and we have had great feedback about our commitment to offering a different kind of rail company”, she explained.
100 million pound investment
The company is supposed to start from four daily services a day increasing to ten early next year. Even if it’s getting harder for travelers buying tickets, because a significant number of seats are already booked, it’s going to take a while for the company to make it worthwhile. According to the First Rail Managing Director’s statements, they “invested over 100 million pounds to ensure Lumo stands apart and encourages people to choose rail travel over air for journeys between two capitals”.
By launching this service, Lumo competes not only with the train state run operator London North Eastern Railway but also with Anglo-Scotish travels providing airline company. With its announced £14.90 one-way fares, the FirstGroup’s owned company represents a large part of the market. These cheaper tickets were one of Lumo’s selling points, but the argument seems wobbly knowing that they are apparently sold out.
Here is the site you can try to book some seats to have a trip between the capitals.
Improving travel conditions
For travelers, Lumo has opened an alternative solution to airplane or indirect transports between England and Scotland, and it allows future passengers to choose what they prefer. It’s a huge progress for those who enjoy leisure trips or going to see friends or family during the week-end. But the train line launching also brought life in King’s Cross’s Station for a few days. All week-long, various artists or groups have performed on a little scene set up for the occasion. On Friday the 22nd, Sam Walwyn, a 24 years old artist based in London, played for two hours on the scene set up at King’s Cross’s station.
Take a break and enjoy!
Whilst the guitarist was playing, people sometimes stopped to listen to him. Some just for a few seconds or minutes, to enjoy until the end of the music and applaud, to dance for some little girl... or for a bit longer. “I’m here for about half an hour and I didn’t really realize. I discovered it when I was trying to catch a train to Cambridge. I walked pass and take some food, it’s better than standing in the cold outside”, articulates Harry, 24 years old, by finishing to eat his sandwich.
"Concerts like this definitely bring something to travelers, especially when you are going to wait quite a long time for a train"
The singer gathered an eclectic little assembly in the station hall. Steve, 63 years old, was standing ahead of the scene: “I’ve actually just stopped and start listening. Concerts like this definitely bring something to travelers, especially when you are going to wait quite a long time for a train or whatever it is”, he said. Everyone agrees on the fact that the event brings a great and calming atmosphere in the stressfulness of the station.
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