Next month, a new rail service using all-electric trains, is to begin running between Edinburgh and London and the fares will start at £14.90.
The new service is called Lumo and promises low-carbon long-distance travel for more than 1 million passengers each year. At present more than 74,500 passengers fly between the capitals each month. The new rail service is intended to be an alternative to flying and affordable for everyone.
Around 60% of all single fares will cost £30 or less.
The company claims that rail travel will be more efficient than current rail services as the trains are all electric, and will produce fewer carbon emissions. By early 2022 the company projects that they will run ten services per day.
Helen Wylde, Managing Director for Lumo, said: “Travelling in the UK should not cost a fortune and it certainly shouldn’t be the planet that pays. Whatever your preferred mode of transport, we are likely to be more affordable and kinder to the planet.
“We believe everyone has the right to travel in style. We are empowering people to make green travel choices that are genuinely affordable without compromising on comfort.”
Lumo trains will use the East Coast Main Line and will call at Newcastle, Morpeth and Stevenage, hoping to tempt travellers away from air travel.
Lumo aims to create over 13 million additional passenger journeys in the next decade as well as reducing carbon emissions by encouraging travellers to use greener, electric travel. It will contribute as much as £250m to the UK economy over ten years.
Owned by FirstGroup, Lumo has invested £15m on digital and IT infrastructure and £100m on the manufacture and maintenance of five brand new, state-of-the-art Hitachi AT300 intercity electric trains. With a new at-seat catering service from high street brands called LumoEats, simplified fares, free Wi-Fi, paperless ticketing, a new entertainment system and a single class of quality service for all passengers, Lumo aims to reset standards for travel.
Ms Wylde added: “Travelling by rail is already the greenest form of long-distance travel in the UK. Lumo will take this further, being the ‘greenest in class’ with state-of-the-art electric trains and a service to match. We have a commitment to finding greener, smarter and more comfortable ways to get people from A to B – and we welcome anyone’s perspective on that.”