Called Lumo, the cut-price service is taking on budget airlines and catering to passengers concerned about flygskam (flight shame), or the carbon footprint of short flights, by providing an affordable and comparatively 'greener' transport option between the two capitals.
Tickets between London and Edinburgh start from £14.90 on an electric, low-carbon train that will run on the East Coast Main Line with stops at Newcastle, Morpeth and Stevenage along the way. Services start today with the goal of increasing the output to 10 services per day by early next year. A typical journey will take about four hours and 30 minutes from center to center.
Helen Wylde, Managing Director for Lumo, said: “Traveling 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.
Lumo trains include an on-board WiFi and entertainment system, privacy wings and a single class of "quality services for all passengers" so people don't have to splash out on an upgraded ticket to enjoy the full range of services. Lumo said it will provide all passengers with "good seats" that are ergonomically designed and tested for longer journeys with "optimised leg room and larger tray tables". In addition, more than 50% of the on-board catering menu is plant-based.
Lumo, which is owned by British transport company FirstGroup, pledged to publish its carbon emissions data on a regular basis and present a carbon calculator so passengers can calculate the carbon footprint of their journey.
Meanwhile, sleeper trains are making a comeback in European countries with a network of planned routes that will link up cities including Prague, Berlin, Amsterdam and more in 2022, as operators revive abandoned routes around the continent to meet the increased demand for rail travel.
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