Open-access operator targets 13 million passenger journeys in next decade.

LOW-cost open-access operator Lumo began commercial operation between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh Waverley on October 25.

Owned by FirstGroup, the operator is initially running two pairs of trains per day on the East Coast Main Line (ECML) between the English and Scottish capitals, with this set to increase to five return journeys early next year.

Using a fleet of five Hitachi 25kV 200km/h class 803 emus funded by Beacon Rail Leasing, Lumo is targeting the domestic flight market. Fares start at £14.90 for a single journey. The train is standard class throughout.

The first commercial Lumo train departed Edinburgh Waverley at 09.11, with the first northbound service  leaving London at 10.45. Lumo aims to carry 13 million passengers in its first 10 years.

Ticket sales are already above expectations according to Lumo managing director, Ms Helen Wylde.

“We have invested over £100m to ensure Lumo stands apart and encourages people to choose rail travel over air for journeys between the two capitals,” says Mr Steve Montgomery, First Rail managing director.

Lumo is the third open-access operator on the ECML alongside Hull Trains (also owned by FirstGroup) which operates between London and Humberside, and Grand Central, owned by Arriva, which operates between London, Bradford and Sunderland.