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Lumo plans to carry additional 275,000 passengers between London and Newcastle

Extra service could also lead to new jobs for Newcastle-based train operator

Published 19 Jan 2024

Lumo is exploring plans to operate an additional return journey every day between Newcastle and London.  

The proposals are for a new early morning service from Newcastle to London, with an additional evening return. This will enable us to carry up to an additional 277,000 passengers between the cities each year and could represent a 15% increase in its capacity.

Lumo has submitted proposals to operate the additional journeys as part of the East Coast Main Line timetable review exercise, which is taking place with all train operators on the route. Lumo currently operates five return services a day between London and Edinburgh, all of which stop at Newcastle.

Lumo has already created over 100 new jobs in the North East, many linked to apprenticeships, and is anticipating recruiting for new roles to meet the additional requirements. If approved, the additional services will be operated using the existing Lumo fleet of all-electric trains.

Martijn Gilbert, Managing Director of Lumo, said: “We are very excited to be looking at this option to grow our popular all-electric train service to and from our home city of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The North East has a number of plans to further improve transport connectivity and the growth of Lumo will help support this and deliver more great value and sustainable journeys to more customers on our route."

“We have played a significant part in encouraging more people to travel to and from Newcastle by train, bringing substantial environmental benefits while boosting the economy. We look forward to working with Network Rail to refine this opportunity and take it forward to the final timetable, which we hope will benefit customers travelling on the East Coast Main Line.”

The proposals will now be subject to final timing refinements with Network Rail ahead of an application for approval from the industry regulator, the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

Under the new timetable, the full-route London to Edinburgh Lumo service, calling at Morpeth, takes just over 4 hours, down from the current average journey time of 4 hours and 20 minutes, building on already holding the title for the fastest London to Newcastle service. The 20:27 from London King’s Cross completes the journey to Newcastle in just 2 hours and 35 minutes, faster than other East Coast train operators. See more on journey times here. It is anticipated that the additional services could begin in December 2024.

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