Many of you will have read our recent piece regarding the launch of Lumo on the East Coast Mainline (ECML).
The launch was a great success and Lumo caught the public imagination. Its twice daily trains are fully booked for some time ahead.
But now Lumo is facing a real challenge. With the ECML line remaining closed between Newcastle and Edinburgh because of storm damage it has had to suspend its Anglo-Scottish services.
This suspension has already lasted since last Friday and the ECML remains blocked at time of writing.
Some readers may wonder why this is news. I write this because Lumo considers itself the rail version of a low-cost airline (LCC).
And when I think back 25 years to the early days of LCCs I can recall the disruption and inconvenience which customers suffered owing to these carriers’ lack of resources.
The same scenario has affected Lumo over the past few days.
It has many customers currently stranded in Edinburgh who, unless they can wait until the line reopens, have been offered long-winded journeys back to London.
If you are looking to travel this is the advice we have been given:
TransPennine Express – Edinburgh to Manchester Piccadilly,
TransPennine Express – Manchester Piccadilly to Doncaster
Hull Trains – Doncaster to Kings Cross
Your ticket will be valid for these services – Sam
— LUMO (@LumoTravel) November 29, 2021
When Lumo launched it was swept along in a blaze of publicity. Media noted that Lumo operated all-electric trains which were kinder to the environment.
Rival LNER operates similar Hitachi trains but some in its fleet are bi-mode (diesel and electric power) units.
OK I agree the bi-modes are not as kind to the environment. But bi-mode trains have the flexibility to divert away from electrified lines as we are seeing at LNER today.
Sorry for the ongoing disruption to @LNER services between Edinburgh & Newcastle today due to the infrastructure damage caused by #StormArwen. We hope to operate a few Edinburgh-Newcastle services via Carlisle – they will take longer than normal; thank you for your patience. https://t.co/XU7rWzEXav
— David Horne (@DavidHorne) November 29, 2021
In the next few weeks Lumo intends to increase its fleet which will allow it to operate up to five London-Edinburgh services daily.
Once we receive details of the new schedules they will be posted here.