Lumo Train from London Kings Cross to Edinburgh Waverley by Train
Lumo is a British open-access rail operator operating low-cost trains on the East Coast Main Line between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh Waverley. Open-access operators were one of my key targets to try out on this Europe trip, and I booked my first journey from London to Edinburgh to try out this low-cost train service.
London Kings Cross Railway Station
Like most long-distance East Coast Main Line trains, Lumo operates out of London Kings Cross in London.
Entering London Kings Cross.
London Kings Cross is home to Platform 9¾ for the Hogwarts Express. Platforms 9 and 10 are in a separate area in the real King’s Cross without a brick wall to run through, but there is 1 sign on the wall in the station concourse for photos. You can also buy a Hogwarts Express ticket from The Harry Potter Shop just beside the wall.
As with most UK train stations and trains, platforms are only displayed about half an hour prior to departure from the departure screens, which makes it common to see passengers just standing and looking up in a big concourse.
My Lumo 1S95 was departing from Platform 10 London Kings Cross to Edinburgh Waverley by Train. As close to departing from Platform 9¾ I guess.
Heading through the gate line for Platforms 9 and 10.
My Lumo 1S95 train was already at Platform 10 waiting for passengers. Looking forward to experience this low-cost ride.
My first Lumo train ride was operated by 803001, the first unit out of 5 British Rail Class 803 AT300 that Lumo has.
803001 suffered some vandalism for my trip.
Lumo’s Onboard Luggage Policy is lower than National Rail’s, at only 1 small bag and 1 suitcase. Lumo on-board staff are at the platform looking out for excess baggage.
The Lumo livery is simple with a bold blue look along with their logo and tagline.
The front view of 803001.
The flagship London North Eastern Railway (LNER) Azuma on Platform 9.
No Hogwarts Express in between Platforms 9 and 10 here. Maybe it’s because I didn’t run through a wall.
While the Lumo 1S95 service only stops at Newcastle, Morpeth, and Edinburgh Waverley, a stop at Stevenage was advertised on my train.
My reserved seat was unfortunately in reverse.
A 3-pin power socket and 2 USB power sockets are available in front of each pair of seats which makes it easy to access.
A tray table is provided at the back of each airline seat.
A reading light is integrated on the seat back facing the tray table.
Seat reservations are labelled above each pair of seats.
As this was a long journey, most passengers travelled with luggage, and the overhead racks got full very quickly.
Passengers with big luggage and travelling on the full route from London to Edinburgh were allowed to use the bicycle storage for big luggage. As the luggage are stacked compact on top of each other, luggage can only be retrieved at the last station.
My Lumo 1S95 train departed from London Kings Cross at 12.19pm – 1 minute late.
Passing by a variety of trains while heading out of London.
Tickets were checked after departure, and my ticket was torn after the checks by the conductor.
Stevenage Railway Station
Making a brief stop at Stevenage.
Most of the journey is heading through the countryside.
The typical toilet on board Lumo’s Class 803.
Passing through Grantham with trainspotters on the platform.
LumoEats is available through the on-board WiFi, but the trolley also came through the train to sell refreshments.
The LumoEats refreshment trolley fully stocked with drinks and snacks.
Heading to Scotland, I decided to get a gin and tonic.
Passing through Doncaster.
Speeding up the East Coast Main Line.
Approaching York at a slow speed.
Passing by Network Rail York Campus.
York is a major railway station on the East Coast Main Line, and Lumo provides a super express service by not stopping at York. However, it still passes through the station instead of taking the bypass.
Passing by the National Railway Museum at York.
Passing by some of the National Railway Museum’s collections.
Passing by Transpennine Express’ Depot.
My made a stop at a siding after Skelton Bridge Junction. The driver came on the PA to inform passengers that there were reports of a damaged pantograph and she needed to go outside and check it, which also explained the slow speed through York.
Thankfully, there were no issues with the pantograph and the train was safe to proceed. However, the booked slot had past and the futher wait was a for a new slot after other trains had passed.
Heading back on the fast line.
Passing outside Darlington Railway Station.
It started raining a bit so everything was a blur at 124 mph (200 km/h).
Crossing the King Edward VII Bridge above the River Tyne on approach to Newcastle.
Arriving at Newcastle.
Newcastle Railway Station
Making a brief stop at Newcastle Railway Station.
There was a longer stop here as there were lots of passenger movements at this major station, and the crew changed to a new set here for the onward leg to Edinburgh.
Departing from Newcastle past Genting Casino Newcastle.
Passing by Heaton Traction Maintenance Depot.
Morpeth Railway Station
Making a brief stop at Morpeth Railway Station.
Approaching the east coast on the East Coast Main Line.
Passing through Berwick-upon-Tweed town, the northernmost town in England.
Crossing over the Royal Border Bridge above the River Tweed.
Passing through Berwick-upon-Tweed Railway Station.
During my trip, while masks were no longer mandatory in England, masks were still mandatory on public transport in Scotland. An announcement was made to remind passengers on this regulation at Berwick-upon-Tweed Train Station before the train entered Scotland.
Crossing the border from England to Scotland at speed.
My first glimpses of Scotland.
Passing by the junction to and from North Berwick.
Heading on the last inland stretch towards Edinburgh.
Approaching Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station.
Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station
My Lumo 1S95 train arrived at Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station at 5.08pm – 27 minutes delayed due to the safety stop after York.
This was unfortunate as my journey time was extended by almost half an hour and I was just 3 minutes short of delay repay which would get me a compensation of at least 50% of the cost of my single ticket.
If only the delay was just 3 minutes longer, sigh.
The step down from the train to the platform
Lumo’s 803001 at the buffers of Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station.
Just like Edinburgh Old Town, Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station is on various levels. While steps are available, it’s advisable to just take a shorter walk to an escalator or lift if travelling with luggage.
Escalators are available from the central concourse.
Heading up the escalator.
The main path in and out of Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station is also by the middle linkbridge and levels.
Heading up to the Market Street level with multiple lifts.
Small but major, the façade of Edinburgh Waverley Railway Station at Market Street.
The North Bridge is undergoing refurbishment until 2025.
The ride on low-cost Lumo was more pleasant than I expected. Boarding early, I had ample space for my luggage and the seats were more comfortable with the regular ironing boards on the Class 800 sister trains. There were side headrests for better physical privacy from your seat neighbour, power sockets were very easily accessible without the need to hunch downwards to below your legs, toilets were readily available, and the train ran largely on time aside from the safety stop, which was not a major delay or fault of Hitachi, Network Rail, or Lumo since it was a potential safety issue with the train. There was no on-board café bar or dining car, but the refreshment trolley did the same job. Most passengers would have brought their own food from outside anyway.
It’s not like a traditional regular fare UK railway company would have provided anything more premium than Lumo in Standard Class, so low-cost is the way to go if the timing fits.