Lumo began service Monday, operating two round trips daily, with additional trips planned in the new year.
“Our brief was to reimagine rail,” Helen Wylde, managing director of Lumo, said at the launch of the first train from London, according to the Daily Mail.
She insisted the new service is meant to compete with airlines, not with other rail services.
“We’ve modeled our service on the airlines so it looks more like an airline service,” Wylde told the Edinburgh News. “A mark of our success would be to grow the rail market.”
Lumo is attempting it with discounted fares between the two cities and just three stops along the way.
One-way tickets cost about $23 if purchased a least a day in advance until December 1. After that, at least 60 percent of the tickets will be less than $35 for advance purchase. Fares purchased on the day of travel will run about $80.
Trips run about 4 and a half hours and make just three stops — in Morpeth, Newcastle, and Stevenage — as opposed to multiple stops on other rail services.
The trains feature just one class of service. There is no first class and no private carriages on board. Seating is the same in each area of the train.
So what is it like on board?
Each Lumo train can seat up to 400 passengers, which is less than competitors. The trains feature slightly larger legroom, and everything onboard is brand new, including spacious bathrooms.
The trains feature Wi-Fi and a free onboard entertainment system with a collection of movies and TV shows.
There is a wide selection of food and drinks for purchase.
For its part, Lumo is aiming for something higher than just transportation.
“Lumo as a brand conceptualizes our commitment to our customers’ individual well-being, combining all elements of physical, spiritual, corporal, emotional and social being to ensure that any journey with us leaves you positively ready,” it proclaims on its website.
The electric trains are better for the environment than other transportation options, Lumo says, and the lack of ticket classes on board makes it a more democratic atmosphere.
“We are a new movement, reimagining travel for a world where sustainability matters, everyone is welcome and will be treated fairly and with respect, receiving the same comfortable, well-designed service, without being charged a premium,” Lumo says.