Lumo - new Open Access operator on the East Coast Main Line

Mainline421

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Mod note: To help keep the discussion tidy, we've split off all post-launch discussion from this thread into the one you're looking at now. Please continue to use this thread for general Lumo discussion, noting that in-depth discussion about rolling stock has its own thread here.

Website is up! https://www.lumo.co.uk/
 
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Bletchleyite

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That purple is manky on-screen on a Windows machine. Same horrid colour the Scout Association use, which apparently looks fine on a Mac...oops!

Edit: though it's a very comprehensive site which is quite simple, clear and well put together, and I've not noticed any misinformation, yet at least! :) Interesting that they specifically mention they have changed the colour temperature of the interior lighting over the standard 80x, which is yet another one in the eye for RUK "naysayers" if true! :)
 
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JonathanH

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Some interesting stuff about ticketing - eg through tickets off the SWR network.

Lumo Specific Tickets​

At Lumo, we believe our simple great value fares will be all you need, but we realise occasionally you may need to use our services with another ticket. If you have one of our tickets, you’ll know from the “route” which will show “Lumo Only” “AP Lumo Only” or something similar. We also have a few tickets to allow you through journeys to destinations off our network, which will include both Lumo and the other operator name, such as “Lumo and SWR Only” -these can of course be used on our trains too. If the route shows anything else you’ll need to check carefully whether you can use it on our trains.

Tickets for use on any operator, including Lumo​

We’ll be happy to welcome you on board our train if you are travelling between stations that we serve, or where your origin or destination is usually reached by changing at one of our stations, except where the ticket has been sold for use on another operator only. These tickets will typically show a route which states “Any Permitted” or “Via York (or another station name)” While these tickets are flexible, we don’t set these fares and they are almost always more expensive than Lumo tickets (contact us if you find one cheaper); some of them have been introduced with time restrictions which unfortunately need to be followed.

We’d still highly recommend you reserve a seat, if you are using one of these tickets, which you will be able to do at the time of purchase or by contacting us to request one later.

Tickets not valid on Lumo​

Just like Lumo, some other operators sell tickets which can only be used on their trains. If you have one of these you either need to travel with them, or buy a new great value Lumo fare –but please check with the retailer you bought your original ticket from to see if you can get a refund.

For our services, the most common tickets you can’t use will be for routes including LNER (eg: LNER Only), Northern, Cross Country/XC or TPE Only. If you’re not sure, just have a quick chat with one of our ambassadors before you board our train and they’ll let you know whether your ticket can be used with us.
and a launch offer, although it doesn't seem to be live yet as the trains are still showing as £69 single.

Exclusive launch offer - all seats £19.90 or less*​

Don't miss out, to celebrate our launch we are offering all seats at £19.90 or less - that's London to Edinburgh for under £20! Book direct through lumo.co.uk or through the LumoGo app to take advantage.
One thing that seems a bit annoying about their booking engine is that if you tick the Lumo box at a time when they aren't operating services none show. A better thing to see would be to have all their services for a given day appear.

Connections with through tickets shown here https://www.lumo.co.uk/tickets/connecting-journeys

Through train tickets available though Lumo​

For some journeys you can also buy a through ticket with Lumo and another Train Operating Company for one great low fare. These fares will either be Advance (which works in the same way as a LumoFixed fare) or Anytime, and can be used with Lumo and the other relevant operator. Operators we currently have joint ticket with currently include:

  • South Western Railway for journeys to/from stations including Woking, Guildford, Basingstoke, Southampton and Portsmouth.
  • TransPeninne Express for journeys to/from stations including Chester-le-Street and Durham.

I think it might be helpful if they had a timetable page, especially given their booking engine basically just shows LNER trains between London and Edinburgh until you tick the Lumo box.
 
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Starmill

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It specifically states that you cannot reserve a seat if you're travelling between Morpeth and Newcastle, and that you can just board and take any space you can find. Which, given people will be happy to stand for 15 minutes if necessary, is not really that surprising. Goodbye to all of that nonsense about compulsory reservation.
 

JaJaWa

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Philip Haigh

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First will start its open access London King's Cross-Edinburgh rail service on October 25, branded Lumo. Says the service is aimed at air passengers. Fares start at £14.90 (until 1/12/21). Says that 60% of single fares will be £30 or less. Will use Hitachi electric stock.
 

Clansman

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Did they get a corporate comms firm to create that bland website? Crikey!

Great wee promotions though on the ticket prices.
 

Bletchleyite

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It specifically states that you cannot reserve a seat if you're travelling between Morpeth and Newcastle, and that you can just board and take any space you can find. Which, given people will be happy to stand for 15 minutes if necessary, is not really that surprising. Goodbye to all of that nonsense about compulsory reservation.

By contrast I'm genuinely disappointed that this is basically a very conventional TOC (albeit with only one price level of walk-up fares) and nothing really innovative is being tried at all. It does look decent, but it's basically Hull Trains to Edinburgh, not a real attempt at copying e.g. Ouigo.

Always had the impression that FirstGroup were incapable of being genuinely innovative, and I think that impression is confirmed here.
 

TT-ONR-NRN

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That purple is manky on-screen on a Windows machine. Same horrid colour the Scout Association use, which apparently looks fine on a Mac...oops!

Edit: though it's a very comprehensive site which is quite simple, clear and well put together, and I've not noticed any misinformation, yet at least! :) Interesting that they specifically mention they have changed the colour temperature of the interior lighting over the standard 80x, which is yet another one in the eye for RUK "naysayers" if true! :)
Isn’t it blue?
 

Bletchleyite

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What specifically were you hoping would be innovative when running two trains a day in the early stages?

One of the key things they seemed to be suggesting they would do is full "low cost airline" style pricing removed entirely from ORCATS, i.e. compulsory reservation, only Advance tickets (with no capping Anytime fare, though classically £299 was the highest easyJet/Ryanair fare) and potentially things like upselling stuff like seat selection and additional luggage entitlement. Basically to see how people saw that model in the UK.

Even the booking engine is the same junk Avanti use, and I had thought they would "keep it simple" by only selling tickets for their own trains in a heavily simplified UI, not just putting something (bog) standard up. At the moment it's just a means of booking LNER trains! :)

There seems to be little point in launching without that stuff and adding it later, so clearly it's not happening and it's just a conventional (albeit single class) TOC.

Other than the absence of 1st (a concept Chiltern came up with about 25 years ago) there is basically nothing really innovative* about it at all - just a bit of classic revenue abstraction and wasting paths with short trains.

* I'm not counting new seats (as they are the same ones First are fitting to the 390s) nor fiddling with the lighting level as really innovative. The GA FLIRT is a much more innovative train than these will ever be.
 

Alex365Dash

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Appears to be a slight contradiction on the website as to whether they offer fee-free changes on LumoFixed tickets (Advances with a fancy name for the rest of you in the room).

LumoFixed

LumoFixed tickets are our best value tickets and are only valid on the date and train you have booked, but they can be changed right up to the time your train departs for any future journey with us –there’s no fee to change if you book direct with us, you’ll just need to pay any difference in the price for the new service.

No fees

At Lumo, we don’t charge fees for buying tickets (this includes admin fees, ticket collection fees, card fees), so you always know the price you see is the price you pay. The only time we charge a fee is to change your journey, where it’s £10 plus any difference in fare if you have a LumoFixed ticket.
Of course, it can’t be both…

EDIT: Thankfully, this now appears to have been fixed.
 
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NorthOxonian

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Some of the "destination guides" are a little odd. I can understand describing Morpeth's "town vibe", but Stevenage's vibes are probably less appealing. I'll also have to make sure to visit "London King Cross", which they claim is accessible from Stevenage!

On a more serious point, a lot of the Stevenage page seems to be talking about airports. I doubt many people from round here would consider using Luton or Stansted, and even fewer would consider getting the train and changing at Stevenage, but it's an interesting thing to emphasise.
 

ainsworth74

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Some interesting bits on the trains can be found as well:


Considerably fewer tables and two accessible toilets. Wonder if they moved the sockets to where I think they should be. In the middle like now but on the bottom of the seats in front not the bottom of the seat your sat on!
 

ainsworth74

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One of the key things they seemed to be suggesting they would do is full "low cost airline" style pricing removed entirely from ORCATS, i.e. compulsory reservation, only Advance tickets (with no capping Anytime fare, though classically £299 was the highest easyJet/Ryanair fare) and potentially things like upselling stuff like seat selection and additional luggage entitlement. Basically to see how people saw that model in the UK.

There seems to be little point in launching without that stuff and adding it later, so clearly it's not happening and it's just a conventional (albeit single class) TOC.

Other than the absence of 1st (a concept Chiltern came up with about 25 years ago) there is basically nothing really innovative* about it at all - just a bit of classic revenue abstraction and wasting paths with short trains.

* I'm not counting new seats (as they are the same ones First are fitting to the 390s) nor fiddling with the lighting level as really innovative. The GA FLIRT is a much more innovative train than these will ever be.
Wow they've not even turned a wheel in anger and you've already passed final judgement! Impressive! :o
 

Bletchleyite

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Some interesting bits on the trains can be found as well:


Considerably fewer tables and two accessible toilets. Wonder if they moved the sockets to where I think they should be. In the middle like now but on the bottom of the seats in front not the bottom of the seat your sat on!

Also very low floor level luggage capacity, though the overheads in 80x are massive so this may be less of an issue than it appears. I was on a fairly well loaded Northern from Windermere on Sunday and there was no luggage in silly places despite there being plenty of tourists, simply because it would all fit in the overheads as they are similarly large on CAF stock.

Wow they've not even turned a wheel in anger and you've already passed final judgement! Impressive! :o

They're 80x with different seats. What's innovative about that? I'm not saying the trains will be junk (but the booking engine absolutely is, being the same one as the barely-functional Avanti one) but they are just not innovative, they are just 80x. 80x are fine, I don't hate them, but this was all about innovation, and it really isn't innovative at all going on what is on the website.

I am to be fair anti-open access generally (these by and large wasting paths with short trains outside of the standard Takt and abstracting revenue from the main TOC), but I was willing to give this one some slack if they were going to try something genuinely new. They are not.
 

JonathanH

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How have they ended up in a situation where they are launching with only two trains a day - ie one unit working out and back from each end? Are only three units expected to be ready by 25 October?
 

Fuzzytop

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Yeesh, that website doesn't give the impression of a professional outfit! Hopefully they can correct some of the spelling errors ('accessibilty' on the top of every page!) before they launch.

Parts of the passengers' charter are quite badly written - like someone's just thrown words from a marketing textbook together:
Cleanliness and hygiene are high on lumo priorities and through our COVID compliant practices, we target our cleaning on key customer on train touchpoints such as handrails, door buttons, arm rests, seat top handles, tables, toilets and sink surfaces. All our Customer Experience Ambassadors, in between services will be cleaning throughout the journey, they have received clear training and guidance around areas to focus on, at specific times as well as standards that will make sure you can relax and feel comfortable during your travel experience.

... well, at least the bits that haven't been copied directly from LNER!
LNER said:
Cabin-style bags should go above your seat in the overhead racks, keeping those personal items close at hand. There's also space between some seats where you can stow smaller cases safely. Suitcases up to 80x57x30 fit nicely in the racks at the ends of the coaches. (https://www.lner.co.uk/the-east-coast-experience/travel-tips/luggage/)
Lumo said:
Cabin-style bags should go above your seat in the overhead racks, keeping those personal items close at hand. There's also space between some seats where you can stow smaller cases safely. Suitcases up to 80x57x30 fit nicely in the racks at the ends of the coaches. (https://www.lumo.co.uk/about-us/passengers-charter#whenTravelling)
 

Starmill

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but it's basically Hull Trains to Edinburgh
I see what you mean and indeed it absolutely is not particularly different. But I would point out that Hull Trains' primary appeal is actually convenience (e.g. Beverley folk don't need to change trains to get to London for their weekend break), not low price. Lumo is trading on low prices first and foremost.

Ouigo in France is bound by the business need not to damage TGV 'InOui', SNCF's primary brand. Hence things like check-in cutoff times - to stop existing customers from trading down. Lumo isn't run by LNER so there's no such constraint to offering their best possible service.

One of the key things they seemed to be suggesting they would do is full "low cost airline" style pricing removed entirely from ORCATS, i.e. compulsory reservation, only Advance tickets (with no capping Anytime fare, though classically £299 was the highest easyJet/Ryanair fare) and potentially things like upselling stuff like seat selection and additional luggage entitlement. Basically to see how people saw that model in the UK.
I think that was only really being suggested in the minds of enthusiasts and commentators.

but the booking engine absolutely is, being the same one as the barely-functional Avanti one
They're going to have to use 'PICO'. It's being developed by Trenitalia, and it's awful.
 
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tommy2215

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After selecting a Lumo train ticket on their website, on the travel details section it says "Seat reservations are mandatory for this service" and then right below it says "Seat reservation are optional for this journey from Edinburgh to London Kings Cross". Couldn't possibly be more contradictory.....
 
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jopsuk

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am I supposed to take them seriously when, multiple times on the Edinburgh page appears the word


Because oh dear.

And their first suggestion of something to do "near" Edinburgh is hire a campervan, drive a long way north and annoy the locals.

On a more serious point, a lot of the Stevenage page seems to be talking about airports. I doubt many people from round here would consider using Luton or Stansted, and even fewer would consider getting the train and changing at Stevenage, but it's an interesting thing to emphasise.
Stevenage to Luton Airport is a frustrating one- the bus, at best, takes over 50 minutes. But when you're waiting for a train the planes are overhead, on final approach, with wheels down. Not that an open access operator can fix that- indeed, it's mainly a function of the layout of the road network
 
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JaJaWa

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Can’t decipher this from their Instagram:

“Tickets start at just £19.90*, so what are you waiting for?
#lumotravel
*T&Cs apply - Exclusive launch offer - all seats £19.90 or less

So £19.90… more or less?

The 'Reimagining Rail' page (spelt 'Reimaging Rail' in the header) is also very interesting: https://www.lumo.co.uk/who-we-are/reimagining-rail
 

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Ianno87

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Trying out booking process.
It mentions that you can choose your favourite seat. You can't. Selecting aisle then window produced the same seat. Selecting no preference produced a different one. Edit doesn't take you to a seat selector.
You can select dates after end of promotional period but making seat reservations appears to be impossible, returns an error.

Looking at the rest of it, the entire website appears to have been thrown together in 5 minutes by someone who was told to fill all the spaces with whatever sounded about right and that they shouldn't worry about factual accuracy or spelling or grammar because there won't be anyone along to proof read any of it.

Is there a timetable anywhere on the site?
Without one I doubt that sales will be as good as they could be as they'll mostly be going to LNER.

It's not as if they've had years to prepare though is it?

If you're only starting with a couple of trains a day, it would be at least useful to tell people when they are!
 

32475

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Perhaps "Lumio" may resonate better than "Lumo" if that is the marketing angle they're trying to go for - lightning fast, high speed, speedy, super quick, travels fast as light etc...

"Lumo" to me looks more like a brand for a muscle pain relief gel!
I looked up and discovered Lumo is Esperanto for light so maybe that’s what the marketing people were thinking about.
Just imagining other suggestions at the marketing meetings rather like a scene from W1A: Flymo? No that’s been used already, Sumo? No, sounds too slow and cumbersome.
Meanwhile I hope there adequate WC facilities on board otherwise there will be a large queuemo and no roomo for a poomo on the Lumo. I’ll get my coat.
 

Wolfie

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Apologies for the source! Cheapest single £14.90/return £29.80. No 1st class or buffet but refreshments off a trolley or ordered via an app. Free WiFi, "optimised legroom" and larger tray tables.
 

800001

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How have they ended up in a situation where they are launching with only two trains a day - ie one unit working out and back from each end? Are only three units expected to be ready by 25 October?
To best of my knowledge, they have not yet had trains handed over to them from Hitachi.
Units 1-4 still undergoing testing/acceptance.
Unit 5 has not been seen outside at Aycliffe and I think is still undergoing static testing.
 

krus_aragon

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Did they get a corporate comms firm to create that bland website? Crikey!
The functionality of the website is a bit off, too. Page scrolling is disabled until you complete the cookie popup, but when I seek to customise the settings on my phone browser, the "Done" button is down off the bottom of the screen. (screen rotation, zooming, and "desktop mode" don't help.)

So I'm left with the choice of accepting all their marketing cookies to see the site, or walking off to my laptop. Or maybe I'll just forget it instead...
 

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