Lower fares and more trains on the route between London and Edinburgh have lured more people to ditch the plane in favour of the train, according to analysis of flight and train traffic.

Citing information from both the Civil Aviation Authority data and rail industry sales data, Lumo says that for the first time over half (57%) of journeys between Edinburgh and London were by rail between April and August, compared to a pre-pandemic position of 35%.

Some 63% of travellers chose rail over domestic flights in July itself, which Lumo says is suggestive that the trend in switching from plane to train may be set to continue.

The newish train company Lumo says that it will carry its millionth passenger in November having run more than 2,500 services, the equivalent of more than 4,000 full flights in the typical plane that flies between London and Edinburgh.

Edinburgh to London remains the UK’s most popular domestic air route with nearly 500 flights every week between the capitals, so there’s still plenty of opportunity for rail to attract more passengers.

The cheapest Lumo fare currently available between London and Edinburgh is £26.90, although the average ticket price is £37. Most Railcards are also accepted, so you can save another third off the fares if you have one of those.

Martijn Gilbert, Managing Director of Lumo, commented: “It is vital for the economy to have an affordable and sustainable means to travel long distances. I know we have opened up the route for people for the first time just by being cheaper than the alternatives previously available. Lumo has not changed passenger habits on its own – but the rail network has proven its value, comfort and convenience to passengers convincingly.”

When Lumo launched last year, stating that it was targeting the air travel market, there were complaints that it didn’t call at many stations along the route between London and Edinburgh, but then again, neither did the planes.


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  1. ChrisC says:

    Whilst welcome these figures are very much of an aberation simply because airlines have yet to fully reinstate their full schedules following cancellations due to covid then their difficulties in recruiting staff leaving many passengers with little choice other than to take the train.

    Some passengers may well stay with the trains but many will readily jump back to the plane.

    It will be intersting to look at these figures for future time periods to see if these figures are maintained.

  2. ADS says:

    Ryanair adding another 11 flights a week starting on Sunday – rising to 14 flights a week from December


  3. Oliver Williams says:

    “Very Informative”

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