Lumo, the open access operator running between Edinburgh, Newcastle and London, welcomed Rail Minister, Huw Merriman, to its headquarters in central Newcastle on Friday (24 February), giving the Minister an opportunity to witness its service first-hand.

The Rail Minister praised the role that open access and companies like Lumo play in providing vital connections around the country, whilst encouraging passengers to travel by train.

Merriman was shown one of Lumo’s 100% electric trains and met with the Lumo team, including Managing Director Martijn Gilbert, Service Delivery Director Jen Clare and Commercial Director Stuart Jones, to find out how services are planned and delivered by the Newcastle based team.

Rail Minister, Huw Merriman MP, commented: Lumo is doing a fantastic job of encouraging more passengers to travel by train, prioritising comfort, real choice and a greener way of travelling between London and Edinburgh.

“Open access operators like Lumo are boosting competition on our railways and will play an important role in the industry’s future. I was delighted to see first-hand how they are creating high skilled jobs and providing more seats for travellers by making use of spare capacity on our network.”

Managing Director of Lumo Martijn Gilbert, said: “We were delighted to welcome the Minister to our headquarters in Newcastle. It was great to be able to show him the investment we have made in our team here in the North East and the green journeys we are supporting across UK.

“Open Access operations featured prominently in the recent address by the Secretary of State for Transport, Mark Harper, and will be a key part of the future railway network. We look forward to working with stakeholders to continue the evolution of our services whilst providing customers with a comfortable and greener train service which doesn’t break the bank or cost the earth.”

Since its launch, Lumo has created over 100 jobs with the majority based in Newcastle and the North East of England. It is also supporting new entrants into the rail sector through its training programme.