Train operator East Coast has said its trains are ‘winning the battle for custom’ against airlines on its key Edinburgh and Newcastle to London routes.
Figures published recently show how rail’s market share on the 10 most popular domestic air routes in 2010 grew to 44% – up from 29% in 2006.
East Coast say their market share on the Edinburgh to London route grew from 21% in 2008 to 27% last year; while its share on the Newcastle to London route grew from 59% in 2008 to 64% in 2010.
Over the last 18 months, East Coast’s market share on both the Edinburgh and Newcastle to London routes has seen a growing surge, as ‘challenging economic conditions led to increasing numbers of passengers taking advantage of its value for money advance purchase tickets.’
East Coast are preparing to launch a new timetable to deliver more seats and services with improved frequency.
The changes also feature a new ‘Flying Scotsman’ early morning non-stop weekday express from Edinburgh and Newcastle to London. This aims to get passengers into London in 4 hours.
East Coast Commercial Director Peter Williams said:
“We are delighted that so many people are seeing the advantages of the train compared with the plane – including city centre to centre travel, the opportunity to work using Wi-Fi throughout the journey, and great value fares starting from just £13.50 for a standard advance single ticket between Newcastle and London.”
“Our exciting new timetable starts on Sunday 22 May and we expect more passengers will join those already switching to the train when this prestigious new service takes to the tracks”.
Between 2006 and 2010, total journeys by East Coast train on the Edinburgh to London increased by 11.2 %, while over the same period, numbers using flights between the two capitals fell by 36.6%.