Visit Northumberland anticipates rise in rail tourism

London North Eastern Railway (LNER) recorded 5.4 million passenger journeys between October and December, an increase of 15 per cent on the same period in 2021.
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Passenger journeys were at 96 per cent when compared with the same period for 2019, according to new data published by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).

The figures include 11 days of strike action and several consecutive days of engineering upgrade works at both Newcastle and York, affecting the number of services LNER could run.

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LNER data shows that more than 23 million passenger journeys were made on its services between March 2022 and the beginning of February 2023.

An LNER Azuma train speeds past Holy Island. Picture: LNERAn LNER Azuma train speeds past Holy Island. Picture: LNER
An LNER Azuma train speeds past Holy Island. Picture: LNER

David Horne, managing director at LNER, said: “Our investment, innovation and dedication in putting our customers first, doing everything we can to ensure they enjoy the best possible experience, have been key to our success in attracting more and more people back to travel with LNER over the past couple of years.”

He added: "We have invested in our fleet and in improvements across our stations, added new destinations introduced new services and have pioneered a digital revolution, making travel smarter, simpler, accessible, and attractive.

"Our award-winning app enables customers to book journeys, reserve their seat and sign up to live journey updates and One-Click Delay Repay, while enjoying the benefits of our LNER Perks loyalty scheme – all at the touch of their fingertips.”

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Memory-making leisure travel is still high on the agenda this year, despite the rising cost of living. A survey conducted for LNER by Ipsos, shows that travel remains top-of-mind with 65 per cent of people planning to take a leisure trip within the UK during 2023.

Maureen McAllister, head of tourism at Visit Northumberland, said: “It’s great to see people returning to rail in such strong numbers.

"The East Coast Main Line is truly spectacular as it sweeps along cliffs that ride above the Northumbrian coast and it’s a wonderful way for our visitors to arrive.

"As people make a welcome return to travel, we anticipate the number of visitors travelling to Northumberland by train will continue to rise.”