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Evening Standard
Evening Standard
Ross Lydall

Just the ticket: first family lounge on UK railway opened at King’s Cross station

Broadcaster and railway historian Tim Dunn with Holly and Miles Trainor-McFerran

(Picture: John Nguyen/PA Wire)

The first “family lounge” on the UK rail network has opened at King’s Cross station.

It was opened on Wednesday morning by London North Eastern Railway (LNER) and is free to use for passengers with standard or first class tickets for any of the train firms using the station.

It has been created in response to the growth in leisure travel – LNER is now carrying more passengers than before the pandemic, largely fuelled by family and weekend trips.

It offers a dedicated “family friendly” space for children to play while waiting for a train with parents.

Features include a giant Hornby model railway, featuring the Flying Scotsman and the Azuma train currently used by LNER on on the East Coast Main Line.

There are also “beach huts” with table-top games, a soft play area and videos showing what it is like to drive an Azuma train.

The family lounge will operate on a “first come, first served” basis and will be able to accommodate about 46 people, depending on the number of pushchairs and luggage.

It is located on the main concourse, next to the Travel Centre, which has been refurbished to include a breastfeeding space.

LNER also has a separate first class lounge at the station.

A survey by Mumsnet found that making travel easy was important to 93 per cent of people planning a day trip.

Nick Flynn, from the Campaign for Family Friendly Trains, said: "The family lounge at King’s Cross station will be a fantastic way for families to pass the time before their train departs and is an excellent step towards creating a more family-friendly railway.

“We hope the concept will be reproduced at stations across the country and encourage the rail industry to continue to think about the needs of families onboard such as dedicated spaces for prams and at stations.”

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