Hull Trains announce £60m investment in new Hitachi fleet with faster journeys potential

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 2 Nov 2016

HULL Trains has today announced a £60m investment in a new fleet of high-tech Hitachi trains that will deliver 50 per cent more seating, additional services, enhanced interiors and the potential for faster speeds.

The multi-million-pound deal follows the company's recent success in securing an unprecedented track access extension from the Office of Rail and Road, which gives Hull Trains customers certainty of direct services to and from London until 2029.

Will Dunnett, managing director of Hull Trains, said: "At the heart of these plans is our commitment to keeping local people and businesses connected to the capital."The new trains will increase our fleet from four units to five, with an extra 20 per cent seating capacity on each.

"In total, this means we can serve 50 per cent more customers than we do today.

"The trains are also faster and will offer state-of-the-art comfort for our customers.

"We will also be announcing additional services in response to customer demand." Hitachi will now build five AT300 trains of five carriages each.

The units will be able to travel on the electrified East Coast Main Line from London King's Cross and then on diesel power on the unelectrified line to Hull and Beverley, giving Hull customers access to the benefits of the East Coast Main Line electrified track to London for the first time.

Jon Plowright, head of engineering at Hull Trains, said: "These Bi-Mode trains will bring the benefits of electrification to our region, ensuring that Hull and the East Riding remains competitive and connected to the capital in the long term.

"Our maintenance contract with Hitachi also secures the services of our existing maintenance team, securing nine jobs for our region."

The benefits of the new trains include:

  • More seats – 327 seats in total, 20 per cent more than the current services
  • Greater comfort – new interiors, air conditioning, wifi, power sockets
  • Quieter and more environmentally friendly – electric power is quieter with lower emissions
  • Reduced journey time possible – the new trains will have faster acceleration and a higher top speed of 225kmh

Hull Trains is a high-profile advocate for the city of Hull and a great success story in the industry.

Last month, it was crowned the UK's Rail Operator of the Year and consistently scores among the highest customer satisfaction levels of any operator in the country.

Mr Dunnett said: "Our current trains have served us well and we intend to continue to invest in these units to ensure they are fit for the next three years."Our plans include an additional three quarters of a million pound investment to further improve our on-board service facilities, including enhancements to our first class and buffet catering facilities.

"We have also installed innovative Passenger Information Screens on all our units as well as introducing new on-board CCTV to enhance the security and peace of mind of our customers."

The new units will enter service for Hull Trains in 2019.

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