Hull Trains' new 140mph 'bi-mode units' could cut 20-minutes off London journey time
By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 24 Mar 2016
UP TO 20 minutes could be shaved off train journeys between Hull and London thanks to a multi-million-pound investment by Hull Trains.
The company is investing £68m in high-speed "bi-mode" trains that will bring the benefits of electrification to the city.
The new trains will be capable of speeds of up to 140mph – up from 125mph in the operator's current fleet.
The investment comes after the operator's application for an unprecedented ten-year track access was approved by the Office of Rail and Road (ORR).
Will Dunnett, managing director at Hull Trains, said: "The approval of a ten-year track access enables us to deliver our longer-term plans.
"Part of these plans includes the purchase of bi-mode units, which will reach speeds of up to 140mph, compared with the current 125mph capacity of our Class 180 units.
"We will also be able to increase our fleet to five units with up to 320 seats on each, meaning a 50 per cent increase in the number of seats for passengers."
The dual-function of the new units means the trains can run on either electric or diesel, speeding up journey times while keeping passengers on its carriages during times of disruption to the East Coast Mainline – something that would not be possible in fully-electric units.
They will also enable Hull Trains to look at introducing new routes to other destinations.• More news: Fate of BHS in Hull in balance
Mr Dunnett said the ORR's approval provided the business and its passengers with "certainty of services until December 2029".
He said: "These are exciting times for our business and our region and we're confident this will be the first of many announcements about developments that will benefit our passengers, our communities and our region."
It is anticipated the new trains will enter service in 2020.
Hull Trains has also pledged an additional half a million pound investment to enhance its current fleet.
Mr Dunnett said: "Our current 180 units have served us well and we intend to continue to invest in these trains for the next three years.
"We have just commissioned a project to refurbish our on-board service facilities for the enhanced comfort of our passengers as well as looking at ways to increase the capacity of our current services.
"We will also be rolling out passenger information screens on all services as well as on-board CCTV to enhance security and peace of mind for our customers."