Rail Industry Focus

15.01.20

Building on success - Hull Trains

Source: RTM Dec 19/Jan 20 

Louise Cheeseman, managing director at Hull Trains, speaks to Rail Technology Magazine as she reflects on 2019 and outlines what’s next for Hull Trains in 2020

As we approach our twentieth year in business, Hull Trains is looking forward to a very bright future with some of the most technologically advanced trains on the UK’s rail network.

The last months of 2019 marked a significant milestone in the history of the business as we started to introduce our bi-mode £60m fleet of trains into passenger service.

This journey to modernise our fleet has been years in the making and our determination to get all five trains operating on the UK’s network is now being realised.

The combined effort from the whole team to deliver this fantastic achievement is something which makes me very proud and is testament to the positive and hardworking culture we have always had within Hull Trains.

We are the smallest train operator in the rail industry, but arguably one of the most ambitious. Very few rail operators have introduced trains similar to our Paragon fleet into service within such a short space of time after arriving in the country.

I’m confident that 2020 will bring new opportunities for us as we start to look for ways to expand services for our customers. We currently operate 92 services a week, but we already know our customers want more choice of travel times at the weekend, for example.

But it’s not just additional journeys which shape customer experience. Our Paragon trains have given us the flexibility to enhance our food and drink offering. We spent some time last year really listening to our customers and understanding what they wanted when travelling with us.

This resulted in the introduction of a new at-seat trolley service on the Paragon trains. More seats are now in place where the buffet  car was previously and customers can relax and enjoy their journey.

Our on-board teams have relished the new way of working and have more opportunities to interact with our customers as a result.

Many of our on-board team have been working with Hull Trains for more than ten years and live fairly locally. Because of this, a lot of our staff already know the passengers personally and it is this day-to- day communication we have with our customers that sets us apart from our competitors. We know the allergies and food preferences of regular travellers and have been known to collect specific items for customers if we have been missing something on board. We’re not a faceless company, we’re proud to be from Hull and represent Hull as a city.

Our focus for 2020 is to have all five of our Paragon trains operating successfully and to deliver a service which the people of Hull can be proud of. I’m confident the new trains will encourage more people to travel with us and they will trust Paragon to be the best way to travel between Hull and London Kings Cross.

Image: Hull Trains 

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