Latest Rail News


First Hull set to expand after permission for track access granted until 2029

First Hull will continue operating services until at least 2029 after the Office of Rail and Road (ORR) approved its application for track access.

The new agreement to allow First Hull a further 10 years of track access after its current agreement expires in 2019 allows the company to purchase new bi-mode trains that can take full advantage of the electrified East Coast Main Line. Full details of the bi-mode trains will be revealed later t his year, but they are already expected to enter service in 2020.

The Rail Delivery Group said this week that British railway needs a continued programme of electrification to allow for rolling stock growth.

Steve Montgomery, FirstGroup’s rail division managing director, said: “We’re pleased that the ORR has granted us a further ten year period of operation as it allows us to progress the plans that we have for new rolling stock and investment in the line, allowing Hull to play its part as a key region in the government’s Northern Powerhouse proposals.”

The new bi-mode trains could increase seat capacity for passengers by as much as 50%.

First Hull scored 73% passenger satisfaction in last month’s Which? passenger satisfaction survey, the second-highest score overall.

The open access operator is also investing £500,000 in enhancing its current fleet, including improving comfort and introducing on-board CCTV and Passenger Information Screens.

FirstGroup is also involved in a separate application to the ORR on new open access plans to operate five trains throughout the day each way between London King’s Cross and Edinburgh, designed to compete with low-cost airlines.

(Image c. Roger Marks)


Johnd   24/03/2016 at 17:35

Great news for all staff and credit for all the hard work the railway does day in day out which sometimes goes unnoticed

Jerry Alderson   27/03/2016 at 20:28

If I remember correctly Hull Trains was also the first operator to install a (5 Amp) USB socket (in addition to 13A socket) for charging mobiles/tablets etc. This was done as a trail. Is it now being rolled out?

Andrew G   28/03/2016 at 01:35

So First Hull Trains could be extended until 2029 with the new Hitachi Class 802 Bi-Mode IEP trains that will be built for Hull Trains along with Hitachi's Class 800 and Class 801 IEP trains for Virgin Trains East Coast and Great Western Railway that will also be built.

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