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First Hull Trains invests £68m in new Hitachi bi-mode fleet

First Hull Trains has invested £68m in a fleet of five new bi-mode trains from Hitachi, which are expected to enter service in 2020. 

The new units, similar to those being manufactured for the Intercity Express Programme, will have the potential for top-speeds of 140mph, compared to the current Alstom-built Class 180s which can reach speeds of 125mph. 

Additionally, the open access operator’s fleet will increase from four units to five with up to 320 seats on each, meaning a 50% increase in the number of seats for passengers. The current capacity of the Class 180 units is 266 seats. 

First Hull has also commenced an industry consultation process to secure track access for at least another 10 years. The firm’s current track access arrangement runs until 2019

Will Dunnett, managing director of First Hull Trains, said: “The new units will bring an even higher quality environment for passengers with new interiors, enhanced catering, air-conditioning and a quieter environment due to electric traction – all areas that we know are important to passengers.” 

Ensuring that the region is not disadvantaged in any way by delays to electrification plans is at the heart of these proposals, the firm noted. 

“In a nutshell, the bi-mode units deliver the benefits of electrification now,” said Dunnett. “But as a result of their bi-mode capability, they also ensure that we can continue to serve stations such as Beverley after electrification of the Hull to Selby track is completed. 

“The dual-function of the units also means that we can keep passengers on trains during disruption, which we would not be able to do in fully-electric units.”


Al   03/09/2015 at 19:13

will this mean they will have spare rolling stock they could provide to transpennine Express? Despite their £50 million profit margin First seem to not be interested in reinvesting their profits back into their business!!

Liam   04/09/2015 at 13:03

Did you read the headline of this story about First investing £68 million?

Kev   04/09/2015 at 15:31

140mph top speed..really! on the drawing board. or in japan maybe I'd be impressed if they got to 90! same tracks queen Victoria travelled on!!

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