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Hull Trains completes fleet expansion deal with £60m AT300 order

Hull Trains has finally completed a deal to invest £60m in a new fleet of Hitachi AT300s, which are expected to come into service on the open access operator’s route in 2019.

Financed by Angel Trains, the deal will see Hitachi Rail Europe build five bi-mode AT300s, consisting of five carriages, which 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.

The new AT300 fleet, which was first discussed in September last year, is expected to be manufactured at Newton Aycliffe, and will be fully maintained at Hitachi Rail’s facility at Bounds Green, north London.

Will Dunnett, managing director of Hull Trains, said: “The new bi-mode units will bring the economic, social and connectivity benefits of electrification to the region now, including more sustainable trains, more jobs for local people and an ever better experience for customers.”

Earlier this year, the ORR granted Hull Trains a further 10-year track access from 2019, giving the business and its customers certainty of services until December 2029.

Dunnett told RTM recently that passengers would benefit from 61 more seats per train, as the new units will each have 327 compared to the current 266 capacity on the operator’s Class 180s.

Hull Trains told RTM that once the AT300s come online, the four Class 180s will be going back to Angel Trains who the company currently leases them from.

In March, FirstGroup, which owns Hull Trains, announced that it had ordered 19 AT300 bi-mode trains from Hitachi to operate on the TransPennine Express franchise from December 2019. The Japanese rail manufacturer is also building a fleet of AT300s for Great Western Railway

Karen Boswell, MD of Hitachi Rail Europe, said: “Customers travelling on Hull Trains services between Yorkshire and London will enjoy a host of benefits from new Hitachi Inter City trains, which are modernising rail travel on routes across the UK.

“Using our innovative bi-mode power model, these trains can begin operation immediately on the UK rail network which means passengers won’t have to wait to enjoy the new benefits.

“This is the start of a long-term relationship between Hitachi and Hull Trains and, following our recent train and maintenance order from FirstGroup’s TransPennine Express franchise, another sign of our strong commitment to the Northern Powerhouse.”

Steve Montgomery, FirstGroup’s Rail Division managing director, added that Hull Trains is a great success story and its enduring high customer satisfaction scores “really demonstrate how open access rail services can deliver for passengers in certain markets”.

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Andrew Gwilt   02/11/2016 at 08:49

Class 802 AT300 I presume. So the Class 802 AT300 IEPs that Hull Trains are to order will replace the Class 180's and Class 180's could be heading to Crosscountry or South West Trains. Plus the Class 802's are also to be built for GWR. Greater Anglia (Abellio) could have the Class 180's to operate on London Liverpool Street-Lowestoft service but Abellio have order brand new Stadler Flirt EDMU Bi-Mode trains (which could be classed as Class 7xx).

Noam Bleicher   02/11/2016 at 09:07

What a shame for the people who have got used to the higher standards on this service. Given their refusal to fit the 9-car GW AT300s with a buffet, they're unlikely to fit them to the shorter HT units. A tea-trolley with cold food and warm beer it is then.

Sonning Cutting   02/11/2016 at 14:58

If you look at the GWR web-site I think you will see that they are to provide Pullman service on key business trains to and from Swansea and Plymouth, so good food will continue. As most off-peak travel is under an hour's journey at-seat trolley service is more popular than a Buffet where one may lose a seat! Witness the good service on SWT to Exeter and Weymouth.

Andrew Gwilt   02/11/2016 at 21:37

Grand Central could be getting more Class 180's to work on King's Cross-Bradford and possibly a new service such as King's Cross-Scarborough and King's Cross-Hartlepool (unless VTEC does introduce a new London-Scarborough service). Plus the Class 185's could be staying at Transpennine Express despite new trains are to replace the older rolling stocks and the Class 170's could be heading to Northern. Or cascade some of the Class 170's to Southern (which involves renumbering the Class 170's as Class 171's) and Class 170's could be cascaded to Crosscountry as well Class 180's and/or Class 185's that could also be transferred to Crosscountry or transfer the Class 170's to Abellio ScotRail. Greater Anglia could keep the Class 170's and few more Class 170's could be transferred to be used on Norwich-Sheringham and Great Yarmouth services and Norwich-Peterborough service (but Abellio have ordered new Stadler Flirt Bi-Mode (EDMU) trains for those routes and the other routes in East Anglia).

David   03/11/2016 at 07:58

Why would ScotRail be taking more Class 170s when they're getting rid of most of theirs already? And the Class 171 conversion isn't likely to happen again, it took far too long for the first four units to be completed

Andrew Gwilt   03/11/2016 at 09:01

Suppose that Scotrail doesn't need any more Class 170's as they already got enough DMU trains and more EMU trains being ordered and Scotrail are getting some Class 43 Mk3's that are heading to Scotland.

Ben   07/11/2016 at 08:56

Interesting that the image shows a vehicle with inboard bearing bogies. Anyone know when this upgrade is happening?

Roger Capel, Sheffield & Glossop   07/11/2016 at 11:53

As a regular Hulls Trains passenger & given that both GWR & TPE are getting a makeover, disappointing to see the mock-up in First Group Corporate livery. That metallic green, gold & white livery on the Class 222 Pioneers was one of the most eye catching on the post privatisation railway, while I'm sure that crew morale would improve if they were given back that bottle green uniform with the "Lazy F" in gold instead of trying to make them look like South Yorkshire bus crew.

Cllr Tom Munro   18/11/2016 at 14:35

Very interested to read about the new Hitachi AT300s for the Hull Trains fleet. Given the current intention not to complete electrification of the Midland Main line through to Sheffield would these same new Bi-mode units not be a good answer to that problem? Somewhat bemused that the current rolling stock which appears to have the capacity for electric driving never uses it!

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