Hull Trains - Hull Trains History - B

Hull Trains - B
Hull Trains History
In 1999, there was only one through train per day each way between Hull and London King's Cross, GNER's Hull Executive. During May 1999, former British Rail managers Mike Jones and John Nelson lodged an application to operate an open-access service through their Renaissance Trains business. A joint venture was formed with the train operating company (TOC) GB Railways, which took an 80% shareholding, while Jones and Nelson each held a 10% stake in the new entity.
In December 1999, a four-year track-access agreement was granted to Hull Trains by the Office of Rail Regulation. According to rail industry periodical Rail Express, the application had been vigorously resisted by the incumbent train operators, such as West Anglia Great Northern. Furthermore, national infrastructure owner Railtrack had allegedly demonstrated a poor ability in identifying potential paths for the service. In Hull Trains' favour was the support of several prominent figures, including members of parliament, who were keen to support an initiative that would provide Hull with improved transportation.
On 25 September 2000, Hull Trains officially launched its operations with its first service departing King's Cross station. Early passenger numbers were encouraging. However, an early blow to the company came in the form of widespread disruption resulting from the Hatfield rail crash; months of speed limitations and temporary line closures heavily impacted services, albeit softened somewhat by compensation payments for lost income issued by Railtrack.
In its first year of operation, Hull Trains reportedly carried roughly 80,000 passengers. During September 2002, Hull Trains' track-access agreement was extended by ten years.
In August 2003, through the purchase of GB Railways by the British transport conglomerate FirstGroup in exchange for £22 million, the latter business took possession of their majority shareholding in Hull Trains. During 2005, Hull Trains celebrated carrying its one-millionth passenger.
In June 2008, Hull Trains was rebranded as First Hull Trains, as well as adopting FirstGroup's corporate blue, pink and white colours as its livery. During January 2009, the firm's access rights were extended until December 2014, and in February 2010, these rights were further extended until December 2016. That same year, its services comprised 1.25 million seats annually.
In August 2014, FirstGroup purchased the remaining 20% shareholding in the business. In January 2015, the track access agreement was extended until December 2019. That same year, the firm also resumed trading as Hull Trains. During March 2016, First Hull Trains obtained approval for a further 10-year open-access agreement until 2029, allowing it to proceed with ordering five Class 802 electro-diesel multiple-unit trains which had been announced by the operator on 3 September 2015.
In 2017, Hull Trains was named the Best UK Train Operator, having scored a 97% satisfaction rate for its services, according to the National Rail Passenger Survey.
At late March 2020, Hull Trains temporarily suspended all services due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Throughout the pandemic, there was concern that the company would be unable to survive without help from the government. However, Hull Trains was able to resume services on 21 August 2020. In October 2020, a three-year extension on Hull Trains' access rights was granted.
Following the implementation of a second lockdown directed by the British government, Hull Trains announced on 2 November 2020 that it would once again be temporarily suspending all services from 5 November 2020. After the second lockdown ended, Hull Trains resumed service on 3 December 2020 with a limited timetable. Following a third lockdown's implementation, Hull Trains announced on 5 January 2021 that it would be once again temporarily suspending all services from 9 January 2021. Regular services were resumed on 12 April 2021.
In August 2021 the track access agreement was extended until December 2032.
Hull Trains Overview
Hull Trains Franchise(s): Open access operator
Not subject to franchising
25 September 2000 – December 2032
Hull Trains Main Region(s): Hull and Selby Railway
East Coast Main Line
Hull Trains Fleet size: 5 Class 802 Paragons
Hull Trains Parent Company: FirstGroup
Hull Trains Reporting Mark: HT
Hull Trains Beverley & Hull to London Map
  • Beverley
  • Cottingham
  • Hull Paragon
  • Brough
  • Howden
  • Selby
  • Doncaster
  • Retford
  • Grantham
  • Stevenage
  • London King's Cross - London Underground
Most trains run fast between Grantham
and London King's Cross
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