Hull Trains is giving its passengers the exciting opportunity to name its brand-new trains.
The new trains form part of a major £60m investment which will see the company’s entire current fleet replaced with brand new hi-tech Hitachi trains.
These state-of-the-art trains will be amongst the fastest, most modern and luxurious trains on the UK network – and are on schedule to arrive in Hull later this year.
Currently being produced by Hitachi Rail in Pistoia, Italy, having been built in Japan, these trains will transform rail travel from Hull and East Yorkshire to the capital.
There will be no mistaking these five new trains. Hitachi has used its Japanese bullet train technology to make the trains light and aerodynamic. They will stand out due to their innovative design – but they each need a striking name too.
Their names should reflect the significant investment and celebrate Hull’s culture. The names should celebrate everything that is good about Hull.
Louise Cheeseman, Managing Director at Hull Trains said: “We are one of the only rail companies in the UK which has named the company after the city we serve, so it seems only right we name our new trains after Hull and its famous faces and places.
“Rather than deciding the names of the trains ourselves, we want our customers to get involved and help us choose the best names for our trains.
“We need five names for our five new trains and we look forward to hearing people’s suggestions.
“Our customers may think the trains should be named after the city’s most famous sons and daughters, or perhaps named after landmarks in the city.
“Maybe our customers will suggest they are named after our sporting heroes or our well-known and much-loved Hull characters.
“We want people to have a bit of fun with this and come up with five different names to help put these new trains on the map.”
Hull Trains have already consulted with the city’s MPs who have backed the idea to allow the public to name its new trains.
Diana Johnson, MP for Hull North would like to see one of the trains called Amy Johnson – the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia in 1930.
Karl Turner, MP for Hull East would like ‘Big Lil’ Bilocca – named after Lillian Bilocca – a campaigner for improved safety in the fishing industry. Emma Hardy, MP for West Hull and Hessle would love to see one of the trains called ‘Headscarf Revolutionaries’ – to honour the group of women whose fight changed the fishing industry in the 1960s.
On schedule to arrive later this year
The building of the trains began in Japan in May 2018. By October last year the first of the five trains was ready to be shipped to Italy, and now, all five trains are in Europe together.
The first completed train is due to arrive in the UK on August 29 this year after being rail hauled across from Italy.
Passengers could catch a glimpse of the train on the East Coast Main Line from as early as September as Hitachi carry out test runs, known as the “rattle run.”
The trains will then be rolled into the timetable one by one from November, and by December 31, all five trains will have replaced the old fleet.
In the meantime, as production continues in Italy, Hull Trains is dedicated to providing a reliable service. It has secured two additional high-speed trains (HSTs) which are already making a significant difference to reliability.
• Hull Trains operates seven trains a day between Hull and London each weekday and five on a weekend
• Formed in 2000, the company was one of the UK’s first non-franchised operators delivering services that were not of interest to the franchised operators
• Although the company offers a public service it does not receive any money from the ‘public purse’ – the company operates on a wholly commercial basis and does not receive subsidy or incentives from the Government
• Despite this, Hull Trains offers some of the best value fares between Hull and London
• Increased usage from Hull and the creation of new markets in Brough, Howden and Selby (and the surrounding areas) are the main reasons for Hull Trains’ year on year growth and popularity
• Today the organisation carries around a million passengers each year
• 120 people work for the company, mostly living in Hull and the East Riding of Yorkshire
• Aside from the economic benefits derived from carrying business and leisure travellers to and from London, the company is estimated to be worth around £200m to the Hull economy each year (salary and supply chain multiplier effect)
• In 2016, Hull Trains was named the UK’s best train operator and has always scored very highly in the National Passenger Survey since 2000 – regularly ranked in the UK’s top three train operating companies
• In 2019, Hull Trains will invest £60m in new trains which will see the company operating some of the most technologically advanced, fastest and most comfortable trains in the UK.