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First Hull Trains
Alstom Class 180 Adelante 180113 A A KGX.JPG
Franchise(s): Open-access operator
Not subject to franchising
2002 – 2016
Main route(s): London - Hull
Other route(s): None
Fleet size: 5 Class 180 Adelante sets[1]
Stations called at: 9
National Rail abbreviation: HT
Parent company: First Group / Renaissance Trains
Web site:
First Hull Trains route map
Unknown route-map component "KBFa"
Hull Paragon
Stop on track
Stop on track
Stop on track
Station on track
Stop on track
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Straight track
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Stevenage ^
Interchange end
London Kings Cross Underground no-text.svg

^ Pick up northbound,
set down southbound;
selected weekday services only

Hull Trains logo (2002-2008)

First Hull Trains is a train operating company in the United Kingdom, running up to seven long distance services each day between London King's Cross and Hull. The company also serves the towns of Stevenage, Grantham, Retford, Doncaster, Selby, Howden and Brough. It is jointly owned by First Group (80%) following the buyout of its previous parent company GB Railways, and Renaissance Trains (20%).[2]

First Hull Trains is one of the three ‘open access’ rail operators in the UK meaning that instead of owning a franchise and operating a level of service laid down by the Strategic Rail Authority, it applied for, and was awarded in 2002, access rights for 10 years by the Office of the Rail Regulator.[3] This was extended to December 2014 in January 2009,[4] and in March 2009 was further extended to 2016.[5]


Service Levels

In 2001 when First Hull Trains first began to operate they ran 3 return services a day using Class 170 Turbostars. With the Introduction of the Class 222 Pioneers the service levels had increased to 6 return services a day by 2006. By 2008 this number had increased to 7 return services a day using faster and better equipped Class 222 Pioneers. In 2009 Hull Trains is campaigning to increase this number yet further to 8 services a day to provide a regular 2 hourly pattern, using Class 180 Adelantes


The latest performance figures for First Hull Trains to be released by the ORR as of the fourth quarter of the financial year 2008/9 are 82.2% PPM and 85.8% MAA.[6] These figures are slightly down on those of last quarter and the last 12 months respectively.

2008 rebranding

In June 2008 Hull Trains was rebranded from Hull Trains to First Hull Trains. This is to a move by First Group to bring Hull Trains in line with its other rail companies. Staff will be given First Group uniforms and trains will gain First Group colours later in the year.[7]

Possible future expansion

In 2008, First Hull Trains revealed that they were applying for track access rights to run services between Harrogate and London via York called First Harrogate Trains,[8] and from Cleethorpes to London via Lincoln and Spalding.[9]

In January 2009, the ORR released some proposed decisions on the ECML route planning and TOCS. The application for First Harrogate Trains on the plan is to rejected, however it still could be a company, as these decisions are not final. The final decision will be announced in late February 2009.[10]

First Hull Trains hope to soon achieve a regular two hourly service from Hull to Kings Cross. This would provide benefits to commuters and pleasure travellers alike with the added benefits of earlier and later arrivals and departures from both London and Hull.[11]

Rolling stock

Geographical representation of the Hull Trains route
Bombardier Class 222 Pioneer No. 222102 at London Kings Cross.

First Hull Trains currently operate five Class 180 Adelante diesel multiple units. Previously the service was operated by a fleet of 100mph Class 170 Turbostar sets and class 222/1 Pioneer sets. Each was named after a 'modern-day pioneer' related to Hull. The Class 180s were obtained after they were withdrawn by First Great Western to provide cover and bolster the fleet following the Crofton Works incident.

The East Coast Main Line Route Utilisation Strategy (RUS) indicated that Hull Trains would seek to replace their entire fleet of 222s with Class 180s by the end of the year.[12] However, in the track access application dated 19 March 2008, Hull Trains indicated they would continue to use the Class 222s on the main services between London and Hull. The operator's planned additional services to Harrogate and Lincoln/Grimsby would utilise the Class 180s.[9]


Class 180 'Adelantes'

First Hull Trains have confirmed they will use only Class 180 'Adelante' units, and their Class 222 'Pioneer' units have transferred to East Midlands Trains, to help out with their stock shortages.[13]

The first of the refurbished Adelantes for First Hull Trains, is now in service on the route and is 180113.[14] 180113 has only currently undergone an extensive refurbishment, installing plug sockets to first class, installing a new coffee machine and recovering the seats and deep cleaning the carpet. Included in the full refurbishment will be many things that currently, the Adelantes are lacking, on First Great Western and Northern Rail. The refurbishment of First Hull Trains Adelantes include:

  • WiFi Internet
  • Installing power sockets at every seat
  • Installing new coffee machines
  • Installing some new seating
  • Repainting of the trains into a new variant of 'neon' First livery [15]

When this is completed, the trains will have more seats and features than the previous Class 222s.[16] All of the Class 222 units (222101 -222104) have now gone to East Midlands Trains

Current fleet

 Class  Image  Type   Top speed   Number   Routes operated   Built 
 mph   km/h 
Class 180 Adelante Alstom Class 180 Adelante 180113 A A KGX.JPG diesel multiple unit 125 200 4 London King's Cross - Hull 2001

Past fleet

 Class   Image   Type   Built   Number   Withdrawn   Notes 
Class 170 Turbostar Hull Trains 170.jpg diesel multiple unit 1998 - 1999 3 2004 Replaced by Class 222 Pioneer
Class 222 Pioneer 222104 at Kings Cross 3.jpg diesel multiple unit 2004 4 2009 Replaced by Class 180 Adelante
Class 86 86101 Hull Trains 1.jpg Electric locomotive 1966 1 2008
Mark 3 Coach Mk3 Hull Trains 3.jpg Passenger Coach 1975 - 1978 5 2008
82115 DVT Hull Trains 2.jpg Driving Van Trailer 1988 1 2008


External links


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