Hull Trains announces restart date but also redundancies

Hull Trains
Hull Trains Hitachi bi-mode set No. 802304 arrives into Hull Paragon station from London King’s Cross on February 3, 2020, just weeks before the first lockdown was announced.
Hull Trains Hitachi bi-mode set No. 802304 arrives into Hull Paragon station from London King’s Cross on February 3, 2020, just weeks before the first lockdown was announced. Photo: Chris Milner

After suspending operations during the third national lockdown, open access operator Hull Trains has said it will restart a limited timetable from April 12, but added it was having to make just over a quarter of its workforce (26%) redundant.

The company suspended services for the third time from January 9, and April’s restart, based around the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown, will mean customer demand will be monitored carefully as the business builds back up with a reduced service.

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Managing director Louise Cheeseman said: “We are returning with a reduced timetable at this stage while we monitor customer demand and steadily build the business back up. Now we have a roadmap out of lockdown, I’m really confident that more people will start to travel by rail again. 

“It’s been a very challenging time for the industry and as an open access operator we have had to hibernate the business three times. This has impacted on our workforce and sadly, it was necessary to make 26% of colleagues redundant. 

“We have had to make other challenging cost saving decisions to protect the long-term future of the busines and safeguard as many roles as possible.

“The focus of the last twelve months has been on making sure we have a strong foundation to return given that we will play a role in stabilizing the region’s economy after the pandemic.

“I’m excited and hopeful about our return and want to thank our stakeholders and customers for their ongoing support. As soon as tickets are on sale for travel, we will be announcing this on our website.”

During the lockdown, a number of Hull Trains Class 802 bi-mode trains have been seen on the East Coast Main Line.

Some have been part used as part of the warm storage process, but a set has been used in preparation for driver train in connection with First Group’s Edinburgh-London open access operation scheduled to commence this autumn.

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