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Hull Trains: I finally get to give them a go

04 June 2013

Hull Trains are a small operation running, as you might guess from the name, direct services to and from Hull and London. They are not a government train franchise but were set up, back in 2000, with private money to fill what their promoters saw as a gap in the market. I have never been on one of their services before but, last Friday, came back from Doncaster to London on the 1325 train.

These services score well in our rail National Passenger Survey. In the autumn 2012 survey, of the 570 passengers who filled in one of our questionnaires 95 per cent were satisfied overall – a pretty good score. I know many passengers are very loyal to the service.

So what was it like? Good first impression. Staff member got out and stood by door welcoming and helping passengers. There was a very good natured and friendly ticket check. The coach at the front of the train had plenty of unoccupied seats and there was nice, spacious feeling to train. Announcements boomed slightly. Toilets were clean. And, most importantly, bang on time.

As a consumer organisation we are in favour of competition as the best protection for passengers. It seems Hull Trains are providing some competition on routes to and from Yorkshire. However, does the quality and choice justify using up precious space on the crowded routes up and down the east coast? Time will tell.

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