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Plans to electrify train lines between Hull and London King’s Cross by Christmas

United Kingdom – WEBWIRE
Will Dunnett, MD of First Hull Trains
Will Dunnett, MD of First Hull Trains

“Electrification of the Hull to Selby line would improve journey times to London as well as to other northern cities on the cross Pennine route"

A project valued at almost £100m, driven by First Hull Trains, has been submitted to the Department for Transport (DFT) and Network Rail for consideration.

Hull was not included in the government’s £9bn plans announced in 2012 to improve the rail network including the electrification of 850 miles of track between next year and 2019.

Electrification of lines between Hull, Leeds and York were not among the plans, with the upgrade stopping at Selby.

Will Dunnett, managing director of First Hull Trains, said: “We’re playing our part in making this important investment happen.

“We’ve brought a range of organisations together who share a common interest in delivering electrification for Hull along with all of the socio-economic benefits that it will deliver.

“We will continue to drive this forward over the coming weeks and months in the hope that we can make our collective vision a reality.

“Our aim has been to get the right partners sat around the table and we have been very encouraged by the enthusiasm shown by everyone concerned.

“We have enjoyed some very fruitful meetings with organisations such as the DFT and other key partners who have enthusiastically embraced our proposal.”

First Hull Trains revealed the ambitious plans last year and is leading the privately funded scheme to ensure the city is not left behind in the race for faster and more efficient rail services.

It has brought a number of partners together to tackle financing, construction, industry regulatory matters and maintenance.

Network Rail, Amey, Humber LEP, Hull City Council, East Riding Council, DFT, HM Treasury, Cabinet Office and financial institutions have all been part of the proposals.

The plans are estimated to be a £94m investment to install 70 miles of electrified Overhead Line Equipment (OHLE) to cover tracks both ways from Hull to Temple Hirst Junction, five miles to the west of Selby.

They also include the procurement of new electric trains.

In addition, more than 100 jobs will be secured in Hull with the potential of creating more in the future.

First Hull Trains is hoping the procurement process for electric trains could begin in the coming weeks with a formal announcement on the proposals by Christmas.

Lord Haskins, chairman of the Humber LEP, welcomed the news.

“It’s a priority to improve rail infrastructure for the region to help realise the potential of the Energy Estuary and attract inward investment,” he said.

“We are working closely with First Hull Trains and Hull City Council to gain support and funding for the electrification of the Hull to Selby line and we welcome the submission of the business case.

“Electrification of the Hull to Selby line would improve journey times to London as well as to other northern cities on the cross Pennine route and is essential for the region to flourish.”

The benefits of electrifying the lines include reliable services with the potential of faster journey times for First Hull Trains’ and other operators’ customers, greater certainty for First Hull Trains and sustainable improvements for other passenger and freight operating companies.

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