Hull Trains Paragon Fleet

UK: East Yorkshire to London open access operator Hull Trains is to temporarily suspend all services from 00.01 on January 9, following the government’s announcement of a third coronavirus lockdown in England.

As an open access operator, FirstGroup subsidiary Hull Trains is not eligible for the financial support which the government has provided to its franchised operators. It also suspended services in March and November when pandemic restrictions called for people to stay at home and stop all non-essential travel. A reduced timetable has been operated at other times.

‘We are again in a position where it is the right decision for the business to temporarily suspend all our direct rail services’, said Managing Director Louise Cheeseman on January 5. ‘The travel restrictions impact our income from ticket sales significantly, so hibernating allows us to protect the business for longer so we can return as a sustainable rail operator once restrictions ease.’

The majority of staff will be furloughed.

‘At this time, we don’t have a planned return date, but we will be reviewing the situation as it evolves’, said Cheeseman.