Train company to emerge from its third ‘hibernation’ following job losses

Hull Trains, which again temporarily suspended all its services from the beginning of 9 January 2021, intends to resume operations next month.

The rail operator, which says it has been forced to cut 26% of its workforce to stay afloat, has hibernated its business three times, following the reintroduction of national restrictions calling for people to stay at home and stop non-essential travel.

Louise Cheeseman, managing director of Hull Trains, has drawn up a strategy to build the business back up as it plans to resume services on 12 April 2021.

The team is preparing to welcome passengers back onboard its Paragon trains as they prepare to relaunch a limited timetable.

Cheeseman said: “We are really pleased to be able to announce a return date and we’re looking forward to welcoming passengers safely on board from April.

“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 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 business and safeguard as many roles as possible.

“The focus of the last 12 months has been on making sure we have a strong foundation to return given that we will play a role in stabilising 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.”