Hull Trains commenced operations with three-carriage Class 170 Turbostars hired from sister GB Railways company Anglia Railways. There was at least one occasion of an Anglia Railways Class 86 and Mark 2 set operating as far as Doncaster.
With the Strategic Rail Authority changing its policy on allowing TOC assets to be hired out, Hull Trains needed to acquire its own fleet. It ordered four three-carriage Class 170 Turbostars the first entering service in March 2004. These were only intended as an interim solution as four four-carriage Class 222 Pioneers were ordered at the same time, but because the former were part of a speculative order already placed by Porterbrook they would be available in time.
Hull Trains Class 170 Turbostars entered service in April 2004. It was planned that after being replaced, they would then be used on new services, but this didn't eventuate so they were transferred to First ScotRail. The Class 222 Pioneers entered service from May 2005.
In January 2007 a Class 222 Pioneer was damaged when it was dropped off a maintenance jack and would ultimately take two years to repair. After making do with only three trains, in early 2008 a Class 86 was hired from the AC Locomotive Group to haul a set of Mark 3s hired from Cargo-D on weekend King's Cross to Doncaster services.
In April 2008 two Class 180 Adelantes were leased to replace the locomotive hauled set and allow a maintenance backlog that accrued on the Class 222 Pioneers to be cleared. Later in 2008 another two were leased to release the Class 222 Pioneers for transfer to East Midland Trains in 2009.
These trains helped First Hull Trains gain more capacity by an extra carriage, however when the units first arrived, they were plagued by technical difficulties, and a string of poor reliability for the company soon followed. However, First Hull Trains employed technicians who had previously worked on the units for First Great Western, and reliability improved dramatically.
The units have also been given a refresh internally with new seat covers and a deep clean. New catering facilities for first class have also been provided, and externally the units have been repainted in First Group's neon blue livery.
In the Class 180s, Coach A is the quiet coach where mobile phones and personal music devices are not allowed, Coach B is standard class including the buffet/shop, Coach C is standard seating, Coach D is first class, and Coach E contains airline-style seating and wheelchair accommodation.
Read more about this topic: First Hull Trains
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