The addition of two trains to its fleet, giving greater resilience, has contributed towards an improvement in customer satisfaction for Hull Trains according to latest figures released in an independent national census.
The National Rail Passenger Survey (NRPS), which is completed twice a year by customers for all train operating companies, has given Hull Trains an overall satisfaction rating of 90% for the Spring 2019 period – a 3% increase on the overall Long Distance score and a 3% increase against Spring 2018. This result means that Hull Trains ranks at the top of the East Coast Main Line for satisfaction.
Notable service scores include 91% satisfaction in the provision of information during the journey, a 93% satisfaction rating in the helpfulness and attitude of staff on the train (a 2% increase compared to Spring 2018), while maintaining scores above 90% for cleanliness inside the train and improving figures for punctuality and reliability (an increase of 2% compared to Spring 2018).
Although Hull Trains does not own or operate any station facilities, scores for the company’s management of these dropped when customers considered overall station environments. Hull Trains does not look after any of the stations which it serves, however, the team gives an unequivocal commitment to continue to work with the relevant station facility owners to influence positive change and to drive continued improvements for all rail users wherever possible.
Since the beginning of the year, Hull Trains has introduced two High Speed Trains (HSTs) to its fleet, thanks to a collaboration with its parent company FirstGroup and sister train operating company, Great Western Railway (GWR). As a consequence, operational performance and reliability/punctuality has improved markedly with customers flocking back to the company and demand reaching record levels. Later this year, Hull Trains will introduce five new 802 Hitachi trains to its fleet, bringing the business into a brand-new and exciting era.
Louise Cheeseman, Managing Director for Hull Trains, said: “The latest NRPS scores reflect the fact that our customers really value our services and that brand loyalty remains strong.
“The support from FirstGroup for our team, bringing in the two additional trains into our fleet, has really paid off. It has made such a huge difference to our customers. However, we are not complacent. Our focus, until our fantastic new trains arrive later this year, is to continue improving punctuality and reliability. Due to the age and operational challenges with our fleet, there may be disruption from time to time, but we are doing all that we can to keep this to an absolute minimum.
“Finally, I would like to pay tribute to our hard-working back office team and our people who work directly with customers on the front line, day in, day out. Feedback about our staff is always very positive and I am so proud to lead such a passionate and caring group who only ever have our customers’ wants, needs, expectations and best interests at heart.”
Hull Trains’ new fleet of 802 bi-mode trains will be delivered in the autumn, entering service from November 2019. They promise to be some of the most modern and technologically advanced trains on the UK rail network.
[Dan Clark – Mercury Group]