The Golden Spanners is an event at which the rolling stock sector meets to celebrate improvements in train maintenance practices and reliability.
Organised by trade publication Modern Railways, the event recognises the best in rolling stock maintenance and practices, paying tribute to those companies making the greatest strides in train reliability on behalf of passengers.
Three categories of trophy are awarded: Gold for best in class, Silver for most improved over the last year, and Bronze for the lowest impact on the customer of failures.
Hull Trains was awarded a Gold – the highest accolade possible – in the 2nd Generation new inter-city train fleet category. The local, open-access operator was awarded the same accolade in 2022.
Figures are calculated using the measure of Miles per Technical Incident (MTIN) on a Moving Annual Average basis, with a TIN being recorded where a train is stopped for three minutes or more due to a fleet issue. Train types are broken down into categories based on age and type.
Martijn Gilbert, Managing Director of Hull Trains, said: “Our £60m investment in a state of the art bi-mode Hitachi train fleet continues to go from strength to strength in delivering improvements for our customers, as well as the environment . Hull Trains has consistently delivered for our customers. Prior to last year’s success at the Golden Spanners, we had not been recognised since 2016. So, to win a Gold Award two years running is testament to the great work of our fleet team colleagues and our train manufacture and maintenance partner, Hitachi, which enables us to deliver the dependable service that people have come to expect from Hull Trains.
“The strong performance of our train fleet is also a key ingredient in the recent news that we are currently England’s most reliable train operator.”
The aim of the awards is to encourage the spread of best practice within train maintenance and the Golden Spanners awards are known to have made a valuable contribution to this aim.
Jim Brewin, Chief Director UK & Ireland at Hitachi Rail, said: “We share these awards and success with our customers because their day-to-day collaboration is essential to ensuring that we break new records in reliability together.
“A huge congratulations to our maintenance teams, whose ‘always improve’ mindset puts them at the forefront of our digital maintenance transformation, which is setting the industry benchmark in reliability. Our digital solutions are part of Hitachi Rail’s wider investment in the UK which is delivering over £640 million benefit to the British economy in 2023.”
The Paragon fleet of trains operate on bi-mode technology meaning they can be run on both electric and diesel where overhead electrical wires are available on the route, enabling Hull Trains to reduce emissions and noise pollution. Travelling with the operator can save over 90% in CO2 compared to driving similar journeys by car. Find out how much CO2 you can save here.