A NEW LONDON TO SHEFFIELD RAIL SERVICE

FirstGroup has submitted the first phase of an application for a new open access rail service between London and Sheffield to the Office of Rail and Road (ORR). The plans involve expanding its open access rail operations as part of its award-winning Hull Trains business, building on the successful existing long-distance service between Hull and London. 

Hull Trains has increased seat capacity and grown the number of direct services over the years improving connectivity to destinations along the route and providing a choice for customers travelling to and from East Yorkshire & the Humber. The latest ORR figures published in December 2023 show more people are now travelling with Hull Trains than they did pre-pandemic, also reporting the strongest recovery in UK journey levels in the sector.

Our Proposal

Hull Trains proposal Sheffield to London Kings Cross route

What is the Benefit?

The new proposed route will give Sheffield the first regular service from London King’s Cross since 1968 and will also give Worksop in Nottinghamshire the first regular direct London trains in decades.

An estimated 350,000 people in the Worksop and Woodhouse catchment areas will have direct rail access to London because of these proposals.

Train type, branding and fleet name are for illustrative purposes only at this early stage of our application.

Hull Trains proposed route from Sheffield to London Kings Cross

The Proposed Route

The new proposals comprise of two return journeys a day from London King’s Cross. Services would call at Retford, Worksop, Woodhouse and Sheffield and it aims to provide a faster link between London and Sheffield than alternative services. 

This proposal will give Sheffield the first regular service from London King’s Cross since 1968 and will also give Worksop in Nottinghamshire the first regular direct London trains in decades.

When Could it be Approved?


A consultation period will now follow, along with a discussion with Network Rail to secure the required approvals. Options for trains to be used on the route will also be worked up with rolling stock leasing companies. It is anticipated that services could begin in the second half of 2025.

Direct Routes to London


Our proposal will give Sheffield the first regular service from London King’s Cross since 1968 and Worksop the first regular direct London trains in decades. An estimated 350,000 people in the Worksop and Woodhouse catchment areas will have direct rail access to London because of these proposals. 
 
We want to leverage our extensive experience of running open access services and repeat the success of Hull Trains through this new route that connects London and Sheffield. 
We have seen the level of growth and opportunity that is possible with open access, as well as the positive effect it can have on the wider market, economy and environment. The new service will help to drive modal shift from road to rail by offering customers a more sustainable travel option between the two cities. We will be working closely with stakeholders as we build our application for this new offering.

Sustainability 


Almost three quarters of trips between London and Sheffield are currently made by car, with a further 9% of trips made by coach. A competitively priced new rail offering will help stimulate a shift in transport mode of choice from road to rail. A sizeable number of rail users in these areas currently drive to Doncaster station to pick up faster services to London rather than travelling via Sheffield. A convenient rail offering from local stations will also help to reduce the number of these car journeys.

Open Access Operations


Unlike most rail services, which are provided under contract to government, open access operators retain all revenue and cost risk and opportunity. FirstGroup is the leading open access operator in the country, with more open access rail businesses than any other.

Please check back here for more information as our application progresses.
 

Letters of Support

 
If you would like to write a letter in support of our application to operate this service then please address it to Hull Trains Company Limited, Ground Floor, South Wing, Cherry Tree Court, 36 Ferensway, Hull HU2 8NH and email it to hailey.giblin@hulltrains.co.uk

This could be to tell us how the new train service would benefit you, your organistation, the wider community or a specific purpose or project you are involved with.

We will send all letters of support with the next stage of our application to the industry regulator, so it would be helpful to have received these by the end of February.
 
Train type, branding and fleet name are for illustrative purposes only at this early stage of our application.
 
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