Names would be just the ticket

Customers asked what to call new Hull trains

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Hull Trains is asking its passengers and members of the public to help name five new vehicles that will arrive in Hull later this year.

The trains are part of a £60 million investment in which the company’s entire fleet will be replaced.

They are currently being fitted out by Hitachi Rail in Italy, having been built in Japan, and will bring 20 per cent more passenger seats a train on the service from Hull to London.

The quest for public involvement in naming the trains extends a modern British tradition that nearly led to a polar research vessel being dubbed Boaty McBoatface – before ministers got squeamish – and did land a Doncaster snow plough with Gritsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Anti-Slip Machiney.

Louise Cheeseman, managing director at Hull Trains, said the new trains’ names should reflect the “significant investment” and celebrate Hull’s culture.

“We are one of the only rail companies in the UK which has named the company after the city we serve, so it seems only right we name our new trains after Hull and its famous faces and places,” she said.

‘Bit of fun’

“Rather than deciding the names of the trains ourselves, we want our customers to get involved and help us choose the best names for our trains.

“We need five names for our five new trains and we look forward to hearing people’s suggestions.

“Our customers may think the trains should be named after the city’s most famous sons and daughters, or perhaps named after landmarks in the city.

“Maybe our customers will suggest they are named after our sporting heroes or our well-known and much-loved Hull characters.

“We want people to have a bit of fun with this and come up with five different names to help put these new trains on the map.”

Hull Trains consulted the city’s MPs.

Diana Johnson, MP for Hull North, said she hopes one would be named after Amy Johnson, the first woman to fly solo from England to Australia in 1930. Johnson was born in Hull in 1903 and grew up in the city.

Headscarf Revolutionaries

Karl Turner, MP for Hull East, suggested “Big Lil” Bilocca, named after Lillian Bilocca, who campaigned for improved safety in the fishing industry. Following the triple trawler tragedy in 1968, when three Hull boats sank and 58 crew members died, cod skinner and fish filleter Bilocca – married to a fisherman – successfully persuaded the government to act.

Emma Hardy, MP for West Hull and Hessle, said she hopes one would be called Headscarf Revolutionaries to honour the group of four women that included Bilocca. The others were Christine Jensen, Mary Denness and Yvonne Blenkinsop. Together, they gathered a 10,000 strong petition that led to controls on undermanning of vessels, better safety checks, radio operators for all ships and improved medical facilities.

Hull Trains will name the five trains before they go into service later this year.

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