Current and former station managers, who between them have spent nineteen years running Hull Paragon station, gave the train its name. It will travel around the North of England on the TPE network, bearing the name of the station, which first opened in 1848, the same year that London Waterloo station opened and WH Smith opened its first railway station bookstall at London Eust0n.
The naming of the train is part of a series of celebrations taking place at the Interchange. Others include a mural created by local artist Andy Pea at the station's Ferensway entrance, portraying Hull's history and culture across four walls and the ceiling.
Celebrations will also include activities on the concourse involving local community groups, banners and information boards to tell the story of Hull Paragon's 175 years. Local historian Jamie Topliss-Yates has led historical talks and tours of the Interchange, and Adelaide Primary School pupils visited the Interchange and took a train ride to Brough.
Earlier this year, TPE opened a safeguarding hub, involving several different agencies in working to make Hull Paragon Interchange safer, following a £100k investment by the train operator. Because of this, and the efforts of TPE workers across its network, British Transport Police (BTP) and the Department for Transport awarded the operator the Safeguarding on Rail Accreditation from. TPE workers have recognised and supported vulnerable people more than three hundred times in the last year.
In October, TPE released what it calls a “blueprint to make journeys better that included plans to focus on stabilising the operation to deliver better reliability and punctuality, re-engage with its customers, colleagues and stakeholders and transform its network through innovation and investment in better facilities.”
For Hull Paragon Interchange those plans include installation of new benches, trees and plants, and the refurbishment and expansion of the toilets. In partnership with Network Rail the historically significant platform one will be brought back into passenger use and the plans will also include facilitating new and exciting retail options for the Interchange.
Ben Courtney, Hull Paragon Station Manager for TPE, said: “I'm so proud that one of our trains has been renamed after the station. Hull is my home and the Interchange, in particular the station, is a crucial transport link for thousands.
“It's been an honour to be a part of the 175th anniversary celebrations and I'm excited to see the finished artwork that local artist Andy Pea has created. I am sure that it will leave a lasting impression on visitors and enhance the journeys of regular Interchange users.”
Chris Jackson added: “We're starting a new chapter at TransPennine Express, with plans now in place to deliver a more reliable, punctual and dependable service across the towns and cities we connect.
“In the coming years, TPE will be making significant changes to improve the business, ensure trains run on time, and to give customers the best possible journey experience in its stations and on its trains.”
Councillor Mark Ieronimo, portfolio holder for transportation, roads and highways at Hull City Council said: “Hull Paragon Station is a significant landmark in the city, as well as important piece of history so I'm delighted to see TransPennine Express choosing to honour it in its 175th anniversary year. We hope our residents will also enjoy the art installation on their next visit to the station.”
Chris Jackson, Managing Director at TPE, said: “We are thrilled to be able to celebrate the 175th anniversary of Hull Paragon Station and name one of our trains after the grand building that continues to be a vital hub for the city, serving 10 million train and bus passengers a year.
“The station has served millions of passengers throughout its storied history and we're proud that our newly named train will now serve passengers across the TPE network whilst carrying the Hull Paragon 175 name.”