Comms and public affairs duo to take open access rail to greater heights

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FirstGroup’s Open Access rail operators Lumo and Hull Trains have appointed Lucy Harper and Richard Salkeld into new senior communications roles.

Lucy Harper joins the alliance of Lumo and Hull Trains as head of public affairs from ticket retailer Trainline. Richard Salkeld joins as head of communications and partnerships, having previously worked at train operators LNER and GWR and as a journalist at ITV Tyne Tees.

Harper and Salkeld will be based between Newcastle and Hull where their combined skills and expertise will enable Lumo and Hull Trains to further enhance relationships with the communities and customers served by the two companies.

Martijn Gilbert, managing director of Lumo and Hull Trains, said: “We are really pleased to welcome Lucy and Richard to the team. As our companies continue to grow, we are proud to be creating further jobs to help celebrate and build on the great work our teams are already delivering across our networks. At Hull Trains and Lumo we are committed to supporting our communities and improving services for our customers, so we are thrilled to have Lucy and Richard join us on our journey.”

Lucy said: “It’s a really exciting time to be joining an Open Access rail operator to demonstrate the best of the private sector in rail and build on its success.”

Richard added: “As a passionate advocate of the north of England it’s an exciting time to be helping to tell the many stories of how Lumo and Hull Trains services are helping transform rail, boost local economies and help people enjoy more sustainable travel.”

Throughout the week (12-16 February) Lumo has been celebrating National Stottie Cake Week by selling Stotties onboard specific services between Newcastle, Edinburgh and London King’s Cross. Lumo is working in partnership with the social enterprise business Big River Bakery from Newcastle to bring a taste of Tyneside to its customers. The operator also recently announced plans to increase services between Newcastle and London from December 2024.

Earlier this month Hull Trains launched a report into the economic benefits that its services have brought to the region. Since its launch in 2000, Hull Trains is estimated to have delivered up to £380m of monetised benefits. With forecasts for the next ten years, those figures are estimated to grow to a total economic benefits delivery of £325 million – £700 million, from launch through to 2032 in line with the operator’s current track access agreement.

Image credit: FirstGroup

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