"Javelin Trains" hit British railway
Southeastern has announced that the first passengers have travelled on its brand new, high speed "Javelin Trains". A special preview trip has whisked travellers from London to Kent at speeds of up to 140mph.
The trains are based on technology developed by Hitachi and used in Japan's Bullet Trains. They've got 338 seats and can carry up to 508 people, and they'll be used to ferry people from St Pancras to the Olympics site in 2012 - a journey of just 7 minutes.
Fares are slightly higher - £26.60 from Ashford to London instead of the normal £22.20, but given that the journey time is being reduced from 80 minutes to 37, £4.40 doesn't seem like too high a price.
There'll be three morning services from Ashford to St Pancras, and three return services in the evening. Six of the same will be offered between St Pancras and Ebbsfleet. A full schedule will be launched in December, offering 200 services per day.
Transport Secretary Lord Adonis said the high-speed trains were the "future of the railways". There are currently no disclosed plans to extend the service outside of London and Kent.