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By Romana Roske on 9.12.2023

Local Olympian to name fastest trains in Kent

From December 2009 on 395 Hitachi class trains will be operating on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) having a top speed of 140mph.

As the fastest domestic trains in Britain, current journey times into London from Kent will be slashed by as much as half. For many students who have to pass through London to get home the new train is going to be a great timesaving factor.

Furthermore, the high-speed domestic trains between Kent and London will give the Garden of England a huge financial boost, according to a study released by the Engineering group Atkins. The overall benefit of opening up the high-speed railway to domestic services could reach £63 billion nationally. Tourism and foreign investment are also expected to cause further economic gains.

High Speed 1 (the new name for the Channel Tunnel Rail Link) is the first major new railway to be built in the UK in over a century, providing a 68-mile high-speed link between St Pancras in London and the Channel Tunnel in Kent.

A journey on the Class 395 from Ashford International to London St Pancras will take 37 minutes, down from one hour and 20 minutes and a trip from Folkestone will take 61 minutes rather than the usual 98 minutes.

The trains are also going to provide a quicker link from the channel to London and will put in place ready for the Olympics.

A new timetable that is going to be launched in 2009 will bring more choice for many passengers travelling between London, Kent and East Sussex and also give more opportunities for easier connections to mainline services to the north of England and to Scotland.

According to Dr Stephen Ladyman, transport minister and MP for Thanet South, the high-speed service is set to transport passengers from St Pancras to the site for the 2012 Olympics in less than seven minutes. He added: “This is great news for passengers.”

Investment in trains such as these will raise the quality of journeys for passengers.

Javelin thrower Steve Backley from Sidcup is going to team up with a rail firm in order to name the new 140mph high-speed trains after British sporting greats.

The Olympian said: “I couldn’t help but be awestruck by the cutting-edge technology.

“When you think these trains can travel at twice the speed of an Olympic winning javelin throw, then it’s easy to see how this is a huge leap forward for everyone who travels by train in the South East.”

Southeastern is asking for help from the public to name the first 12 trains after British sporting legends on its website.
The first one has been named already after Dame Kelly Holmes, from Hildenborough.

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