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High speed services to Kent so successful they are expanded

High speed services to Kent so successful they are expanded

New high speed preview services between Kent and London have been so popular Southeastern is putting on more services from and to new destinations in the county.

The new services starting on Monday 7 September are to Ramsgate, Canterbury West, Dover Priory, Folkestone Central and West.

Southeastern launched the first of the new 140 mph preview services using the High Speed One route on 29 June with three services a day between Ashford International and St Pancras International, three evening return services and 12 services a day to and from Ebbsfleet International.

Some of the trains from Ashford have been so popular Southeastern had to strengthen the Class 395 trains to 12 car units instead of six.

One woman passenger was heard to remark: “This has changed my life. I live in Ashford and work at St Pancras and this has saved me so much time in a day.”


Charles Horton, managing director, Southeastern, said: “We always hoped we could expand the preview service and thanks to the success of the first weeks we are now in a position to do this.

“We want as many people as possible to be able to experience the service before the full timetable is introduced in December.”

There will be two morning peak services from Ramsgate via Canterbury West and two peak services from Dover Priory via Folkestone Central and Folkestone West, returning in the evening peak.

The new services will radically improve journey times, for example saving 49 minutes on the average commute from Ramsgate and 47 minutes from Dover.

The final Hitachi built Class 395 train to complete the fleet of 29 trains is due to arrive at Southampton on Monday 17 August.