South East Javelin high-speed trains set for £27million upgrade

Eversholt Rail, Southeastern and Hitachi Rail have signed an agreement to upgrade Class 395 Javelin trains.

The Javelins, operated by Southeastern, are used on high-speed services between London St Pancras and Kent using the HS1 line. The £27million upgrade program will ensure the continuity of the UK’s only true high-speed passenger fleet.

The initial phase of the project will last seven months and will include design, engineering and procurement, with the upgrade of the first of 29 trains starting in March 2023 at Southeastern’s Ashford Depot in Kent.

The upgrades will include a complete interior refresh, including new carpets and seats, with new seating arrangements offered to help those with reduced mobility. Interior upgrades also include LED lighting and USB charging, plus live in-car passenger information systems.

“We are proud to operate the fastest domestic passenger services in the UK, which have been essential to the continued regeneration and prosperity of many places on our network, and we look forward to working with Eversholt Rail and Hitachi. Rail to complete this upgrade across the entire 140mph Javelin fleet, the fastest of its type in Britain,” said South East Engineering Manager Mark Johnson.

“When completed, it will bring the fleet up to the latest standards and ensure that standards of comfort, accessibility and information are as high as possible for our customers, improving the onboard environment for our customers who enjoy work or use personal devices when you travel with us”.

The Javelin fleet will be one of the first in the UK to install Hitachi Rail’s digital infrastructure monitoring technology. Roof-mounted, high-definition exterior cameras focused on the pantograph – the device that collects energy from overhead wires to power the train – will provide live surveillance of surrounding overhead lines and equipment.

Upgrading trains also provides a great opportunity to install some of the latest digital solutions to help with passenger management and infrastructure monitoring. Eversholt Rail will install new CCTV, which combined with Hitachi Rail’s digital solutions will provide live passenger data on load count and weighting.

Jim Brewin, Director of Hitachi Rail UK & Ireland, said: “We are delighted to have been awarded this contract, which is a just reward for the hard work of the local Hitachi Rail team in Ashford. We now look forward to delivering on our commitments over the coming months and thank Eversholt Rail and Southeastern for almost 12 years of continuous teamwork and collaboration on the Javelin Class 395, our flagship fleet in the UK.

The Southeastern franchise was terminated in October 2021 and transferred to Department for Transport-owned operator SE Trains, which also operates as Southeastern, after an investigation into £25m of unaccounted money from taxpayers.

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