Posted 10th June 2008 | 9 Comments
Bullet train in milestone run on HS1
Hitatchi's Bullet train
A HITACHI built 'bullet train' on test has notched up a milestone run on the high speed line between London St Pancras International and Ashford in Kent.
The 140 mph train covered the 57-mile run in just 32 minutes - half the time it takes conventional electric trains to cover the 40 mile journey.
The milestone was announced by Hitachi Europe Ltd following other successes in the intensive testing programme which the train is undergoing in readiness for the trains coming into full passenger carrying service.
The Hitachi Class 395 is destined to be a flagship feature of the Southeastern franchise and its high speed services between London St Pancras, Ashford and the Kent coast from December 2009.
The service will also include some stops at two new stations built at Ebbsfleet and Stratford. The trains - which will be dubbed Javelins - will also have a key role in the London 2012 Olympic Games, transporting spectators.
The latest achievement follows an earlier successful 'overspeed' test to check train stability and ride on 18th April, when the train achieved a maximum speed of 252 km/h - which is just over the train's service design speed of 140mph.
The train travelled on three test routes, between Westenhanger and Singlewell in Kent. The train, which arrived in the UK last year, has now completed 10,900 miles over the third rail and overhead line test routes.
Alistair Dormer, general manager at Hitachi Rail Systems London, said: "We are delighted to report progress on a number of the milestones that we put in place last year for testing the Class 395 train in Kent.
"Informal feedback from the external engineers assessing our over-speed test was that the Class 395 provided the best train ride in stability terms since they had been testing new trains.
"We are confident that we will meet our deadlines for testing and for ultimately getting the train up and running commercially on the London to Ashford route in 2009."
Southeastern's operations & safety director, Mike Hodson, added: "We're delighted with the progress being made. We have around 100 drivers who will be trained to drive the Class 395s and the first to try them have already spoken enthusiastically about the comfortable, efficient cabs and the smooth, quiet ride achieved by these units."
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