Never has a domestic train reached 140mph in Britain. All that changed today when the latest (Japanese imported) bullet train took a test run. Dubbed the Javelin, this train clocked 143mph on a test roll from London to Kent and back as the journey began from platform 13 at St Pancras.
In a regular routine the train would stop at Ebbsfleet -a journey of 17 minutes. For the test run though, it zipped straight to Ashford, covering 70 miles in 30 minutes and 40 seconds. The train promises to cut journey time from Ashford to Central London in half, covering it in 37 minutes.
The Class 395 train required the driver, Mick Harding, to take special training in Japan despite his 11 years prior experience. Even he was startled by the speeds at which the train traveled mentioning that this was double the speed any of the drivers on the local trains have ever come across, 90mph being the fastest. He experienced the relative difference in speed when he saw the train whistling past the M2 and M20 on the fast lane.
The only criticism would be the hike in fares as the journey from Ashford to London Charing Cross would now cost 26.60, which is 4.40 more. However, we can ignore this rise given the time that would be saved on the local journeys.