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September 2022, Virtual
September 29 2022, Virtual
Service will boost case for high speed rail in the UK - Lord Adonis.
A new 140mph commuter service on HS1 on the 68 miles high speed line between St Pancras and the Channel Tunnel was trialed yesterday (June 18) with the operatrso saying its "preview" runs wil styart on June 29 and the full servcie on December 13.
Principally aimed at commuters from Kent, the new Hitachi Class 395 High Speed trains seats 338 seats in each train with two trains being coupled together.
At a media reception and train ride down to Ashford yesterday, Lord Adonis, the UK transport secretary, said he believed that "As these services become increasingly popular I would expect it will strengthen the case for further high speed rail routes."
Lord Adonis added: "Britain is quite new to high speed rail. Until HS1 first phase opening in 2003, we had no high speed lines here at all, whereas of course in France there first one opened in 1981 and Japan in 1964, so we are quite new to the high speed rail revolution.
"However I think what should be noted that since its introduction, support for it has grown as people see how it works. It decreases journey times and increases capacity as well as diverting traffic from the roads."
Lord Adonis added that "high speed rail is not a matter of party politics. It is being driven by the strength of the arguments for mobilising the next generation of rail technology.
"Just as in France, Germany, Italy, Korea, China, high speed rail networks are being built on a consensual basis - I would see the case developing in the UK".
The new carriages are just one class, seating the 338 passengers in each coach with a 2-2 configuration, with power sockets situated between each pair of seats. The maximum capacity for each coach is 508 including those standing although there are no grab rails running down the centre of the coaches.
Alistair Dormer, general manager of Hitachi's Rail Group, which made the trains and carriages, said that the trains have been designed to the latest European high speed standards which are "incredibly demanding" in terms of structural safety.
"The standard is even higher than the standards applying to the Pendolino trains which the accident in the Lake District proved were effective since the train was completely intact, " he said.
Southeastern Railways' commercial director Vince Lucas said that the new service would appeal particularly to those working north of Oxford St or Holborn and commuters from Kent to Canary Wharf
"Really we don't want lots of people to move off our existing services - we want to keep those full and create new business from people moving in, " Mr Lucas said.
"If you come in along the M2 corridor, there's still a higher proportion of people commuting by car and coach. Many of them have higher average incomes than the train travellers, but they've got better access into Docklands by road.
"The opening of these new services gives us a chance to attract those customers. So when you see the marketing campaigns from July 6 you'll see big billboards as you come up to the Blackwall Tunnel."
Mr Lucas admitted that it needed Stratford Station to complete its connection to the Docklands to allow full access, which will happen by mid-2010.
"We want to convert and we want to get more people to travelling by train - otherwise we've just moved the same people for a vastly higher cost. It's only successful if you convert extra people."
To see an interactive journey map, click herewww.southeasternrailway.co.,uk