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Javelin service reduced following complaints


140mph train service is reduced after complaints

High-speed Japanese Javelin service between St Pancras in London and Ashford and Ebbsfleet in Kent was launched only four months ago but train lengths have already been cut down due to cost of tickets and lack of comfort on-board.

 Boris Johnson arrives on the high speed Javelin Uncomfortable and expensive according to passengers. Boris Johnson next to a High speed Javelin train.


The size of trains on a high-speed rail link have been cut in half after just four months because they are not popular enough.

Southeastern Trains has removed a total 18 carriages from six of its 29 Japanese Javelin trains linking London and Kent.

They are now under pressure to bring back more regular-speed services, which a 2,000-supporter online petition claims would be cheaper and more popular.


The high-speed service between St Pancras in London and Ashford and Ebbsfleet in Kent was launched only four months ago by transport secretary Lord Adonis.

But the service has proved unpopular with some passengers who say the trains are ‘uncomfortable’, with fares costing one-third more than on normal trains.

‘We’re surprised at this news, although it’s also not that surprising in the current economic climate,’ said Jo deBank, from transport watchdog London TravelWatch.

‘But we’d like Southeastern to look at this again if services become more popular – and also to look again at fares, to make it more affordable for people to use the high-speed routes.’

Single fares between Ashford and St Pancras cost £26.60 on the high-speed service, compared to £22.20 for the slower mainline route.

Return tickets cost £48.70 high-speed, and £40.60 on the slower trains.

Southeastern defended the decision to reduce the number of carriages, adding: ‘The longer the train, the more electricity it uses to run it.

‘It makes neither financial sense nor environmental sense to use a train that has too much capacity.’

The trains halve the length of trips between Ashford and St Pancras to 37 minutes.

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