Javelin high speed trains get multi-million pound upgrade for Southeastern passengers

Eversholt Rail, Southeastern and Hitachi Rail are delighted to announce they have signed an agreement to upgrade the Class 395 Javelin trains that provide high speed services between London St Pancras and Kent.

The upgrade will future-proof the UK’s only very high speed passenger fleet, which has already delivered record levels of reliability, passenger satisfaction and a £1 billion boost to the Kent tourism economy.

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

The scope of the £27 million programme includes:

  • Full interior refresh, including new carpets and seats, with proposed new seating layouts to assist people with reduced mobility.
  • Live passenger information system (PIS) upgrade including media screens from 2024
  • CCTV system upgrade
  • USB at-seat charging
  • LED lighting installation

Significant upgrades to the interior – including new seats, LED lighting, USB charging, and a live passenger information system – will provide a real step change in the passenger experience.  The upgrades are a clear demonstration of Southeastern listening to their passengers, and then giving them what they want and need to improve the overall passenger experience.

The upgrade of the trains also provides an excellent opportunity to install some of the latest digital solutions to help with passenger management and infrastructure monitoring. Eversholt Rail will be installing new CCTV, which combined with Hitachi Rail’s digital solutions, provides live passenger data on numbers and load weighting. Live and accurate data allows Southeastern to do more on passenger information, along with longer-term planning of passenger flow and maintenance.

The Javelin fleet will also be one of the first in the UK to install Hitachi Rail’s digital infrastructure monitoring technology. Exterior roof mounted high-definition cameras focused on the pantograph – the device that collects power from the overhead wires to power the train – will provide live monitoring of overhead lines and surrounding equipment. Utilising AI and trains in passenger services will create a modern trackside maintenance regime to deliver value for money.

Paul Sutherland, Client Services Director at Eversholt Rail said:

“We are delighted to be working in partnership with Southeastern and Hitachi Rail to deliver these upgrades to our Class 395 fleet.  Our investment in this package of upgrades will ensure these high specification trains continue to provide the passengers on HS1 with a superior service.”

Mark Johnson, Engineering Director for Southeastern said:

“We’re proud to run the UK’s fastest domestic passenger services which have been crucial to the continued regeneration and prosperity of many places on our network, and we’re looking forward to working with Eversholt Rail and Hitachi Rail to complete this upgrade across the entirety of the 140mph Javelin fleet, the fastest of their type in Britain. When finished, it will bring the fleet up to the very latest standards and ensure that standards of comfort, accessibility and information provision are as high as possible for our customers, improving the on-board environment for our customers who like to work or use personal devices when travelling with us”.

Jim Brewin, Head of UK & Ireland, Hitachi Rail said:

“We are delighted to be awarded this contract which is just reward for the hard work of the local Hitachi Rail team at Ashford. We now look forward to delivering on our commitments over the coming months and thank Eversholt Rail and Southeastern for close to 12 years of continued teamwork and collaboration on the Javelin Class 395, our flagship UK fleet.”

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