British Rail Class 395

The British Rail Class 395 Javelin[9] is a dual-voltage electric multiple unit (EMU) built by Hitachi for high-speed commuter services on High Speed 1 and elsewhere on the Integrated Kent Franchise.

British Rail Class 395 Javelin
A Pair of Class 395 on HS1 on its way to Dover Priory.
The interior of a Class 395 Javelin
In service2009–present[1][2]
Built atKasado factory, Yamaguchi, Japan[3]
Family nameA Train
Entered service29 June 2009 (2009-06-29)[1][2]
Number built29 trainsets
Number in service29 trainsets
Formation6 cars per trainset
DPT1+MS1+MS2+MS3+MS4+DPT2[note 1]
Fleet numbers395001–395029
Capacity340 seats + 12 tip up[5]
Line(s) served
Car body constructionAluminium
Train length121.3 m (397 ft 11 58 in)
Car lengthPDTSO - 20.88 m (68 ft 6 in) [6] MS - 20.00 m (65 ft 7 38 in) [6]
Width2.81 m (9 ft 2 58 in)
Height3.817 m (12 ft 6 14 in)
Floor height1.235 m (4 ft 58 in)
Wheelbase2.6 m (8 ft 6 in) (bogies)
Maximum speed
  • AC operation: 140 mph (225 km/h)
  • DC operation: 100 mph (160 km/h)
  • Record: 157 mph (253 km/h)
Weight265 t (261 long tons; 292 short tons) (empty)
Traction systemEMU
Traction motors16 x 210 kW (280 hp)
Acceleration1.6 mph per second (0.70 m/s2 (2.3 ft/s2))
Deceleration2.0 mph per second (0.90 m/s2 (3.0 ft/s2))
2.7 mph/second (1.20 m/s2 (3.9 ft/s2)) (emergency)
Auxiliaries3 x 110 kW (150 hp)
3-phase AC + 110 V DC)
Electric system(s)25 kV 50 Hz AC overhead lines,
750 V DC third rail
Current collection method
UIC classification2'2'-Bo'Bo'-Bo'Bo'-Bo'Bo'-Bo'Bo'-2'2'
Braking system(s)electropneumatic
Safety system(s)TVM430, AWS, TPWS, KVB
Track gauge1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) standard gauge
Sources:[7][8] except where noted

The six-car trains were built in Japan by Hitachi and operate at a maximum speed of 140 mph (225 km/h) under 25 kV AC overhead electrification on High Speed 1, and 100 mph (160 km/h) on 750 V DC third rail supply on conventional lines.

The use of the high-speed trains as part of the transport infrastructure for the Olympic Park formed part of the original bid for the 2012 Summer Olympics.[10][11] The service was named the Olympic Javelin Shuttle, and was the origin for the Javelin nickname.[12] The Olympic services began 28 July 2012.[13]



In December 2003, formal approval was given to run domestic services on the planned Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL, now known as High Speed 1, or HS1) in Kent, England.[14] Preliminary consultations for a new franchise including then CTRL, and for rolling stock to operate the 'CTRL Domestic' services were to begin in 2004.[15] In 2005 the proposed high-speed services were combined with those from the former South Eastern rail franchise to form the Integrated Kent franchise (IKF).[16]

In October 2004, Hitachi was announced as the preferred bidder to supply high-speed trains for the CTRL services,[8][17][18] and in June 2005 the £250 million contract was signed with Hitachi Europe Ltd as supplier of 28 trainsets, with HSBC Rail acting as the financier (ROSCO), and with an expected service date of 2009.[19] In November 2005 the Department for Transport announced Govia as the new operator of the IKF.[20]

The contract was Hitachi's first rail vehicle sold to a European customer.[21][22] It had previously worked with HSBC Rail and UK rail authorities between 2002 and 2003 to demonstrate the suitability and conformance of Hitachi's traction system with the UK rail network, including test of the use of AC induction motors, and electromagnetic compatibility tests.[23][note 2]

Construction of the CTRL (High Speed 1) was complete in November 2007. By 2008, the initially planned 'CTRL Domestic' services (2003) from London St Pancras to Gravesend, and Canterbury West and Folkestone Central, via Ashford, had been expanded in scope to include services to Medway Towns, East Kent and Dover.[24]

A twenty-ninth train was added to the order agreement by franchise holder Southeastern to provide additional capacity.[3]

Maintenance Depots and Training

The contract for the trains included maintenance of the trains;[25] a consortium ('DEPCO') including HSBC Rail (finance), Fitzpatrick Contractors Ltd (construction), RPS Burks Green (architects/civil engineers), EMCOR UK (mechanical and electrical plant) and GrantRail (trackwork) constructed a new maintenance depot building at Ashford and the updating of the existing depot site.[4][26] The Ashford Train Depot was formally opened on 2 October 2007,[27] constructed on the site of the Ashford Down Yard Carriage Sidings;[28][note 3] the facility included a five-track trainshed with bogie drop made by BBM and train lifting equipment from Mechan. A second building housed a wheel lathe from Sculfort. Other facilities included carriage washing plant, a 25 kV OHL test track, and sidings for rolling stock.[26]

A Class 395 train simulator supplied by Corys TESS was acquired for use at Southeastern's training centre in Ashford for driver training,[29] Southeastern's co-parent company SNCF also assisted with high-speed driver training.[30]

The DEPCO consortium also updated Ramsgate train depot for the IKF with facilities including storage sidings for the Class 395 trains and light maintenance facilities.[26]

Testing and Preview Service

Pre-shipping factory tests included static and dynamic load tests, traction and braking tests, including tests on a 750 V DC third-rail system specially installed at Hitachi's test track.[31]

The first train was delivered from Japan to Southampton Docks on 23 August 2007.[32] Homologation testing was undertaken by Serco,[33] SNCF International assisted with testing of KVB and TVM 430 signalling systems, with speeds of 240 km/h (150 mph) attained in January 2008.[31][34][35][36] After successful testing of four units (delivered by March 2008) shipping of the main production tranche began in December 2008.[37][38] The final three trains arrived in the UK in August 2009,[1][3][39] with the final train delivered to Southeastern on 11 December 2009.[40]

The performance metric of 4,000 miles (6,400 km) fault-free running was achieved six months ahead of schedule, allowing a 'preview' service to be offered by June 2009 between London St Pancras and Ashford via Ebbsfleet, allowing further train testing,[41] which achieved a 99% punctuality rate in the first month of operations.[1][3][42] In September 2009 preliminary services to the Kent coast (Dover via Folkestone, and Ramsgate via Canterbury) also began.[43][44] Preview services on the North Kent line began in November 2009.[45]

In September 2010, it was reported that passengers were experiencing alarming 'wobbles' on tunnel sections. The problem was described by Southeastern as non-dangerous, and trains were fitted with dampers to prevent the problem from recurring.[46]

Operations and Performance

A full regular service commenced on 13 December 2009.[2] Initial services included a half-hourly north Kent service to and from St Pancras, London, via Stratford, Ebbsfleet, Gravesend, Strood, Rochester, Chatham, Gillingham, Rainham, and Sittingbourne to Faversham, a half-hourly service to East Kent via Stratford, Ebbsfleet, Ashford with one train continuing to Margate via Canterbury West, Ramsgate and Broadstairs, with the other to Dover via Folkestone West and Folkestone Central.[47] Seven million journeys were made in the first year of operation,[48]

The introduction of the trains was generally successful, with good reliability and passenger satisfaction figures: the new high-speed services also caused an increase in passenger numbers above that already being experienced on the Kent network.[49] On introduction, timetabled journeys to London from Ebbsfleet were reduced from 51 to 18 minutes, whilst trains using the entire length of High Speed 1 (starting in Ashford) had timetabled journeys reduced by around 45 minutes.[50] However, the service has been criticised as being of limited use to many London commuters because trains terminate at St Pancras. Additionally, the change in service patterns to accommodate high-speed trains resulted in some non-high-speed services in Kent becoming slower.[51]

In May 2011, a limited service from Maidstone West via Strood and Gravesend started.[52] followed in September 2011 by a limited service from Sandwich via Deal to London St Pancras, partially subsidised by Kent County Council.[53] In 2013, four years after the service started, total passenger numbers were ten million and punctuality was 92.6% (compared to 90.1% nationwide).[54]

From 2015, trains were operating a circular route, where one of the trains to Faversham via the Medway towns continues as a semi-fast service to Ramsgate. From here it then goes all stations via Sandwich and Deal to Dover Priory, where it then becomes the Dover Priory to St Pancras International service via Ashford International. Another service operated in the reverse direction.

In 2016, due to damage to the line between Folkestone Central and Dover Priory on Christmas Eve 2015, the High Speed services heading clockwise terminated at Ramsgate, and at Folkestone Central in the anti-clockwise direction. There was a shuttle service running between Dover Priory and Ramsgate using Main Line Trains (375/3 Electrostars) whilst repairs were carried out.

The off-peak and weekend services are usually formed of 6 coaches except for the Margate service via Ashford International and Canterbury West which are usually formed of 12 coaches.


The 400 Series Mini Shinkansen[55] and Hitachi's A Train design form the basis of the Class 395 design.[8] From the 400 series the class inherits the same 6-car 20 m carriage with doors at one-third and two-thirds along the carriage.[note 4] Both are designed for operations at high speed on newly built lines as well as at lower speed on conventional legacy lines.[56] Unlike the steel-bodied 400 series, the Class 395 has its carbody (walls, roof, floor) formed from friction stir welded double-walled hollow extruded aluminium body panels, a technology Hitachi considers part of its A-Train train family specification.[8][57]

The train consists of six-car units, with all axles on the middle four cars powered. The outer cars are unpowered, but mount the pantographs (giving a formation DPT1+MS1+MS2+MS3+MS4+DPT2.[note 1]). The bogies are bolsterless, with both powered and unpowered bogies sharing a common design to simplify maintenance.[57] Each 6-car unit can work in multiple with another, creating 12-car trains. Coupling is automated and is designed to take less than 60 seconds.[57][58]

For reliability, passenger doors use a relatively simple sliding pneumatic system already in use and development for several decades on Shinkansen trains.[4][59] The brake system was supplied by Faiveley.[60] Approximately 40% of the train equipment by value was provided by European suppliers.

There are 340 seats per 6-car train, in standard class [2+2] formation, with 12 additional tip up seats in a wheelchair area. There are two toilets per unit, one of which is equipped for disabled access.[5]

The trains meet UK Railway Group Standards (RGS), and European Union Technical Specifications for Interoperability (TSI) standards for crashworthiness, and UK or EU standards for structure-load-bearing behaviour, material strength, aerodynamics, noise and fire resistance.[61]

Each train has a Train Management System (TMS), including equipment monitoring systems, communications, air-conditioning, etc., and equipment-control, including Selective Door Operation (SDO). The SDO system uses GPS and train speed integration to estimate position.[62]

Named units

A mockup 395 was named after athlete Dame Kelly Holmes: subsequently the name was transferred to an operational unit, 11 other "fast Britons" were selected in a public vote – the honoured were Jamie Staff, Steve Backley, Sir Steve Redgrave, Rebecca Adlington, Sir Chris Hoy, Ben Ainslie, Daley Thompson, Duncan Goodhew, Katherine Grainger, Lord Sebastian Coe, and Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson; all Olympic/Paralympic medalists.[63]

Following the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics, Southeastern announced that another 12 units would be named after members of Team GB, including Alistair Brownlee, Ed Clancy, Hannah Cockroft, Jessica Ennis, Mo Farah, Jason Kenny, Jonnie Peacock, Victoria Pendleton, Ellie Simmonds, Dame Sarah Storey, Laura Trott and David Weir.[64]

In November 2016, unit 395016 is named 'Somme 100' to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.[65] Unit 395 015 was de-named after running on the Regency Javelin rail tour and it was previously named 'Live On'. Before that unit 395 014 had been named 'The Victoria Cross', which was subsequently removed when 395 015 received its name.

On 8 June 2019, unit 395013 was named Hornby Visitor Centre.[66]

Unit Name
395 001 Dame Kelly Holmes
395 002 Sebastian Coe
395 003 Sir Steve Redgrave
395 004 Sir Chris Hoy
395 005 Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson
395 006 Daley Thompson
395 007 Steve Backley
395 008 Ben Ainslie
395 009 Rebecca Adlington
395 010 Duncan Goodhew
395 011 Katherine Grainger
395 012 #trainbow
395 013 Hornby Visitor Centre
395 014 The Victoria Cross (2014-2015)
Dina Asher-Smith
395 015 Live On (2015-2016)
Southeastern highspeed 10 years 2009-2019
395 016 Jamie Staff
Somme 100 (2016-2017)
395 017 Dame Sarah Storey
The Passchendaele Javelin (2017-2019)
395 018 Mo Farah
The Victory Javelin (2017-2019)
395 019 Jessica Ennis
395 020 Jason Kenny
395 021 Ed Clancy MBE
395 022 Alistair Brownlee
395 023 Ellie Simmonds
395 024 Jonnie Peacock
395 025 Victoria Pendleton
395 026 Marc Woods
395 027 Hannah Cockroft
395 028 Laura Trott
395 029 David Weir

Fleet details

Class Operator No. Built Year Built Cars per Set Unit nos.
Class 395 Southeastern 29 2007–2009 6 395001–395029


  • At 3pm on 23 October 2017, 395008 (heading towards London St Pancras) struck a delivery van on a level crossing near Teynham between Faversham and Sittingbourne.[67]

See also


  1. DPT "Driving Pantograph Trailer" , MS "Motor Standard".[4] Also referred to as DPTSO (Driving Pantograph Trailer Second Open) and MSO (Motor Second Open) respectively
  2. The project known as the "Verification train" or "V-Train"
  3. 51.14187°N 0.88105°E / 51.14187; 0.88105 Ashford train depot
  4. The Class 395 door positions are of the commuter type to conform with the train specification of a maximum 90-second station dwell time.[4]


  1. "Final Class 395 docks in Southampton". Railway Gazette International. London. 17 August 2009.
  2. Sources:
  3. "Final Class 395 train arrives in Southampton, begins last leg of journey to depot in Ashford" (PDF) (Press release). Hitachi. 17 August 2009.
  4. "Hitachi Class 395 – an update". 15 August 2008.
  5. Sources:
  6. "The Railway Centre - Class 395". The Railway Centre. Retrieved 25 July 2015.
  7. Mochida et al. 2010, p.40, Table 1 "Key Rolling Stock Specifications"
  8. "Hitachi preferred for CTRL domestic trains". Railway Gazette International. 1 December 2004. Archived from the original on 4 October 2012. Retrieved 18 July 2009.
  9. Ltd, White October. "Class 395 (Javelin) | Hitachi Rail Europe". Retrieved 5 July 2016.
  10. "London 2012 venue: Olympic zone". BBC News. 16 January 2004. London's bid team say the Olympic Park will be served by 10 train lines, including 'Olympic Javelin' bullet trains providing a link to the city centre in seven minutes.
  11. "£20m bullet trains to serve Olympic Park". London 2012. 28 October 2004. Archived from the original on 12 August 2012. Retrieved 7 August 2012.
  12. "Javelin train speeds into London". BBC News. 12 December 2008.
  13. "High speed trains to ferry spectators to Olympic Park". ITV. 28 July 2012.
  14. "Green Light for High Speed Services for Kent, Four Bidders Selected for new Kent Franchise" (Press release). Strategic Rail Authority. 22 December 2003. Archived from the original on 4 January 2004.
  15. Clark, Christopher (Spring 2004). Commuter Services on Channel Tunnel Rail Link and the Integrated Kent Franchise (28 January 2004) (PDF). Journal of the Transport Economists' Group. 31. pp. 7–11.
  16. "Integrated Kent Franchise – Invitation to Tender" (PDF). Strategic Rail Authority. January 2005. 1.5 Scope of the IKF, p.10. Archived from the original (PDF) on 9 April 2010.
  17. "London's New bullet train". Government Office for London. 29 October 2004. Archived from the original on 5 November 2005.
  18. "Hitachi wins Channel Tunnel Rail Link Contract" (Press release). Hitachi. 28 October 2004. Archived from the original on 19 May 2006.
  19. Sources:
  20. "Department for Transport announces integrated Kent franchise". Department for Transport. 30 November 2005.
  21. Gomersall 2005.
  22. Kawasaki, Yamaguchi & Mochida 2008.
  23. Ojima, Hirofumi (24 January 2008). "Networkers get a traction transplant". Railway Gazette International.
  24. Select Committee on Future Passenger Rail Services in Kent (2008), 2.2 Services
  25. Mochida et al. 2010, Maintenance, pp.44–45
  26. Sources:
  27. "At home with the High Speed 1 domestic stock". Railway Gazette International. 30 October 2007.
  28. "Integrated Kent Franchise Stakeholder Briefing Document" (PDF). Department for Transport. January 2005. 3.2.4 Depots, p.19.
  29. Sources:
  30. "High Speed in the UK". Keolis. Archived from the original on 8 November 2011. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  31. "Hitachi high speed Javelin train ready to ship to UK". ASLEF. Retrieved 1 January 2012.
  32. "Japanese bullet train docks in UK". BBC News. 23 August 2007.
  33. Sources:
  34. "Annual report 09" (PDF). SNCF International. p. 7.
  35. "Rapport d'Activité 2008" (PDF) (in French). SNCF. p. 10. Dans le cadre d'un contrat conclu entre SNCF International et Hitachi, des experts du Centre d'Ingénierie du Matériel de la SNCF étaient à bord des trains à Grande Vitesse Class 395 de l'opérateur SouthEastern pour contrôler le bon fonctionnement des équipements de sécurité. Des tests à 240 km/h ont eu lieu en janvier 2008 pour valider définitivement les dispositifs des premières rames livrées en Grande-Bretagne
  36. "Annual report 2009" (PDF). SNCF International. p. 17.
  37. "First production units of Hitachi Class 395 trains for HS1 service embark on journey from Japan to UK on time" (PDF) (Press release). Hitachi. 9 December 2008.
  38. Development of UK Class 395 High Speed Commuter Train, Keith Jordan, 3. Design, Testing and commissioning
  39. "Final three 'Javelin' units arrive at Southampton Docks". Railway Herald (191). Scunthorpe. 24 August 2009. p. 3.
  40. "Hitachi hands over the final Class 395 'Javelin' EMU" (PDF). Railway Herald (205). Scunthorpe. 14 December 2009. p. 7.
  41. "High speed preview services announced" (Press release). Southeastern. 1 June 2009. Archived from the original on 27 August 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  42. "Southeastern ready to launch High Speed service". Railway Gazette International. London. 18 June 2009.
  43. "High speed preview service extends to Dover, Folkestone, Canterbury and Ramsgate" (Press release). Southeastern. 7 September 2009. Archived from the original on 5 January 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  44. Sources:
  45. Sources:
  46. Sources:
  47. "High speed service" (Press release). Southeastern. 8 October 2008. Archived from the original on 13 September 2012.
  48. "Over 7 million journeys made on high speed in a year" (Press release). Southeastern. 13 December 2010. Archived from the original on 1 March 2011. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  49. Sources:
  50. "High Speeding To Success" (Press release). Southeastern. 14 June 2010. Archived from the original on 25 June 2010. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  51. "High speed train service 'no use at all' for East Kent". BBC News. 5 December 2011.
  52. "High-speed trains start from Maidstone". Kent Online. 20 May 2011. Retrieved 23 May 2011.
  53. Sources:
  54. "The impact of domestic services on High Speed 1". Kent County Council.
  55. Kawasaki, Yamaguchi & Mochida 2008, p. 61.
  56. Hitachi Class 395, Railway Strategies Live 2010, Base Train for Class 395, p.10
  57. Kawasaki, Yamaguchi & Mochida 2008, Basic Specifications, pp.40–41
  58. Gomersall 2005, p. 12.
  59. "Rolling Stock Reliability Focus – Dilemmas on Doors" (PDF). Modern Railways. Air or electric? p. 61. January 2011. Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 January 2012. Retrieved 5 January 2012.
  60. "Brakes & Couplers – Regional Trains" (PDF). Faiveley Transport.
  61. Kawasaki, Yamaguchi & Mochida 2008, Accommodating Specifications, pp.62–63
  62. Mochida et al. 2010, Train Operation Control Suitable for Operating Practices Specification to UK, pp.43–44
  63. "First Class 395 'Javelin' named at Ashford International" (PDF). Railway Herald. 28 September 2009. p. 6.
  64. "High speed Javelin train named after Paralympic great Dame Sarah Store" (Press release). Southeastern. 7 February 2013. Archived from the original on 11 February 2013. Retrieved 20 March 2013.
  65. Pyman, Tom (7 November 2016). "Southeastern to run commemorative poppy train ahead of Remembrance Sunday to mark 100 years since the Somme". Kent News. Archived from the original on 23 October 2017.
  67. Jeffery, Poppy (23 October 2017). "Train hits van at level crossing in Lower Road, Teynham". Kent Online. KM Group. Retrieved 21 September 2018. The incident happened at 3pm this afternoon when a high-speed Javelin train on its way to London St Pancras struck a delivery van on a level crossing near Teynham between Faversham and Sittingbourne.


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