British Rail Class 395

British Rail Class 395
British Rail Class 395

395008 at Ebbsfleet International in 2009

The interior of a Class 395 MSO vehicle
In service June 2009 –
Manufacturer Hitachi
Family name A-train
Constructed 2007 – 2009
Number built 29 trainsets
Formation 6 cars per trainset
Fleet numbers 395001 – 395029
Capacity 340 seats + 12 tip up[1]
Operator Southeastern
Line(s) served High Speed 1
Car body construction Aluminium
Train length 121.760 m (399 ft 6 in)
Car length 20.880 m (68 ft 6 in)
Width 2.810 m (9 ft 3 in)
Doors Single-leaf sliding
Maximum speed High Speed 1: 225 km/h (140 mph)
Network Rail: 100 mph (160 km/h)
Weight 275.2 tonnes (270.9 long tons; 303.4 short tons)
Traction system Hitachi asynchronous of 210 kW (282 hp)
Electric system(s) 25 kV 50 Hz AC overhead
750 V DC Third rail
UIC classification 2′2′+Bo′Bo′+Bo′Bo′+Bo′Bo′+Bo′Bo′+2′2′
Bogies Hitachi
Braking system(s) Disc, rheostatic and capability for regenerative braking
Safety system(s) TVM430 (on High Speed 1)
AWS, TPWS (Network Rail lines)[citation needed]
KVB system is used at St Pancras station.[citation needed]
Coupling system Scharfenberg
Multiple working Within class only
Gauge 1,435 mm (4 ft 8 12 in) Standard gauge

British Rail Class 395[2] is a dual-voltage electric multiple unit (EMU) used by train operating company Southeastern for its services along High Speed 1 and onwards to the Kent coast. The trains were built in Japan by Hitachi and shipped to the United Kingdom to operate new high speed domestic services. The trains are among the fastest operating domestic service trains in the United Kingdom, capable of running at a maximum speed of 140 mph (225 km/h).[3]

"British Rail Class 395" is the Total Operations Processing System (TOPS) classification allocated to the EMU.

During the 2012 Summer Olympics, Class 395 trains will be used to provide the Javelin shuttle service for visitors to the Olympic Games' main venue in Stratford[4] and so the name Javelin has become a common nickname.[5]



An order worth £250 million[6] was placed with Hitachi Europe for 28 high-speed ‘A-trains’ in 2004.[7] A twenty-ninth train was later added to the agreement in order to provide additional capacity.

The first train was delivered from Japan to Southampton Docks on 23 August 2007.[8][9] It was then hauled to Ashford in Kent for acceptance testing by Serco. Three more trains were delivered in 2007, with the remainder of the fleet in 2008–2009. The final unit arrived in Southampton on 17 August 2009.[10]

The first of the trains to be delivered was present at the official opening of High Speed 1 and St Pancras station on 6 November 2007.


A regular service commenced on 13 December 2009, with 2 trains per hour serving Faversham via Chatham and Gravesend, and 2 trains per hour travelling to Ashford International, where 1 train continues on to Dover Priory, and the other to Margate via Canterbury West.[2] As of September 2011 extra services run in peak hours from London to Ebbsfleet and Maidstone West, and some Dover Priory trains are extended to Sandwich and Faversham trains to Broadstairs.[11]

The trains run up to 140 mph (225 km/h) on High Speed 1, but are restricted to 100 mph (160 km/h) on the South Eastern classic main lines and are based at a £53m five-road depot south of Ashford International railway station in Ashford, Kent, with stabling also at Ramsgate and Faversham.[1][12] They are owned by HSBC Rail, and leased by Southeastern.


On 29 June 2009 Southeastern started running a small number of Class 395 trains on a weekday preview service between London St Pancras and Ebbsfleet International, extending to Ashford International during peak hours.[13] On 7 September the service was enhanced with a few services to Ramsgate via Canterbury West or Dover.[14] In September 2010 it was reported that the trains were being modified to improve ride quality at high speed.[15][16]


The Class 395 units incorporate design elements from Hitachi's A-Train family including friction stir welded aluminium bodyshells, as well as elements of the 400 Series mini-shinkansen's design, the bogies are derived from shinkansen bogies.[7] They are designed as true high-speed trains, capable of 225 km/h. The cab designs bear a resemblance to the 885 series EMUs used on limited express services on Japan's narrow gauge network.[17][unreliable source?] The units are dual voltage, able to operate on third rail 750V DC and 25kV AC 50 Hz overhead electrification systems.[7]

The train is equipped with GPS positioning equipment and a database to calculate the train’s exact position. The pressure-sealed doors on each car can only be opened with an exact alignment to the platform.[citation needed]

Train formation

The 6-car trainsets consist of:

  • 2 Driving trailer cars each of length 20.65 metres (67.7 ft)
  • 4 Standard motor cars of length 20.0 metres (65.6 ft)

In total the train is 121.8 metres (400 ft) long over the couplings.[18] The train is unusual for a high speed train in that the doors and vestibules are not set at the ends over the bogies as on most long-distance trains (e.g. Mk 4 carriages), but in order to reduce dwell times (i.e. the waiting time at the station) they are set at approximately ¼ and ¾ along the carriage, which allows for faster loading and unloading, like most commuter trains (e.g. Electrostar); this means that the ride quality for passengers sitting over the bogies is diminished (due to transmission of vibration through the floor), though the quality of track on High Speed 1 is relatively high and the trains will not be used at speed on other lines.

The 395 has internally-hung sliding pocket doors, rather than plug doors; this has meant the sacrifice of a smooth external profile. The door system is identical to that in use on the Japanese Shinkansen or bullet train and has over 40 years of operational experience and development.

The Class 395's seating capacity is as follows: Each DPT (1) vehicle seats 28, has 12 tip up seats in the wheelchair parking area and one RVAR wheelchair accessible toilet, each MS vehicle (four per a six carriage EMU train) seats 66 and finally each DPT (2) vehicle seats 48 and has one standard toilet.[19] Unusually for a high speed passenger train, there is no first class accommodation.

Named vehicles

Unit Name[citation needed]
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
395 016 Jamie Staff


  1. ^ a b Today's Railway UK. February 2009. p. 60. 
  2. ^ a b "Southeastern completes its executive team and welcomes high-speed train experts". 2006-04-18. [dead link]
  3. ^ "Southeastern ready to launch High Speed service". Railway Gazette International. 18 June 2009. 
  4. ^ "£20m bullet trains to serve Olympic Park". London 2012. 2004-10-28. Retrieved 2008-12-13. [dead link]
  5. ^ "Javelin train speeds into London". BBC News. 2008-12-12. 
  6. ^ "News in Brief". Railway Gazette International. 2005-07-01. 
  7. ^ a b c "Hitachi preferred for CTRL domestic trains". Railway Gazette International. 2004-12-01. 
  8. ^ "Hitachi Class 395 EMU arrives in Britain". Railway Gazette International. 2007-08-23. 
  9. ^ "Japanese bullet train docks in UK". BBC News. 2007-08-23. 
  10. ^ "Final Class 395 docks in Southampton". Railway Gazette International. 2009-08-17. 
  11. ^ High Speed Timetable from May 2011, as amended
  12. ^ "At home with the High Speed 1 domestic stock". Railway Gazette International. 2007-10-30. 
  13. ^ "Preview timetable". Retrieved 1 June 2009. [dead link]
  14. ^ "Preview Timetable". Southeastern Railway. 7 September 2009. Retrieved 7 September 2009. [dead link]
  15. ^ Massey, Ray (9 September 2010). "Urgent changes ordered to Olympic bullet trains after they suffer 'alarming' 140mph wobble". Daily Mail. Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  16. ^ Morris, Thom (8 September). "'Wobbles' corrected on high speed trains". Kentonline. Retrieved 6 September 2011. 
  17. ^ Class 395 -
  18. ^ 'The Olympic Javelin', Modern Railways - September 2006 (Ian Allan Publishing), P36-37
  19. ^ Platform Five British Railways Pocket Book No. 4 EMUS AND LIGHT RAIL SYSTEMS 2010

External links

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