Kent

High-speed rail passengers from Kent continue to grow

High speed train
Image caption More than eight million journeys have been made on high-speed trains from Kent since last December

The number of journeys taken on Kent's high-speed rail services has increased by about a million in the past year.

Southeastern began running the Class 395 Javelin trains between Kent and London St Pancras, two years ago.

More than eight million journeys have been made since last December, boosted by additional services from Sandwich, Deal and Maidstone West.

The firm said services were vital to The Open golf championship at Sandwich, with 37,000 spectators using trains.

Charles Horton, managing director, said: "The service continues to prove popular with 94% of passengers telling the independent Passenger Focus satisfaction survey they think it is good or very good."

Full services of the 140mph Japanese-built trains began operating between Kent and London on 13 December 2009.

The trains run on sections of High Speed one (HS1) - the London to Folkestone Channel Tunnel rail link.

The service has significantly cut journey times with services into London from Dover now taking 69 minutes, and from Ashford taking 35 minutes.

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