Class 395 high-speed train (UK)



Running on time – Britain's first high-speed domestic train service

In 2004, Hitachi took 29 trains on order, leading to the creation of the fastest operating domestic service trains in the United Kingdom. The trains are based at a depot south of Ashford International Railway Station and usually run at 125 miles per hour.

A regular service commenced on the 30th of December 2009 carrying thousands of passengers daily to London, reaching St. Pancras Station in just 37 minutes from Ashford International Station and it's this success story which helped Hitachi introduce a new generation of rail travel to Europe.

Quality development and reliable maintenance service

One of the biggest challenges was bringing the reliability and quality of the Japanese trains into the UK.

“... we have many reliable trains in Japan but how to achieve Japanese quality in UK was a big challenge because we have different standard and different infrastructure.”

Kentaro Masai, Head of Technical, Hitachi Rail Europe.

The technical and maintenance teams worked in partnership with each other, along with the team in Japan, to ensure the success of the project. Through visiting other depots, the teams came up with a design which utilised the best practices from around the world.

“... the first thing was to get a core team and sort of integrate them into a new way of thinking and integrating them in some of our Hitachi practices from Japan as well as incorporating some of the more western practices that we're used to in the UK.”

Neville Dyson, Head of Ashford Depot, Hitachi Rail Europe.

Efficient teamwork for a smooth project

Southeastern Rail and High Speed 1 are key stakeholders in this success story. This movie features interviews with these key stakeholders and shows how efficient teamwork between everyone involved has resulted in such a successful service.

“I've worked in the UK rail industry for about 25 years and this is the smoothest new train introduction I've ever come across.”

Charles Horton, Managing Director, Southeastern Rail.

An improved service that improves lives

Passenger reaction has been fantastic – in the latest national passenger survey, which is independently run, the High Speed 1 service has been rated by its commuters as the best commuter rail service in the country.

Months after its launch, the number of passengers travelling on Class 395 trains is still continuing to increase. In interviews with passengers, this video explains why the trains are so popular amongst commuters and why passengers are so pleased with this iconic new service.

Fulfilling promises, meeting customers expectations and continuously innovating

Hitachi promised on-time delivery, quality and reliability. Find out how Hitachi successfully delivered on all of its promises.

By involving the customers all the way through the build, it ensured that when the train was ready for passenger service, it was exactly what the customer wanted.

“It was an important milestone for us, and our first opportunity to fully demonstrate the calibre of our high quality rolling stock that we can offer the UK and Europe.”

Alistair Dormer, Managing Director, Hitachi Rail Europe

About Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd.

Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd., is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hitachi Europe, Ltd. and is headquartered in London, UK. Hitachi Rail Europe is a total railway system supplier offering rolling stock, traction equipment, signalling, traffic management systems, and maintenance depots.

Hitachi draws on many years of experience as a leading supplier of high-speed trains such as the Shinkansen (bullet train) for the Japanese and international markets. In Europe, Hitachi Rail Europe's first rolling stock contract was to deliver a fleet of 29 Class 395 trains, the first domestic high-speed train in the UK. The trains are maintained at Hitachi's state of the art depot in Ashford, Kent.

Southeastern (London & South Eastern Railway Limited) / High Speed 1 (HS1 Limited)
Release Date: 
March 2011
Products & Services: 
Solutions By: 
Hitachi Rail Europe Ltd.