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13 Oct 2022

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

Javelin high speed trains get multi-million pound upgrade for Southeastern passengers: View of saloon-4

£27 million upgrade for very high speed passenger trains to begin in March 2023

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.”

Contact information

Southeastern Press Office

0330 095 9091

Notes to editors

Media Enquiries to

Wendy Allington

Paul Prentice

About Eversholt Rail

Eversholt Rail owns UK passenger and freight rolling stock and has more than 25 years’ experience in the rail industry. Eversholt Rail has invested more than £3bn in new trains since privatisation and continually invests in existing fleets to maintain quality and reliability to deliver a better passenger experience. Eversholt Rail has a proud history of innovation and plays an integral role in the growth and modernisation of the UK rail sector by introducing new products and technologies into the market.

Further information can be obtained on

About Southeastern

SOUTHEASTERN is owned by SE Trains Ltd, a subsidiary of the Department for Transport’s public sector owning group, ‘DOHL’. DOHL has responsibility for three rail companies, LNER, Northern Trains Limited and SE Trains. Southeastern is the trading name of SE TRAINS LIMITED. Registered in England under company 03266762. Registered office address: Albany House, Floor 8, 94-98 Petty France, London, England, SW1H 9EA. SE Trains Limited is a subsidiary of the Department for Transport’s Operator of Last Resort Limited - ‘DOHL’.

About Hitachi Rail

Hitachi Rail is a fully integrated, global provider of rail solutions across rolling stock, signalling, service & maintenance, digital technology and turnkey solutions. With a presence in 38 countries across six continents and over 14,000 employees, our mission is to contribute to society through the continuous development of superior rail transport solutions. We are proud of our global achievements, from our world ­famous ‘bullet trains’, to our signalling solutions and turnkey projects, state­-of-the-art traffic management and digital solutions. Drawing on the wider Hitachi Group’s market-leading technology and research-and-development capabilities, we strive for industry leading innovations and solutions that can deliver value for customers and sustainable railway systems that benefit wider society. For information about Hitachi Rail, visit


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