Southeastern today announced the expansion of high speed preview services to Ramsgate, Canterbury West, Dover Priory, Folkestone Central and West. The new services will start from 7 September.
Charles Horton, managing director, Southeastern, commented, “We always hoped we could expand the preview service and thanks to the success of the first weeks we are now in a position to do this. We want as many people as possible to be able to experience the service before the full timetable is introduced in December.”
There will be two morning peak services from Ramsgate via Canterbury West and two peak services from Dover Priory via Folkestone Central and Folkestone West, returning in the evening peak. All the new services will also stop at Ashford International, resulting in an additional peak service on top of the current three trains to St Pancras International.
An off-peak return train is also being introduced between St Pancras International and Ashford International via Ebbsfleet. Trains from Ebbsfleet International will continue to have six morning peak services to St Pancras International and seven services back in the evening peak. Throughout the day, services run twice hourly between Ebbsfleet International and St Pancras International. All the services will continue to run Monday to Friday.
The new services will radically improve journey times, for example saving 49 minutes on the average commute from Ramsgate and 47 minutes from Dover.
Off-peak services are:
- Twice hourly shuttle between St Pancras International and Ebbsfleet International
- 08.41 service from St Pancras International to Ashford International
- 11.37 service from St Pancras International to Ashford International
- 12.20 service from Ashford International to St Pancras International
The preview service offers passengers the chance to experience the UK’s first high speed service before the full timetable is introduced on 13 December. The preview services will also allow Southeastern to continue test, train employees, adjust to passenger feedback and ensure that the full introduction runs smoothly.
“The high speed service means passengers from Dover will be able to reach London in just over an hour where it now takes nearly two hours, making it a town where you can now easily commute from. The high speed services we hope will act as a real catalyst for the economy in the region, but above all, what the high speed service provides is real choice for passengers,” Charles Horton continued.