The first Japanese bullet train for use on a UK mainline has arrived in Britain, bringing with it promises of shorter journey times.
The high-speed train will go into service in 2009
The 140mph (225km/h) six-car Hitachi Class 395 train was delivered on board a ferry to Southampton.
The Southeastern train company plans to run 29 of the trains from 2009 on the final section of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link from Kent to central London.
They will also transport spectators to and from the 2012 London Olympics site.
The service, to be known as the Olympic Javelin, will ferry passengers from St Pancras station in London to the main site in Stratford, east London, in just seven minutes.
Another three of the trains, which are manufactured in Kasaso, Japan, will be delivered during the coming months.
A further 25 will arrive in 2009 in time for the start of the new services in December of that year.
Alistair Dormer, general manager at Hitachi Rail Systems London, said the company had reached a "major milestone" by delivering the train on time and on budget.
Southeastern managing director Charles Horton said its arrival was great news.
"When these trains enter service in December 2009 they will slash journey times across the region, encourage more people to travel by train and bring new standards of comfort and reliability," he said.