Page last updated at 06:45 GMT, Thursday, 13 August 2009 07:45 UK

High-speed rail service extended

The Japanese-built Javelin
The 140mph trains have been running between London and Kent since June

High-speed train services are being extended to stations in east Kent from next month, it has been announced.

Southeastern has been running limited services between London and the international stations in Ebbsfleet and Ashford since June.

From 7 September, the high-speed services will also serve Dover Priory, Canterbury West, Ramsgate, Folkestone Central and Folkestone West.

The firm said it would save 49 minutes on the commute from London to Ramsgate.

Southeastern said the weekday-only service being extended next month was a "preview" of high-speed suburban rail services that will begin on 13 December.

The high-speed services are using the Japanese-built Class 395 140mph Javelin trains.

Higher fares

The preview service is to offer passengers a chance to experience the service, and also for the firm to test and train employees, adjust to passenger feedback, and ensure the full service runs smoothly.

Managing director Charles Horton said: "We want as many people as possible to be able to experience the service before the full timetable is introduced in December."

He added: "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."

Mr Horton said it was hoped the high-speed services would act as a real catalyst for the economy in the region.

The different fares for the mainline and high speed services are shown on the train operator's website.

When the high-speed service was brought in between Kent and London in June, Southeastern said the higher fares for the high-speed service offered passengers value for money.

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