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Last Updated: Friday, 7 October 2005, 19:21 GMT 20:21 UK
Last journey for slam-door train
Slam-door train
The slam-door trains have slowly been taken out of service
The last slam-door train to run in Kent is being sent for scrap after making its final journey on Friday.

The 1804 South Eastern Trains service from London Cannon Street arrived in Ashford at 1922 BST.

The journey was the last timetabled appearance of the Mark 1 slam-door carriages across the region.

It was described as the end of an era for the distinctive trains which have been operating ever since their introduction in the early 1960s.

Slam-door trains were criticised for their safety record because of concerns over the doors and lack of protection during a crash.

In 1999 train companies across the South East were told they had to get rid of them.

A South Eastern train
New trains with electric doors take over from the slam-door stock

South West Trains ran its last slam-door service in May.

Southern took them out of service in August but said it would still use the carriages for back-up.

A South Eastern Trains spokesman said: "There is a generation of people now that won't know the thud-thud of the doors as it pulls into the station.

"They have reached the end of their life and it is a bit like the end of the steam era.

"They have done sterling service on the network and were used right across the southern region.

"But times move on and now we have more sophisticated trains which are probably safer."

Figures from the Health and Safety Executive showed deaths of people falling from moving trains dropped from a high of 26 in 1987 to just one in 2003/04.

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