As you go through Ashford there always seem to be several of the new Hitachi trains coming in or out of the sheds, and the trains are seen around the network out being tested more and more often.
Whenever I hear of people complaining about government spending (take a bow local Conservatives) I ask them if they think Thanet should not have the new fast trains and the cuts in journey times for all of us. Usually the subject is changed. There are also extra jobs secured at Ramsgate train depot because of this investment.
All local politicans should be promoting this new service. It will be a great advert for Thanet where we have relatively low house and commercial premises prices for the South East. We also now have great links to East Anglia and Stansted Airport through the connection at Stratford station in east London (do allow 10 minutes for the walk though as the High Speed station is a little removed from the mainline station). You also have an excellent view of the Olympic stadium which is heading towards completion.
Terminating at St. Pancras there are trains to the East Midlands and Yorkshire. The underground station has been refurbished and extended with more subways so you can walk very easily to Kings Cross for services to the North East and Scotland. Euston is a 10 minute walk for North Wales, the Midlands and the North West. All these onward train journies will now be at least an hour and more like 2 hours quicker, as there is no longer any need to allow time for the underground or bus connection from Victoria or Charing Cross.
Steve Ladyman MP provided me with these photos having traveled on the preview service which ran today. He has fought long and hard to get these trains and should be proud of all his work in securing this massive benefit for local people.
Details of the High Speed trains are here.
The new fast trains timetable (0nly from Ashford until the full launch in December) is here.