Anorak News | Catching The Bullet

Catching The Bullet

by | 28th, October 2004

‘A LITTLE bit of Japan is coming to the Kent countryside.

So streamlined it hardly feels like you’re moving

We talk not of Graham & Phil’s mobile jellied eel sushi van, but of the so-called bullet trains that will soon be flying through England’s garden county like so many electric javelins.

The Department of Transport has just ordered 30 of these cutting-edge new trains at a cost of £200m.

The Times tells its readers how these high-speed locomotives will zip along the between Ashford and London at a considerable pace.

How fast? 185mph! Well, that’s the speed these trains are capable of reaching, but they will be keeping something in reserve, trundling along at a relatively sedate 140mph.

Given the track record of rival travel in the UK, the new trains will also be periodically travelling at 0mph, 10pmh and during weekends when engineering works are taking place 12mph.

But while commuters sit in awe and mum turns to dad and says, “It’s amazing – it’s hardly feels as if we’re moving”, passengers can take a moment to marvel at the bodywork.

The carriages will be quieter than existing services – especially when they are at a halt.

The aluminium shell will be 25% lighter than France’s TGV, which despite this weight disadvantage still manages to clip along at 186mph.

And the interior design will feature CCTV and information screens on which passengers will be able to learn that the buffet is now open, that those caught travelling without a ticket will be invited to commit hari-kari and how, due to the wrong kind of bonsai trees on the line, the 17:15 shuttle has been cancelled…’

Posted: 28th, October 2004 | In: Uncategorized Comment | TrackBack | Permalink