Wobbling Javelins modified

09 September 2010

Modifications have been made to the high-speed trains running from London to Kent after passengers complained of ‘wobbles’ as the Javelins passed through tunnels. Southeastern said the UK’s fastest domestic trains, made by Hitachi, had been suffering ‘sideways movement’ – never a plus for a train!

The 29 six-carriage trains cost a total of £258 million – nearly £30 million each - and feature prominently in travel plans for the London 2012 Olympics.

‘The problem has been remedied by adding dampeners to the bogies, but this whole incident proves again how far behind the UK lags in terms of high-speed rail,’ says ASLEF general secretary Keith Norman. ‘We have so little experience of it in this country.’

He pointed out that while the UK has 113 km of high speed track this compares rather poorly with other European countries whereas

  • Spain has 3,823 km
  • France has 2,106 km
  • Germany has 1,663 km and
  • Italy has 923.

Further afield, China boasts 10,225 km of high-speed track and Japan has 3,042.

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