The UK’s fastest passenger train has completed its maiden voyage between Ashford International, Ebbsfleet International and St Pancras International, travelling at up to speeds of 140mph.

The trains are expected to cut journey time between Ashford and London from 80 to 37 minutes and shorten the time from Ebbsfleet to London to 17 minutes.

The Hitachi 395, the UK’s first high-speed train, was built for the new High Speed 1 (HS1) line as well as the existing DC network in Kent.

The Hitachi 395 utilises technology from the company’s bullet trains and is capable of reaching speeds of up to 140mph on the network.

Southeastern Railways will operate the rail service, starting with a limited high-speed service on 29 June with a full service set to begin on 13 December 2009.

Hitachi has delivered 18 sets to Ashford. The remaining 11 were shipped from Hitachi’s factory in Japan on 13 June and are due to arrive in the UK in August 2009.