UK train operator Southeastern has launched a preview service for its domestic 140mph High Speed Class 395 Hitachi trains, scheduled to run in full service by December 2009.

Once completed, the high-speed rail service will take 37 minutes from Ashford International and 17 minutes from Ebbsfleet International to reach London and will significantly cut down travel time between London and the Kent coast.

The preview service, in the meantime, will allow passengers to board three morning and three evening peak trains from Ashford International to St Pancras and four morning and six evening peak services from Ebbsfleet International to St Pancras, at a fare increase of 20%.

The purpose behind the preview service is to ensure the train’s smooth running prior to its full time-service.