Travelling on a Javelin train
At a glance
- High speed train
- Regional train
Javelins are a dedicated fleet of high-speed trains operating on the UK’s Southeastern rail services from London St Pancras to Kent, including stops such as Ashford, Canterbury and Margate. These trains were introduced in time for the 2012 Olympics; hence the sporting name. They are more prosaically referred to as Class 395 trains. Each train is named after a famous British athlete.
The Javelin is Britain’s only dedicated high-speed train operating on domestic services with a top speed of 225 km/h. It is a no-frills service with the accent on speed. Each train consists of six carriages and, at peak commuter times, these services can be very busy.
Before you board
Some UK train stations require travellers to validate their tickets through automatic gates. Simply insert your ticket orange-side-up into the slot in the gate and it will pop back up through a slot at the top. Take your ticket and the gates will open. If there are no automatic barriers at the station, ticket control will take place once onboard.
Javelin trains are bright, airy and air conditioned. Because the Javelin was designed to provide a high-speed commuter service, luggage facilities are limited. There is free wifi onboard all Javelin trains and there is one power socket located below each pair of seats.
Booking and printing options
Javelin tickets are open for bookings 90 days in advance.
It is not possible to reserve a seat in advance on Javelin trains, so just board the train and find an empty seat.
Get the lowest prices on Javelin by booking early and don’t wait until the last minute as cheaper seats sell out quickly.
Opt for off-peak Javelin trains when you have to travel at short notice. Off-peak Javelin trains are more affordable than ones that run mornings and evenings, Fridays and Sundays or during popular holidays.
Advance tickets offer discounts of up to 80% for bookings made well in advance.
Using a railcard may also help to get further discounts when booking UK trains.
Make the most of our Pricehack fares, or split ticket bargains, on over 200 million train journeys in Great Britain.
Collect-at-station tickets are available for every UK train.
Classes of service
Javelin trains only have Standard Class seats.
If you are especially keen to travel First Class from London to destinations in Kent (such as Ashford, Canterbury, Dover and Margate), you will need to take one of the slower trains which depart at least hourly from London Victoria or Charing Cross. The latter services are operated by regional trains which have both First and Standard Class seating.
Javelin Standard Class
No journey on a Javelin train takes more than an hour or two, and most passengers are making short commutes of well under 1 hr. The seating is adequate rather than comfortable with pairs of seats across a central aisle in open-plan carriages. A small number of seats are arranged in seats of four around a table.