Mystery Train At London Bridge

By M@ Last edited 111 months ago
Mystery Train At London Bridge

Welcome aboard the Torchwood Express.

There's more of computer train than commuter train about this Southeastern vehicle, which pulled into London Bridge station on Monday night. According to Mike King, who sent us the photo:

"Apart from all the computers, every carriage had 50 odd bags of hardcore ballast on the seat (to simulate a full train I guess). And there were several stickers saying Hitachi coach, so I guess the Japanese are at the leading edge of train engineering."

Anyone got any insider knowledge about this peculiar arrival? Was it somehow a prelude to yesterday's news - that Hitachi are part of a Japanese consortium who will build the UK's next generation of trains? Or is it just a routine test of train performance? Factual information and reckless speculation equally welcome in the comments.

Last Updated 13 February 2009

Mr Thant

Hitachi are already building a fleet of high speed trains for Southeastern to run from Kent to St Pancras via the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (aka High Speed 1). Google "Class 395" and see what comes up. They start running in December.

This is presumably a test train (power supplies and track etc) before the regular trains start running. I don't anything specific about it, and a quick Google doesn't turn anything up.

Mr Thant

Scratch that. Hitachi also have the contract to replace the electrical drive gear in Southeastern's existing trains, and this is the prototype.

(figured out by calculating the train number from the vehicle number in the photo , and googling it. Doesn't get much dorkier than that)


Aliens. It's got to be aliens.