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The Victory Javelin

Saturday 10 November 2018

The annual charity Javelin tour has become a highlight of the railtour season, each trip commemorating one year in the First World War, raising funds for the Royal British Legion’s Poppy Appeal which marks the sacrifices made by members of our armed forces, past and present.

Each year, one of SouthEastern’s high speed Class 395 trains has run for a year carrying special livery adornments, each one different from the previous one, these being removed a year later when its successor is launched.

Representatives of the Royal British Legion are on parade, complete with regalia and banners, bringing a real sense of occasion to the event. Here is a list of the four trips that have run to date:

The Victoria Cross Unit 395014, 15 November 2014 (marking the year 1914)

Operation Javelin Unit 395015, 7 November 2015 (marking the year 1915)

The Regency Javelin Unit 395016, 12 November 2016 (marking the year 1916)

The Passchendale Javelin Unit 395017, 11 November 2017 (marking the year 1917)

And so on Saturday 10 November 2018, on the eve of Remembrance Sunday, the fifth and final tour in this remarkable series takes to the tracks. Unit 395018 will make her first appearance with her new livery adornments, which are top secret at the present time but are expected to draw inspiration from the previous four. The train will run in a 12-car formation; the plan is that this will be the one and only occasion on which last year’s and this year’s specially decorated Class 395s will be seen together.

Like its predecessors, the tour will travel over lines where the stylish Javelin trains are never usually seen. Appropriately enough, the Victory Javelin runs to the great naval city of Portsmouth. Here you can take a break of around 90 minutes or, should you prefer, continue your journey to Southampton and back. It was here that the Javelin trains entered the UK in 2007.

The trip will begin with a fast run along High Speed 1 from London St Pancras to Ashford. After a reversal we continue via Paddock Wood, Tonbridge, Redhill (reverse), Three Bridges, Horsham, Pulborough, Bognor Regis (reverse), Barnham (reverse), Chichester, Havant, Portsmouth Harbour (reverse) and Netley to reach Southampton Central (reverse) before returning to Portsmouth Harbour.

Our return route is as outward, via the attractive Mid-Sussex Line to Redhill, Ashford International and St Pancras.

The train is standard class only and light refreshments will be available. Commemorative badges and other items will be available. A special onboard raffle will take place too, maybe with the odd prize that ‘money can’t buy’!

We are especially pleased to be able to offer this extraordinary tour for just £39.50 (Junior £29.50) so everybody can come along and take part in this great day out. For those who are able, additional donations may be added to the fare.

All timings are provisional and intended only as a guide.

London St Pancras08.1519.15
Ashford International09.0518.25

  • Departing Station

  • Standard Class

    Light refreshments will be available.
  • Price: £ 39.50
  • Price: £ 29.50