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Southeastern trains to be named after top British athletes

25th September 2009

Olympic cycling champion Jamie Staff has unveiled the first of 12 high-speed trains to be named after Britain's best athletes.

Jamie, from Ashford, who was part of the men's sprint team that claimed gold in Beijing, unveiled a plaque on "his" train at Ashford International Station.

Train operator Southeastern said trains bearing the other athletes' names would come into service over the next couple of weeks.

Dame Kelly Holmes who is also from Kent, will also have a train named after her.

The others will be named after Steve Backley, Sir Steve Redgrave, Rebecca Adlington, Chris Hoy, Ben Ainslie, Daley Thompson, Duncan Goodhew, Katherine Grainger, Lord Sebastian Coe and Dame Tanni Grey-Thompson.

The athletes were chosen in a public vote to pick names for Southeastern trains new Japanese-built Class 395 140mph Javelin trains.

High-speed trains are currently running a limited Kent to London service, however the full service will begin on 13 December.

Jamie, who comes from Ashford, unveiled a train bearing his name which went into service immediately.

"Our high speed trains are the fastest in the country so it seems only appropriate that we name the first 12 after Britain's fastest," said Southeastern managing director Charles Horton.

The preview service began running in June from Ashford to London St Pancras and was extended to Dover last month.

Southeastern said the service to Dover had been so successful it would be increased from six carriages to 12.

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