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Passenger Charter


Southeastern provides rail services in South East London, Kent and East Sussex. Southeastern is committed to providing a safe, reliable, welcoming service all day, every day and we work hard to deliver this promise. We’re continuing to invest in and improve the service we provide and welcome your feedback, suggestions and ideas to help us achieve this.

In producing this Passenger Charter, we set out to explain:

  • the minimum standards we expect to achieve;
  • how we’ll compensate you if things go wrong;
  • how we’ll tell you about our performance; and
  • how you can contact us with your suggestions or concerns.

We review our Passenger Charter every year and any changes are made following consultation with Passenger Focus, London TravelWatch, and the Department for Transport. We carry out market research to get a better understanding of what you think of our service and how we could improve it further. Wherever possible, we make changes to our Passenger’s Charter and services in light of these comments and those received in correspondence from passengers.

If you’d like to comment on any aspect of our Passenger Charter or the services that we provide, please contact our Customer Services team:

Telephone: 0845 000 2222 or 01732 378 751

Southeastern Customer Services
PO Box 63428
London SE1P 5FD

Copies of our Passenger Charter are available from any staffed Southeastern station, customer services, or can be downloaded from our website.

Download our Passenger Charter



National Rail Conditions of Carriage

Our Passenger’s Charter does not affect your legal rights; which are set out in the National Rail Conditions of Carriage. You can view these on or or can ask for a copy at any staffed Southeastern station or from our Customer Services.

The National Rail Conditions of Carriage cover all journeys made on our services. They also cover all ticket purchases except for purchase of Oyster PAYG value. The purchase of Oyster PAYG value is covered within the Oyster Conditions of Use on National Rail.

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Finding out about our train times, fares and station facilities

On the internet 

National Rail Enquiries is the official information site for rail services in Great Britain. Here you can plan your journey, check train times, find out how trains are running, look up fares and find out about the facilities at stations.

At you can create your own customised timetable based around your origin and destination, your own time requirements and the days of the week that you want and then download it as a PDF document for printing at your leisure or for storing on your computer or smart phone. 

This website is the place to find out about the services we provide. We keep our site up to date with information and offers that are useful and relevant to our customers.

Transport for London’s website is the place to find out about travelling by public transport in London on Tubes, Buses, Docklands Light Railway and London Overground services.

By telephone

National Rail Enquiries: 08457 48 49 50 (24 hours)
Textphone: 0845 60 50 600 (for passengers with hearing impairments)
Southeastern Customer Services: 0845 000 2222 or 01732 378 751
Textphone: 0800 783 4548 (for passengers with hearing impairments)

At your local station

Pocket timetables are available at all the staffed stations we serve. These booklets contain details of the services, bus links and connections with other train operating companies relevant to that station and are free of charge. Posters showing train times are on display at all stations.

In addition to the timetable posters, each station prominently displays posters with information about forthcoming engineering work and how it affects the timetable. We’ll provide summaries of this information on the posters at least four weeks in advance and we’ll provide full details on the posters of any alternative train or replacement bus services at least five days in advance for any timetable changes caused by planned engineering works.

When we introduce a new timetable, we aim to have the ‘pocket’ versions available at stations at least four weeks before the new timetable starts. To avoid confusion with the current timetable these new ‘pocket’ versions may not be on display, but are available on request.

If it becomes necessary to put in place an emergency timetable, we will endeavour to give you as much notice as possible through National Rail Enquiries,, local radio, on-station information and via our email alerts.

Journey information for other means of public transport anywhere in Great Britain including underground, bus, coach, tram or ferry services is available from: : Traveline
0871 200 22 33 (0700 to 2100 for the Greater London area and 0700 to 2200 elsewhere). : Transport for London
020 7222 1234 (for journeys involving public transport in London)

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Buying your ticket

On the internet

You can buy a wide range of tickets, from our website Tickets can be sent to you by first class post or special delivery or you can collect them from selected self-service ticket machines at stations.

On the Southeastern On Track app

As well as planning your journey, you can buy tickets to UK destinations using our free Southeastern On Track app available at the App store or Google play.

Self-service ticket machines

Self-service ticket machines are available at many of our stations. These offer a quick and easy way of buying or collecting a wide range of tickets. Tickets can be purchased with a credit card, debit card or cash.

At the station

Each staffed station displays a poster showing the opening hours of the ticket office and other useful information. All Southeastern ticket offices offer a wide range of National Rail tickets. We’ll always sell you the ticket that most suits your needs, regardless of whether or not you’re travelling on our trains.

Oyster PAYG

You can pay for your journey on Southeastern within the London Fares Zones 1-6 using Oyster Pay As You Go. You can top up PAYG value at our self-service ticket machines or other PAYG outlets. As long as you have enough PAYG value on your Oyster Card then you simply touch in at the beginning of the journey and touch out at the end of the journey. Doing this ensures you will be charged the correct fare.

Queuing times

Please allow sufficient time to buy your ticket, particularly if your requirements are complicated. Our aim is that, under normal circumstances, you shouldn’t have to wait for more than three minutes before being served and no more than five minutes at busy times. Each station’s busy times for buying tickets at the ticket office are displayed on its information poster.

We monitor ticket office queues to ensure we are meeting these targets. If you wish to renew a Season Ticket or make a reservation on another train operator’s services it may be better to avoid the busy morning and evening rush hours. This will help our staff to give you the best possible service.

Penalty fares

We operate a Penalty Fare system on all Southeastern routes.

When travelling on Southeastern, you must carry a valid ticket or validated Oyster Card for your entire journey for the class of travel you are using, or have authority to travel. If your ticket attracted a Railcard discount you must have your Railcard with you.

If a station doesn’t have a ticket office, or the ticket office is closed, you can purchase tickets from the self-service ticket machine at the station. At stations where there’s no ticket office or self-service machine you must obtain a ‘Permit to Travel’ from the machine. Where these are not available, tickets should be purchased at the first reasonable opportunity during the journey. Failure to purchase a valid ticket for your entire journey may leave you liable to pay a Penalty Fare. This will be £20 or twice the appropriate full single fare to the next station stop, whichever is the greater.

Full details of our Penalty Fare system are displayed on our website and copies of our Penalty Fare Leaflet are available from any staffed Southeastern station or from Customer Services.

Ticket gates

Automatic ticket gates are installed at a number of stations on the Southeastern network. These gates help us to reduce fare evasion and keep our stations safer.

Oyster PAYG validators

There are Oyster validators, either free standing or fitted to the ticket gates, at every station within the London Fare Zones 1-6. These enable customers using Oyster PAYG, to touch in at the beginning of every journey, and, to touch out at the end of every journey. Failure to touch in and out will lead you to being charged he maximum Oyster fare, regardless of the length of the journey made.

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Keeping you informed about how your service is running

Our commitment to keeping you informed

We appreciate that providing good, accurate and timely information is a vital part of the service we provide, ensuring you are a well-informed traveller. Working together with Network Rail, and other industry partners, we will do our best to ensure that you have information about the service when making your travel plans and during your journey.

Service information

Before your journey has information for all rail services in Great Britain. Here you can plan your journey, check train times, find out how trains are running and look up facilities at stations.

You can create and print out your own customised timetable based around your origin and destination or download it as a PDF document to store on your computer or smartphone. It also has information about planned engineering work and how this may affect your journey.

Our website will be kept up to date with information and offers that are useful and relevant.

The free Southeastern On Track app provides personalised, real time information and super-fast journey planning for all UK train routes, and you can also buy tickets too.

You can sign up to email alerts and follow @Se_Railway or @nre_SEastern on Twitter or download i-phone and smartphone Apps to keep you informed of how the service is running, and allowing you to make alternative journey plans as necessary.

If it becomes necessary to put in place a temporary or emergency timetable, we will endeavour to give you as much notice as possible through National Rail Enquiries, our website, local radio, on-station information and via our email alerts and Twitter.

During your journey

The majority of our stations have visual electronic display boards showing up-to-date train times. Audible announcements will be made at most stations publicising train running information and other relevant information to reassure you that you’re in the right place at the right time. All our trains have electronic screens and audible announcements so you are kept informed about your journey as you travel.

When things go wrong and the train service is delayed or disrupted we will update industry systems to ensure a consistent message is shown on electronic media including, and also on smartphone apps.

We have internal procedures in place that aim to keep customer facing employees regularly informed and updated so station and onboard staff will make announcements and pass on information they receive whenever possible.

When things go wrong our aim is to ensure you’re told as quickly as possible:

  • what the problem is
  • what it means for your journey
  • any suggested alternatives

We will update all our information channels as quickly as possible. But there will be times during train service disruption when industry information systems will not always be able to keep pace with the rapidly changing situation. We are working across the industry to improve these systems and to minimise such occurrences.

We also have regular internal review processes which include using customer feedback to ensure we continue to refine and improve the service we provide.

During disruption we have procedures in place that aim to recover a normal service as soon as is practical. In agreement with other train operators we may re-route you where necessary, for example in certain circumstances use of the London Underground may be permitted.

We will also ensure that if you intended to travel on a route that is disrupted with a cheaper fare then that cheaper fare will still apply.

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If delays occur we’ll endeavour to get you to your destination as quickly as possible. If you miss your last train because of a delay to one of our services, we’ll arrange onward transport either by road or with another train operating company or if this is not possible we will arrange overnight accommodation.

If your journey is delayed we will provide the information you need to complete your journey and to make a claim for compensation if your journey is delayed by 30 minutes or more.

We’ll consider any reasonable claim you may have for additional costs incurred because of a delay to one of our services (for example, the cost of alternative travel arrangements). Claims for consequential loss will only be considered under the terms of the National Rail Conditions of Carriage.

Our refund and compensation policy is explained in the following paragraphs.

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If the train you planned to catch is delayed or cancelled and you decide not to travel, you can return your unused ticket (other than a Season Ticket) to any ticket office for an immediate full refund. No administration fee will be charged.

If the train service is running normally and you decide not to travel you can apply for a refund at any Southeastern ticket office. This must be done within 28 days of the expiry of the ticket’s validity. They will tell you if your ticket is eligible for a refund. You may have to pay an administration charge not exceeding £10. If your ticket was bought from a travel agent, you should contact them for a refund.

If you used Oyster PAYG to pay for a journey which was delayed (and have correctly touched in and touched out) then we will endeavour to arrange for the system to refund you the correct amount when you next touch in at the station you most frequently use. If you do not receive an automatic refund then we will treat each journey as a Single journey as described above.

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Under our Delay Repay scheme, if your journey is delayed by more than 30 minutes, irrespective of what caused the delay, you will be entitled to claim compensation:

Day Tickets

  • If your journey is delayed by between 30 and 59 minutes, we’ll compensate you to the value of 50% of the fare for the portion of your journey affected by the delay. For example, 50% of the cost of a single ticket and 25% of a return ticket will be paid.
  • If your journey is delayed by between 60 and 119 minutes, we’ll compensate you to the value of 100% of the fare for the portion of your journey affected by the delay. For example 100% of the cost of a single ticket and 50% of a return ticket will be paid.
  • If your journey is delayed by 120 minutes or more we will compensate you to the value of 100% of the return journey.

Season Tickets

Annual tickets – compensation is calculated on the basis of one return journey being made every Monday to Friday and one return journey being made at the weekend one week in four. This gives 520 journeys on Mondays to Fridays and 26 journeys at weekends. Therefore we divide the fare paid by 546 for the refund value per journey.

Quarterly, Monthly and Weekly tickets are calculated using pro-rata divisions of the annual calculation.

Compensation is calculated on the proportional daily cost of your ticket. So for example:

  • A quarterly season ticket is a total of 136.5 journeys (546 ÷ 4)
  • A monthly season ticket is a total of 45.5 journeys (546 ÷ 12)
  • A weekly season ticket is a total of 10.5 journeys (546 ÷ 52)

Should a period of ‘sustained poor performance’ be experienced (this is measured by the number of trains arriving at their final destination within 5 minutes of the scheduled time) we will consider enhanced compensatiion for season ticket holders over and above the arrangements outlined above. In doing so we will consult Passenger Focus and London Travelwatch.

Enhanced compensation means (at the passenger’s choice) either, two free journeys anywhere on the Southeastern network valid for not less than 12 months or national rail travel vouchers to the value of a single fare for a journey between the stations for which the relevant passenger’s season ticket is valid.

Period of ‘sustained poor performance’ means in any reporting period, a passenger has experienced a delay to their journey of more than 30 minutes, 12 or more days.

In the event that an emergency timetable is introduced, compensation entitlements will be based on that emergency timetable.

Claims can be made directly through or by downloading a form that can be sent to our ‘freepost’ address. You can also collect a form from staffed stations.

All claims for compensation must be submitted within 28 days of the relevant journey and be supported with evidence for the delay. We will only consider claims after this period if you have an exceptional reason. We always review our operation when there have been problems with the service. This helps us to learn from our experience and lessen the chances of the same problems occurring again.

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Train performance

We will publish how punctual our services are using the Public Performance Measure (PPM).

PPM measures the performance of individual trains advertised as passenger services against our planned timetable as agreed between Southeastern and Network Rail. PPM is therefore the percentage of trains ‘on time’ compared to the total number of trains planned. A train is defined as ‘on time’ if it arrives within five minutes (ie 4 minutes 59 seconds or less) of the planned destination arrival time.

When a train fails to run its entire planned route, calling at all timetabled stations it will count as a PPM failure. We will publish by line of route:

  • Our average performance every four weeks
  • Our average performance over the past year

We‘ll publish these performance figures every four weeks on our website

If you do not have access to the Internet at home, you may be able to use facilities at your local public library, or you can request a paper copy by contacting our Customer Services or asking at a staffed station.

We will also display the figures on a poster at the following stations: Ashford International, Bromley South, Canterbury West, Chatham, Dartford, Faversham, Folkestone Central, Hastings, Lewisham, London Blackfriars, London Bridge, London Cannon Street, London Charing Cross, London St Pancras, London Victoria, London Waterloo East, Maidstone East, Maidstone West, Margate, Orpington, Ramsgate, Sevenoaks, Sittingbourne, Tonbridge and Tunbridge Wells.

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Finding a seat

Southeastern operate a walk-on service which means you can join any of our trains if you have a valid ticket. We know that the ability to turn up and travel is something that passengers value so we cannot always guarantee to provide a seat, especially during peak periods.

Our aim is that nobody should stand for more than 20 minutes, even during our busiest times. We monitor the number of people using each train on a regular basis using either automatic passenger load detection equipment or manual counts and use that information to allocate carriages to best meet demand.

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Disabled and older passengers

We’re committed to making travel on Southeastern as accessible as possible. With 24 hours’ notice we’re able to provide assistance to disabled and older passengers who need it at any of our staffed stations. While 24 hours’ notice is preferable, we will always do our best to accommodate your needs if this is not achievable.

To make the necessary arrangements please contact our assisted travel line by:

Telephone 0800 783 4524
Textphone 0800 783 4548 (for passengers with hearing impairments)

or by submitting an assisted travel booking form on our website.

Passengers with hearing difficulties may wish to enquire about train times and fares using the Textphone service provided by National Rail Enquiries.

Textphone 0845 60 50 600 (24 hrs).

There are designated car parking spaces available for blue badge holders at all the station car parks that we manage. Parking in these spaces for blue badge holders is free.

All of our trains have space for wheelchairs and those trains which operate out to the Kent Coast and Sussex have dedicated space within the passenger saloon for wheelchair users and their companions. These trains also have accessible toilets.

Our ‘Disabled People’s Protection Policy’ sets out our approach to meeting the requirements of the Department for Transport’s Code of Practice, ‘Accessible Train Station Design for Disabled People’ and describes the arrangements for implementing our Policy. Copies are also available from our assisted travel line.

Help and advice for travelling by train is also available via the Disability Onboard website.


We offer a good range of catering outlets at most of the stations we manage, allowing customers to purchase food and beverages before or after boarding a service.

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Lost property

If we find any item of lost property we’ll always do our best to contact the owner. If you lose an item of property on one of our services, please contact Customer Services using the webform on our website or by telephone. If we find your lost property it will be stored for three months at London Cannon Street station, from where you can collect it. We charge a collection fee to cover our administration costs. The charges are displayed on the lost property area of our website.

If you do not have access to the Internet at home, you may be able to use facilities at your local public library, or you can request a paper copy by contacting our Customer Services.

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Answering your enquiries

We aim to answer 97% (80% within 30 seconds) of all calls to our customer service centre. If you contact us using our feedback form or write or fax us with your comments or complaints we aim to respond to you within ten working days.

Please address your letters (including a daytime telephone number where possible) to:

Southeastern Customer Services
PO Box 63428

Telephone: 0845 000 2222 or 01732 378 751
Fax: 0845 678 6976
Textphone 0800 783 4548 (for passengers with hearing impairments)

During times of unusually high demand we’re sometimes unable to meet these response targets. Please bear with us, as we’ll respond to you as quickly as we can.

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Keeping you updated on our customer service performance

In addition to the four-weekly updates on train service performance we’ll keep you informed of other aspects of our service from time to time, including:

  • queuing times at booking offices and actual opening hours;
  • ticket vending machine availability;
  • our response times to the letters you write;
  • our performance in answering your telephone calls to our enquiry service;
  • the number of complaints per 1000 passengers;
  • feedback from the latest National Rail Passenger Survey; and
  • our customer and stakeholder engagement strategy.

If you do not have access to the Internet at home, you may be able to use facilities at your local public library, or you can request the information by contacting our Customer Services.

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We welcome your comments

We’re always pleased to hear the views of our passengers, which are vital in understanding where improvements to our service can be made. We maintain a constructive working relationship with both Passenger Focus and London TravelWatch, undertake market research, conduct surveys with passengers, hold regular ‘Meet The Managers’ events at selected London stationsand consult with Rail User Groups across our network. We also take very seriously the results of the twice yearly National Rail Passenger Survey.

If you’ve any recommendations that you feel could enhance travel on Southeastern, or would like to comment on any aspect of our service, please contact us using our Feedback Form or by telephoning or writing to:

Southeastern Customer Services
PO Box 63428

Telephone: 0845 000 2222 or 01732 378 751
Fax: 0845 678 6976
Textphone: 0800 783 4548 (for the hearing impaired)

Alternatively, you can fill in a comments card, available at any of our staffed stations.

When writing to us, please include your tickets and a daytime telephone number with your correspondence, as we often find that a telephone conversation is much more effective than lengthy correspondence.

Please give us the opportunity to resolve any problems you’ve had with Southeastern. If, however, you’re unhappy with our response, you can write to Passenger Focus or London TravelWatch at the addresses below. These are independent statutory bodies established to assist passengers with unresolved complaints.

Passenger Focus
PO BOX 4257
M60 3AR

Telephone: 0300 123 2350
Fax: 0845 850 1392

London TravelWatch
169 Union Street,

Telephone: 020 3176 2999

London TravelWatch covers the stations that we serve in the London Fares Zones and as far out as Dartford, Swanley and Sevenoaks.

Passenger Focus covers all the stations that we serve in Kent and East Sussex beyond Dartford, Swanley and Sevenoaks.

If you’re delayed on the services of another operator and you write to us, then we’ll ensure your letter gets sent on to the right people in the company involved. We’ll write to let you know to whom we’ve forwarded your letter.

If you write about a problem with your Oyster Card or Oyster PAYG then please include your card details. In most cases, we will forward your correspondence to the Oyster Helpdesk at Transport for London.

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Other useful information

Our trains

We aim to clean all our trains every day, we’re proud that they’re clean and smart – we intend to keep it that way. Additionally, we try to ensure that every train which leaves London is cleared of newspapers and litter before the start of its journey. All our trains can accommodate wheelchairs. The locations of wheelchair spaces are clearly indicated by signs on the outside of the train doors.

Carriage of cycles

Passengers with cycles are welcome on our services. However we’re only able to accommodate compact folded cycles at our busiest times – that is trains arriving in London, Monday to Friday between 07.00 and 09.59, and leaving London between 16.00 and 18.59. Compact folded bikes can be carried at any time on our services, provided they’re folded before being taken onto the platform and remain folded while onboard the train.

If you are starting your journey from one of the following boundary stations, and travelling away from London, and space is available you can take your cycle with you at any time. These stations are: Gillingham, Otford, and Tonbridge. Similarly, if your journey starts in Kent or East Sussex and ends before these stations, you can take your cycle with you at any time, subject to available space.

Cycles must be removed from the onboard space for wheelchairs if a passenger using a wheelchair requires it.

We’re working with Local Authorities and Network Rail to increase and improve the cycle storage facilities at our stations.

Our staff

All our customer-facing staff at stations and on trains will be pleased to assist you with any aspect of your journey. Our staff are trained to be:

  • smartly dressed, easily recognisable and wearing name badges;
  • on hand to assist you, particularly if services are disrupted; and
  • courteous, helpful and willing to deal with your problems.

Our stations

We’re committed to continually improving the facilities and appearance of our stations so that they’re welcoming to our passengers. During the course of our franchise we will install more information screens, ticket gates, ticket vending machines and help points and carry out a comprehensive repair and painting programme.

We’ll also be investing in improving accessibility at our stations. Where level or step-free, access cannot be achieved, we’ll provide alternative means of transport for disabled passengers from your local station to the most suitable accessible station. You can arrange alternative transport through the assisted travel line.

We aim, where possible, to provide additional car park spaces where they are needed.
Our stations will be well lit. Main stations and car parks will be regularly patrolled by uniformed security attendants from early morning until late at night.

We will work with the British Transport Police to combat crime and anti-social behaviour on our railway. All CCTV systems will produce good colour images with downloading facilities providing evidence admissible in a court of law.

We’re working hard to continue to improve the service we provide to all our passengers, and we hope you notice the progress we make.

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