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Travel with confidence

At Southeastern we want you to travel with confidence. 
We are welcoming more passengers back, and our teams are working hard to help you travel safely.

From 7 September, we’ve boosted our services up to 98% of our pre-COVID timetable. Find out more about our current timetable
And we’ve reworked it to give you more space, with longer trains on many services adding over 900 extra carriages each weekday, providing 50,000 extra seats.

We are taking extra steps to help make your journey with us safer, we are - 

Train 

 Maximising space

 Running more trains and carriages to help make extra room. 

 Spray cleaner

 Boosting cleaning

 Frequently deep cleaning our trains and stations using anti-virial products and increasing our focus on cleaning high-touch areas.                                                              

 Hand sanitiser

 Helping with hygiene

 Providing hand sanitiser at busy stations and ensuring our toilets have adequate supplies of soap. 

 Speech bubbles

 Improving information 

 Ensuring more staff are available at our stations to help you with your journey. 

 

To help keep you safe when you travel with us, you can -  

 Wear a face covering

 Wear a face covering on our trains and at our stations, unless you are exempt.

 Wash your hands before and after travelling with us

 Carry hand sanitiser and wash your hands before and after traveling with us.

 Social distancing

 Maintain social distancing where possible. 

 Pay contactless whenever possible

 Pay contactless whenever possible, or buy your tickets online, on your mobile via our app, or use The Key, our contactless smartcard.

 Clock

 Plan ahead and check before you travel and when you can, travel at quieter times. 


Please follow government advice and read the 
government checklist for safer travel
Watch our safe travel video for more information.


How busy is my train?

live departure board results
Our new SeatFinder tool tells you how busy your train might be, allowing you to plan your journey with confidence. 

Using train loading data of the same service from the previous week, we are now providing the most accurate information of how busy your service might be. This pilot currently provides information for weekday services and includes most but not quite all our trains. If there is no seat availability shown for your journey, it means information isn’t available for that train yet. We are working hard to bring you more information as soon as we can. To find out how busy your train is, simply check your journey on our live departure boards. 

Live Departure Boards

As well as seat availability, you can also find out what platform your train will stop at, how long it will be and the live running times of the service.
To check journey times beyond the next 2 hours, please use our online journey planner.



Face coverings

Please be advised that it is now mandatory to wear a face covering while travelling on our trains and in all areas of our stations.  
For advice on appropriate face coverings and how to make your own, visit the BBC website.
Remember some people are exempt from wearing face coverings, you can find out more in the FAQs below or on the Government's website

 

Travel advice

Should I be travelling? 

Yes. We want everyone to be able travel safely, and our safer travel pledge means that we’re taking extra steps to make everyone’s journeys safe from coronavirus. 
We’ll maximise the amount of space on our trains by running more trains and carriages to make extra room, boost cleaning by cleaning trains and stations more regularly, help with hygiene by making it easier to keep your hands clean, and increase staff and improve information to help you travel safely.


When is the best time to travel and when should I avoid? 

It’s better to plan ahead and travel at quieter times if you can.
It’s better to avoid travelling between 6 am - 9 am in the morning, and between 3 pm - 6 pm in the evening if you can, as these are our busiest times.

Will you be adding more trains to the timetable in the future?  

At present we’re running approximately 98% of the trains that would normally be in the timetable. 
On September 7 we added more trains to the timetable, with services similar to those running before COVID-19.
Online journey planners and timetables have now been updated, including details of Advance fare availability.


When will services return to normal at my station? 

We can’t say for sure in these uncertain times. However, the next planned timetable change is on 13 December when we aim to be able run 100% of services. 
We will also be running our leaf fall timetable this year from October 12, which sees a few minutes added to journey times to allow our train drivers to safely drive in autumn conditions.


Will service frequency increase in the future? 

We want to give all our passengers the most frequent service we can. This has to be balanced with those stations that have more passengers, and so need more trains.
When developing the timetable, our train planners look at where capacity is most needed and how they can ensure the most reliable service.


Will you consult on future timetable changes? 

Where possible we will always ensure that we consult with our stakeholders on major timetable changes so that the needs of the passengers that they represent can be properly considered.
Owing to the exceptional circumstances from Covid-19 outbreak we have had to make changes with very limited time for feedback. However, we continue to consider any feedback we receive, and we plan to run full public consultations again when the situation returns to normal.


Will you be running early and late trains for people who work on early and late shifts? 

Yes - we’re continuing to closely monitor the demand for our services and have already added more services to places where they’re needed.  

Do I have to wear a face covering? 

Yes. The government have announced that with effect from June 15, face coverings are mandatory on all public transport in England, including on trains, buses, trams, ferries and aircraft. Face coverings are also mandatory in all areas of our stations, including ticket halls, footbridges, underpasses, waiting rooms, lifts and platforms. 

The penalty for failing to wear a face covering will now be £200 for a first offence, doubling each time to a maximum fine of £6,400. 


Who is exempt from wearing a face covering on public transport? 

Children under 11 do not have to wear a face covering. The following exemptions to wearing a face covering also apply -

  • if you have a physical or mental illness or impairment, or a disability that means you cannot put on, wear or remove a face covering
  • if putting on, wearing or removing a face covering would cause you severe distress
  • if you are travelling with, or providing assistance to, someone who relies on lip reading to communicate
  • if you are travelling to avoid injury or escape the risk of harm, and you do not have a face covering with you
  • if you need to remove it during your journey to avoid harm or injury or the risk of harm or injury to yourself or others
  • if you need to eat, drink, or take medication you can remove your face covering
  • if you are asked to remove your face covering by a police officer or other official, for example to check your railcard

There’s more information about wearing face coverings on public transport on the Government’s website.

If you’d like to signal that you are exempt from wearing a face covering, you can download and print off a face covering exemption card, bring it with you on your train journey, and show it if you need to.
If you don't have a printer, you can download a mobile-friendly version of the card here.


How will this be enforced? 

We’re confident that the vast majority of people are going to want to do the right thing and consider others by bringing and wearing a face covering while in stations and on trains.  
If someone isn’t wearing a face covering, they’ll be reminded of the rules and told where they can get one – for example, at vending machines at stations, in shops or online. 
Only as a last resort will British Transport Police issue someone with a fixed penalty notice (effectively a ‘spot fine’). 


Where can I get hold of a face mask or face covering? 

You can buy disposable and reusable face masks online or in many shops.

At London terminal stations that are managed by Network Rail (Cannon Street, Charing Cross, London Bridge, Waterloo and Victoria) you can ask a member of Network Rail staff for a face mask should you need one. 

At a number of Southeastern stations you will also see vending machines which dispense face masks and hand sanitiser. Southeastern are not making a profit on the sale of these items. 
Vending machines are available at the following stations - 

 Albany Park 
 Elmers End 
 Maze Hill 
 Ashford International 
 Elmstead Wood 
 Mottingham 
 Barnehurst 
 Eltham 
 New Eltham 
 Beckenham Junction 
 Falconwood 
 Orpington 
 Bexley 
 Faversham 
 Paddock Wood 
 Bexleyheath 
 Folkestone Central 
 Penge East 
 Bickley 
 Gillingham 
 Plumstead 
 Blackheath 
 Gravesend 
 Rainham 
 Borough Green 
 Greenhithe 
 Ramsgate 
 Broadstairs 
 Greenwich 
 Rochester 
 Bromley South 
 Grove Park 
 Sevenoaks 
 Canterbury East 
 Hastings 
 Shortlands 
 Canterbury West 
 Hayes 
 Sidcup 
 Catford Bridge 
 Headcorn 
 Sittingbourne 
 Charlton 
 Herne Hill 
 St Leonards Warrior Square
 Chatham 
 High Brooms 
 Staplehurst 
 Chelsfield 
 Hildenborough 
 Swanley 
 Chislehurst 
 Hither Green 
 Tonbridge 
 Clock House 
 Ladywell 
 Tunbridge Wells 
 Crayford 
 Lee 
 Wadhurst 
 Dartford 
 Lewisham 
 Welling 
 Deal 
 London Waterloo East
 West Dulwich 
 Dover Priory 
 Maidstone West 
 Whitstable 
 Eden Park  Margate  Woolwich Arsenal


Can I make a face covering myself? 

There are many sources of information online on how to make a face covering yourself using a piece of material and elastic, or an old T-shirt, for example.
For advice on appropriate face coverings please visit the BBC website.  


Will railway staff be preventing people from getting on trains or going through ticket barriers if they don’t have a face covering? 

Our staff are here to help you get safely wherever you need to go – and so we’d ask that people respect and listen to staff as they are there to help you.
Wearing a face covering helps give people who need to travel by train the confidence to do so, so please plan ahead and consider others.


Does this apply to stations or just trains? 

Face coverings are mandatory on trains and in all enclosed areas of our stations, including ticket halls, footbridges, underpasses, waiting rooms and lifts. We’d encourage passengers to wear face coverings when entering the station so that they do not hold up others at ticket barriers or when boarding a train.


Do I need to wear a face covering on rail replacement buses? 

Yes – the law applies to all public transport. You must wear a face covering if you are travelling on a rail replacement bus, when these are used instead of trains, for example when engineering works take place.


Does this mean railway workers will all be wearing face coverings too? 

The health and safety of our staff, who are key workers, is paramount and we are working closely with them and their representatives in the trades unions on this issue.
You should expect to see staff wearing face coverings in all public areas, but not in ticket offices where staff are behind a glass or Perspex panel.
You’ll also see our train drivers wearing face masks if they are in a train cab with another member of staff.


Why aren’t staff wearing face coverings? 

While social distancing will be maintained where possible, during hot weather our local managers can temporarily relax the requirement for staff to wear face coverings or visors so that they aren’t wearing them all day – allowing them to do their jobs safely. 
Staff aren’t required to wear face coverings by the new law, but we’d ask our passengers to please wear one. 


If I want to report someone who isn’t wearing a face covering, what should I do? 

If a passenger wishes to report someone for not wearing a face covering, they can alert a member of railway staff or a member of the British Transport Police by texting 61016.
However, please be considerate of others – as not all disabilities can be seen and there are some people who may be exempt from wearing a face covering for medical reasons.


Will there be hand sanitiser available at stations? 

Hand sanitiser points have been installed at 20* of our stations so far, and we plan to install them at all of our staffed stations.
Some of the larger stations on the network will also have vending machines which dispense hand sanitiser, as well as face masks.
In general, we’d advise you to bring your own sanitiser, as hand sanitiser will not be provided on board our trains. 

*Hand sanitiser points currently located at: Ashford International, Bromley South, Chatham, Dartford, Faversham, Gillingham, Greenwich, Herne Hill, Hither Green, Maidstone East, Lewisham, Orpington, Ramsgate, Sevenoaks, Sidcup, Sittingbourne, Strood, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Woolwich Arsenal.


What if I need some help? Will there still be staff available? 

Our staff are available and happy to help you and assist with your journey. 
Our Passenger Assist service remains available and has not changed, and we want to reassure you that you will still get the help that you need for your journey. 
More information is available on Assisted Travel below. 


How will you direct the flow of people at stations to avoid overcrowding? Will there be a queue or a one-way system? 

At some stations on our network, there may be a one-way system in place so that we can safely control the flow of passengers onto our platforms and trains, aiding safe social distancing. This will look similar to the one-way systems that have been set up in supermarkets and you will see posters and signage pointing you in the right direction. 
At some stations you will also see vinyl floor stickers or other markings to help you stand in the right place. 


How else will you manage social distancing at stations? 

At some stations you will also see vinyl floor stickers or other markings to help you stand in the right place.
We have also put in place other measures like taping off seats to avoid people sitting too close to each other, although we have had to close waiting rooms at some stations where social distancing cannot be achieved.
You may find that parts of other facilities are unavailable, such as within toilets, although we are keeping all station toilets open.


Will there be space for everyone to stand on station platforms? 

On station platforms, our staff will use all available platform space when working with other colleagues so they comply with the social distancing guidelines, and will avoid face to face contact with their colleagues and passengers, making sure to avoid physical contact except where passenger assistance is required (such as for a partially-sighted passenger).

Announcements will also be used to encourage social distancing on the platforms, and you may notice that some of our staff will use body worn video (BWV) for everyone’s safety and security.

Do I have to wear a face covering? 

Yes. The government have announced that with effect from June 15, face coverings are mandatory on all public transport in England, including on trains, buses, trams, ferries and aircraft. Face coverings are also mandatory in all enclosed areas of our stations, including ticket halls, footbridges, underpasses, waiting rooms and lifts.

The penalty for failing to wear a face covering will now be £200 for a first offence, doubling each time to a maximum fine of £6,400. 


Why are people allowed on my train without face coverings? 

Some people may not be able to wear a face covering due to medical conditions which may not always be apparent. Please do not confront other passengers. Anyone that isn’t exempt from wearing a face covering can get a fine of up to £3,200 from the British Transport Police. 


What do rail staff do to make sure people wear face coverings on trains?

Rail staff engage and educate customers about the mandatory use of face coverings when they travel by train and encourage people to wear them. The vast majority of people do the right thing and help protect others by bringing and wearing a face covering while in stations and on trains. Unless they have a good reason, those that don’t wear a face covering could receive a fine of up to £3,200 from the British Transport Police. 


How can I observe social distancing when boarding a train? 

You should stand well clear of the doors in order to provide a safe distance between boarding and alighting passengers before boarding a train.
We have messages on train doors to remind people to stand well clear and allow for social distancing.


What happens if the train I want to get is full? 

Please plan your journey to avoid peak travel. 
If the train you want to catch is full we recommend you wait for the next one. 
If that isn't possible, please make sure you wear a face covering and maximise your social distance.


How can I observe social distancing within the train?  

Posters within carriages remind everyone of the need to keep to social distance guidelines. 
These are placed at the ends of each carriage.


What should I do if I’m sitting in a carriage with someone who isn’t wearing a face covering?  

We are confident that the vast majority of people are going to want to do the right thing and help protect others by bringing and wearing a face covering while in stations and on trains.
Please also be aware that some passengers may not be able to wear as mask due to medical issues.
Regardless of whether someone is wearing a mask, people should keep their distance – at least two metres, if possible. 


Can I make a reservation for my journey? 

Southeastern is a 'turn up and go' railway and we don't offer seat reservations on our trains. 
However if your journey includes travel with another operator then you should check their website, as many long distance train companies how require a seat reservation. 
Please note that some ticket types e.g. Advance Fares are only valid for travel on a specific service. 


Will hand sanitiser be available on trains?  

Hand sanitiser will not be available on board our trains.  
We recommend you bring your own sanitiser when travelling, or make use of the hand sanitiser points we have installed at some of our stations.
Hand sanitiser points have been installed at 20 stations so far, and we plan to install them at all our staffed stations.  


With social distancing a particular concern, will the trains be long enough for everyone to sit apart from each other?  

We are running the longest trains we can – with 8, 10 and 12 car trains on specific services to help ensure that passengers can follow the government guidance on social distancing.  


Will First Class be declassified if there isn’t enough room to sit in Standard class? 

You should buy a First Class ticket if you intend to sit in First Class.
If Standard Class accommodation becomes busy and it isn’t possible to social distance, the conductor will use their discretion to declassify First Class so that people with Standard Class tickets can sit in them.

 

How are you cleaning stations? 

We have introduced an enhanced cleaning regime at our stations which involves spraying areas of all passenger areas at every station once a month. 
We’re also ‘swabbing’ 20 stations to ensure the highest standards are being met. This new regime matches the standard that is also used by our sister company, Govia Thameslink Railway.
Our normal strict cleaning procedures will continue as they have always done. 


How are you cleaning trains? 

We’re now using the same virucidal product during the day, at night, and during our deep cleans of train carriages, which involves ‘misting’ the train.
This consistently achieves the highest possible protection for both our passengers and our staff.
This approach constantly creates a protective layer to all high-volume touch area surfaces on each application, with the 'misting' product additionally getting into inaccessible areas.
In addition, we’re continuing to sanitise all high-volume touch areas during both day and night cleaning, using a product that leaves a protective film on all surfaces for eight days. 


What precautions should I personally take? 

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before and after travelling on public transport. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser. 
You should also wash your hands or use hand sanitiser before putting your face covering on and after taking it off.
You should maintain your distance wherever possible. 
It’s important that people don’t touch their face covering when wearing it, where possible, to avoid hand to mask transmission of the virus.
Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the bin: ‘Catch it, bin it, kill it’.


Will there be hand sanitiser available at stations? 

Hand sanitiser points have been installed at 20* of our stations so far, and we plan to install them at all of our staffed stations.
Some of the larger stations on the network will also have vending machines which dispense hand sanitiser, as well as face masks.
In general, we’d advise you to bring your own sanitiser. Also please note hand sanitiser will not be provided on board our trains. 

*Hand sanitiser points currently located at: Ashford International, Bromley South, Chatham, Dartford, Faversham, Gillingham, Greenwich, Herne Hill, Hither Green, Maidstone East, Lewisham, Orpington, Ramsgate, Sevenoaks, Sidcup, Sittingbourne, Strood, Tonbridge, Tunbridge Wells, Woolwich Arsenal.  


What if I become unwell after travelling by train? 

If you become unwell while at a transport hub or on your journey with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature - you should go home immediately and self-isolate for at least 10 days, or 14 days if you live with other people. 

 

I need to buy a ticket – what’s the best way of buying one? 

The Key is our contactless smartcard which means you can buy and download your tickets at home, fast-track through the station and avoid the queues. 
The Key’s contactless technology allows you to hold the card over the reader at the ticket gate. It’s also wipeable and easy to clean, leaving you in control. 

Using your Key you can buy single, return and season tickets, it’s totally flexible. You are also able to buy tickets for most other train companies across mainland Britain and TfL, so you get straight to your destination with just one purchase. 

Order your Key Smartcard now

Although we recommend you use our contactless Key smartcard, you can continue to buy paper tickets at ticket offices and TVMs and you can still pay for your tickets by cash or card. 


Is The Key safer than a paper ticket? 

Because The Key is contactless, it means you can buy and download your tickets at home, fast-track through the station and avoid the queues. 
It allows you to hold the card over the reader at the ticket gate. It is also wipeable and easy to clean, leaving you in control. 

Using your Key you can buy single, return and season tickets, it’s totally flexible. You are also able to buy tickets for most other train companies across mainland Britain and TfL, so you get straight to your destination with just one purchase. 

If your Key is lost or stolen, we’ll block it so you won’t lose out, plus we will replace it for free. 
Should you need to get a refund, simply log into your account and follow the easy steps. The money will be refunded directly to you. 


How do I get a Key Smartcard?

You can order your Key Smartcard online simply by providing a few personal details. We’ll explain how it works and send you a key card in the post within 7 working days. 
You can also get a Key Smartcard at any staffed Southeastern ticket office. 


Will iPhones and Android phones work with The Key? 

You can download the Southeastern app from either the Apple Store or Google play, to buy single, return and season tickets. 
You can then load them on to your Key card by simply tapping your Key card onto the back of your phone.


Are there any changes to refunds? 

Please be aware that from 6 September we can no longer back date season ticket refunds, refunds now follow our usual terms and conditions. 


What about Delay Repay? 

Delay Repay will continue to work in the same way, with payments made based on the new timetable. If your journey was delayed by 15 minutes or more you can still claim in the same way on our website. 


Are ticket offices open? 

From Monday 15th June we resumed normal opening hours for all our ticket offices. 


Can I still buy a ticket using the Southeastern app? 

Yes, you can still buy single, return and season tickets using the Southeastern app


Can I buy Carnet tickets for travelling on Southeastern? 

We don’t currently sell Carnet tickets for use on our network.
The rail industry is working with the Government on how the fares and ticketing system can be reformed in the future.


Can I buy in advance to avoid queues? 

Yes, you can buy tickets online for collection at the station in the normal way. For Advance purchase tickets that are valid on a specific train, the booking window for reservations is quite a bit shorter at the moment because of the reduced service timetable (1 week rather than 12). 
Where possible, we’re making more Advance fares available, including at peak times. 

 

If you have more questions about The Key please visit our Key FAQs

Will assistance still be available at the station to help me travel? 

Our assisted travel service remains available during the COVID-19 pandemic, but for safety reasons there may be some changes to how we provide assistance. We know this is an unsettling time, but these steps will help keep you and our staff safe while travelling.
Passengers are required to wear a face covering while using public transport in England, those with specific conditions such as breathing problems are exempt from wearing a face covering. 

If you’d like to signal that you are exempt from wearing a face covering, you can download and print off a face covering exemption card, bring it with you on your train journey, and show it if you need to.


How will you make sure it’s safe? 

We’ll wear a face mask or visor and adhere to social distancing guidelines as much as possible. 
Wherever we can we’ll also make sure we wash our hands or use hand sanitiser both before and after assisting you. 


What if I need help with my luggage? 

We will still help passengers using our assisted travel service with their luggage, but will ask you to move away from luggage items before we pick them up so that we can adhere to social distancing guidelines. 


I have a visual impairment

We will ask how you would like to be assisted, and a member of the station team will still be able to help guide you to your train using their elbow.
The virus isn’t passed through skin-to-skin contact so this is safe as long as hands are washed regularly. 


I am a wheelchair user 

Wherever we can, we’ll wipe down your wheelchair handles before and after pushing your wheelchair.
We may also wear gloves and will ensure hands are washed and sterilised before and after providing assistance.
If you need to use a lift, we may help you into the lift, then use the stairs and meet you rather than travelling in the lift with you.
Please avoid turning to face our staff, to reduce the risk of contact while being assisted.


I have a hearing impairment 

We know that face masks, visors and screens may make it more difficult to communicate – particularly if you lip read.
So we may also use notebooks and written messages to help, with clear and simple language, and will be polite and understanding.


I have a neuro-diverse condition such as Autism or Dementia 

We understand that travelling at the moment may be unsettling. We will be patient and calm while providing the assistance you need.

 

 

Updated 23 September 2020

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