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  • Government guidance on the latest travel restrictions  
  • If you need to travel, you can check how busy your train might be with our SeatFinder tools
  • Find out more about our current timetable

  • As our world's begin to open up again, we are looking forward to welcoming you back on board our trains. Whenever it feels right for you, whatever journey you are taking, we want you to travel with confidence.

    Watch our short film below about how great it feels to travel again.

    We're cleaning our trains more frequently with powerful anti-viral products –

    • Our trains are cleaned and sanitised daily 
    • Our onboard cleaners sanitise handrails, doors and grab handles throughout the day – look out for them on your journey
    • We use an innovative cleaning product to kill harmful viruses and bacteria – this is a similar product to that used in airports, hospitals and by other rail companies
    • We're carrying out regular swab tests of our stations, trains and depots

    travel with confidence icons

    Travel advice

    Should I be travelling? 

    When you are ready to travel we want you to travel with confidence.

  • Government guidance on the latest travel restrictions
  • Find out more about our current timetable


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

    When travelling, please plan ahead and avoid travelling at busy times.  
    It’s better to avoid travelling between 6 am - 9 am in the morning, and between 3 pm - 6 pm in the evening, as these are our busiest times.

    You can check how busy your train might be with our SeatFinder tools

    Why are you changing the timetable?

    In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, some train times changed on 22 February.
    These changes reflect current levels of demand, the availability of our colleagues and will ensure that those passengers who need to travel with us have as comfortable a journey as possible.
    Our next timetable change is on Sunday 16th May. 

    Responding to the pandemic means that information in the journey planner is not available as far in advance as usual. Timetables are now in online journey planners and are also available to download on our timetables page.


    Where can I find information about weekend services?

    At present, our timetables show services for Mondays to Fridays due to changes to train times on weekends for engineering work. For details of weekend train times please use the online journey planner. Service information is available six weeks in advance.


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

    Throughout the pandemic, we've continually monitored passenger numbers and responded with adjustments to our timetable. Where necessary, further adjustments will be made to support social distancing on busier routes as part of our safer travel pledge.


    When will services return to normal at my station? 

    We can’t say for sure in these uncertain times. We will let you know when anything changes.


    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 trains for people who work shifts? 

    There are services within the timetable to support school journeys and Key Workers.

    Do I have to wear a face covering? 

    Yes. The government announced that with effect from June 15 2020, it is now mandatory to wear a face covering while travelling on our trains and in all areas of our stations unless you are exempt. 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. 

    Please note a face visor or shield may be worn in addition to a face covering but not instead of one, because face visors and shields do not adequately cover the nose and mouth. 


    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 areas of our stations, including ticket halls, footbridges, underpasses, waiting rooms, lifts and platforms. 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.


    Do railway workers need to wear face coverings? 

    All our staff are expected to wear a face mask or visor when working in our stations and on our trains, with the following exceptions -  

    • When working behind a Perspex or glass screen e.g. ticket offices 
    • Conductors stepping onto the platform to carry out dispatch duties 
    • If they are exempt from wearing a face covering 


    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?schematic 

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    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. 
    You may find that parts of other facilities are unavailable, such as within toilets, although we are keeping all station toilets open. 


    Are waiting rooms still open?

    We have had to close waiting rooms at some stations where social distancing cannot be achieved. 
    You can check the availability of individual station waiting rooms here


    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 announced that with effect from June 15 2020, it is now mandatory to wear a face covering while travelling on our trains and in all areas of our stations unless you are exempt. 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. 

    Please note a face visor or shield may be worn in addition to a face covering but not instead of one, because face visors and shields do not adequately cover the nose and mouth. 


    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. 

    To find out how busy your train will be you can use our new SeatFinder tools to help you plan your journey. 

    • If you’re travelling within the next two hours, you can find SeatFinder information on our Live departure boards or via the Southeastern On Track app
    • If you're planning further in advance, use SeatFinder Timetables to find less busy services on your route. If you're flexible with the day you travel, you can compare each day to help you find the quietest times.  

    If the train you want to catch is full we recommend you wait for the next one, your ticket will still be valid. 
    If that isn't possible, please make sure you wear a face covering and maximise your social distance. 
    We recommend you avoid the last service of the day unless you are unable to travel earlier. In the unlikely event that the last service is too busy to board, please use the station Help Point to contact us and we will discuss alternative arrangements with you.


    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. 

     

    We understand that fresh air and ventilation on our trains is very important to passengers at the moment. Each of our trains have different ventilation systems, and here’s some extra information on how they work, so you can travel with confidence:

    Mainline and Highspeed trains

    You’ll find our Class 375 and 377 Electrostar and Class 395 Javelin trains on Mainline and Highspeed services between London, Kent and East Sussex. These trains are air conditioned and make up almost half of our train fleet. Their air conditioning systems draw in a full carriage worth of fresh air from outside every 6-9 minutes, giving all our passengers the reassurance they need to travel with confidence. 

    We’re also trialling antiviral high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters on these types of trains which could further improve the quality of the air on board.

    Metro trains

    You’re most likely to see our Class 465 and 466 Networker and Class 376 Electrostar trains on Metro routes around London. They have opening windows and air vents, and on some you’ll find adjustable air blowers similar to those you’d find on a plane. 

    Opening windows and vents help keep the air inside our trains clean and fresh, and you’re welcome to open additional windows to increase the ventilation, so you can travel with confidence.

    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.

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


    Are there any changes to refunds? 

    For full details of when and how you can apply for a refund of your ticket, please visit our refunds page.


    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? 

    On Monday 15th June 2020 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 most tickets online for collection at the station in the normal way.
    For Advance tickets that are only valid on a specific train, these can normally be booked up to 12 weeks ahead. Please check our Advance tickets page for more details on Advance ticket availability. 

    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.


    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.

     

     


    How busy is my train?live departure board results

    Our new SeatFinder tools tell you how busy your train might be, allowing you to plan your journey with confidence.

    If you're travelling today...

    If you're travelling within the next two hours, simply check your journey on our Live departure boards below.

    You can also view SeatFinder information on our Southeastern app in Departures & Arrivals, making it even easier to stay up to date with how busy your train is while you're on the move. 

    If you're planning ahead...

    If you're planning your journey in advance, you can use our SeatFinder Timetables to see how busy trains usually are on each individual weekday. So if you're only travelling a couple of days each week, you can compare each day to help you find the quietest times to travel.

    Live Departure Boards

    SeatFinder Timetables

     Google play icon


    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 unless you are exempt.
    Please note a face visor or shield may be worn in addition to a face covering but not instead of one, because face visors and shields do not adequately cover the nose and mouth. 
    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.
    Remember some people are exempt from wearing face coverings, you can find out more in the FAQs below or on the Government's website.

    Updated 19 April 2021

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