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Last updated: 01:22

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How busy is my train?  

Our seat availability tools are an innovative project, aimed to bring you more information than ever before. They help you to maintain social distancing on board our trains so you can plan a 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.

How do the seat availability tools work? 

Many of our trains have sensors on board which can detect the weight of each carriage taking into account passengers joining and leaving the train. This information is fed back to our engineering systems which then generate a loading figure for each train and each station that the train has stopped at. 

This information is then fed into industry information systems and enables us to display the average loading for trains for each individual day, based on the average loading figure from the previous week. This data is now available for both weekday and weekend services. 

What if I'm travelling today?

If you're travelling within the next two hours, to find out how busy your train is, simply check your journey on our Live departure boards

live departure board results








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

SeatFinder tool on On Track app iOS             graphical user interface, application

         iOS view                               Android view

What if I'm planning to travel?

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, then you can compare each day to help you find the quietest times to travel. 

tablegraphical user interface, text, application

SeatFinder Timetables


Understanding how seat availability compares to social distancing 

We have detailed below how our seat availability icons compare to social distancing requirements:

Many seats available Many seats available 2m social distancing should be possible on this service
Plenty of seats available Plenty of seats available 1m social distancing should be possible on this service
Some seats available Some seats available 1m social distancing may not be possible on this service
Only a few seats available Only a few seats available Social distancing may not be possible on this service
Standing room only Standing room only Social distancing will not be possible on this service
  N/A Data unavailable


Frequently asked questions

  • Why does seat availability on my train show as n/a? 
    Seat availability is currently available on our Electrostar (class 375/376/377) and Highspeed (class 395) fleet only. These fleet operate on our Mainline routes, some inter-city London Routes and on High speed services from Kent to St Pancras. Data is available for Southeastern-operated services only. 
    Some weekend data may not be available if engineering work affected that service the previous week.

  • Why is my train more crowded than your tool is showing? 
    Our usual seat availability is a forecast only and therefore doesn’t take in to account the impact of weather, disruption or other variables.
    If you're planning to travel at the weekend, please check if engineering work will impact your journey
    We continue to work on developing the tool to improve accuracy. Your feedback is hugely valuable as we test and learn. Please email with your feedback.  
  • I am travelling on a Southeastern train for only part of my journey, can I see how busy all parts of my journey will be? 
    We can only display seat availability  for trains operated by Southeastern
  • I don’t have internet access or a smart phone. Is there anyway else I can access this data? 
    Our station colleagues can access this data and are able to help you plan your journey.  



Our SeatFinder tools currently provide 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 help us improve the accuracy of this pilot we have set up a specific email address.  To tell us what you think please email


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