Travelling with children
Find top tips for parents and parents-to-be for travelling on the Southeastern network
Travelling with children
Southeastern run trains between London, Kent and parts of East Sussex and welcomes all customers onto our network. Whether you are travelling into London, to the coast or to the towns and villages in between, we are here to help you with your journey.
Below you can find top tips and advice for customers travelling with children. Information about baby changing facilities, step free access at stations, a tool to help you find less busy trains plus some great ideas about places to visit that children will love.
Before you get to the station
- Buy your tickets before you get to the station through our website or on our app.
- Use our station information pages to find out more about the facilities at our stations.
- Try our SeatFinder timetables to see how busy our train services are at different points of the day.
- Request travel assistance in advance, you can make a request via our Assisted Travel team on 0800 783 4524, on our app or by completing the form on our Accessible travel page.
Step Free Access
- When you’re travelling with a pram, buggy or young children who are unsteady on their feet, it’s helpful to know which stations have stairs.
- Currently, almost 9 out of 10 of our stations have some step free access which maybe in both directions or in one direction only, and we continue to make improvements and apply for funding to make more step free. Find out more in our Accessible Travel Policy.
- We recommend checking our station information pages to find out more. Sometimes, the step free route will include a ramp up or down.
- A number of stations have lifts giving access to platforms. They may be out of use for essential repairs from time to time, so please check before you travel.
Breast feeding and Baby Change Facilities
- We would like passengers to feel comfortable breastfeeding or bottle feeding their baby whilst at our stations.
- It is illegal for anyone to ask someone breastfeeding to leave a public place, such as a shop or on public transport.
- Please reach out to our station staff, or use our the help points to contact assistance teams if you are made to feel uncomfortable.
- You can find information on stations with baby changing facilities on our station information pages, for a full list of stations that offer baby changing facilities check the dropdown menu below
Getting on and off Southeastern trains
- We want all customers to travel safely with us, please take care and ensure you and those travelling with you keep away from the yellow lines at the edge of the platforms. Remember to always apply the brakes to prams or buggies when you are on the platform, and where possible hold the hands of young children to ensure they do not wander close to the platform edge.
- Across our network our trains vary in size which can sometimes mean the gap between the platform and train is bigger in some places than others. If you would like a ramp to board the train, you can book assistance with our assisted travel team, or ask a member of staff at the station. If you are travelling from an unstaffed station, there are help points which you can use to request assistance. Where there is a bigger gap, and where possible, we recommend you ask a member of staff for help.
- When boarding a train regardless of the size of the gap, please check the child is fastened securely into their pram or buggy and that any bags are also safely attached.
- When boarding the train, face the pram or buggy towards the train and tilt it slowly back towards you, lift the front wheels up onto the train. Once the front wheels are onboard the train, raise the rear wheels level with the train and step onboard whilst pushing the pram/buggy forwards.
- When leaving the train, once again check the child is securely fastened along with any bags. Step down onto the platform first, and then bring the pram/buggy off the train towards you, making sure the rear wheels are on the platform before bringing the pram/buggy front wheels off of the train.
- Alternatively, you may find it easier bringing one that is easy to fold and doing so before you board the train. To help with this consider bringing a sling or baby carrier when travelling to make this easier.
Storing Prams and Buggies
- Our trains have wheelchair accessible areas on board. If unoccupied, these can be used when travelling with pram or buggy, however they must be given up if a wheelchair or mobility scooter user boards the train and requires the space.
- Prams and buggies must be capable of folding, please check the National Rail Conditions of Travel for more information. We recommend bringing one that is easy to fold and you may wish to consider bringing a sling or baby carrier to make your journey more comfortable.
Finding a seat
- Many of our trains in peak travelling hours can get very busy with commuters so if at all possible we would recommend travelling outside of peak hours. We have a SeatFinder tool which is designed to help you plan your journey.
- The system uses train loading data of the same services from the previous four weeks to provide the most accurate information of how busy your service will be.
Breast feeding and Baby Change Facilities
- Our useful guide is available to download, with pictures of all our trains and information about the facilities on board. Baby changing toilets can be found in the accessible coach which is often marked by an orange strip above the door and there is a wheelchair symbol on the door.
- You can enjoy free Wi-Fi onboard all Southeastern trains.
- Our Wi-Fi is approved under the Friendly Wi-Fi safe certification standard.
- The certification shows that indecent and inappropriate material is being blocked from access to make browsing the web safe for you and any little ones.
- To find out more information visit www.friendlywifi.com.
Other useful information
Travelling on a train when pregnant
- To make travelling more comfortable for you, we provide baby on board badges which will make other passengers aware you may require a seat.
- Applying is easy. Simply request a baby on board badge using our online feedback form, or give our customer services team a call on 0345 322 7021 and they’ll be happy to put one in the post for you.
- A priority seating card is also available.
- This card can be shown to fellow passengers who are sitting in a priority seat and gives them priority over non-card holders.
Questions about our services?