How can we help you?
At South West Trains we are working hard to make rail travel as efficient and comfortable as possible. This leaflet describes the many services available to help you plan your journey.
Our staff at stations and on the trains are always pleased to give you advice where they can. You should particularly look out for our "Bluecoats" at London Waterloo and major stations. They are dedicated to helping our passengers.
Your nearest staffed station will have up-to-date train timetables and route maps. Just ask a member ofstaff if you can 't find the one you want.
South West Trains Travel Centres
At major stations you will find Travel Centres with staff especially experienced in more complex rail travel arrangements. They offer advice and reservations for long distance travel, including international rail, special holiday breaks and assistance in completing application forms for Network Cards, Railcards and Season Tickets.
Travel Centres can be found at the following stations:
Telephone ServicesNational Rail Enquiries will give you information about train times and answer enquiries about all rail services throughout mainland UK.
National Rail Enquiries : 0345 48 49 50
South West Trains also operate a reservation and ticket* purchase service for credit card holders. Tickets purchased with a credit card can be posted to you (allow 5 days for delivery) or collected at your departure station.
For information about travel within Greater London, please
* Excluding Season Tickets
Reserving Your Seats
On many South West Trains main line services (excluding peak time commuter services) seats can be reserved in First and Standard Class. Reserving your seat allows you to enjoy a relaxed journey in the seat of your choice (window, aisle, back or facing direction of travel).
Reservations are particularly recommended at busy holiday periods such as Christmas, Easter and Bank Holidays. You can reserve your seat up to two months in advance or, as late as two hours before the train leaves its starting station. For departures in the early morning, reservations must be made before 4.00pm the previous day.
You can make your reservation at most South West Trains
stations, rail appointed travel agents, or by telephoning either
Facilities for People with Special NeedsWe can provide assistance at many of our stations for passengers with special needs. These include special car parking arrangements, portable ramps for wheelchair users and help at departure, interchange and arrival stations. At London Waterloo station we can provide motorised buggy transport to trains and at mainline stations we can provide wheelchair assistance.
In addition, many of our modern trains on the Southampton, Weymouth, Portsmouth, Salisbury and Exeter routes include special toilet facilities for the disabled. A seat or purpose built wheelchair space can also be reserved free of charge on these trains, subject to availability.
To make sure you get the best help South West Trains can provide, please telephone us on one of the following numbers at least 48 hours before travelling, so that we can make sure help is at hand at every stage of your journey.
London Waterloo 0171 9224500 *
.. Babies or Young Children
Please always ask a member of staff for help with pushchairs or prams at our stations. On the train we provide fold-down nappy changing tables in certain toilets on the services between Exeter and London Waterloo. On other trains the disabled toilets have more room and are available for use by all passengers.
Fold-down bicycles in a container or case can be carried free on all our services, providing they can be stored as normal luggage. Other bicycles are welcome on many South West Trains' services. Usually there is no charge, but on some trains you may need to make an advance reservation costing £3 - please check with your local station before travelling.
There are, however, two exceptions to the above - space is limited on trains between London Waterloo, Salisbury and Exeter, on the Reading, Basingstoke to Brighton route and also on some trains between Waterloo and Southampton Central;
- to help avoid congestion, bicycles may not be carried on peak services to and from London Waterloo from the suburban area bounded by Reading, Woking and Guildford. This applies to trains which arrive in London Waterloo between 0745 and 0945 or depart London Waterloo between 1630 and 1830 on Mondays to Fridays. Bicycles are allowed at all times on all Ascot - Aldershot - Guildford services.
Our staff will provide guidance on where to load your cycle on the train. Please board trains as quickly and safely as possible to prevent delay and label your bicycle with your name and that of the destination station. For safety reasons, please remove anything that is not permanently attached to your bicycle. Do not lock your bicycle to any part of the train or lean it against doors or luggage, and do not ride it on station platforms or concourses.
We regret that we do not carry motorcycles, mopeds, motorised cycles, or scooters, and there is restricted space for tandems, adult tricycles or Rann trailers. The latter two will be treated as excess baggage and will be charged at the appropriate child fare for the journey being made.
.. Heavy Luggage
Please ask a member of staff for help if you experience any difficulties with carrying heavy luggage. We will do our best to help.
Safety on the RailwayWe are working hard with the British Transport Police and local authorities to improve security at stations, car parks and on trains. We are making significant investments in surveillance cameras and lighting in order to reduce levels of crime and vandalism.
You can also help in improving safety on the railway by:
- immediately reporting any incidents, problems, unaccompanied baggage or suspicious packages you may have seen to a member of staff or police officer who will take appropriate action to deal with them. Above all, remain calm, do not touch anything and leave the area immediately.
- standing well behind the yellow lines painted on platforms which are to protect you from the danger of passing trains;
- holding on to pushchairs, prams and children when fast trains are moving through stations;
- not boarding or disembarking while a train is moving;
- not leaning out of windows or opening doors whilst a train is moving;
- taking care of your belongings. Remember to check you have everything with you when you leave our trains or stations.
Please take care of all your belongings at stations or on trains. If you do lose something and it is found by our staff arrangements can be made for its return.
Please telephone 0171 922 6135 between 1.30pm and 3.45pm Monday to Friday for information.
Passengers must purchase a ticket before commencing a journey. If a ticket office is closed, then a ticket must be purchased from a ticket machine. Failing this, you must purchase a Permit to Travel from the Permit to Travel machine by inserting the maximum amount of coins you have with you, up to the value of the ticket required. The Permit to Travel allows you to travel on a train for a maximum period of two hours during which time you must exchange it for a valid rail ticket, paying any outstanding difference in the fare.
The Penalty Fares system is primarily used to protect the interests of the majority of customers who pay the correct fares for their journey. Fare evasion and ticketless travel cost the railways millions of pounds - and inevitably, by implication, our regular fare paying customers. Hence a system is in place whereby passengers who travel without a ticket can be charged £10 or twice the full single fare to the next station stop (whichever is the greater) plus the full single fare for the rest of their journey. The system is well publicised with station posters, the aim being to discourage fare evasion. Our inspectors are charged with checking tickets on trains and on stations, sometimes an unenviable task, but one that is unfortunately necessary. They carry identification cards and will normally be in uniform.
Comments on our servicesWe welcome comments and suggestions on our services. You can telephone on the number below which has an answerphone facility during non-office hours. Alternatively, you can write to us at the address below. In both cases, we will aim to provide a full reply within 3-10 working days. If a detailed investigation is required, we may need a longer period for our reply. In this case, an acknowledgement of your letter or fax will be sent to you.
Customer Relations Manager
Our Passengers' Charter
We aim to provide safe and high quality train services. Our Passengers' Charter represents our commitment to this and defines the specific performance standards which form its basis. You can obtain a full copy of our Charter at your local South West Trains station.
In summary, it sets out the standards for punctuality, reliability and other aspects of our service and demonstrates how these are measured. It also shows how we ensure we obtain passengers views on our performance and how we communicate any new developments and their implications to our customers. It also specifies what discounts and refunds can be offered in the event of our service failing to meet specific performance standards.
The overriding aim is to ensure that, by setting standards and targets for our service, we continually review and contribute to an ongoing improvement in the quality of our service to you, our customers.
Working harder for you
South West Trains is an independent train services operator, part of the Stagecoach group of transport companies.
Stagecoach is committed to raising the standards of public transport. We are working hard to improve services to our South West Trains customers, including more reliable and punctual trains, extending services where enough customers require them, improving our stations and providing better customer information at all times. Our new higher standards are set out in Our Passengers' Charter, copies of which are available from staffed stations.
As an independent company, our long term success depends on how well we satisfy our customers - we are working hard for you.
For full details of South West Trains services, please telephone National Rail Enquiries on 0345 48 49 50.
There may occasionally be rail engineering works so please check your train service before travelling.
Please note the information in this leaflet was correct at the time of printing, but may be subject to change.
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