Newest Review: ... that a train has turned up on time when this happens and throws the whole timetable out of kilter... Generally I've found the South E... more
South Eastern Trains
South Eastern Trains
Member Name: dyllymoo
South Eastern Trains
Advantages: Fairly good service
Disadvantages: Quite expensive
** A Few Facts **
South Eastern Trains is a train operating company operating services in Kent, South East London and part of East Sussex. They serve over 176 stations including London Charing Cross and London Bridge.
Approximately 143,000 people commute into London on South Eastern's trains every weekday morning. South Eastern operate around 1,800 journeys each day, 1,400 of these daily journeys go into London.
South Eastern Trains is owned by Govia which also owns the Southern Train Company which in turn is the UK's busiest rail operator, responsible for 28.7% of UK passenger rail journeys
South Eastern Trains has quite a good website (www.southeasternrailway.co.uk). From here you are able to look up any information you require on their stations, timetable, fares and just general guidance.
You can buy tickets from the website, but it does only work for annual or 6 monthly tickets.
There are many different kinds of tickets that can be used on South Eastern Trains, including Anytime Day, Offpeak Day and Groupsave. These types of tickets are best if you are going to your destination as a one-off trip.
If you are going to be travelling regularly (as I do to London for work) it is best to buy a Season Ticket., it also allows you unlimited travel on your chosen route. There are weekly, monthly, 6 monthly and annual season tickets.
- Weekly Tickets -
Weekly Season tickets are normally less than the cost of five daily peak returns and are valid for a full seven days from the start date. They can be purchased via any ticket office or self-serve ticket machine.
- Monthly Tickets -
For a monthly ticket you will need a photocard. You just need to purchase a passport sized photograph and fill out a form which is available any South Eastern station. Once you have that you can then get a monthly ticket. These can be purchased at any South Eastern station. Monthly season tickets offer an average of 11% discount on the price of buying four 7 day (weekly) tickets.
- Annual & 6 Monthly Tickets -
Annual and 6 monthly season tickets can be bought online up to 4 weeks prior to the start date of the ticket.
Annual tickets are a very good buy, but obviously do cost a lot at first. Annual Season tickets give you 52 weeks travel for the price of 40, plus extra benefits under the Gold Card Scheme.
Unfortunately South Eastern does not accept Oyster pre-paid cards.
As I have mentioned before South Eastern has over 176 Stations. Each of these varies in the amenities they offer passengers. The more regularly used and more prominent stations have more amenities such as shops etc.
You can check information about each station on the website under Plan My Journey and then Station Information. Each station is listed with details of their opening times, their address, station facilities (including shops, toilets etc.), a link to a timetable for route/s the station is located on and accessibility help (e.g. accessible ticket machines, wheelchair access etc.).
South Eastern operates an "Assisted Travel" booking system. This allows people who need assistance for their journey (e.g. wheelchair bound passengers etc.) to let the stations they are travelling know what they require.
They have an online booking for that can be filled out and ask that 24 hours notice is given. However if you need the assistance sooner or want to discuss anything there is also a telephone number that can be used.
**Live Running Information**
South Eastern does try to update their passengers as regulalrly as possible realating to the running timss of the trains. There is a live running information service available on the website which is fantsstic to see if there are any delays.
There is also a list of upcoming engineering works so that you can plan your journey around that if needs be.
The South Eastern website is a fantastic place to gather all the information you may need to plan a journey or just to buy a ticket.
South Eastern itself has had its ups and downs with me, but generally my trains I get daily all run on time (by that I mean are no more than 3 or 4 minutes late!).
One main problem I have is that the ticket prices are extremely expensive I feel for the service that is offered. Of course ticket prices vary, depending on how far you travel etc. but the monthly ticket I get to and from London for work is very high. South Eastern doesn't tend to offer much in the way of anything "special" relating to service for its passengers, it does just seem to "trundle" along.
I am also a bit annoyed at the lack of facilities at the station I use. I understand that it is not a main station, but the fact that it is only open for 3 hours each morning can cause problems if you are travelling in the afternoon and you require a ticket. I have had many ticket inspectors not believe when I have said that the Ticket office is closed.
Buying tickets (season) is generally pain free as now all of the details are stored on a computer and it is relatively quick, but again because my particular station only opens for a couple of hours Monday to Friday I find it hard to "beat the queues" as suggested on their website.
As far as train companies go, South Eastern is not the worst one I have used, but it isn't really one of the best either. For the money we (passengers) pay I would expect a bit more in the way of customer service.
Summary: A fairly good train service, but quite expensive!