Newest Review: ... limit the amount of money I recieve these days. When I first started taking South West Trains, they ran fairly on time until recently w... more
Delays, overcrowding, dirty, poor service - welcome to South West Trains
South West Trains
Member Name: evian1983
South West Trains
Advantages: Fairly frequent services
Disadvantages: Everything else almost!
Having travelled with a number of different train operators, I have to sadly say that South West Trains ranks amongst, if not, the lowest of the bunch. This is sad, because it is also the train operator that I (have to) use most frequently.
If travelling from London Waterloo and you do not board the train early enough or joining at a later stop, then finding a seat can be vary from being very difficult to find to impossible. You will regularly have to stand and if joining at peak times, then this may even be difficult to do!
Travelling into London, generally, is not as bad and you tend to be able to find a seat if not travelling in peak hours. However, the cleanliness of the trains can be hit and miss as trains are not cleaned each end of the journey. If they are then not done very well!
The onboard inspectors are also a mixed bag from being very friendly and helpful to being very uncooperative and verging on argumentative. There are some very good ones that I have met but also ones which detract from a bad experience anyway.
Delays seems to be a regular thing although the length of such delays has reduced over time. I tend to expect delays and would certainly not be surprised by delays with South West trains.
Finally, an upgrade to First Class gets you very little and is not worth the premium. Compared to other operators, especially Virgin Trains, I can't believe South West even consider their offerings to be anywhere near 'First Class.' Effectively, all you get from First Class on South West Trains is a marginally nicer seat and table (although they do seem to be a little smaller than standard class). Worth the premium? Absolutely not
Summary: Beyond bad - travelling by train made unpleasant