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You are here: Home > Your journey > Improving your railway

Improving your railway

Improving our service on board


Growing passenger numbers

Demand for rail services continues to grow year-on-year. Southern has the most congested network in the country and passenger numbers to London have doubled in just 12 years. To meet the demand we are modernising the railway with new trains, better infrastructure and updated working practices.

Staff to help you

Our modern trains mean the driver can safely open and close the train doors without the assistance of a Conductor. This has allowed us to create a new role of On Board Supervisor who is free to move up and down the train providing the high quality customer service we know our passengers want.

The driver gets a clear CCTV image on his monitors before he closes the doors on a modern Driver Only Operated train. You can see a shortened video sequence that shows the clarity of CCTV images a driver sees here on our YouTube channel.

The On Board Supervisor is dedicated to you. They are focused solely on helping passengers get to where they need to go, looking after their safety and providing a welcoming, friendly presence on our trains.

More staff on board

On all trains which previously had a Conductor we have now assigned an On Board Supervisor. In fact, we have more people than ever. Some services which didn’t have a second staff member on board now do, like the Gatwick Express. And we’ve made sure that any member of our on-board staff who wanted a new job as part of these changes got one – with no reduction in salary or changes to their benefits.

Fewer cancellations

These changes mean we are cancelling fewer trains. Now that the driver is in sole control of the train doors, they can still run the train even in the exceptional circumstance that the On Board Supervisor is not available. Previously, that train would be cancelled if the Conductor was not there.

Helping those who need assistance

All our On Board Supervisors and platform staff are trained in disability awareness. They know how to use the train’s ramps and how to help passengers that need assistance get on and off the train.

In the exceptional circumstance there is no On Board Supervisor on the train, customers at unstaffed stations are alerted on the platform via an announcement or the information screens. Passengers in need of assistance can contact our dedicated Assisted Travel Support team via a Freephone number or help point. The Assisted Travel Support team will ensure the passenger makes their journey, by a free taxi if necessary. Alternatively, passengers can pre-book help ahead of their journey to make sure they get the assistance they need.

Watch this video from 2016 to learn more about the role of the On Board Supervisor and why this is good news for you.