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About us

Every day on average, nearly 500,000 journeys are made across the Southern network. That’s getting people to work. To the airport. To the beach. And home in time for tea. Learn more about our current performance, planned improvements and the values that drive our trains.

Who are we?

Southern began operating trains as South Central in 2001, when we took over the remaining two years of the Connex South Central franchise. Here's a brief timeline of how we got to where we are today, providing train services for large parts of south-east England:

  • 2003: Our parent company, Govia, was awarded the Connex South Central franchise from 2003 to 2009.
  • 2004: South Central became Southern.
  • 2008: We took over the running of Gatwick Express and extended its services to run to and from Brighton in peak periods.
  • 2009: Govia was again awarded the South Central franchise until July 2015.
  • 2015: Gatwick Express and Southern joined Great Northern and Thameslink to operate under a single company: Govia Thameslink Railway. And the rest is history!

Where does Southern operate?

Our services primarily cover the area between central London and the south coast. Our trains run through East and West Sussex, Surrey and parts of Kent and Hampshire.

We operate in 156 stations, with around 300 new or refurbished trains and approximately 4,000 staff members. Our main London stations are Victoria and London Bridge.

Our commitments

We strive to ensure customers receive a safe, comfortable, and reliable train service. We want every step to be as smooth as possible, from booking your ticket to finding your platform and relaxing in your seat.

Our passengers are our number one priority and we're working hard to transform rail travel for you. We're proud to be a part of innovative change, delivering a service you can rely on.

Improving your railway

We want your experience with Southern to only improve. Thousands of people rely on our trains every day to get to school, work or see friends. That's why we've partnered with the rail industry to deliver a plan to change, invest and secure prosperity for Britain.

Improving your stations

We're investing £7 million into station improvements for you, from additional waiting shelters and seating to accessible maps and free bicycle parking. We've also worked with local artists and community groups to make your stations more attractive. Head to our Southern Stations Art Trail page to see for yourself.


Nothing is more important than your safety and security. Our Rail Enforcement Officers and Security personnel look out for you around the clock. Plus, we work closely with the British Transport Police to stop crimes from happening on our network.

Passenger's Charter

Our Passenger's Charter is reviewed every year and agreed with the Department for Transport. It includes our commitments to you, our performance targets, and the standards you can expect from us.