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Company information

We provide train services for large parts of south-east England. Find out more about our company’s ownership, history and our plans for the future.

Where does Southern operate?

Our services cover routes in south London, between central London and the south coast, through East and West Sussex, Surrey and parts of Kent and Hampshire.

We manage 156 stations, and our main London stations are Victoria and London Bridge. We operate around 300 new or refurbished trains, and have about 4,000 staff – mostly working on our trains or at our stations.

Who owns Southern?

CEO: Patrick Verwer

Southern Railway Ltd is owned by Govia Thameslink Railway, which is part of Govia and also operates Gatwick Express, Great Northern and Thameslink services. Govia is a partnership between the Go-Ahead Group and Keolis.

A quick history of Southern

Southern began operating trains in 2001 as South Central, when we took over the remaining two years of the Connex South Central franchise.

In 2003 our parent company, Govia, was awarded the franchise from 2003 to 2009. In 2004 South Central became Southern.

In 2008 we took over the running of Gatwick Express, and in December of that year extended its services to run to and from Brighton in the morning and evening peak periods.

In 2009 Govia was again awarded the South Central franchise, to run from September 2009 until July 2015.

In 2015 Gatwick Express and Southern joined Great Northern and Thameslink to operate under a single company, Govia Thameslink Railway.

Corporate information

Southern is a trading name of Southern Railway Ltd. Registered in England under number: 06574965. Registered Office: 3rd Floor, 41-51 Grey Street, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 6EE. Southern Railway Ltd is a wholly owned subsidiary of Govia limited.