Frequently asked questions
Any questions about Southern? Check here first for answers to everything from buying tickets to travelling on our trains.
Do I need a ticket to travel?
Yes, you’ll need a valid ticket (or permit to travel) to travel on our trains. If you travel on a train without a ticket, you’ll be asked to pay the full single or return fare or, may be given a penalty fare.
Where can I find out more information about timetables?
What can I do if my season ticket is lost, stolen or damaged?
Lost or stolen Season tickets purchased from a Great Northern, Southern, or Thameslink website or station.
Paper Season tickets
Please report a lost or stolen season ticket valid for one month or longer to a staffed Great Northern, Southern or Thameslink Railway ticket office as soon as possible to arrange for a duplicate season ticket application form to be issued.
This is not currently available to report this online.
A non-refundable administration fee of £20 is payable for each duplicate application. This needs to be paid at the ticket office when the request for a duplicate ticket is made. The ticket office will provide a payment receipt for the administration fee and issue a duplicate application form.
If your photocard has also been lost/stolen this will need replacing prior to submitting a duplicate season ticket request. A passport style photo will be required to enable the ticket office to issue a replacement photocard. Details of the new photocard number should be included in the application.
You will be required to complete the duplicate season ticket application form and send it along with the payment receipt to the ‘FREEPOST’ address on the form within 7 days of receiving the application form.
You should also report any theft to the police.
We will refund (with no administration charge) the cost of tickets purchased that match the journey details of the season ticket being replaced while you were waiting for the duplicate ticket to be issued. A letter confirming the dates you are eligible to receive a refund for will be sent to you along with the duplicate ticket. You should take the letter along with the tickets to a Great Northern, Southern or Thameslink staffed ticket office and arrangements will be made for you to receive your refund.
Please note we do not issue duplicates for weekly season tickets.
Damaged paper tickets
If your paper ticket is faded or damaged, or doesn't work in automatic ticket barriers, you can return it to any Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern or Thameslink ticket office where we'll happily replace it free of charge.
Key Smartcard Season tickets
The best way to do this is by logging into your account to request this yourself. Log in to your account to cancel and replace your existing Smartcard.
You can also report the loss or theft of a season ticket held on a Key Smartcard by calling our team to arrange a replacement:
- 03451 27 29 20 (for Southern Website issued Smartcards)
- 03450 26 47 00 (for Thameslink or Great Northern Website issued Smartcards)
You can apply for up to two replacement Smartcards free of charge; further requests may incur a fee.
Whilst waiting for your new card to arrive you will need to buy paper tickets to travel. Please keep these tickets as you will be able to claim a refund for them on receipt of your replacement Smartcard.
Refunds will be processed at any Great Northern, Southern or Thameslink ticket office providing the season ticket is active at the time of loss. A £10 admin fee will be applied to all tickets as per our Smartcard refund policy.
When requesting a duplicate season ticket you are agreeing to return the lost season ticket to the Duplicate Office immediately if it is subsequently found.
If the lost/stolen season ticket or Smartcard was not purchased from a Great Northern, Southern or Thameslink website or ticket office you must contact the original retailer.
Do your stations have car parks?
Are your trains accessible for people with disabilities?
All of our trains can be used by people with disabilities. We offer an assisted travel service if you need help at our stations to get the train – for example a wheelchair ramp.
Please call us to check that the stations and services you’re using are obstruction free 24-hours before you travel or to organise assistance.
Find out more about assisted travel
Get a copy of our Disabled Persons Protection Policy
Can I take my bike on your trains?
If you have a folding bike, you can take it folded onto any train and at any time.
We can’t always accommodate non-folding bikes. You can bring non-folding cycles on many of our trains. But during the busy morning and afternoon commuting hours, space on board is at a premium.
You can't take a bike on rail replacement bus services.
Get more information in our bike policy
Why is my train overcrowded?
We run as many peak-time trains as we can on the railway infrastructure. We adjust our timetables and the number of carriages where we can to reduce overcrowding, and we’re continuing to develop and improve both our train fleet and our network to improve things further.
Trains can be busier than usual for a number of reasons. An earlier cancellation, for instance, will mean the next service will have more passengers than usual. Sometimes, trains have fewer coaches than usual because we’ve had to temporarily withdraw some carriages for emergency repairs.
See which peak-time trains are most likely to have seats available on our routes in our guide to finding a quieter train.