Planning a journey
Got a question about planning your journey on Southern? Find the answers here...
Are your trains and stations accessible for people with disabilities?
National Rail have a useful guide showing facilities on our trains for people with disabilities, which you can read here: Check our trains
We try to make our stations and trains accessible. You can check to see what access and facilities are available at each of our stations, including where step-free access is available, in our station information.
If you think you might experience difficulties or have special travel needs we will do our best to help. To ensure that there is someone available to help it would be great if you could let us know in advance. See how easy it is to arrange assisted travel.
Can I buy tickets online before I travel?
Yes - you can buy the full range of tickets for rail travel throughout Great Britain. We don't charge a booking fee and there's free First Class delivery. You can also collect your tickets from any ticket vending machine before you travel. Depending on the ticket you choose, you may need to buy tickets some time in advance: for example, you can’t buy an Advance ticket after 6pm the day before you travel.
Can I take my bike on a rail replacement bus?
No. Most buses aren't designed to carry bikes and it's not possible to predict how many passengers are likely to turn up for a particular replacement service. Passengers and their safety must come first, so the national guidelines state that bikes can't be carried on rail replacement bus services.
Folding bikes can be put in the luggage area if there's enough room.
We understand that being refused will be inconvenient and disappointing for cyclists, but we hope this helps explain why.
How can I find out if engineering work will affect my journey?
If you are travelling today…
You can check if engineering work will affect your journey today – see live updates
If you are travelling on a future date…
You can use our calendar to check for future planned engineering works
The calendar sets out Network Rail's programme of planned engineering work to improve the rail network. Most of the planned work is carried out overnight or at weekends, but it can mean that we have to make changes to some of our services.
We also put up posters in advance at stations showing the work that will be affecting our network. Please bear in mind that work shown on a section of track can mean timetable revisions for the whole of the line.
Sometimes unforeseen problems such as damage to tracks and signals also mean we have to make changes.
Remember, you can’t take non-folding bicycles on any rail replacement bus services.
You can get travel advice for the whole of the UK rail network from National Rail Enquiries or call 08457 48 49 50
How can you help me plan my journey?
If you're looking to plan your travel ahead, there's a variety of options that can help you, depending on what you need to know.
Planning tools and help on the Southern website
It's easy to use the website to:
- Check our route map
- Buy tickets
- Check and download timetables
- Check facilities, opening hours and location of stations
- See car parking availability
- Get live updates straight from the control centre with the latest travel information
- Get updates about your planned journey straight to your inbox – free of charge. Register for alerts now
- Find out if you can bring your bike
- Book assistance for your journey if you need help
- Check our latest offers
Using our travel app on your smartphone
If you have an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet, you can download our On Track travel app. You can use the journey planner for all national train routes, buy tickets, check live travel information and more.
See more about our useful On Track app
Get more travel information
How do I get help to travel on your services?
We want to make sure all our passengers enjoy a good journey with us, including those with special travel needs or who just need a helping hand. We run an assisted travel scheme for passengers who need help using our services.
What are the times for peak and off-peak travel?
The morning peak is generally from when the first train of the day leaves to the last train arriving in London before 10:00am. In the evening it is generally between 16:30 and 19:01 for services leaving London. There are some variations to these times which are explained on our Off Peak page.
You can also see which trains are considered 'peak time' in the shaded area shown in our timetables.