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Last updated: 17:47

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Information to support your journey

Last updated: Thursday 22 April

What should I do when I travel?

  • National restrictions are in place across Britain so please check the government website
  • You must wear face coverings over your mouth and nose at all points of your journey – from when you enter the station to when you exit the station at your destination. For information on what exceptions are in place click here. If you do wish to use an exemption card, our downloadable card is available here. Using this card or any other card is not mandatory. Unless you are exempt, you could be refused travel or face a £200 fine which doubles with every violation up to £6,400. 
  • Always practise social distancing, both while on the train and at the station
  • Plan your journey carefully in advance. Some very early morning, late evening and weekend trains will still be affected by planned engineering works. Journey planners are currently being updated daily. Please check our red banner on the home page for the current status of the journey planners.
  • Avoid travelling during the peak – but be aware that some of our routes are busiest earlier in the morning. Details of our busiest times can be found here. Changing your travel times may help you to social distance
  • Buy tickets online or use contactless where possible. See below for advice on buying a ticket
  • Wash your hands before and after you travel. We have installed hand sanitizer at our larger stations, we do however recommend you bring your own with you as we do not have this facility on board our trains or all of our stations.
  • Please follow any staff advice to ensure your safety. Be considerate of others and respect priority seating and wheelchair spaces
  • When boarding a train, please stand well back to allow those alighting to leave the train first
  • Sit in a part of the train where you can keep socially distanced and remain there throughout the journey. Moving to a different part of the train to exit more quickly may put you or others at risk. Please note that you may only travel in first class accommodation with a first-class ticket
  • When leaving the train, only move into the areas by the doors if there is space for you to maintain social distancing
  • Please place your litter in the bins provided, this will help our staff keep the stations and trains sanitised and clean

What are we doing to make your journey safer?

  • We have employed additional staff to increase the amount of cleaning taking place overnight at all our depots
  • We are using new cleaning products proven to help stop the spread of Coronavirus
  • Trains are being checked and cleaned more regularly throughout the day. Measures are being taken to ensure all trains have water, soap and paper available in toilets before they start every journey. We also have measures in place to deep clean specific locations if required
  • We have stepped up cleaning regimes to ensure that all surfaces including handrails, ticket machine touch-screens and door handles are kept clean at all stations, with particular focus on our busiest locations
  • We have placed stickers on floors and posters in prominent locations to ensure social distancing in queuing systems
  • We have placed posters inside and stickers on exterior doors of all trains to assist our passengers in maintaining social distancing
  • Audio and visual announcements have been made at our stations to advise of any on-the-day crowding

At the station

Our toilets are open as usual

We aim to keep facilities available at stations where social distancing requirements allow, however enclosed areas remain closed at the following locations:

  • Alexandra Palace (only Platform 3 and 4 closed)
  • Battersea Park
  • Beckenham Hill
  • Bellingham
  • Brighton
  • Crofton Park
  • Cuffley (only Platform 1 closed)
  • Dorking
  • Eastbourne
  • Elephant & Castle (only Platform 4 closed)
  • Enfield Chase (only Platform 2 closed)
  • Epsom (only Platform 1 and 2 closed)
  • Eridge Finsbury Park (only platform 7 and 8 open)
  • Gatwick Airport (only First Class Lounge closed)
  • Harringay (only Platform 2 closed)
  • Hatfield (only Platform 2 and 3 closed)
  • Haywards Heath (only Platform 1 closed)
  • Hertford North (only Platform 1 closed)
  • Horsham (only Platform 1 and 2 closed)
  • Huntingdon (only Platform 3 closed)
  • Letchworth Garden City (only Platform 1 closed)
  • Luton Airport Parkway (only Platform 1 closed)
  • Meldreth
  • Palmers Green (only Platform 2 closed)
  • Peckham Rye
  • Pulborough
  • Purley (only Platform 6 closed)
  • Royston (Only Platform 2 closed)
  • Shoreham-by-Sea
  • St Albans (only Platform 2 closed)
  • St Neots (platform shelters closed)
  • Streatham Hill
  • Sutton
  • Wallington
  • West Norwood
  • Winchmore Hill

To enable social distancing, we have introduced one-way systems and separate entrances/exits at some locations. A list of stations where changes have been made is available below, please allow more time at these locations. We will provide information on any current crowding on our service updates page however you should leave extra time at these locations at all times. In busy times we may also introduce queuing systems.

  • Arlesey
  • Balham
  • Battersea Park
  • Bedford
  • Biggleswade
  • Brighton
  • City Thameslink
  • Clapham Junction
  • Denmark Hill
  • Downham Market
  • East Croydon
  • Eastbourne
  • Elephant & Castle
  • Elstree & Borehamwood
  • Farringdon
  • Finsbury Park
  • Gordon Hill
  • Harpenden
  • Hatfield
  • Haywards Heath
  • Hertford North
  • Highbury & Islington
  • Hitchin
  • Huntingdon
  • Kentish Town
  • Kings Lynn
  • Letchworth
  • London Bridge
  • London King’s Cross
  • London St Pancras International
  • London Victoria
  • Loughborough Junction
  • Luton
  • Luton Airport Parkway
  • Moorgate
  • Old Street
  • Peckham
  • Peckham Rye
  • Queens Road Peckham
  • Royston
  • Sandy
  • St Albans City
  • St Neots
  • Stevenage
  • Streatham Common
  • Sutton
  • Tooting
  • Welwyn Garden City
  • West Hampstead Thameslink
Certain Southern station booking offices will not be open after 20.00. Littlehaven ticket office remains closed. All other booking offices operated by Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern and Thameslink will be open to the normal hours. Please check the station information pages for information about individual stations.

On the train

  • When boarding a train, please stand well back to allow those alighting to leave the train first
  • Sit in a part of the train where you can keep socially distanced and remain there throughout the journey. Moving to a different part of the train to exit more quickly may put you or others at risk. Please note that you may only travel in first class accommodation with a first-class ticket
  • When leaving the train, only move into the areas by the doors if there is space for you to maintain social distancing

Newer trains have heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems on board so that a comfortable temperature that's set to 21 degrees can be maintained inside the carriages. The system achieves this by taking a regular flow of fresh air in from outside and balancing it with recirculated air drawn through filters. The air then passes over kit called an 'evaporator' which removes moisture during this process.

The systems are designed to replace the air in a carriage typically every 5-6 minutes which is dependent on temperature conditions on board and outside. Our train doors open at stations across the route, some services more frequently than others and this action will naturally provide an input of fresh air as well.

We work with train manufacturers to ensure we are applying the very latest recommendations to the systems’ cleaning regime and filter replacement during regular maintenance at our train depots.

Our engineers are working with others in the industry, across the UK and Europe, to ensure best practice is used in our systems and in the deep cleaning of our carriages, supporting a safe onboard environment for our passengers.

Our toilets are open as usual

While our trains are quieter and to support customers that need to make essential journeys, from 27th January until 30th March 2021 we are temporarily easing our cycle restrictions.

From 31st March 2021 our normal cycle restrictions will apply. Please check here for details:

Please be considerate to other customers if you are travelling with a bike.

Wheelchair spaces must be kept clear.

Assisted travel

Our front-line teams are there to help you make your journey safely. Please don’t hesitate to ask for assistance whenever needed. We have made some modifications to help whilst maintaining social distancing for the safety of both you and our staff.

Our Assisted Travel team are there to help you plan and we recommend booking assistance whenever possible. Of course, we are still providing assistance for passengers who haven’t been able to pre-book.

Familiarise yourself with general information on this page, including advice on stations where queuing systems and amended access points may be in place.

Our staff will work with you to maintain social distancing wherever possible. They may wipe down the handle of your wheelchair for their own safety.

While we recommend that our staff and customers wear a face covering if possible we recognise that not all customers are able to use a face covering. Our staff also know that face coverings can present communication difficulties for some people e.g. those who rely on lip reading. If necessary, they will be happy to write key information down for you. You may also find our Communication Guide or Travel Support card handy when communicating with you during your journey.

When waiting, our staff will assist you to a safe and quiet place away from other passengers and will ask other passengers to maintain social distancing whilst you are waiting.

When using lifts, staff supporting you may use the stairs and will join you at the other end rather than travel in the same lift with you.

When assisting you onto the train, we will check that the wheelchair space or priority seat is free and will ask customers to move if necessary, to maintain social distancing.

For further information on assisted travel and how to book please click the links below:


Great Northern


Gatwick Express

Buying tickets

Reservations are not available on Great Northern, Southern or Thameslink trains.

If you do need to travel, where possible, please avoid buying your ticket from a ticket office or ticket machine. However, if you can only use the ticket office/machine you can pay by card or cash, with card our preferred payment option.

  • Use a Key Smartcard to minimise social contact, helping keep us all safe during this time. If you already have a Key Smartcard, advice on how to use it effectively can be found here. If you order a card it will be sent to your home, where you can buy and renew your season ticket online. When you are ready to travel, simply tap the Key Smartcard at your chosen station to collect your ticket. If you are not travelling as frequently as before, keyGo is our pay as you go option. Find out more here.
  • Book your ticket online to allow you to make use of our money back guarantee on most ticket types and ensure that any changes or refunds you need can be made online. Visit our money-back guarantee pages on Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern or Thameslink.
  • Use contactless/Oyster on routes it is accepted. Check our route map for full details

If you need to visit our ticket offices, please practise social distancing.

Ticket machines will remain available at all locations, but a queuing system may be in place with some machines taken out of service to maintain social distancing.