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Assisted travel

Have special travel needs? At Southern we’re committed to accessible travel for everyone. Our assisted travel scheme Passenger Assist helps passengers with disabilities and older people who need a little extra help using our services.

Coronavirus information for assisted travel

The majority of passengers travel on our network without booking assistance. If you do wish to book assistance our call centre is of course happy to help you when planning your journey.

If you are travelling with another train operating company for part or all of your journey, we recommend that you pre-book assistance. You can use our call centre for booking assistance with other train companies.

Please ensure you check out the coronavirus information page for important information.

Please also see the National Rail Enquiries FAQ on the coronavirus.


If you are disabled or have difficulty travelling, you can get advice about accessibility – both on our trains and at any of our stations – before you travel. Plus, when you come to one of our stations, we can offer you the help you need.

Download our Making Rail Accessible Guide: Helping older and disabled passengers

Download the Making Rail Accessible guide to policy and practices

The ‘Making Rail Accessible’ leaflet, station and train accessibility information are available in alternative formats on request via our Assisted Travel team, including audio and large print versions. We aim to provide alternate format documents within seven working days of a request, and if this is not possible we will advise you within seven working days of the delivery timescale

How to book assisted travel

There are several ways to book Passenger Assist:

Fill in our assisted travel booking form online

Email us on:

Call us on: 0800 138 1016 (your information may be recorded)
Textphone: 0800 138 1018

Our assisted travel helpline is open every day from 8am - 10pm, except on Christmas Day.

We can tell you about your nearest station with step-free access and give information about ramps and lifts. We can also arrange help both at stations and on trains, as well as providing train times and travel information.

Our team can help with bookings involving travel on other train operators. Should you wish to contact other operators directly, contact details are available on National Rail’s website.

Book assisted travel

How do I buy a ticket?

We’re happy to help you plan your journey. If you want to book your train ticket in advance, call our assisted travel team at least 7 days in before you’d like to travel.

If you have a Disabled Persons Railcard, you can get 1/3 off most rail fares throughout the UK. If you're travelling with a companion, they’ll enjoy the same discount.

Learn more about the Disabled Persons Railcard.

Find information here on discounts for blind and visually impaired passengers travelling with a companion, and on passengers who stay in their own wheelchair during a journey.

If you are a disabled passenger, and are unable to easily purchase a ticket at the station where the journey starts, then the appropriate fare, including discount if applicable, can be paid en route without penalty.

What to do when you arrive at the station

To offer you the best assistance possible, please arrive at the station 20 minutes before your train is due to depart. When you arrive let a member of staff know you’ve booked assisted travel.

We can help you:

  • buy a ticket and anything else you may want for your journey
  • show you where to go – you’ll need to get to the platform 5 minutes before your train leaves
  • get around the station, providing ramps or another kind transport if you can’t use steps
  • board the train and find a seat
  • change trains during your journey

We can also carry light luggage and let other stations know you are coming so that you are looked after when you arrive.

Make sure to check our station pages, for information on accessibility at your station.

What to do if you can’t book assisted travel

If you can’t let us know before you travel about your needs, tell a member of staff when you get to the station that you’d like assistance. 

If there’s no member of staff at the station, you can phone us on 0800 138 1016 or use the help point for assistance.

Our commitment to you

We are committed to working towards providing accessible travel for everyone, and our ongoing programme of access improvements will see more and more stations and trains becoming more accessible.

Tips to help us help you

a man standing on a train with a tabletWe recommend that all passengers arrive in good time at the station - as a general rule of thumb, if possible try to arrive at staffed stations 20 minutes before your train is due to depart so we can arrange the most suitable assistance based on your needs.

Station staff, conductors and on-board supervisors have accessibility awareness training and are equipped to help you access our network with confidence.

Staff are widely available on most of our stations and trains. Examples of help our staff can provide includes:

  • Meeting you on arrival at the station
  • Assistance purchasing your ticket
  • Assistance boarding or alighting a train and finding a seat - ranging from a helping hand to the use of a ramp
  • Assistance climbing up or down stairs
  • Assistance with luggage

At stations that are not staffed at the time of your journey, assisted travel is also available from our control centre team. They can be contacted via help points which are normally situated on platforms. At a small number of stations where help points are not available, our control centre can also be contacted via a freephone number (see posters at stations for details).

For assistance with train times and routes, reach out to our Assisted Travel team who can provide more information.

Looking for a different route to travel to your destination, or a quieter train?

Alternative route maps

Finding a quieter train

Let us know if you have any complaints using our Contact us page. You can also read about complaints handling procedure and how to contact the Rail Ombudsman if you are not satisfied.

You can follow us on Twitter for updated service information, and reach out to us for feedback on social media.

Download our app to get live service updates and train times, and to buy tickets.

Find out more about how we want our website to be accessible to all visitors, so we aim to meet best practice and take account of assistive technologies.

Book assisted travel for your journey

If you’d like to book assistance, we can arrange your help, contact you with confirmation and answer any questions you may have.