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Travel assistance

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

Making rail accessible

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.

And 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

How to book assisted travel

It’s best to contact us 24 hours before you travel if you want to book assistance. This gives us time to make the right arrangements. There are several ways to book:

Fill in our assistance booking form online

Email us on: myjourney@southernrailway.com

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

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

Book assisted travel

What to do when you arrive at the station

We can offer the best assistance if you get to the station 20 minutes before the train is due. When you arrive let a member of staff know you’ve booked assistance.

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.

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 more accessible rail travel, 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 the majority 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, assistance 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).

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.