Southern (train operating company)

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Southern
Southern toc logo.png
313201 377209 Southern.JPG
Overview
Franchise(s):
  • Network SouthCentral
    26 August 2001 – 24 May 2003
  • South Central
    25 May 2003 – 19 September 2009
  • Gatwick Express
    22 June 2008 – 19 September 2009
  • South Central (incl Gatwick Express)
    20 September 2009 – 24 July 2015
Thameslink Southern Great Northern 25 July 2015 - March 2021
Main Region(s): London, West Sussex, East Sussex
Other Region(s): Surrey, Hampshire, Kent, Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire
Fleet size: 297
Stations called at: 213
Stations operated: 156
Route km operated: 666.3
National Rail abbreviation: SN
Parent company: Govia (Go-Ahead/Keolis)
Web site: www.southernrailway.com
Route map
Route map
A sign at Brighton station showing the name change from South Central to Southern.

Southern[1] is a British train operating company operating the South Central franchise.[2] It is a subsidiary of Govia, a joint venture between transport groups Go-Ahead and Keolis, and has operated the South Central rail franchise since August 2001 and the Gatwick Express service since June 2008. On 25 July 2015, Southern will become part of Govia Thameslink Railway, although the Southern brand will be retained.

Southern operates the majority of commuter services from its Central London terminals at London Bridge and London Victoria to South London and Sussex. It also provides regional services in Hampshire, Kent and Surrey and between Milton Keynes and Croydon via the West London Line. Major destinations served as Banstead, Beckenham Junction, Epsom Downs, Epsom, Leatherhead, East Croydon, Mitcham Junction, Sutton, East Grinstead, Uckfield, Caterham, Tattenham Corner, Redhill, Gatwick Airport, Crawley, Horsham, Littlehampton, Bognor Regis, Southampton, Portsmouth, Brighton, Eastbourne and Ore.

It also operates services from Brighton to Ashford, Brighton to Seaford, Brighton to Southampton and South Croydon to Milton Keynes.

History[edit]

Connex South Central was awarded the Network SouthCentral franchise by the Director of Passenger Rail Franchising. Operations began on 26 May 1996.

In March 2000, the Shadow Strategic Rail Authority (SSRA) announced its intention to relet the franchise from May 2003 with Connex and Govia the shortlisted bidders.[3][4] In October 2000 the SSRA announced that Govia had been awarded the franchise and would operate it from May 2003.[5] Govia negotiated a deal with Connex to buy out the remainder of its franchise, and this was completed in August 2001.[6][7][8] Govia trading as SouthCentral[9] took over operations on 26 August 2001.

The franchise was originally to run for twenty years but in 2002 the Strategic Rail Authority changed the way it wanted investment funded, and Govia was awarded a seven-and-a-half-year franchise until December 2009.[5][10][11]

In May 2004 the franchise was rebranded as Southern in a deliberate recall of the pre-nationalisation Southern Railway, using a green roundel logo with Southern in yellow in a green bar.

In April 2007 the Department for Transport (DfT) announced that the Gatwick Express franchise was to be incorporated into the South Central franchise.[12][13] This was part of a plan to increase capacity on the Brighton Main Line, involving the extension of peak-hour services from Gatwick to Brighton and Eastbourne from December 2008. This doubled the number of London to Brighton express trains during those periods.[14]

In December 2008, Southern took over the services on the Redhill to Tonbridge Line from Southeastern.[15]

The South Central franchise end date was brought forward to September 2009 upon the integration of the Gatwick Express service, to allow the new operator to be in place during major changes to the timetable in and around South London in December 2009.[16] In the run-up to the bidding process for the franchise, reports emerged suggesting that Transport for London, the operator of the London Overground service, wished to take control of all overground services in South London, including the 'Metro' area of the South Central franchise.[17][18] However, such a transfer never took place and the DfT put out the entire franchise for tender.

In August 2008 the DfT shortlisted Abellio, Govia, National Express, NedRail and Stagecoach for the new South Central franchise.[19][20][21] In June 2009 the DfT announced that Govia had retained the franchise, to start on 20 September 2009.[22][23]

At the conclusion of the Southern franchise in July 2015, the South Central franchise will be merged into the Govia Thameslink Railway franchise.[24][25] However the Southern brand will be retained.[26]

In March 2012 the Department for Transport announced that Abellio, FirstGroup, Govia, MTR and Stagecoach had been shortlisted for the new Thameslink Southern Great Northern franchise.[27][28] The Invitation to Tender was to be issued in October 2012, with the successful bidder announced in spring 2013. However, in the wake of the InterCity West Coast refranchising process collapsing, the government announced in October 2012 that the process would be put on hold pending the results of a review.[29]

In December 2012, Southern's London Victoria to London Bridge via Denmark Hill service ceased, being partially replaced by London Overground's new Clapham Junction to Surrey Quays service.

Routes[edit]

The network of services operated by Southern includes local suburban ("Metro") services in South London and regional services extending into the southern Home Counties. All routes are south of the river Thames, with the exception of the West London service, which crosses the city via Shepherd's Bush and runs up the West Coast Mainline to Milton Keynes. Along with the Thameslink route, this provides one of the few long-distance National Rail routes to run right across London instead of terminating at one of the London rail termini. Southern routes which do not serve London include the West Coastway and East Coastway Lines along the south coast of Sussex, Kent and Hampshire.

Details of each route, including maps and timetables, are on Southern's website (see External links, below). Its routes off-peak Monday to Saturday, with frequencies in trains per hour, include:

Brighton Mainline
Route Frequency Calling at
London Victoria to Brighton Fast 2 trains per hour Clapham Junction, East Croydon
London Victoria to Brighton Semi-fast 1 train per hour East Croydon, Gatwick Airport, Burgess Hill and Hassocks.
Some peak-time services starting at London Bridge and/or calling at Three Bridges, Balcombe, Haywards Heath, Wivelsfield, Preston Park
Gatwick Express
Route Frequency Calling at
London Victoria to Gatwick Airport 4 trains per hour non-stop Dedicated airport service. (Extended to Brighton at peak times.)[30]
Mainline East
Route Frequency Calling at
London Victoria to Eastbourne 1 train per hour Clapham Junction, East Croydon, Gatwick Airport, Haywards Heath, Wivelsfield, Lewes, Polegate, Hampden Park

Service runs with Mainline West service to Littlehampton (semi-fast) between London Victoria and Haywards Heath, where both services divide due to limited capacity of the Brighton Main Line.

London Victoria to Ore 1 train per hour Clapham Junction, East Croydon, Gatwick Airport, Haywards Heath, Plumpton, Lewes, Polegate, Eastbourne, Hampden Park, Pevensey & Westham, Cooden Beach, Collington, Bexhill, St Leonards Warrior Square, Hastings

Service runs with Mainline West service to Littlehampton (fast) between London Victoria and Haywards Heath, where both services divide due to the limited capacity of the Brighton Main Line.

Mainline West
Route Frequency Calling at
London Victoria to Littlehampton Fast 1 train per hour Clapham Junction, East Croydon, Gatwick Airport, Haywards Heath, Hove, Shoreham-by-Sea, Lancing, Worthing, West Worthing, Durrington-on-Sea, Goring-by-Sea, Angmering

Service runs with Mainline East service to Ore between London Victoria and Haywards Heath, where both services divide due to the limited capacity of the Brighton Main Line.

London Victoria to Littlehampton Semi-fast 1 train per hour Clapham Junction, East Croydon, Gatwick Airport, Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill, Preston Park, Hove, Portslade, Shoreham-by-Sea, Lancing, Worthing, West Worthing, Durrington-on-Sea, Goring-by-Sea, Angmering

Service runs with Mainline East service to Eastbourne between London Victoria and Haywards Heath, where both services divide, due to the limited capacity of the Brighton Main Line.

London Victoria to Portsmouth Harbour 1 train per hour Clapham Junction, East Croydon, Redhill, Horley, Gatwick Airport, Three Bridges, Crawley, Horsham, Barnham, Chichester, Havant, Fratton, Portsmouth & Southsea

Service runs with Mainline West service to Bognor Regis between London Victoria and Horsham, where both services divide.

London Victoria to Bognor Regis 2 trains per hour Clapham Junction, East Croydon, Redhill, Horley, Gatwick Airport, Three Bridges, Crawley, Horsham, Billingshurst, Pulborough, Arundel, Ford, Barnham

Service runs with Mainline West services to Portsmouth Harbour or Southampton Central between London Victoria and Horsham, where both services divide.

London Victoria to Southampton Central 1 train per hour Clapham Junction, East Croydon, Redhill, Gatwick Airport, Three Bridges, Crawley, Horsham, Barnham, Chichester, Southbourne, Emsworth, Havant, Cosham, Portchester, Fareham, Swanwick

Service runs with Mainline West service to Bognor Regis between London Victoria and Horsham, where both services divide.

Coastway East
Route Frequency Calling at
Brighton to Seaford 2 trains per hour London Road (Brighton), Moulsecoomb, Falmer, Lewes, Southease, Newhaven Town, Newhaven Harbour, Bishopstone
Brighton to Lewes 1 train per hour London Road (Brighton), Moulsecoomb, Falmer
Brighton to Ore 1 train per hour London Road (Brighton), Moulsecoomb, Falmer, Lewes, Glynde, Berwick (Sussex), Polegate, Hampden Park, Eastbourne, Pevensey & Westham, Pevensey Bay(Limited), Normans Bay(Limited), Cooden Beach, Collington, Bexhill, St Leonards Warrior Square, Hastings
Brighton to Ashford International 1 train per hour Lewes, Polegate, Eastbourne, Bexhill, St Leonards Warrior Square, Hastings, Three Oaks, Doleham(Limited), Winchelsea, Rye, Appledore, Ham Street
Coastway West
Route Frequency Calling at
Brighton to West Worthing 2 trains per hour Hove, Aldrington, Portslade, Fishersgate, Southwick, Shoreham-by-Sea, Lancing, East Worthing, Worthing
Brighton to Hove 2 trains per hour
Brighton to Portsmouth Harbour 1 train per hour Hove, Portslade, Southwick, Shoreham-by-Sea, Lancing, Worthing, Angmering, Barnham, Chichester, Southbourne, Emsworth, Havant, Fratton, Portsmouth & Southsea
Brighton to Southampton Central 1 train per hour Hove, Portslade, Southwick, Shoreham-by-Sea, Lancing, Worthing, West Worthing, Durrington-on-Sea, Goring-by-Sea, Angmering, Ford, Barnham, Chichester, Emsworth, Havant, Cosham, Fareham, (Swanwick/Eastleigh, Southampton Airport)
Littlehampton to Portsmouth & Southsea 1 train per hour Ford, Barnham, Chichester, Fishbourne, Bosham, Nutbourne, Southbourne, Emsworth, Warblington, Havant, Bedhampton, Hilsea, Fratton
Littlehampton to Bognor Regis 1 train per hour Ford, Barnham
Barnham to Bognor Regis 1 train per hour
Oxted
Route Frequency Calling at
London Victoria to East Grinstead 2 trains per hour Clapham Junction, East Croydon, Sanderstead, Riddlesdown, Upper Warlingham, Woldingham, Oxted, Hurst Green, Lingfield, Dormans
London Bridge to Uckfield 1 train per hour East Croydon, Oxted, Hurst Green, Edenbridge Town, Hever, Cowden, Ashurst, Eridge, Crowborough, Buxted

On days when Crystal Palace F.C. hosts matches at Selhurst Park, trains additionally call at Norwood Junction (London Bridge-bound trains call before kick-off, Uckfield-bound trains call after kick-off)

Redhill
Route Frequency Calling at
London Bridge to Tonbridge 1 train per hour Norwood Junction, East Croydon, Purley, Coulsdon South, Redhill, Nutfield, Godstone, Edenbridge, Penshurst, Leigh
London Bridge to Reigate 1 train per hour Norwood Junction, East Croydon, Purley, Coulsdon South, Merstham, Redhill
London Bridge to Horsham 1 train per hour New Cross Gate, Norwood Junction, East Croydon, Purley, Coulsdon South, Merstham, Redhill, Earlswood, Salfords, Horley, Gatwick Airport, Three Bridges, Crawley, Ifield, Faygate(Limited), Littlehaven
London Bridge to Horsham 1 train per hour New Cross Gate, Norwood Junction, East Croydon, Purley, Coulsdon South, Merstham, Redhill, Horley, Gatwick Airport, Three Bridges, Crawley, Littlehaven
West London
Route Frequency Calling at
South Croydon to Milton Keynes Central 1 train per hour East Croydon, Selhurst, Thornton Heath, Norbury, Streatham Common, Balham, Wandsworth Common, Clapham Junction, Imperial Wharf, West Brompton, Kensington Olympia, Shepherds Bush, Wembley Central, Harrow & Wealdstone, Watford Junction, Hemel Hempstead, Berkhamstead, Tring, Leighton Buzzard, Bletchley
Metro
Route Frequency Calling at
London Victoria to London Bridge via Crystal Palace 2 trains per hour Battersea Park, Clapham Junction, Wandsworth Common, Balham, Streatham Hill, West Norwood, Gipsy Hill, Crystal Palace, Sydenham, Forest Hill, Honor Oak Park, Brockley, New Cross Gate
London Victoria to Epsom via Mitcham Junction 2 trains per hour Battersea Park, Clapham Junction, Wandsworth Common, Balham, Mitcham Eastfields, Mitcham Junction, Hackbridge, Carshalton, Sutton, Cheam, Ewell East
London Victoria to Horsham via Leatherhead 1 train per hour Clapham Junction, Sutton, Cheam, Ewell East, Epsom, Ashtead, Leatherhead, Box Hill & Westhumble, Dorking, Holmwood, Ockley, Warnham
London Victoria to Dorking via Epsom 1 train per hour Clapham Junction, Sutton, Cheam, Epsom, Ashtead, Leatherhead
London Victoria to Sutton via Norbury 4 trains per hour Battersea Park, Clapham Junction, Wandsworth Common, Balham, Streatham Common, Norbury, Thornton Heath, Selhurst, West Croydon, Waddon, Wallington, Carshalton Beeches.

One train per hour continues to Epsom, calling at Cheam and Ewell East. Another continues to Epsom Downs, calling at Belmont and Banstead

London Victoria to Sutton via Crystal Palace 2 trains per hour Battersea Park, Clapham Junction, Wandsworth Common, Balham, Streatham Hill, West Norwood, Gipsy Hill, Crystal Palace, Norwood Junction, West Croydon, Waddon, Wallington, Carshalton Beeches
London Victoria to Caterham via Norbury 2 trains per hour Battersea Park, Clapham Junction, Wandsworth Common, Balham, Streatham Common, Norbury, Thornton Heath, Selhurst, East Croydon, South Croydon, Purley Oaks, Purley, Kenley, Whyteleafe, Whyteleafe South
London Bridge to Caterham via Forest Hill 2 trains per hour New Cross Gate, Brockley, Honor Oak Park, Forest Hill, Sydenham, Penge West, Anerley, Norwood Junction, East Croydon, South Croydon, Purley Oaks, Purley, Kenley, Whyteleafe, Whyteleafe South
London Bridge to Tattenham Corner 2 trains per hour Norwood Junction, East Croydon, Purley, Reedham (London), Coulsdon Town, Woodmansterne, Chipstead, Kingswood, Tadworth
Purley to Tattenham Corner 1 train per hour Reedham (London), Coulsdon Town, Woodmansterne, Chipstead, Kingswood, Tadworth
London Bridge to Beckenham Junction via Crystal Palace 2 trains per hour South Bermondsey, Queens Road Peckham, Peckham Rye, East Dulwich, North Dulwich, Tulse Hill, West Norwood, Gipsy Hill, Crystal Palace, Birkbeck
London Bridge to West Croydon via Norbury 2 trains per hour South Bermondsey, Queens Road Peckham, Peckham Rye, East Dulwich, North Dulwich, Tulse Hill, Streatham, Streatham Common, Norbury, Thornton Heath, Selhurst
Other Services
Route Frequency Notes
Streatham Hill to London Bridge 1 train per day Tulse Hill, North Dulwich, East Dulwich, Peckham Rye, Queens Road Peckham, South Bermondsey.
Southern exterior signage at Norwood Junction station (now replaced by London Overground signage)

Rolling stock[edit]

South Central inherited a fleet of Class 205, Class 207, Class 319, Class 421, Class 423, Class 455 and Class 456 multiple-unit trains from Connex South Central. Southern inherited a Class 73 locomotive and Class 460 Juniper trains from Gatwick Express.

A franchise commitment was to replace all the Mark 1 slam-door stock, resulting in Southern ordering 28 three-car, 139 four-car and 15 four-car dual-voltage Class 377 Electrostars in September 2001 and March 2002 to replace the Class 421, Class 422 and Class 423s.[31]

In August 2002 Southern ordered nine two-car and six four-car Class 171 Turbostars to replace the Class 205s and Class 207s on the routes that are not fully electrified.[32] In 2006 a tenth two-car Class 171 was transferred from South West Trains.

In 2007, Southern ordered 12 four-car, dual-voltage Class 377/5 Electrostars to replace the remaining twelve Class 319s for transfer to First Capital Connect. In March 2008 Go Ahead purchased (rather than lease through a ROSCO) a further 11 Class 377/5s. All 23 ended up being sublet to First Capital Connect to provide extra stock for the Thameslink Programme Key Output Zero changes from March 2009.

To provide stock for the extended Gatwick Express services to Brighton, in 2008 Southern leased 17 Class 442 Wessex Electrics withdrawn by South West Trains in early 2007. After retaining the franchise in 2009, Southern leased the remaining seven Class 442s. The last of the Class 460 Junipers were withdrawn in September 2012.

To release Class 377/3s for use on London suburban services, Southern introduced a fleet of ex-London Overground Class 313s on the Coastway lines from May 2010.[33][34]

In 2011, Southern announced that, because of delays in procuring new trains for the Thameslink Programme, the 23 Class 377/5s on sub-lease to First Capital Connect would not be returned in time to deliver the operator's planned capacity increases from the December 2013 timetable change. It therefore began a process to procure 130 new vehicles.[35] It was announced in December 2011 that Bombardier had been contracted to supply 26 five-car Class 377/6s.[36] In November 2012 it was announced that an option for a further 40 vehicles was being exercised.[37]

All twenty-four Class 456 sets were transferred to South West Trains in 2014 after the introduction of the Class 377/6 fleet.

Current fleet[edit]

Class Image Type Top speed Number Cars per set Routes operated Built
mph km/h
Class 73 73202 'Dave Berry', Lovers Walk 08-Aug-2013.jpg Electro-diesel locomotive 90 145 1[38] 1 Thunderbird locomotive 1965–1967
Class 171 171728 Cheesemans Green.jpg DMU 100 160 15 Total
171/7 - 9
171/8 - 6[39]
171/7 - 2
171/8 - 4
Oxted Line (Uckfield branch)
Marshlink Line
2003–2004
Class 313 313203 at Brighton.jpg EMU 75 120 19 3 West Coastway Line: Brighton – Hove/West Worthing/Portsmouth Harbour and Littlehampton – Barnham/Bognor Regis/Portsmouth & Southsea
East Coastway Line: Brighton – Lewes/Seaford
Also operate services between Brighton and Littlehampton, Bognor Regis, Eastbourne and Ore during peak hours
1976–1977
Class 377 Milton Keynes Central railway station MMB 09 377208.jpg EMU 100 160 191 units 377/3 - 3
Other-4
377/6, /7 - 5
Entire Southern network (apart from the Uckfield and Marshlink lines).
377/5 and a number of 377/2 units in use with First Capital Connect sub-leased from Southern
2002–2014
Class 442 (5Wes) Wessex Electric 442411 Gatwick Express.JPG EMU 100 160 24[40] 5 London VictoriaGatwick Airport/Brighton (Gatwick Express)
London BridgeEastbourne
Weekends: London VictoriaEast CroydonBrighton (Southern)
1988–1989
Class 455 London Bridge station MMB 21 455827.jpg EMU 75 120 46[38] 4 Suburban services from London Victoria and London Bridge on London Metro 1982–1984

Future fleet[edit]

 Class  Type  Cars per unit  Total Ordered  Notes
Class 387 EMU 4 29 Ordered for Thameslink, facilitating the release of existing Class 319 trains to newly electrified routes. In the longer term, these new trains will in turn also be cascaded. Delivery is expected in 2015. This order includes provision for an extra 140 vehicles.[41][42]

Past fleet[edit]

 Class   Image   Type   Built   Withdrawn   Notes 
Class 205 (3H) 205009 at London Victoria.jpg DMU 1957–60 2004 Some preserved.
Class 207 (3D) 207203 arriving at London Bridge.jpg DMU 1962 2004 Some preserved.
Class 319 319013 at East Croydon 2.jpg EMU 1987 2008 Transferred to First Capital Connect after being made redundant by newer Class 377 trains.
Class 350 Desiro Class 350 train at East Croydon - geograph.org.uk - 1532420.jpg EMU 2004-2005 2009 These trains were subleased from London Midland from 2008 to 2009, to provide cover for Class 377 units subleased to First Capital Connect. After newer Class 377 trains were built, these units were returned to London Midland.[43]
Class 421 (4Cig) 1861 at Clapham Junction.JPG EMU 1964–66 2005 Some preserved.
Class 423 (4Vep) 3514 at London Victoria.jpg EMU 1967–71 2005 Some preserved.
Class 456 London Bridge station MMB 26 456009.jpg EMU 1990–1991 2013-2014 Transferred to South West Trains after being made redundant by newer Class 377/6 units.
Class 460 (8Gat) Juniper 460007 at London Victoria.jpg EMU 2000–2001 2011–2012 Currently in the process of being merged Class 458 fleet used by South West Trains.

Depots[edit]

Southern's fleet is maintained at Brighton Lovers Walk and Selhurst depots. The Gatwick Express fleet is maintained at Stewarts Lane.

Future[edit]

Southern, as part of its successful bid for the South Central franchise in 2009, made several commitments to improving services across the network.[23] These included:

  • Increasing the length of suburban services in South London to 10 cars between 2011 and 2013
  • Increasing the service level on all routes in South London to 4 trains per hour (tph) until 23:00 each day, and the introduction of late-night services on Fridays and Saturdays
  • The introduction of an hourly service on Sundays between Brighton and Southampton Central, and an increase in the number of late-night services between Brighton and Worthing
  • The introduction of late-night services on the London to Uckfield route
  • Installation of new ticket gates at 22 stations across the network
  • Increasing the number of car-parking spaces at stations by 1,000 and the number of cycle spaces by 1,500
  • Cleaning and refreshing of all stations and trains on the network
  • Major refurbishments to seven stations: Brighton, Haywards Heath, Hove, Lewes, Redhill, Three Bridges and Worthing
  • Class 456 units are to be transferred to South West Trains in 2014 after the 26 new 5-car Class 377/6 fleet enters service with Southern in 2013

Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern (TSGN)[edit]

When the current contract expires on 24 July 2015, the South Central franchise will be merged with the Thameslink Great Northern franchise. This will be operated by Govia Thameslink Railway, which is also owned by Southern's parent company, Govia. Southern has ordered 116 Class 387 "Electrostar" carriages which could be used on the Thameslink franchise until the new Class 700s are delivered.[41]

Govia previously operated the Thameslink franchise from March 1997 to March 2006,[44] and was awarded the TSGN franchise in May 2014.[45]

Uckfield–Lewes line[edit]

The franchise consultation paper released at the beginning of the 2009 franchising process stated that the ultimate franchise agreement would include a change mechanism to enable the DfT to incorporate additional routes into the South Central franchise, and it invited bidders to submit priced options for schemes put forward by stakeholders. One such scheme could, as indicated in the South Central Franchise Consultation Paper, be the reopening of the Uckfield – Lewes line, closed in 1969.[46] In recent years, several interested parties have been examining the possibility of reopening the line.[47][48]

The Key Smart Card[edit]

In 2012, Southern became the first rail company in England to use the ITSO card on its network. The Key is a smartcard similar to Transport for London's Oyster Card. Tickets for the smartcard are only available in Single, Return, Weekly, Monthly and Annual Season tickets.[49] Southern plans to add a Pay-As-You-Go option in the near future, but tests on this are still in progress.[50] There are three types of The Key smartcards: Child, Adult and Staff. All child smartcards need a photograph to prove the age of the holder, while adults who wish to use their smartcard only for single and return tickets do not require a picture. The Key is insured so if lost or stolen it can be de-activated and the tickets transferred to a new card sent out in the post.[50]

The Key allows customers to buy Plusbus for the Crawley and Brighton areas. This is because Metrobus (which operates in Crawley) and Brighton and Hove Buses are owned by Go-Ahead Group, Southern's parent company. Brighton & Hove Buses also use The Key on their buses but it is not possible to use a B&H bus key on Southern and vice versa at the moment unless using Plusbus. Southern is looking to change this by the end of 2013.[50]

The Key operates only at stations managed by Southern and outside of London because it is not currently compatible with the Oystercard readers. Southern has been working with Transport for London and the Department for Transport to change this, and the Oystercard readers should be compatible by December 2013.[50]

Southern operated a pilot for The Key between Brighton and Seaford in 2010 as these stations are served only by Southern trains (with the exception of Brighton). This was a success and so in 2012 it began to gradually expand across the network. Originally the only ticket type available on The Key was season tickets; in August 2013 Southern added Return and Single tickets to The Key.

Criticism[edit]

In early 2006, Southern became the focus of attention from cyclists' groups as a result of its policy prohibiting the carriage of ordinary cycles during peak hours on trains destined for London and Brighton.[51]

Southern and sister company Southeastern were criticised in January 2007 for not wishing to introduce Oyster Pay As You Go on its London routes, stating that it was not financially viable. In 2007 Southern introduced Oyster on its Watford Junction to Clapham Junction route,[52] and the company later agreed in principle to the introduction of Oyster across its network,[53] but did not give any firm timescale, managing director Chris Burchell saying

"There are still a number of outstanding issues that need to be discussed with TfL, but we do not believe these will prevent us making PAYG a reality on our network. We look forward to discussions with TfL on how we can make this happen as soon as possible for our passengers."[54]

In its successful franchise bid in 2009, Southern said it was committed to rolling out Oyster Pay As You Go in the London area, but also that such a move was subject to industry agreement.[23] Since 2 January 2010, Oyster Pay As You Go has been valid on all its London routes, along with most other train services in the London area.

Timetables[edit]

Southern was criticised for major changes to its timetables in December 2007 and December 2008.

In December 2007, Southern changed the arrangement for the splitting of services to and from London Victoria on the Arun Valley Line, opting to split trains at Horsham rather than Barnham. Some passengers criticised this change as it increased the journey time to and from London by up to 10 minutes from certain stations, while in the event of services running behind schedule, trains were sometimes not split at Horsham, and proceeded non-stop to Barnham, leaving Arun Valley commuters at Horsham with the prospect of no onward trains.[55]

In December 2008 further timetable changes included the introduction of the extended Gatwick Express services. However, reliability and timekeeping on some of the new services were considered poor, leading to several public meetings being held.[56][57][58] On 22 January 2009, Southern responded to some of these criticisms. During 2009 these services have recorded improved timekeeping and criticisms have since subsided.[59]

The new timetable also led to unhappiness due to the difference in speed and frequency of service between East Coastway services and those on the Brighton Main Line.[60][61]

December 2010 timetable[edit]

Further changes to the timetable were made in December 2010; the first timetable change to include many of the requirements of the new franchise. Additional services were included at evenings and weekends. In the London area a 'metro' frequency of service was introduced on most routes with the extension of the weekday daytime four-trains-per-hour norm to late evenings (up to around midnight), Saturdays and Sundays. In addition, new late-night services were introduced from London on Friday and Saturday nights with last trains leaving central London at around 00:30.

Outside London, a new later-evening service was introduced to Uckfield from London Bridge, new late-night services from Brighton along the west coastway and direct services between Southampton and Brighton on Sundays.

Southern's plans for enhanced services between Victoria and Brighton with a new four-trains-per-hour frequency were rejected at the last minute by the Office of Rail Regulation.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Companies House extract company no 6574965 Southern Railway Limited
  2. ^ "Privacy policy: Southern". Southern. Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  3. ^ "South Central rail franchise Due this Month" (Press release). Shadow Strategic Rail Authority. 10 October 2000. 
  4. ^ "Six Companies Shortlisted for First Franchise Replacement Round" (Press release). Shadow Strategic Rail Authority. 14 March 2000. 
  5. ^ a b "Connex loses rail franchise". BBC News. 24 October 2000. Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  6. ^ Proposed acquisition by Govia Limited of Connex South Central Limited. Office of Fair Trading. 16 August 2001.
  7. ^ "Completion of Acquisition of South Central Franchise" (Press release). Go-Ahead. 28 August 2001. Archived from the original on 21 October 2001. 
  8. ^ Annual Accounts 2001. Go-Ahead Group. 30 June 2001.
  9. ^ Companies House extract company no 3010919. New Southern Railway Limited formerly South Central Limited.
  10. ^ Rail (Peterborough). Issue 444. 18 September 2002. p. 6.
  11. ^ Entrain (19) (Sheffield). 30 July 2003. p. 9. 
  12. ^ (DFT) Agreement signed to amend Gatwick Express and Southern franchises. whitehallpages
  13. ^ "Agreement to amend the Gatwick Express and Southern Franchises" (Press release). Go-Ahead. 19 June 2007. 
  14. ^ "Gatwick service benefits Brighton". BBC News. 14 December 2008. Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  15. ^ December 2008 timetable change. Southeastern News. 4 December 2008.
  16. ^ "Agreement signed to amend Gatwick Express and Southern franchises". Department for Transport. 19 June 2007. Archived from the original on 18 July 2007. 
  17. ^ "Next stop South London". The Londoner. Greater London Authority. 8 March 2008. Archived from the original on 22 January 2009. 
  18. ^ "UK govt mulling handover of part of Go-Ahead's Southern franchise to TfL". Forbes (New York). 10 March 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  19. ^ http://www.whitehallpages.net/news/archive/127489
  20. ^ "Bidders for South Central franchise announced" (Press release). Department for Transport. 20 August 2008. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  21. ^ "Nat Exp and Stagecoach on rail bid shortlist". Reuters. 20 August 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  22. ^ "Retention of South Central franchise" (Press release). Go-Ahead. 9 June 2009. 
  23. ^ a b c "More frequent and more secure rail services for London and the South East" (Press release). Department for Transport. 9 June 2009. Retrieved 17 June 2009. 
  24. ^ Official Journal of the European Union Notice. Department for Transport. 19 December 2011.
  25. ^ Consultation on the Combined Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise. Department for Transport. May 2012.
  26. ^ Thameslink, Southern and Great Northern franchise Go-Ahead Group
  27. ^ "Thameslink Franchise OJEU Notice". Department for Transport. 19 December 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  28. ^ "Bidders to oversee improvements on rail franchises announced" (Press release). Department for Transport. 29 March 2012. 
  29. ^ "West Coast Main Line franchise competition cancelled" (Press release). Department for Transport. 3 October 2012. 
  30. ^ Gatwick Express: Brighton extension timetable
  31. ^ Rail (Peterborough). Issue 431. 20 March 2002.
  32. ^ Rail (Peterborough). Issue 442. 21 August 2002.
  33. ^ "Class 313s come to Southern". Southern Electric Group.
  34. ^ Rail (Peterborough). Issue 629. 21 October 2009.
  35. ^ "Southern to order more trains as Thameslink slips". Railnews. 19 September 2011. Retrieved 15 November 2011. 
  36. ^ "Bombardier Wins Additional Order for 130 Electrostar Cars from Southern in the UK" (Press release). Bombardier. 28 December 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2011. 
  37. ^ "DfT acts to ease Thameslink trains logjam". Railnews. 16 November 2012.
  38. ^ a b Southern: Useful Information Retrieved 11 February 2010
  39. ^ Southern Useful Information - Southern. Retrieved 29 August 2013.
  40. ^ "Train facilities". Southern. Retrieved 26 December 2013. 
  41. ^ a b "Bombardier to manufacture 116 new train carriages for Thameslink rolling stock cascade" (Press release). Southern. 17 July 2013. 
  42. ^ Thameslink Southern & Great Northern Invitation to Tender. Department for Transport. 26 September 2013/
  43. ^ Desiros for Loan to Southern - Southern Electric Group. Retrieved 6 June 2013.
  44. ^ "Franchising Program Continues Apace" (Press release). Strategic Rail Authority. 13 February 2004. Archived from the original on 22 April 2004. 
  45. ^ "Go-Ahead JV awarded TSGN franchise" (Press release). Go-Ahead Group Plc. 23 May 2014. 
  46. ^ "South Central Franchise Consultation Paper". Department for Transport. 22 May 2008. Retrieved 21 August 2008. [dead link]
  47. ^ "Lewes-Uckfield rail line: re-instatement study under way" (Press release). East Sussex County Council. 3 January 2008. Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  48. ^ "Green signal to reopen rail line". The Argus (Brighton). 21 June 2006. Retrieved 7 July 2013. 
  49. ^ As of 28 August 2013 also from https://www.southernrailway.com/smart-card/
  50. ^ a b c d https://www.southernrailway.com/smart-card/faq/
  51. ^ "Bicycle policy". Southern. Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  52. ^ "Oyster card". Southern. Retrieved 11 October 2009. 
  53. ^ "Oyster cards for ALL trains". London Evening Standard. 31 January 2007. 
  54. ^ "Southern say yes to Oyster". Wimbledon Gazette. 3 February 2007. Retrieved 11 June 2009. 
  55. ^ "Rail revolt as trains dump passengers". West Sussex County Times (Horsham). 20 January 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2009. 
  56. ^ "Commuters form pressure group". Eastbourne Herald. 8 January 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  57. ^ "Record of Meetings". Southern East Coastway Commuters. 24 January 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  58. ^ "News Christmas 2008". Bexhill Rail Action Group. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  59. ^ "News – Southern Railway". Southern. 22 January 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2009. [dead link]
  60. ^ "BRAG's Faster Trains Campaign". Bexhill Rail Action Group. January 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 
  61. ^ "Rail users want faster trains". Eastbourne Herald. 22 January 2009. Retrieved 26 January 2009. 

External links[edit]


Preceded by
Connex South Central
Network SouthCentral franchise
Operator of South Central franchise
2001–2009
Succeeded by
Southern
South Central (incl Gatwick Express) franchise
Preceded by
Gatwick Express
Gatwick Express franchise
Operator of Gatwick Express franchise
2008–2009
Preceded by
Southern
South Central franchise
Operator of South Central (incl Gatwick Express) franchise
2009–2015
Incumbent
Preceded by
Southern
Gatwick Express franchise