How Busy Is Your Train?

Southeastern has published information online that allows commuters to see if catching a different train could make their journey more comfortable.

Traffic lights show how busy peak-time services are and where seats are normally available along the route. They are designed to help passengers make the most informed choice for their journey and can be found on the company’s website HERE.

PDF icon Greenwich Line

David Statham, managing director of Southeastern, said: “There are times when some of our trains are a lot busier than others. We want to give passengers an easy way to see how busy different services are at their station. Those able to catch an earlier or later train can now see which is likely to have more space.”

The new information illustrates the demand for peak services at stations and allows passengers to consider alternative trains. For each, graphics show departure and arrival times and number of coaches. Stops at which seats are normally available are signalled green and those with limited seating amber. Red indicates standing room only. Data is based on passenger forecasts and scheduled train lengths.

As well as considering earlier or later trains, passengers can also see if alternative routes or departure points make a difference. For example, services from London Cannon Street to Dartford via Greenwich are more likely to have space than those through Bexleyheath. Trains from London to Hayes leaving Charing Cross are less busy than those out of Cannon Street. Some stops served by the 17.30 from Cannon Street to Ramsgate can also be reached on a less busy 17.47 train from nearby London Blackfriars to Ashford International.

Passengers altering their journey can use certain parts of the Transport for London (TfL) network at no extra cost. The arrangement under the Thameslink Programme includes specific London Underground stations along with some DLR and bus routes. It applies to all ticket types including season tickets, day tickets, Oyster Pay As You Go, Contactless and Southern Smartcards. Some restrictions apply; more information on ticket acceptance can be found at

Across its network Southeastern uses all trains available at peak times. Last week the company announced it had moved carriages from less busy trains to those most in need of extra space to ease crowding; 14 trains were lengthened and seven will make additional stops in response to passenger feedback and demand. Capacity on trains to Cannon Street was increased by 24% in the New Year.