From May 20 we'll be making changes to some train times on our network. This will replace our current winter timetable.
We strongly encourage you to check your journey before travelling. For more information please visit our journey check page here or speak with a member of station staff.
Please click here to download any of our new spring timetables (from 20 May).
Spring Weather Conditions
Spring weather can often see high temperatures rapidly followed by significant rainfall. This presents unique challenges to running trains, particularly in areas prone to flooding.
Our Network and Trains
We operate one of the most complex commuter rail networks in the UK. We operate nearly 1,700 trains a day, covering more than 600 miles of track and serving nearly 180 stations across South West London, Surrey, Hampshire and parts of Wiltshire, Berkshire, Devon and Somerset. The track infrastructure we use – as well as the signalling, points and third rail power supply - is owned, operated and maintained by our partners at Network Rail. Together, we run a dedicated 24-hour, 7 day-a-week operational Control Centre where we work to keep trains on our network running as smoothly as possible, as and deal with any disruption that occurs. We also keep you updated with the latest information on our services here.
Most of our trains – as well as trains operated by other operators south of the River Thames including Southern, Southeastern and Thameslink/Great Northern – are powered by electricity from a track-level third rail DC electrical system. This relatively low-cost system was introduced in the 1920s and 1930s and is different to the system used by trains which draw power from overhead lines. During normal weather conditions, the third rail system works extremely well and we are able to deliver a punctual service to our customers. In addition, we use a small number of diesel trains largely on the London to Salisbury and Exeter route which run without any requirement for electrical power supplies to move them.
The basic design of the electrification system used in South London, Kent and Sussex as well as our area means that it will never work perfectly during icy conditions. Replacing this system would require massive investment and long term planning due to the large area that uses it. These investment decisions would need to be taken by the Department for Transport in conjunction with South Western Railway and Network Rail.
We take your safety and the safety of our staff very seriously and we would never operate a train service unless it were safe to do so. Our focus is to ensure our trains and our stations can be used by our customers safely and with confidence and to do everything we can to minimise the impact of severe weather on our customers
Your safety is our top priority, and a huge effort goes into keeping the busiest areas of our network, such as platforms, stations and footbridges, as clear of snow and ice as possible. We have a large stockpile of ice treatment chemicals at stations and at suppliers. We have also updated all of our station snow and ice-clearance arrangements, buying new equipment where our internal review suggested gaps. Finally, we also have a “station adoption” snow and ice clearance scheme, whereby stations are adopted by back-office staff who live locally.
Some areas of our network have higher concentrations of trees close to the tracks. Embankments and cuttings can also cause accumulations of leaves, which can increase the likelihood of the problem occurring. Windy conditions and train turbulence also cause leaves to be blown onto the railway from other areas.