A South Western Railway class 159 diesel "West of England" train. A man in dark trousers and a blue jumper is walking in front of it.

Customer Council

An independent voice that strives for constructive change

The SWR Customer Council is a group of passionate customers who work voluntarily to improve the collective journeys of fellow customers. The team - who are frequent SWR travellers - aim to quickly identify and resolve customer concerns together with our teams.

Launched in 2020, the council - which is made up of 5 members - brings a wealth of knowledge and ideas to help meet the needs of our diverse range of customers. 

In regular meetings and activities with the SWR senior management team the council:

- give feedback and valuable insights into people’s needs
help to develop new initiatives
participate in local events including our regular Meet the Manager sessions

Customer Council regions

The members of the council each represent their home region and one’s focused on the digital side of things. Our regions are split into the following areas.

Central - Covering stations from Raynes Park to Guildford, Woking, Shepperton, Alton, Chessington South, Bagshot to Hampton Court.

Metro - Including London Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Riverside, Earley, Chertsey, Addlestone and Wimbledon.

South - Covering Farncombe to Portsmouth, the Isle of Wight, Farnborough to Southampton Airport Parkway, Swaythling to Swanwick, Eastleigh to Cosham and Chandler's Ford.

West - Covering stations from Southampton Central to Weymouth and Overton to Pinhoe.

Digital - Responsible for monitoring forums, social media and other online communities and suggesting improvements to SWR digital operations. 

Our projects

The council has been involved in a series of big projects over the past few years including:

Improving accessibility at our stations and trains
Enhancing rail replacement services
Boosting WiFi
Social and community projects
Supporting staff training programs 
Innovation projects and events to improve journeys and anticipate developing customer needs

And much more!

Here’s what some of the council members have to say about being part of the council. 

Simon, Digital Representative, said: "Since my childhood, I’ve had a keen interest in the railway industry. I love travelling by train and have explored many places through train journeys. 

“Working alongside a team of skilled and devoted individuals to represent the needs of customers has been an incredibly enjoyable experience. It has been fulfilling to be a part of shaping the implementation of services, initiatives, and projects throughout the network."

Richard, South Representative said: "I've been a regular commuter from Hampshire into London for around 15 years. This has allowed me to gain a significant understanding of the size and scale of the network. 

“It's a privilege to help provide feedback to the SWR team, and it's great to see when this feedback helps towards continuing to deliver high levels of customer service. It's also great to see the flexibility the network brings at the weekend for leisure travel, whether it be trips to watch my favourite sports teams or down to the coast.

If you have ideas for how the Customer Council can add more value to the customer experience, please contact gail.england@swrailway.com.