Our service quality report

On this page:

Section 1: Information and ticket sales


  • Customers can plan a journey, check the variety of ticket options and prices and purchase tickets through our online ticket sales platform
  • Train tickets and timetables are available online and can be views in a mobile friendly format, pdf formats are also available. Visit our train timetables page
  • Live information on train arrivals and departures, highlighting delays or disruption, are available on our website. Platform numbers for any station are also available but may change at short notice. Visit our plan my journey page.
  • At South Western Railway we manage 187 stations. We know it is important to have information on station facilities and whether staff are available, this can be found in our stations finder and updates are provided here.
  • If you need assistance navigating the station or a ramp to get on your train, our passenger assistance service can help. Detailed information can be found on our Assisted Travel page where a booking form is available.
    • Alternatively, you can call 0800 52 82 100 (freephone) to speak to our in-house Assisted Travel Team, 24-hours a day (except 25th and 26 December).
    • Or National Rail Enquiries also operate a 24-hour dedicated travel assistance line by calling 08000 22 37 20.
    • Our Text Relay service 18001 0800 52 82 100. Using the text relay service is easy – simply add 18001 before the number or download the Text Relay appopen in new tab. A Relay assistant will type back anything the hearing person says at the other end of the call
  • We strive to be transparent when we encounter disruption and have now agreed a new set of industry Customer Pledges

These Customer Pledges are supported by all train companies and will:

Explain what our commitments are and what we’re doing to make things better
Bring together good practice from across the rail and other industries to help you during disruption
Bring consistency across the rail industry
Allow for local and regional flexibility
Demonstrate that we truly care about you, and we put our customers first
Bring together good practice from across the railway – and other industries – to support you during disruption and get you where you need to be as quickly as possible

At the station and on board our trains

  • All SWR stations have information screens available showing upcoming departures and their calling points. Information on any disruption is also shown on the information screens.
  • Many of our stations are staffed, and all SWR stations have help points where you can get assistance or information.
  • You can check whether a station has an available ticket office on our station information pages. Most of our stations also have ticket machines.
  • Many of our stations have step free access and/or ramps. Get in touch with our station staff at staffed stations once you’ve arrived, and we’ll take care of the rest. If you’re at an unstaffed station, make your way to the platform, and we’ll do our best to let the on-board team know you’re boarding.
  • All our services have a guard on board and in the case of delays the guard will announce information as appropriate.
  • Automated on-board announcements and information screens are also available on board our trains.

Section 2: Punctuality and general principles to cope with disruption to services

At South Western Railway we know that you want a safe, reliable, and punctual service. We’re committed to providing this, to help deliver the best service we can. We continually measure our service reliability and punctuality and report on how we are performing against targets which are set in our Passenger’s Charter.


When disruption does occur, real-time information on how to travel will be shown on our plan my journey page and on information screens at our stations. Members of staff will also assist at staffed stations, and we have help-points available at all stations that are manned 24/7.

Please see our Customer Pledges page which details our commitment to supporting you during disruption and ensuring you get to where you need to be as quickly as possible.

Section 3: Cleanliness of rolling stock and station facilities

As a responsible train operator, the health and safety of our customers and colleagues is our priority. We have regularly scheduled cleaning of all of our trains.  When cleaning we also play close attention to commonly touched surfaces such as ticket machines, door buttons, and grab rails. 

Air conditioning and air quality

Most of our trains are equipped with air conditioning. You can find out more about which trains have air conditioning and information on our new Arterio trains on our train fleet pages.

Section 4: Customer satisfaction survey

The National Rail Passenger Survey was stopped as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and is planned to be replaced by an industry survey led by Rail Delivery Group in 2024. We continue to monitor customer feedback through our  Voice of the Customer programme as well our Customer Contact Centre & Social Media Team. We use this insight to inform business decisions.

In 2023 we’ll be introducing Arterio, our brand-new fleet of 90 trains that will transform travel on our Reading, Windsor and South West London suburban routes.

We’re investing a massive £1 billion in this new fleet of trains which will offer more capacity, quicker journey times and better reliability and punctuality for our customers.

We’re also investing in our station with a £1.0 million repainting programme and new , benches, toilet and waiting room refurbishments, and some new waiting shelters.

Section 5: Complaint handling, refunds, and compensation

Our Complaints Handling Procedure sets out full details of our commitment to customers who choose to comment about our service. When you make a complaint, it comes through to our dedicated in-house Customer Service Centres, where well-trained, professional staff will follow it to resolution.

Section 6: Assisted Travel

  • If you need assistance navigating the station or a ramp to get on your train, our passenger assistance service can help. Detailed information can be found on our Assisted Travel page where a booking form is available.
  • We are part of Passenger Assist which is a national system that all train companies are part of. Customers can request assistance for any and all parts of their journey, including help with purchasing tickets. We are committed to using this system and will provide assistance to anyone who books up to 2 hours in advance. SWR staff will provide this assistance at all of our managed stations, and also at London Waterloo, Clapham Junction and Guildford stations, which are managed by Network Rail. At other stations, whether they be managed by another Train Operating Company or Network Rail, their staff will provide the same assistance.
  • Whether you book assistance in advance or not, our teams are here to help. Booking in advance with our Assisted Travel service helps to ensure that we can have everything in place to help you. The national booking system operates across the National Rail network.
  • At unstaffed stations, our on-train teams will provide assistance to board and leave the train and our 24-hour Assisted Travel team in the Contact Centre will discuss best options with the customer if they require further assistance through the station. 
  • In addition to offering pre-booked assistance, SWR actively promotes a “Turn Up and Go” and an Assisted Boarding Points service, enabling customers requiring assistance to travel how they want to. 
  • We have received a total number of 72,556  assistance bookings for South Western Railway for the 2020-2021 reporting period.
  • Additionally we delivered a further 49,097 Turn Up & Go requests during that year.
  • Our Travel Assistance Card is a free card for anyone who may need that extra bit of help and find it difficult to ask. All our staff have been trained to recognise the card and if you show it to any member of our staff, they will help you as best they can. Our Travel Assistance Card can be requested at any of our stations, through our customer services team, or downloaded from our website.    
  • Customers with Assistance Dogs can request an “Assistance Dog under seat” card which shows other customers that an assistance dog is underneath the seat. More information is available on our website.

Section 7: Service Quality Excellence

Customers are at the heart of everything we do and in support of this we  have implemented a Service Quality Excellence programme which assesses the standards at our Stations, on our Trains and our Customer Service. Every four weeks, our independent assessors travel across our network, looking at a number of criteria important to our customers, to ensure we are meeting the standards expected of us. 60 stations are assessed, along with 200 carriages and 110 customer service mystery shops.

We work hard to achieve high scores, but where we don’t meet the expected standard, we are committed to rectifying any issues identified within specific time frames, helping us to deliver high standards and excellent customer service to our customers.

Every 4 weeks, we will publish our performance. Scores are presented in 3 key parts (Stations, Trains & Customer Service) with each having its own Service Quality Areas.


2023/2024 Service Quality Performance: at our stations

  Ambience & Assets Cleanliness & Graffiti Information Ticketing & Staffing Component score
Benchmark 89% 76% 84% 93% 84%
P8 86.75% 79.09% 78.31% 95.74% 84.97%
P7 93.21% 79.05% 85.74% 94.56% 88.14%
P6 91.15% 83.46% 83.92% 94.46% 88.25%
P5 91.61% 78.47% 83.42% 93.34% 86.71%
P4 90.37% 79.70% 88.40% 93.79% 88.06%
P3 94.24% 83.62%  83.10% 92.72% 88.42%
P2 94.07% 83.42% 89.41% 97.78% 91.17%
P1 94.07% 79.20% 87.75% 96.73% 89.44%

2023/2024 Service Quality Performance: on trains

Ambience & Assets Cleanliness & Graffiti Information Component score
Benchmark 89% 84% 91% 87%
P8 90.53% 90.74% 94.74% 92.00% 
P7 90.58% 90.97% 94.31% 91.95%
P6 92.39% 90.74% 95.16% 92.76%
P5 89.15% 88.65% 97.05% 91.62%
P4 91.83% 88.63% 97.82% 92.76%
P3 89.04% 86.75% 95.00% 90.26%
P2 88.64% 84.87% 93.18% 88.90%
P1 89.10% 86.79% 93.60% 89.83%

2023/2024 Service Quality Performance: customer service

  Staff Helpfulness Online Information Component score
Benchmark 89% 96% 90%
P8 97.53% 100.00% 98.77%
P7 92.50% 100.00% 96.25%
P6 95.00% 95.00% 95.00%
P5 91.25% 97.50% 94.38%
P4 93.75% 100.00% 96.88%
P3 86.59% 100.00% 93.29%
P2 88.56% 100.00% 94.28%
P1 93.87% 100.00% 96.93% 

2022/2023 Service Quality Report performance summary

Service Quality Performance at our stations

  Ambience & Assets Cleanliness & Graffiti Information Ticketing & Staffing Component score
Benchmark 83% 74% 83% 95% 83%
Our performance 89.32% 74.55% 84.19% 93.32% 85.35%

Service Quality Performance on our trains

Ambience & Assets Cleanliness & Graffiti Information Component score
Benchmark 87% 84% 87% 84%
Our performance 89.89% 82.06% 92.13% 88.03%

Service Quality Performance of our customer service

  Staff Helpfulness Online Information Component score
Benchmark 89% 91% 88%
Our performance 91.11% 94.23% 92.67%
Service Quality Results past performance 2022-2023