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Southern / Gatwick Express

About Southern / Gatwick Express

Southern provides train services in South London and connects central London to the South Coast, East and West Sussex, Surrey and parts of Kent and Hampshire. On one of the busiest rail networks in the UK, 169 million passenger journeys were made last year on Southern services. It also runs the Gatwick Express service.

Govia retained the Southern franchise in September 2009 which runs for five years 10 months. Although this is due to end in July 2015, there is an option to extend by two years should the Department for Transport choose to take up this option. View press release.

Southern manages 156 stations across its network with its busiest stations being London Victoria, London Bridge, Brighton, East Croydon and Gatwick Airport. London Victoria and London Bridge are managed by Network Rail.

Over 98 per cent of Southern's passengers pass through stations that have secure station status (a Department for Transport accredited scheme) and reported crime has fallen year on year. This achievement has been made possible with the help of the Safer Travel Team, which comprises of British Transport Police officers and Rail Neighbourhood Officers (Southern own staff) who deal with issues on the railway ranging from issuing penalty fares and anti-social behaviour penalty notices to making arrests.

Southern takes its environmental responsibilities seriously. It is working to create a sustainable rail network with passengers needs at the centre of its business. It is committed to making rail travel more accessible, more affordable and environmentally efficient. Southern was awarded ISO 14001 for its Environmental Management System in 2011. Southern's entire fleet of Class 377 Electrostar trains regenerate electricity back into the third rail* system each time the brakes are applied.

Southern has invested in staff training and coaching to provide passengers with high levels of customer service, and overall passenger satisfaction scores in the biannual National Passenger Survey have been encouraging. Currently 78 per cent of passengers surveyed say they are satisfied.

In recent years Southern has won numerous awards for achievements in many areas within the franchise such as innovation, safety, sustainability and community. Southern has had multiple wins at the National Rail awards and the Railway Innovation awards as well as being named Rail Business of the Year at the 2011 Rail Business Awards.

Southern was the first Train Operating Company in the country to introduce a Priority Seating Card which enables its holders to request that an occupied priority-seat is given up without having to provide an explanation. It has also recently introduced a raft of initiatives at its stations designed to help those with physical disabilities, learning difficulties and those whose first language is not English.

In December 2011, Southern announced a £188 million order for 130 new Electrostar trains which are due to start in passenger service in December 2013. In November 2012, Southern further announced its intention to exercise its contract option to order a further 40 Electrostar carriages. The additional trains will be used to increase capacity on the West London Line in spring 2014.

Southern has adopted two charities, The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and the Brighton based Martlets Hospice, Community Rail Partnerships and Community Station Partnerships also feature widely as part of Southern's relationships with local communities.

* The third rail or conductor rail is the system by which some trains draw their power. The system is mainly found in the South of England.

View the awards of the company

Key Facts

Managing Director Chris Burchell
Geographical Area London
East / West Sussex
Franchise Renewal Date July 2015
Revenue+ £704.3m
Approx passenger journeys* 169 million
Punctuality (MAA) 87.5%
Customer Satisfaction Rating 78%
Avg Number of Employees+ 4,017
Fleet Size** 308 trains

+ For the financial year ended 29 June 2013. 
** Rounded to the nearest 1 million. For the financial year ended 29 June 2013. 
** Data as at 29 June 2013. 

Contact Details

Go-Ahead House,
26-28 Addiscombe Road,
Croydon, Surrey CR9 5GA
Tel: (0) 20 8929 8600