Welcome to the South
Western Railway site for employees

Welcome to South Western Railway

Welcome to South Western Railway. Today marks the start of a new journey together to improve the customer experience for our passengers as we build on the strong foundations of the previous franchise.

Our franchise presents some great opportunities for us all. Over the next 7 years we will introduce more services, deliver increased capacity and reduce journey times; key areas that we know are important to passengers.

We want to invest in you, giving you the tools to do your job with new staff apps, giving you the information you need when and where you need it. We want to give you the opportunity to develop your skills and progress your career with externally recognised qualifications and the introduction of our talent management programme. We’ll also be introducing a business wide apprenticeship programme with courses available across all grades and functions.

Today sees the launch of our new brand along with the new customer app and website. You should also receive a welcome pack that includes our Franchise Delivery Plan, prepared for colleagues, customers and stakeholders. You will have also received an employee booklet to your home, outlining the great benefits on offer during the franchise.

The SWR brand will become more visible over the next few weeks and months as we refurbish trains and rebrand stations, depots and offices across the network.

We’ve created a short video introducing myself and giving some information about what to look forward to in South Western Railway. You can see this video below.

Our network is vital to the communities that we serve. I look forward to working with you to help  transform our customers’ experience when they travel with us.

Better trains

  • We will introduce brand new trains to the network, and will fully refurbish trains to the London-Portsmouth route to an as-new standard
  • We will significantly increase capacity
  • Comfortable 2 plus 2 seating on all Portsmouth fast trains to London by December 2018
  • Average age of the entire fleet reduced by almost half by December 2020
spacious new state-of-the-art train carriages to cover all of the Windsor, Reading and London Suburban routes by December 2020
more peak seats for our customers than today’s trains
more seats a day across peak times at London Waterloo by December 2020

Faster journeys

Mainline journey times will be reduced, with upto:

minute reduction in Weymouth-London and Poole-London journey times
minute reduction in Bournemouth-London journey times
minute reduction in Southampton Central-London journey times
minute reduction in journey times on fast trains from Portsmouth and 7 minute reduction on slower trains

We’re introducing more (and more frequent) services:

  • 400 more services on Sunday afternoons from 2018
  • Double the number of trains each hour to Reading and Windsor (from 2 to 4)
  • Reading will see 2 semi-fast and 2 stopping services every hour and Windsor will receive 2 extra semi-fast services via Hounslow
  • We will improve late evening frequencies and later last trains across the network

We’re making sure the South Coast is better connected, with:

  • 4 trains an hour between London and Portsmouth
  • Direct service along the South Coast connecting communities from Portsmouth to Weymouth
  • Second hourly semi-fast South Western Railway service between Portsmouth and Southampton

Delivering a better travel experience

We’re committed to making life better for our customers by providing:

  • Free Wi-Fi on-board mainland trains and at stations – with 5 times more bandwidth than today
  • Charging points on all trains by December 2020
  • 1,500 new car parking spaces across the network
  • 60 Electric Vehicle charging points at stations
  • Free infotainment on all mainland fleet
  • Toilets on all mainland trains
  • Live updates to passenger information screens on our mainland trains by December 2020

Delay Repay

We’ll also be bringing in Delay Repay for the first time, making it simple and easy for our customers to claim for late trains, with a fully automated process for those who buy season and advance tickets directly from us on smartcards.

A new app

We’re developing a new app for our customers making journeys smoother by highlighting less busy trains and carriages, so passengers know where on the platform to board.

Staffed stations

Making sure our stations are staffed from 06:00 to midnight on weekdays and Saturdays, at stations within the London Travel Card area with automatic ticket gates.

Simpler ticketing

We’ll make ticketing easier than ever by offering:

  • Mobile phone barcode tickets – available on the network for the first time, covering a wide range of journeys
  • A smartcard scheme across the franchise including pay-as-you-go functionality
  • Flexible season tickets
  • Discounts for 16 to 18 year-olds for the first time
  • Advance Purchase fares available to and from more destinations
  • New smartcards to use across the franchise
  • Easier to use ticket machines for customers

Investing in our people and the community

Development opportunities

Available across the business for staff to increase their skills

Employee representation

At board level, and staff champions to give employees a focal point to give their views and feedback


We plan to introduce the biggest rail operator apprenticeship scheme in Britain

Better technology

Wider roll out of smart devices for all customer facing staff

Living Wage

We’ll pay all our employees at least the Living Wage Foundation’s living wage

Reducing ticketless travel

We’ll install new gatelines at a number of stations and increase the operating hours at a number of locations

Helping the community

We work with the Prince’s Trust supporting disadvantaged young people on the network, and we’ll launch a £2.6m annual fund for community projects across the franchise from April 20

Staff accommodation

We’re investing in staff accommodation at various locations

Investors in People

We want to achieve Investors in People Gold status by 2022 (as achieved at other FirstGroup rail companies)

Staff app

To give employees up to the minute information on the network and the goings on around the business


We want to create a diverse workforce throughout the business

Excellent Staff benefits

Discounts at high street and online retailers and buy as you earn and save as you earn options etc.


First Group