Southeastern win rail business of the year

Southeastern have been named rail business of the year in an awards ceremony held last week.

Rail Business stated that “judges felt that Southeastern had made positive progress following its transfer to OLR in 2021. As well as improving performance and reliability under a strong customer-focused leadership, it is exploring fleet renewal options.”

Well staffed stations across the network

Last year it emerged that their Networker trains may see replacement in 2027 though this is yet to be confirmed and is dependent on government approval.

Newer trains (class 376s) will be refurbished this year though will not see air con added. They were the last trains ordered in the UK without it.

Services have seen changes in the past year, with a negative increase seeing plaudits all round.

One improvement has been increasing gaps between services calling at Abbey Wood linking with the new Elizabeth line and then transferring passengers to Kent.

Gaps on Metro trains to Kent from Abbey Wood

Branding wise and we see that externally trains couldn’t be in better condition.

A business on the up showing it’s logo proudly.

Peeling logos

Stations are well staffed and always open to customer enquiries.

Greenwich station at peak time

To be fair, and I’m not taking the pee now, Southeastern do have many great staff. It’s just there’s far from enough of them.

This is clear to see for any regular passenger, but also a look at Southeastern’s disruption page shows numerous station ticket offices closed due to lack of staff.

In the recent past we’ve seen Kidbrooke station open with downgraded facilities due to a lack of staffing. We’ve also seen a newly built entrance to Lewisham as part of a tower alongside platform 1 not open.

New station sees minimal staffing despite new homes. Ticket gates withdrawn from design shortly before completion

You can rightly blame the Department for Transport for many problems on the network alongside Network Rail’s ongoing infrastructure problems, though rail business of the year is quite a stretch when services have been cut, links to the brand new Elizabeth line hampered weeks after it completed, Metro stations minimally staffed and trains lacking even routine cleaning.

Take a look at the grills, fittings and around the windows next time you’re on a Networker. They’re often filthy and havn’t been cleaned for years. Basics aren’t being done.

None of that entices people to use rail unless absolutely essential. Perhaps judges only looked at long distance services which are a mile away from the neglected London suburban routes?


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J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

6 thoughts on “Southeastern win rail business of the year

  • Many blame Southeastern for things beyond their control and they do have some great people working for them who take a lot of the flack for problems elsewhere but even with all that in mind this is silly.

    It’s CLEARLY an unloved network within the M25. Most other rail operating companies do a far better job at revenue protection, internal condition of rolling stock and customer service including those I regularly use in and around London and beyond such as c2c, Chiltern and Greater Anglia.

    Like-for-like station management is vastly different alongside general ambience of the suburban network. Southeastern can resemble the dark days of Silverlink. Nothing since 2021 has changed on that front since it went to the OLR and it’s been crappy for 15 years now.

  • Or maybe just maybe the judges are in someones pockets?……

  • Lovely…so nice!
    Beyond me how they keep cutting services and journeys without payments seems to be rife!

  • April 1st is next month. Has someone made a mistake ?

  • This is the most ridiculous ‘winner’ I’ve ever heard. It’s outrageous. I mean even in the same geographical area Thameslink and even moreso the Elizabeth line trains are worlds ahead of SE. Im actually gobsmacked. And to mention staffed stations as a plus point is pure lies – I’ve never heard anything so ridiculous. I actively avoid using that route to central and use TfL services, DLR or Elizabeth line on every possible journey I can.


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