Summer Southeastern direct coastal trains from Woolwich line return

Direct trains to Kent coastal towns from the Woolwich line are set to begin running again on weekends from June.

As in previous years Southeastern services will run to Whitstable, Margate, Ramsgate among other seaside towns.

Interchange at Abbey Wood for direct trains to the coast

What does differ is services now depart from Cannon Street rather than Charing Cross, and run via Lewisham instead of Greenwich.

A journey from Woolwich Arsenal to Margate, for example, takes one hour and forty three minutes.

Direct trains to Margate returning

The direct train is almost certain to be a Networker which lacks air con so perhaps not the best on a hot day. Better to take a train to Medway stations and change to a long distance Southeastern train if a scorcher.

Two direct return trains will also operate departing on weekends departing Ramsgate at 4:44pm and 5:44pm.

Weekday direct trains start in July for the summer holidays, though again differ from last year. Trains start at Victoria and head via Lewisham again avoiding Deptford, Greenwich, Maze Hill and Westcombe Park.

Greenwich loses direct summer coast trains

Then they skip Belvedere and Erith. Southeastern appear to be copying Thameslink in skipping straight through these two busy stations.

Despite skipping those two stations the trains runs no faster between Abbey Wood and Slade Green compared to those that do stop.


Total journey times have slowed slightly. Previously Abbey Wood to Whitstable direct was 1 hour and 19 minutes. Now it’s 1 hour and 23 minutes.

In some ways its surprising these services have escaped government demands for cuts. Costs may be negligible to operate with drivers and stock needing to move anyway.

A good site to view what’s on over the summer in Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate can be seen here.


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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.

One thought on “Summer Southeastern direct coastal trains from Woolwich line return

  • Great stuff – this promotion is always welcome. Now we just need some consistent warm weather, this weekend’s been the sunniest it’s been for a long while but Monday’s rain put a damper on a lovely Easter.


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