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South Western Railway (often known as SW for short) operates from London's Waterloo Terminal with routes covering Surrey, Berkshire, Hampshire and further on to the South Coast and the West Country. It also operates the Isle of Wight train service. Researching your SouthWest rail journey with Omio has many advantages. From finding Off-Peak train tickets to time tables—journey planning information is at your fingertips. Looking for cheap SW train tickets? Make sure to book in advance, so you can go further with your travel budget.
Previously operating as Southwest Trains, South Western Railway received its franchise in August 2017 and is jointly owned by FirstGroup and the MRT Corporation. It is the main route provider for much of Surrey as well as Berkshire, Hampshire, Wiltshire, Dorset, Somerset, Devon and the Isle of Wight. South Western Railway provides around 1,700 daily services, many of which are on four main lines. These are South Western Main, the Portsmouth Direct, the West of England Main and the Alton lines.
With an extensive choice of South Western train times, passengers can reach their destination whenever they choose to travel and whether their journey is for business or leisure. When it comes to train times South Western offer a cohesive schedule every day of the year (except Christmas Day) with departures generally starting early morning and continuing until late at night. On some routes, a similar timetable operates seven days a week while on others there are fewer trains on Sundays and Bank Holidays.
Trains London to Exeter
Trains London to Bournemouth
Trains London to Southampton
Trains London to Portsmouth
Trains London to Bath
Although there are 1,500 South Western train services every day, some routes are more popular than others. One of the most popular services is the London Brighton train. This whisks holidaymakers and day-trippers from London Waterloo or London Bridge stations to the coast in just over an hour. It also provides a commuter service for city workers who live in Brighton. Other popular routes include London Waterloo to Bournemouth (two hours), London Waterloo to Southampton (one and a half hours), London Waterloo to Exeter (three and a half hours) and London Waterloo to Windsor (one hour).
South Western Railway offers a range of discounted fares. Among these are the Ranger and Rover tickets that give unlimited travel in parts of the country, ideal for making the most of regional holidays, for example, enjoy the Freedom of Devon and Cornwall or a Heart of Wessex Ranger. Buying weekly, monthly or annual commuter tickets saves money while Railcards cater to different groups of people such as seniors, teenagers, disabled travellers and members of the armed forces. If you enjoy family days out take advantage of occasional South Western Railway 2FOR1 offers where entry to attractions is included with your train ticket (terms and conditions apply).
Buying advance tickets from Omio is the cheapest way to travel while Anytime Tickets are the most flexible if travelling across Peak and Off-Peak times. Avoid peak hours and save with Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak tickets while a Carnet bridges the gap between daily and season tickets. Buy 10 tickets to use within two months, perfect if you work from home for part of the week and don't want to commit to a season ticket. If visiting London and hopping on and off buses and the Tube, London Travelcards cover all city transport. On most train routes both Standard and First Class tickets are available either as physical tickets or downloadable e-Tickets.
Season ticket: South Western Railway offer season tickets which can cover periods of time from over a week to a year. Perfect for commuter passengers wishing to save money on their rail fare.
GroupSave: groups of three to nine people can save up to 34% on adult tickets when travelling together. Perfect for groups of friends and family taking a day trip.
Group Travel: travelling in a group of ten or more? Then it's possible to save up to 25% on Off-Peak tickets when you book in advance.
South Western Railway currently operates several train types. Class 159 'South Western Turbo' and Class 158 'Express Sprinter' operate on West of England routes while Class 442 'Wessex Electric' and Class 444 'Desiro' carry passengers between London and Portsmouth. The most common train, however, is the 450 'Desiro' which can now be found on most routes. These are all newer or refurbished trains with a smart dark green and silver livery.
Although keeping the railway network well maintained is vital for the comfort and safety of all passengers, South Western Railway aims to keep disruption to a minimum. Much engineering work is carried out at the weekend, overnight or on Bank Holidays so always check before you travel. Alternative forms of travel are usually provided on affected routes. Planned South Western Railway improvements include new or refurbished engines and carriages, extra commuter seats at peak periods, more Sunday services, better South Coast connectivity (which includes a new Portsmouth - Southampton service), more ticket options and standardisation of onboard facilities such as WiFi, charging points and toilets.
With lush green fields, quaint pubs and some of the most idyllic beaches in the UK, south-west England is a haven from the country’s busier cities. South Western Railway is the gateway from London to some of these glorious places. Find out more about them below.
This port city is currently one of the coolest places in the UK, and with its mix of lively student energy, friendly West Country locals and plenty of independent shops and cafes, it’s easy to see why. Stroll along the harbour, enjoy a scrumpy cider at one of the many pubs, and marvel at the Clifton Suspension Bridge to get the full Bristolian experience.
The Isle of Wight
Just off the South Coast, you’ll need to get the ferry from either Southampton or Portsmouth but once you’ve arrived, South Western Railway will help you get around. On The Isle of Wight, there’s plenty to do from admiring The Needles, a natural wonder made from the chalk stacks, to enjoying an afternoon tea in one of its many tearooms.
Poole is the second largest town in Dorset and is a two hours train ride from London Waterloo Station. Home to Europe’s largest natural harbour, the seaport is a popular spot for sailing and swimming. For landlubbers, Poole’s old town, which dates back to the Iron Age, won’t disappoint, as its myriad streets are a delight to explore.
No, on most routes an e-Ticket can be downloaded.
Money-saving advance tickets are non-refundable but sometimes travel times can be altered. For other tickets including season tickets, there are a variety of cancellation, exchange and refund options.
Facilities on South Western Railway trains are being constantly upgraded. Seats are comfortable, most carriages now have accessible toilets, luggage storage, WiFi and charging points. Refreshments are available on most long-distance routes.
With booking assistance, wheelchair accessible ticket machines and ticket offices, pre-bookable personal assistance, ramps and accessible toilets at stations and on trains. South Western Railway ask that passengers call ahead at least four hours ahead of their journey to request the assisted travel service. South Western Railway is ensuring that all routes are fully accessible to passengers with reduced mobility.
Wi-Fi is available on all South Western Trains free of charge. High-speed 5G WiFi is going to be introduced to their services. There is also free Wi-Fi at all SWR stations.
Bikes are allowed on most trains on a first-come, first-served basis. While foldable bikes can be stored anywhere in the carriage, there is designated storage for bigger bikes. On some routes, bicycle space needs to be reserved in advance. At busy times, bike restrictions are in place on some routes.
Up to two dogs per passenger are allowed on all routes. These must be on a lead. Smaller animals can travel in suitable carriers.
As with all UK rail providers, South Western Railway does not allow children under 12 to travel without an adult.