Stations & On Train

 

London Travel Advice

Make sure you plan before you set off by checking each train operator’s guidance on best times to travel and routes to avoid so you can travel safely. You will also need to bring a face covering with you to wear throughout your journey, as it is now compulsory. To find out if you are exempt, see our Face Covering Exemptions page

The health and wellbeing of our customers and staff are our top priority which is why we are working closely with train companies and the government to take the steps needed to keep train running while keeping you safe.

Train Operator's Guidance

Make sure you check train operator’s guidance below when travelling in and around London.

This information will be updated regularly as guidance changes.

Avanti West Coast

 

Book before you travel

Travel at quieter times

We’re encouraging customers to book travel for quieter periods. Currently, our busiest times are between 09:30 - 16:00, and 16:00 - 18:00 and all day on Friday. To help you understand when services are becoming too busy, we’ll highlight popular trains when you book a ticket on our website. Please take this into account and choose a quieter service where possible.

Book ahead

To help manage social distancing on our trains, we’ve significantly reduced the seating capacity. Therefore, we strongly recommend you book your tickets ahead and make a seat reservation. Bookings can be made up to five minutes before your scheduled departure on our website or app. If you don't have a reservation for your preferred train, there is no guarantee you'll be able to board.

Make a seat reservation

All Advance tickets will come with a reservation. If you’re booking a flexible ticket (Off-Peak or Anytime) in advance, please request a reservation with it.

As we’re running amended timetables, you won't be able to reserve seats as far in advance as usual. If reservations are not available when you book, or, if you're a Season ticket holder, please book your place by contacting [email protected] with your name, journey details and booking reference or ticket.

Please note we can only provide reservations for Avanti West Coast services. If you're travelling with another train operator you'll need to contact them here to request a reservation.

You must sit in the seat you’ve been allocated to ensure safe social distancing. If you’re travelling with members of your household, you may sit together – but please maintain a safe distance from other customers.

For any other enquiries please get in touch.

c2c

 

Best times to travel with us:

  • Towards London after 08:30
  • Out of London before 15:00

Busy stations, services or interchanges:

Stations

It is advised that you avoid West Ham station before 08:30.

It is advised that you avoid Barking station before 08:30.

It is advised that you avoid London Fenchurch Street station before 08:00.

Services

The busiest trains into London are:

  • 05:13 Shoeburyness to London Fenchurch Street via Laindon
  • 06:15 Grays to London Fenchurch Street via Ockendon
  • 05:08 Thorpe Bay to London Fenchurch Street via Ockendon
  • 05:53 Grays to London Fenchurch Street via Rainham
  • 05:34 Shoeburyness to London Fenchurch Street via Rainham
  • 05:48 Pitsea to London Fenchurch Street via Rainham
  • 07:17 Grays to London Fenchurch Street via Ockendon
  • 05:28 Shoeburyness to London Fenchurch Street via Laindon
  • 04:15 Shoeburyness to London Fenchurch Street  via Laindon 
  • 04:59 Shoeburyness to London Fenchurch Street via Laindon

The busiest trains out of London are:

  • 06:29 from London Fenchurch Street to Grays 
  • 18:55 from London Fenchurch Street to Pitsea via Rainham
  • 17:01 from London Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness via Laindon
  • 16:45 from London Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness via Laindon
  • 16:31 from London Fenchurch Street to Shoeburyness via Laindon

Alternative Travel Modes:

Please avoid neighbouring Jubilee; District and Hammersmith & City Line services before 08:30.

More Information:

More coronavirus travel information is available from the c2c website.

Chiltern Railways

 

Best times to travel with us:

Travel outside of peak hours where you can. The busiest times will vary by route.

We are carefully monitoring all trains and stations for increased passenger numbers. We are adding alerts to journey planners on trains where we believe social distancing on board may be difficult.

As you can expect, trains get busier as they get closer to London or Birmingham in the morning and may be busy leaving London or Birmingham in the evening.

If stations become exceptionally busy, staff may restrict access and introduce queueing systems. At any stations where crowding has been reported, we will list this information on National Rail Enquiries, the service updates page of our website and on live departure boards for that station. We monitor our alerting tools daily and will keep updating the detail on this page.

Busy stations , services and interchanges:

We know that trains scheduled to arrive into London between 06:30 - 07:30 are slightly busier than others. We will add alerts to journey planners if individual services get particularly busy.

More Information:

More coronavirus travel information is available from the Chiltern Railways website.

East Midlands Railway

 

Best times to travel with us:

Travel outside of peak hours when you can. Our busiest times vary by route but generally the quietest times of the day are mid morning to early afternoon (10:00-13:00) and in the evening (after 19:00).

We will regularly update our "seat finder" so customers may check expected loads in advance of travel, on the day any trains reported above social distancing capacity will be flagged as a service message.

Busy stations, services or interchanges:

Our busiest services in to London St. Pancras are the 04:37 from Derby, 04:52 from Leicester and 05:23 from Sheffield. The busiest services from London St Pancras are the  09:30 to Sheffield and 15:05, 16:05 and 17:05 to Nottingham.

More information:

More coronavirus travel information from the East Midlands Railway site.

Great Northern

 

Best times to travel with us:

National Restrictions are in place across Britain so please check the government website before you travel.

We are carefully monitoring all trains and stations for passenger numbers and are adding alerts to journey planners where we believe social distancing on board may be difficult.

Travel outside of peak hours where you can. As you might expect, trains get busier as they get closer to London in the morning and are busy leaving London in the evening.

If stations become exceptionally busy, we may restrict access and introduce queueing systems. At any stations where crowding has been reported, we will list this information on National Rail Enquiries, the service updates page of our website and on live departure boards for that station.

More coronavirus travel information from the Great Northern site.

Great Western Railway

 

The latest government advice means there are now additional travel restrictions in place across the whole of our network.

Please follow government advice. Only travel for work if it’s essential, or for other legally permitted reasons.

Due to the low number of customers travelling our trains typically have space for you to socially distance.

Greater Anglia

 

Best times to travel with us:

Travel to London to arrive after 09.00 where you can and try to avoid leaving London between 16:30 and 18:30.

Busy stations, services or interchanges:

Stratford and Tottenham Hale stations are particularly busy before 09:00 and between 16:30 and 18:30 - please avoid them if you can.
The busiest trains are those arriving into London Liverpool Street before 07:30, particularly on the Hertford East to London Liverpool Street via Tottenham Hale line.

The busiest trains are:
  • 05:00 Norwich to London Liverpool Street
  • 05:45 Southend Victoria to London Liverpool Street
  • 05:28 Clacton to London Liverpool Street
  • 06:09, 06:39 and 07:09 Hertford East to London Liverpool Street
While evening peak loads are more spread out, we are continually monitoring services for crowding.

More information:

More coronavirus travel information from the Greater Anglia site and to find less busy Greater Anglia trains, click here.

London Northwestern Railway

 

Best times to travel with us:

Travel outside of peak hours where you can. Our busiest times vary by route.

We are carefully monitoring all trains for increased passenger numbers. We are adding alerts to journey planners on trains where we believe social distancing may be difficult.

Busy stations, services or interchanges:

The busiest trains into London Euston are the:

  • 05:38 Bletchley to London Euston (which arrives London Euston at 06:40)
  • 05:38 Coventry to London Euston (which arrives London Euston at 07:22)

More information:

More coronavirus travel information from the London Northwestern Railway site.

South Western Railway

 

Busy stations, services or interchanges:

It is advised that you arrive at London after 08:30, and depart from London before 16:00 and after 19:00.

The busiest trains into London are:

07:53 Hampton Court to London Waterloo arrives at 08:34
16:33 Weybridge to London Waterloo arrives at 17:57
06:23 Windsor & Eton Riverside to London Waterloo arrives at 07:21
05:58 Guildford to London Waterloo arrives at 07:12
06:32 Woking to London Waterloo arrives at 07:24

The busiest trains departing London are:

06:31 London Waterloo to London Waterloo arrives at 07:51
18:50 London Waterloo to Reading arrives at 20:15
14:57 London Waterloo to London Waterloo arrives at 16:16
19:22 London Waterloo to Windsor & Eton Riverside arrives at 20:31
18:20 London Waterloo to Woking arrives at 19:16

Trains departing London Waterloo between 11:00 and 13:00 over the weekend are also likely to be busy.

More information:

More coronavirus travel information is available on the South Western Railway site

Southeastern

 

Best times to travel with us:

Currently our busiest trains are those arriving into London on weekdays between 06:00 and 08:00, and departing London on weekdays between 16:00 and 18:00. In order to aid with social distancing on these trains please look to undertake your journey outside these times if that is possible. This includes our High Speed services into and out of London St Pancras International.

If you’re looking to travel within the next 2 hours, our SeatFinder tool will show you how busy trains from your station usually are. More details are available here: https://www.southeasternrailway.co.uk/travel-information/live-travel-information/usual-seat-availability

If you’re planning in advance, using our SeatFinder timetables, you’ll be able to see how busy trains usually are on each individual weekday, so if you’re only travelling a couple of days each week then you can compare each day to help you find the quietest times to travel. You can access the timetables by visiting southeasternrailway.co.uk/timetables

Busy stations, services or interchanges:

The following stations are generally the busiest and we suggest that you avoid travelling through these stations between the above times, if you can:

  • London Bridge
  • London Victoria
  • London Charing Cross
  • Waterloo East
  • Lewisham
  • London Cannon Street
  • Bromley South
  • London St Pancras International
  • Woolwich Arsenal
  • Dartford

A number of our stations have one-way systems in place - please take note of signage and obey instructions from station staff.

We are undertaking active monitoring of our services and stations in order to tell our passengers where social distancing is more difficult to achieve. Please check journey planners and departure boards for latest information on specific trains.

If you interchange between Southeastern to TfL or DLR please be aware that there may be additional arrangements in place at these interchanges to control passenger numbers.

Please listen to station staff announcements at our stations, and take heed of on-board announcements on our train services, as they may be passing on information on quieter parts of the train to board or relocate to.

More information:

More coronavirus travel information from the Southeastern site

Southern

 

Best times to travel with us:

National Restrictions are in place across Britain so please check the government website before you travel.
Travel outside of peak hours where you can.

We are carefully monitoring all trains and stations for passenger numbers and are adding alerts to journey planners where we believe social distancing on board may be difficult.

As you can expect, trains get busier as they get closer to London in the morning. And are busy leaving London in the evening.

If stations become exceptionally busy, we may restrict access and introduce queueing systems. At any stations where crowding has been reported, we will list this information on National Rail Enquiries, the service updates page of our website and on live departure boards for that station.

More coronavirus travel information from the Southern site.

Stansted Express

 

Best times to travel with us:

Travel outside peak times if you can.

Busy stations, services or interchanges:

While there are no airport services with heavy loadings yet, we are keeping a close eye on this.

Please avoid travelling in the peak where possible.

Please avoid interchanging at Tottenham Hale between 06:30 and 08:30 and between 16:30 and 18:30.

More information:

More coronavirus travel information from the Stansted Express site. To find less busy Stansted Express trains, see the Greater Anglia website.

Thameslink

 

Best times to travel with us:

National Restrictions are in place across Britain so please check the government website before you travel.

We are carefully monitoring all trains and stations for passenger numbers and are adding alerts to journey planners where we believe social distancing on board may be difficult.

Travel outside of peak hours where you can. As you might expect, trains get busier as they get closer to London in the morning and are busy leaving London in the evening.

If stations become exceptionally busy, we may restrict access and introduce queueing systems. At any stations where crowding has been reported, we will list this information on National Rail Enquiries, the service updates page of our website and on live departure boards for that station.

More coronavirus travel information from the Thameslink site.

TfL - London Underground, London Buses, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and London Trams

 
  • The quieter times to travel on public transport are between 08:15 and 16:00 and after 17:30 on weekdays, and before 12:00 and after 18:00 on weekends.
  • If you are travelling outside the quieter times, check the busiest stations and routes.
  • If you're travelling to London via National Rail, consider using walking and cycling routes to get to your final destination during the busiest times.

There is currently no Night Tube or Night Overground and there are limited Night Buses, so please plan your journey ahead of time if travelling late.

Last updated:   13 July 2020