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South Western Railway

South Western Railway operates trains around London, Surrey, Hampshire and beyond. Let's take a look at what their trains and fares are like.

South Western Railway is a rail company owned by First Group and the MTR Corporation. It serves 213 stations and operates 185 of them, and has a fleet of 368 trains (as of June 2023).

Looking for cheap fares? If you’re travelling on South Western Railway, you can buy an ‘Evening Out’ ticket on a Monday to Saturday. This allows you to arrive in London after 14:00 and leave again after 19:00.

On a Sunday, it’s valid at anytime and it’s known as the ‘Sunday Out’. When you book with Railsmartr, we’ll automatically offer these tickets if they’re the cheapest option. Here are some example return fares:

    • Woking to London Waterloo – £15.50
    • Basingstoke to Southampton Central – £14.50
    • Windsor & Eton Riverside to London Waterloo – £12.50.

On board services


All trains have overhead luggage racks. On long-distance services, you’ll also find larger luggage stacks.


Free WiFi is available on all South Western Railway services.


On the majority of the South Western Railway network, you can bring bikes on trains without the need to book ahead. On weekdays, there are some restrictions for trains arriving and leaving Clapham Junction and London Waterloo. There’s more information in our dedicated guide to travelling with bikes.


Up to two dogs, cats or other small domestic animals can travel free in both Standard and 1st Class.

Special Assistance

You can find out more about Passenger Assist on our dedicated page.

Standard Class

South Western Railway operates several different types of trains. The main type that runs on their ‘core’ routes to Portsmouth and Weymouth is the Desiro. The Class 444 (designed for longer-distance routes) has five carriages, while the Class 450 (designed for shorter routes) has four. Both trains look fairly similar.

The Class 450 trains have seats in a 3+2 layout, while the 444 trains have 2+2 seating. All window seats on both types of trains have access to a power socket.

Can I upgrade to First Class?

On longer-distance services to Portsmouth, Weymouth and Exeter, you’ll find a First Class compartment on all trains. They’ll give you a bigger seat and a bigger table to work at, but no free refreshments or anything like that.

Information about routes

  • Portsmouth Harbour to London Waterloo (via Guildford)
  • Portsmouth Harbour to London Waterloo (via Eastleigh)
  • Weymouth to London Waterloo
  • Bournemouth to Winchester
  • Exeter St David’s to London Waterloo
  • Salisbury to Basingstoke
  • Alton to London Waterloo
  • Southampton Central to Portsmouth & Southsea
  • Romsey to Salisbury
  • Brockenhurst to Lymington Pier
  • Ascot to Aldershot
  • Guildford to Farnham
  • Reading to London Waterloo
  • Guildford to London Waterloo (via Epsom or Cobham & Stoke D’Abernon).

It also operates an extensive network of suburban services around London, including on the lines to Chessington South, Hampton Court, Shepperton, Windsor & Eton Riverside, Kingston and Hounslow.

South Western Railway also operates the Island Line, which is a rail service on the Isle of Wight linking Ryde Pier Head to Shanklin.