Frequently Asked Questions — 23 Comments

  1. Recently I collected my daughter from Sevenoaks late evening. The train was delayed and I was surprised to find that there were no repeat no seats for people waiting. I note that there are plenty of seats during the daytime but these all belong to the cafes. I have a bad knee and feel that some money should be made available for such a small convenience

  2. Many thanks for drawing our attention to this. We are pursuing with Southeastern which seats are free to use without purchasing a beverage and which seats should be left out for the evening.

  3. Given the current timetable for the 2015/16 disruptions, I have noticed that there will be no trains to Charing Cross on a Sunday. Does this mean that I will have to pay additional money to travel from another station over to Charing Cross because I only have the ‘Sevenoaks to London Terminals’ season ticket, or are the train companies going to be reimbursing people for this? I understand improvement works need to take place, but the train times already always run behind time, let alone with highly reduced services for 3 years along with higher train fares!

  4. Sarah: this is an important question. The short answer is that agreement has not yet been reached between Southeastern and Transport for London to allow tube travel. I have cross-posted your comment to our feature on London Bridge timetables and put a longer answer at

  5. Hi

    I’m a Sevenoaks commuter and have been trying to get an answer from Southeastern regarding split zonal travelcards. I took to twitter and they were responsive to start with but eventually we reached a dead end. I’m confident this is allowed but I have yet to have confirmation from Southeastern that we can buy a zone ticket from Sevenoaks to zone 5 and then an oyster from zone 1-4 which will allow you to save money by paying upfront.

    Below is the transcript from Twitter and I wonder if you know wheter this is allowed or not.

    Many Thanks


    David Pires ‏@davidmpires Dec 9
    @Se_Railway can I buy a zone 1-4 oyster card and a 5-6 travelcard and travel on a train not stopping in between zone 6-1?

    Southeastern ‏@Se_Railway Dec 9
    @davidmpires As long as you have valid tickets to cover the entire journey, that would be perfectly fine.

    David Pires ‏@davidmpires Dec 9
    @Se_Railway thanks essentially I want to get those travel cards and get on at Sevenoaks and exit at Charing Cross only stopping at Waterloo.

    Southeastern ‏@Se_Railway Dec 9
    @davidmpires Sevenoaks is outside of the London Zone network so your ticket would have to cover travel between Sevenoaks and Zone 6.

    David Pires ‏@davidmpires Dec 9
    @Se_Railway or between Sevenoaks and zone 5 then an oystercard between zone 1-4?

    @davidmpires Your Oyster cannot be tapped in on the train so you would have to leave it when you reach the extent of your Sevenoaks ticket.

    alastair Harding ‏@alastairharding Dec 9
    @Se_Railway @davidmpires surely if both tickets are zonal this is ok? Sevenoaks to zone 5 and z1-4 travel card would be acceptable.

    Alastair Harding ‏@alastairharding Dec 9
    @Se_Railway @davidmpires this is covered in the national rail conditions of carriage part C 19(a) – no need for the train to stop or tap…

    Alastair Harding ‏@alastairharding Dec 9
    @Se_Railway @davidmpires I’m sure Southeastern will confirm this?

    David Pires ‏@davidmpires Dec 9
    @alastairharding @Se_Railway I’m sure they will. It makes perfect sense to me. But with these things it’s good to check.

    Southeastern ‏@Se_Railway Dec 9
    @davidmpires In order to register your journey you would need to tap in at an Oyster point.

    David Pires ‏@davidmpires Dec 9
    @Se_Railway thank you, but surely that’s not the case with a travelcard, as long as you tap within the permitted zone there’s no problem.

  6. I’ve recently had a number of delay repay claims paid out since performance slipped earlier this year. However the most recent vouchers have an expiry date in less than 3 months time. Has anyone else noticed this? It says on the SE website that they are valid for 12 months. Is this a new stealth approach from Southeastern?

  7. @Zoe

    Interesting observation. In the latest Delay Repay voucher received here there are two expiry dates:

    • a long date for use of the voucher to buy more rail travel
    • a much shorter date – only a month – to exchange the voucher for cash

    We cannot see why the cash alternative is so time limited – it looks like sour grapes from the rail companies now that they have been forced to provide a cash alternative.

    We also wonder why the rail companies do not simply pay the cash alternative direct to a bank account, instead of issuing a voucher and requiring customers to go and queue at the ticket office to collect the cash (we have also see reports that the process to get the cash at the ticket office is slow and bureaucratic.

    Could you email us a photo of your voucher please – to secretary [at] srta [dot] org [dot] uk

  8. Does one need a ticket (paper ticket) to travel to Sevenoaks or can you tap in and out with your Oyster Card?

  9. @dessie Oyster is not yet available for Sevenoaks or Dunton Green. You will need a paper ticket.

  10. I’m concerned that running services all night from London would result in unacceptable noise pollution for the many people who live in close proximity of the train tracks, likewise the greater frequency and higher speeds of trains being proposed on this site during the course of the day are of concern to me. Where can I see exactly what it is we are working towards St Sevenoaks station? Is it much different to the current frequency, speed and timetable? What measures are being taken to ensure the noise doesn’t get worse than it is already? Faster more often and through the night sounds loud and bad.

  11. What will happen if somebody by mistake traveled to Sevenoaks, touching in with oyster in London and touching out at Sevenoaks?

  12. Maximum fare on Oyster since no touch-out. Oyster won’t open the barriers at Sevenoaks, so Penalty fare from Southeastern at Sevenoaks – possibly from Orpington if the train stopped there.

  13. Am really upset that my 15 year old got fined 20 pounds at Sevenoaks – the first time he had travelled there for using a oyster. He says he wanted to pay the excess fare when he realised his mistake but the ticket inspector said he had to fine him. Luckily he had a bank card but the shortage of staff at london stations makes it difficult to confirm if a ticket is needed before travelling

  14. @Sian The ticket inspector was under no obligation to fine him. He could have simply charged the fare from Orpington, or just told your son to be more careful and let him through the barrier.

    Many people do assume that Sevenoaks (which is part of the “London Rail Area”) is within the TfL Oyster/Contactless fare system. That system has already been extended to Dartford and to Swanley, and TfL have told us that it could be extended to Sevenoaks without difficulty. Regrettably extending Oyster is not in the new franchise specification either.

  15. There is a new practice developing at London Bridge requiring passengers to fold up bikes at the barrier and not at the bottom of the lift of the escalator. The rules clearly state that bikes should be folded on the platform not the concourse. Why are they doing this? It means carrying it and bashing it against people rather than just wheeling it through like a pushchair or suitcase. Just seems to be a vendetta against commuters with Bromptons.

  16. @Julie: probably just SER saving staff by not having them at the base of the escalators? Please come to our AGM on the evening of Thursday 18 October and you can ask SER yourself!

  17. @bikky Alas Oyster has not been extended to Sevenoaks (or to Dunton Green, Bat & Ball, Otford, Shoreham or Eynsford). We have campaigned for this, but it has not been included in the specification for the new Franchise.

    If you have an Oyster travelcard then you can buy an extension rail ticket that covers the journey from the edge of Zone 6 (Knockholt) to Sevenoaks.

  18. I’m considering moving to the Sevenoaks area, and would like to know whether there tend to be seats available or whether it’s standing room only when commuting between Sevenoaks and London Bridge on the express services. I’d probably be aiming for the 08:03, 08:08 or 08:12 from Sevenoaks and the 17:20, 17:28 or 17:33 return from London Bridge.

  19. @Duncan Peak time from Sevenoaks tends to be 0700-0800 so you can usually get seats at Sevenoaks on the 0803 (Tunbridge Wells starter) and the 0812. The 0808 is a Cannon Street train and tends to be fuller. There tend to be more seats at the rear of the train in the morning, so best to use the ‘country’ end of the platform.

    In 2016 Southeastern published regular “How Busy Is Your Train” charts, but they ceased doing so after a few months. The August 2016 charts showed that the 0808 had standing room only from Sevenoaks and the 0812 had limited seating. This seems about right, although in 2016 there was less capacity because of the London Bridge rebuilding. There’s also now noticeably more working from home, especially in the second half of the week.

    You should be able to get a seat on the return trains in the evening; the evening peak tends to be more spread out. You’ll probably do better with trains starting from Charing Cross than from Cannon Street though.

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