Kent is one of the busiest and most congested routes in the country, carrying over 2,600 trains every weekday.

The railway in Kent and South East London is vital to the economic prosperity of the region, serving many markets and communities including commuters in and out of London and linking major towns and cities such as Canterbury, Ashford and Dover.

The route also serves channel routes to Europe and has the UK’s first domestic high-speed service, with high volumes of freight traffic, while also transporting large numbers of leisure travellers to the Kent coast and other tourist destinations.

We’re investing a record £1.25 billion throughout CP6 – our five-year funding period which runs until 2024 – to replace old equipment with new, more reliable technology to improve journeys for passengers as part of our Kent and South East London Railway Upgrade Plan.

This includes replacing 429km of track – more than twice the distance round the M25 – and investing £162m in new signalling equipment, and another £170m replacing switches and crossings, to reduce faults and delays for passengers.

Our lead train operator is Southeastern, with over 300,000 passengers a day, operating under a franchise which has just been extended to 1 April 2020. Together our priorities are to provide a safe, punctual, efficient and reliable rail service.

Fiona Taylor
Route director, Kent

Main railway lines

  • South Eastern Mainline from London Charing Cross to Dover Priory via Tonbridge and Ashford.
  • Chatham Mainline from London Victoria to Dover Priory and Ramsgate via Chatham.
  • Hastings Mainline from London Charing Cross to Hastings via Tunbridge Wells.
  • Network Rail High Speed Ltd. maintains and operates High Speed 1 from St Pancras International to Folkestone.


We work closely with local communities to promote safety by the railway. Find out more on our community safety page.

Projects in Kent