The South East route covers the network from London across Kent, parts of Surrey, East and West Sussex

The South East route is the busiest and most congested in the country, connecting the capital and its southern and southeastern suburbs with Kent, Surrey, Sussex and Europe.

Around 5,000 passenger trains run every day over almost 2,000 miles of track.

We manage five of the 20 busiest stations in the country – London VictoriaLondon BridgeCharing CrossCannon Street and St Pancras International (on behalf of HS1 Ltd)  – and more than 500 million passengers travel on our lines every year. That’s 30 per cent of all passenger journeys in Britain, which is why we’re working hard to increase capacity and reliability across the route.

Almost 68,000 passengers travel on this route into central London during the peak hour of 8am to 9am each weekday, while many more travel to key interchange points such as Clapham Junction and East Croydon, or commute to and from important regional centres such as Brighton, Eastbourne, Crawley, Maidstone and the Medway Towns.

Although commuters make up the largest proportion of passengers on the South East route, people travelling to and from Gatwick – the UK’s second largest airport – make up another of its main passenger groups.

Network Rail High Speed Ltd, as part of the South East route maintains and operates Britain’s only high-speed railway, HS1, which enables international services to run at speeds of up to 186mph, and up to 142mph for domestic services. Network Rail Ltd also manages St Pancras International, Stratford International and Ebbsfleet International including retail activities on behalf of HS1 Ltd.

Main railway lines:

  • Brighton Mainline from London Victoria and London Bridge to Brighton
  • South Eastern Mainline from 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 South East

South East news

South East route resources

Network Specification 2016 – South East Route
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Route Specifications 2016 – South East
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South East Route – Sussex Area Route Study FINAL
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Railway Upgrade Plan Update 2017 – South East
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