Published: 06:17, 06 May 2021
Train services are returning to normal as the pandemic lockdown eases.
There is a new timetable from May 16, the day before the third national lifting of restrictions.
Southeastern says there will be more fast and stopping services on key routes and some off-peak services will be reinstated.
There will be more early morning services and extra trains for day-trippers to the Kent coast
Limited number of additional and longer trains have already been reinstated.
Additional fast and stopping services will be reintroduced on key Southeastern routes from the timetable change, with more services in the early mornings also added.
A small number of changes have already begun because of increasing passenger demand.
As part of its safer travel pledge, Southeastern is also taking extra steps to keep passengers safe from coronavirus such as:
Frequent deep cleaning trains and stations using anti-viral products, increasing its focus on cleaning high-touch areas and providing hand sanitiser at busy stations.
SeatFinder tools on its app and on the website: so that passengers can check how busy a train might be.
Southeastern is also reminding passengers of ways in which to keep safe when travelling by train for example:
Wearing a face covering, unless you are exempt, maintaining social distancing where possible, carrying hand sanitiser and washing your hands before and after travel.
"As the country opens up, we’re looking forward to welcoming more passengers back." Scott Brightwell of Southeastern
People can use Southeastern’s contactless smartcard the Key, which enables passengers to buy and download tickets at home, via its website or app.
Using the Key means passengers can fast-track through the station and avoid queues. It’s also wipeable, and easy to clean.
Scott Brightwell, train services director for Southeastern, said: “As the country opens up further, we’re looking forward to welcoming more passengers back to traveling with us.
" While we’re currently seeing around 30% of passengers using our trains compared with before the pandemic, we’ve been monitoring levels of demand and increasing the number of carriages available for service on the busiest routes. We’ll continue to do so where possible.
“With indoor and outdoor entertainment and attractions re-opening, larger events re-starting, and domestic overnight stays allowed once again from May 17, we’ll do everything we can to ensure that the railway can support a great summer for everyone.”
Examples of changes are as follows:
For the High Speed service on weekdays there will be an additional 14:55 service from London St Pancras to Faversham and a 15:30 return service have been added.
The 15:25 service from London St Pancras to Ramsgate now terminates at Faversham, with a connection onto Ramsgate.
For the Chatham Mainline on weekdays an additional 05:50 service is being added from Faversham to London Cannon Street.
The 07:56 service from Ramsgate to London Charing Cross via Sandwich will start back from Faversham at 07:05 calling at all stations. This provides a direct service to Sandwich for school pupils from beyond Ramsgate.
An additional 17:41 service will run between London Cannon Street to Dover Priory.
More off-peak services will run between London Victoria and Ramsgate via Whitstable and Margate for day-trippers to the coast.
You can see the timetable for trains in your area here