Southern Railway offers a live departure service, which shows how likely you are to be seated on your chosen train. The find quieter trains on Southern Railway service described below will show you departure times from any station on the network, within 2 hours of the time of your internet search.
Worthing Railway Station
Go to Southern Railway’s Live Train Departures page on their website.
Look for the Check live trains option.
Enter the name of the station you will be travelling from and your destination station.
Click or touch the SHOW LIVE DEPARTURES button.
The service will show you departures within 2 hours of the time of your internet search.
To the right-hand side of the grid showing departures, you will see a column with the heading Seat Availability, which has an explanatory icon.
For an explanation of the seat availability icons, scroll down to the section entitled Usual seat availability.
Quieter trains on Southern Railway – Bonus Tip
It is not obvious, but if you click on or touch the train departure time you are interested in, the details will expand to show you the train route from its starting station and destination station. The details will also show you all the train calling points. If your desired train has already left its starting station, you will also see a train icon showing where the train is currently located.
If you scroll down the list of train calling points, the Seat Availability icons may change to reflect changed seat availability as the train travels along its route.
At the end of the expanded details described above, Southern Railway tells us that their usual seat availability data is based on information they hold for the last 14 days.
Other railway companies operating from East and West Sussex
Their Find a quieter train service has train capacity details from Brighton to London Victoria Railway Station. It works similarly to the quieter trains on the Southern Railway service described above. However, there is no facility to expand the details to show the only calling point, which is Gatwick Airport Station. While you will see icons representing seat availability, you cannot see how seat availability may differ between Brighton and Gatwick Airport and then onwards to London Victoria. Please note that you must hold a valid Gatwick Express train ticket to use this service.
South Western Railway
The Seat capacity checker to London Waterloo page only has morning train capacity information for trains towards London Waterloo Railway Station. Additionally, the service information is available only between Monday and Friday.
Of the three train operators discussed in this post, in my opinion, the most comprehensive seat availability service is offered by Southern Railway.
The Find Quieter Trains on Southern Railway information was correct on the date this post was published.
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