Thameslink train pulling into a station Image: Thameslink

As restrictions ease and more people return to rail travel, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) has launched a new information tool. GTR said it is designed to give customers information at their fingertips on which train services are the least busy.

Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern websites all now feature a ‘Find a quieter train’ page, which can be found under ‘travel information’.

Using data collected from on-train passenger counting equipment from the previous two weeks, passengers can see which services were busier than others.

Steve White, chief operating officer at Govia Thameslink Railway, said:

“We want our passengers to have information at their fingertips that helps them plan their journey.

“We know that many customers value quieter services and have some flexibility as to when to travel. Helping customers find quieter trains will be very helpful as more people return to rail and trains become busier.

“We have fast tracked the development of these new tools to help returning customers feel more confident and comfortable about travelling. We can’t wait to welcome more people back to our railway.”

This new information can be seen on the ‘Live Departure Board’ function of each of GTR’s brand websites. For customers wishing to travel within two hours from the time they are looking, they need to enter their chosen start and end destination to view how busy each service is predicted to be.

Colour coded icons found under ‘seat availability’ will provide guidance on how many seats are usually available.

Customers planning further ahead are advised to use the company’s online timetables to see how busy trains usually are on each individual day of the week.

This could be helpful for those planning to return to the office a few days a week, as they can select days and times to travel that are best suited to them.

Data will continue to feed into the tools every day over the coming weeks and months.

In addition to the new tools, GTR will continue to attach a warning triangle to busy trains on journey planners. For further support, customers can also subscribe to journey alerts through National Rail Messenger, which will inform users about any cancellations or delays as well as updating if the service is expected to be busy.