Southeastern Stakeholder Forum, Friday 5th April 2024

A banner "Welsome to our Stakeholder Forum" with Southeastern logo and an image of a "City Beam" train.

At the beginning of April, Souteastern welcomed more than 50 stakeholders to an event to update them on their work to build a better, more reliable, and sustainable railway.


Southeastern’s senior management team spoke about how they are reducing delays, improving stations, protecting staff and customers, and making accessible rail travel easier for everyone. A number of recent initiatives have led to closer working between Southeastern, British Transport Police and Network Rail.


Discussions continue with the Department for Transport to change the narrative from one of subsidies for rail services to investment in economic benefits, decarbonisation of transport and wider societal benefits.  

A presentation slide "Changing the narrative" with a bar chart indicating a variety of cost to benefit measurements.
Photograph of a slide detailing the importance of achieving modal shift to rail in Kent. 37.9% of CO2 emissions are due to transport , rail accounts for 0.14%
Image of a presentation slide. Decarbonisation - net zero carbon rail. The averagr train journey emits 70% less carbon than travelling by car and 86% less than flying.

Rt Hon. Justine Greening, chair of The Purpose Coalition and former Transport Secretary, also spoke about how Southeastern became the UK’s first rail operator to launch a Social Mobility Action Plan to promote inclusive growth and opportunity across Kent, East Sussex and London.


Two images. A room full of people sat around tables watches presentation screens.

Combined working structures which link Southeastern and Network Rail have allowed for more rapid resolution of emergency engineering situations such as the Newington landslip and a better integrated approach to planned works like those taking place on the Kingsferry Bridge this summer. Network Rail are working to predict and plan for a range of potential outcomes dependent upon how the impacts of Climate Change affect the railway in Kent over the coming years.

Slide from presentation. Newington landslip 23 February - 3 March 2024
Slide from presentation. Upcoming engineering -working to improve resilience

Southeastern in Bloom is set to relaunch this year, accompanied by significant new funding for station and community improvements.


The stations improvement fund will support customer improvement works that offer non-financial benefits at stations, e.g. improvements to physical comfort, accessibility, safet and security. Under the fund, Southeastern will propose schemes that have local support.


The community improvement fund will allow local groups, charities, stakeholders and CRPs to bid for funding for a project that proivdes community benefits or addresses a social or community need across the Southeastern network. There will be a bidding process for these funds.


Southeastern will share more details about both funds in the coming weeks.


Slide from presentation. Southeastern in Bloom
Slide from Presentation Southeastern in Bloom

Southeastern are also looking for community ideas to help them celebrate Railway 200. Please share your thoughts with Kent CRP’s Officers and Line Chairs to inform our own Action Planning process.

Slide from presentation. Railway 200 - Possible events and milestones to celebrate. The role of our railways in two world wars. A sector with an increasingly diversr, inclusive and digital future. Engineering Depot Open Days Role Models and pioneers - Xavier Asquith, Verena Holmes "On this Day" local celebrations.

Other presentations focused on improvements for accessibility and travel assistance, deep cleaning of stations, and safeguarding and crime prevention to make the railway a safe and welcoming place 

Presentation slide. Taking good care of our stations. increased focus on station presentation. Introducing roaming cleaning teams.
Presentation slide. A safer railway. Report of a violent incident at Beckenham Junction and the police action that led to a swift arrest.

It was a thoroughly engaging and informative event, leaving us excited to see what Southeastern’s proposals will mean for our communities and their stations in the coming year.