Written on: 28/04/2009 by speakout (86 reviews written)
South West Trains operate out of London Waterloo and they have come a long way from operating the slam door trains that used to be in operation about 7/8 years ago now. The old trains used to be fun but were hell at peak traffic hours with no air conditioning, very little standing room in the carriages and I remember having to pile into the guard's carriage with bikes but those days are now thankfully gone.
The new rolling stock run by South West Trains is very comfortable and sports the new blue, orange and red livery which is eye catching. The newer trains are air conditioned which is brilliant in the summer months. The carriages are always clean and generally well maintained. Not all peak time trains however run with maximum stock and I wish South West Trains would run more services with 12 carriages rather than eight carriages because at peak times they can get very crowded between Surbiton and London Waterloo.
If you are a cyclist you are also limited to taking a full size bike only on the off peak services (so not allowed during the approx. 7-9:30am and 5-7pm). If you have one of those fold up bikes then you'll be ok.
The service itself generally runs on time although minor delays can usually be expected coming into Waterloo due to the volume of traffic. On the whole, South West Trains do now run a good service in my opinion.
The only grumble I would have about the service between my own station and London Waterloo is the cost. It now costs over £180 a month for a travelcard as I live in zone 6 and this is quite a lot of money each month considering I can rarely get a seat during peak hours travelling as the trains are so crowded.