To ensure as many people as possible can travel, whilst also ensuring compliance with required social distancing, a mandatory reservation system will operate on specific Southeastern Highspeed morning services departing from London St Pancras during the 149th Open Golf Championship at Royal St George’s, Sandwich.
Alongside the special reservation system, Southeastern is also running additional trains to accommodate extra passengers. For the duration of the Open, Southeastern will run a special event timetable, put in place to accommodate the additional services, with additional Highspeed trains between London St Pancras International, Stratford International, Ebbsfleet International and stations on to Sandwich.
As well as additional Highspeed services to Sandwich for the Open it means that there are also some changes to services across Kent between Tuesday 13th and Sunday 18th July, which means that passengers travelling to and from Sandwich from other parts of Kent may find their train to be busier than usual. Full details of all train services to Sandwich for the Open are included below.
This is the first time that Southeastern has put in place a reservation system for places on its trains, and it applies to passengers for The Open and regular passengers who use this route. These trains are expected to be very busy. There will also be a managed queuing system at St Pancras, Stratford and Ebbsfleet.
The mandatory reservations for all passengers apply to the following Highspeed services:
Wednesday 14 July to Sunday 18th July
London St Pancras International to Sandwich, via Ashford and Canterbury West
From 06:00 – 10:37 (10:34 on Saturday 17th July)
Reservations, which are free of charge, can be made online, via the Southeastern website and App, or at ticket offices, but they won’t be available at ticket vending machines. A reservation will guarantee a space (not necessarily a seat) on the specific booked train. Reservations will be on a first come first served basis and once all spaces have been reserved, no further reservations will be permitted.
Passengers intending to use the route on these days are strongly advised to book their ticket and reservation well in advance and to arrange collection of their ticket (if necessary) before they get to St Pancras.
Southeastern is asking its regular travellers on these routes, if they can, to try and change their travel plans during The Open as trains will be very busy. If they cannot change their travel arrangements, they can of course reserve a place (subject to availability) on the specific morning train they want to travel on. Season ticket holders can do this at any Southeastern ticket office.
As play at The Open has no fixed end time, there will be no reservations in place for trains coming back from Sandwich in the afternoon or evening. There will be a managed queuing system at Sandwich station and passengers will be invited to board on a first come first served basis as trains are available. These return trains from Sandwich will be very busy.
A spokesperson for Southeastern said:
“The Open is a prestigious event and we’re really proud to play our part in getting spectators to Sandwich. We want to get everyone there safely and in comfort, but we will still have limited space available. There will be lots of people who want to travel with us, so we have set up a reservation system on some morning services at the busier times. Once all spaces have been reserved, no further reservations will be permitted.
“We urge event goers and our regular passengers to check the latest travel advice on our website.”
Full details are available on the Southeastern website – www.southeasternrailway.co.uk.