Southern is a subsidiary of Govia, a joint venture between transport groups Go-Ahead and Keolis, and has operated the South Central rail franchise since August 2001 and the Gatwick Express service since June 2008.
In July 2015, the franchisee was subsumed into GTR, but the Southern and Gatwick Express brand identities were retained alongside those of Thameslink and Great Northern.
GTR has introduced 12 Class 171 vehicles for Southern. Southern operates the majority of commuter services from its Central London terminals at London Bridge and London Victoria to South London and Sussex, as well as regional services in parts of Hampshire, Kent and Surrey.
More than 3,000 trains a day run on the railway linking London and the Sussex Coast.
It also provides services between Milton Keynes and Croydon via the West London Line. It also operates services from Brighton to Southampton and South Croydon to Milton Keynes Central.
Sustaining rural rail lines
The Sussex Community Rail Partnership (SCRP) is a not-for-profit partnership that works to promote rail travel along some of the branch lines on the Southern network.
The partnership brings together a wide range of community stakeholders – Southern, local councils, passenger groups, community groups, plus education, business and leisure representatives.
The station partnership is made up of a group of volunteers who come together to work with Southern on improving how one of the stations serves its local area.