Travel tickets on the National Rail network
Help choosing and buying the right ticket for your journey...
Which ticket suits you best?
The names of tickets describe when you can buy or use your ticket, making it easy for you to buy the best value ticket for your journey. Click on the ticket types below for more information.
- Advance - Buy in advance, sold in limited numbers and subject to availability. These tickets are only valid on the date/train specified.
- Off-Peak - Buy any time, travel off-peak
- Anytime - Buy any time, travel any time
- Season - Unlimited travel between two stations for a specified period
- Rovers and Rangers - Unlimited travel within a specified area. There may be a few time restrictions on when you can travel.
Finding ticket prices…
Our Journey Planner will show the cheapest point to point ticket currently available on each service displayed. If this is an Advance ticket please remember that these are sold in limited numbers and so subject to availability. If you have searched for a return journey the cheapest price for both a return and two singles (one out, one back) will be displayed.
If you wish to see all ticket types and not just the cheapest (perhaps you are unable to book in advance so would not be able to buy an Advance ticket, for example) there is an option to click on "more fares".
Where can I buy tickets?
- Online - National Rail Enquiries do not currently sell tickets but you can purchase them from one of the Ticket Retailers shown after you have selected your ticket in our Journey Planner.
- Over the phone, using one of the numbers shown in our Train Company pages
- At a station Ticket Office - check our Station Information pages to find which stations have one, and what the opening hours are. Various forms of payment are accepted.
- Using a 'self-service' ticket machine available at many stations.
- Rail appointed travel agents are complementary to ticket office at stations and Train Company telesales service, and the majority provide a comprehensive travel service. Appointed travel agents can make reservations and issue tickets.
If there are no ticket purchasing facilities at the station (such as a booking office or a ticket machine, or they are closed/out of service), you may be able to buy your ticket on board the train.
When can I buy tickets?
You should always make sure that you hold a valid ticket before you board the train.
- Anytime and Off-Peak can be bought in advance or on the day of travel
- Advance tickets are sold in limited numbers and so subject to availability, and are made available for sale as soon as timetables have been confirmed - this is usually about twelve weeks beforehand. See our Buying advance tickets and Reserving seats page.
- Special conditions apply to buying Season Tickets in advance - these are shown on the Season Ticket page.
Changing or cancelling tickets
Depending on the type of ticket held you may be able to make changes to travel plans, or obtain a refund if you do not travel. For more details please look at our Changing and Cancelling tickets page. Please note that Advance tickets are NOT refundable.
Railcards and other discounts
Railcards offer value for money if you travel by train, saving you at least 1/3 on rail fares. A selection of national Railcards as well as a number of local Railcards serving specific geographical areas.
In addition, a number of other discounts are available - take a look at our discounts page to find out more.
Rail and bus tickets
Add unlimited bus travel around your origin and/or destination town or city with PLUSBUS. It can be added to single or return train tickets, and, in many towns and cities, to season tickets as well. Take a look at our PLUSBUS pages to see which towns/cities are covered.
Many towns without railway stations can be reached using public transport from the nearest railhead station. Combined rail and bus tickets may be available on some of these links. Take a look at our Non-rail served towns pages for more information.
Visitors to Britain
If you live abroad and plan to visit Britain, the BritRail Pass gives the freedom to travel on all National Rail services. Ask for details from your travel agent before leaving for Britain, or visit the BritRail website.
For timetable enquiries from overseas, you can contact National Rail Enquiries International on +44 (0)20 7278 5240. Please note: This service is for information only purposes, and international rates apply.