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How to buy tickets

Having now searched for timetables and services suitable for your planned journey, from the earlier How to plan your journey page you now need to decide when, where, and how to buy your tickets


If you travel regularly by train, or are planning to do so, then further savings can be made with a Railcard


There are three main options :

Local railway station
Passenger Train Company TeleSales

Online booking


Local railway station -

If you have the time and prefer a more personal touch, then using your local railway station is for you

However, you may not always be given the best prices (even if you did find them earlier!)

Tickets are then issued to you directly


You can also book train tickets by TeleSales -
Contacting your local Passenger Train Company is a good place to start, but as above you may not always be given the best prices


Online booking -

Online booking allows you to perform both tasks in one place, either from home, work, or on the move; searching for suitable journeys and buying tickets


See our summary of ticket types to see which is suitable to meet your requirements


Using TeleSales and Online booking means the tickets will not be issued to you directly
You will then be given various options for the issuing of your tickets


You can also book tickets for either the Caledonian Sleeper or the Riviera Sleeper online


See our summary of delivery options


Please be aware that some third party providers apply additional charges when Online booking

Postal method -
For a small premium tickets can normally be sent out by postal method for Next business Day delivery
For all other types, normal postal method is usually sufficient

Fast Ticket Machine -

If you are starting your journey from a larger station then you can arrange to collect them from the station (check opening times) or a Fast Ticket machine (if there is one)

If you do use the option of using a Fast Ticket machine, you MUST take the same payment card with you to receive the tickets
If you are unable to do this, for example you have purchased the tickets on behalf of a relative, then do NOT use this option


Print at Home / e-ticket -
This option allows you to print the ticket yourself
Make sure the printer has plenty of ink, you can reprint your ticket 2 hours after payment, which is useful if your printer does run out of ink
This option may not be available for all ticket types, in general it is only available for Advance fares and / or use on one specific Passenger Train Company

The nominated / lead passenger name MUST match the payment card presented
The nominated / lead passenger MUST travel
If you are unable to do this, for example you have purchased the tickets on behalf of a relative, then do NOT use this option

Mobile / M-ticket -
Download the relevant application (App) for your mobile device
Book your journey and select M-ticket
The M-ticket is saved within your App, under My Tickets
You MUST activate the M-ticket prior to travel
Show your unique M-ticket to staff to allow travel

You MUST ensure your mobile device is fully charged
If you are unable to display the M-ticket, you will be charged for a new ticket at full price

Oyster -
Finally if you are travelling within or across London you may benefit from using an Oyster ticket
This is a cashless payment system accepted throughout public transport in Greater London, with some exceptions, including National Rail, DLR, the tube, trams, and buses
For full details see our
How to use Oyster page