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.
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.
If you are travelling around London, take a look at London and Oyster pages.
ATOC have produced a new edition of the National Rail Guide to Tickets leaflet which provides an overview of the rail tickets available across the National Rail network and is designed to help customers choose the best value ticket for their journey with confidence. It also includes a summary of train companies’ commitments to customers.
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.
The Journey Planner will not show Season Ticket or Rover and Ranger prices. Take a look at our Season Ticket Calculator or our Rovers and Rangers pages for these prices.
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".
Your ticket may indicate a route or train company that you must use to complete your journey. In all other cases you are allowed to use any permitted route for the journey you are making – this is also the case where no route is shown. Permitted routes cover all the reasonable routes available for making the journey indicated, including all direct services and suitable connecting services. When you book your journey online, any ticket offered in connection with the timetable or itinerary produced by the journey planner will be accepted as a permitted route.
The full Routeing Guide can be found on the Association of Train Operating Companies website. This includes a list of maps of permitted routes and is intended as guidance, however, the full range of routes and options (especially for longer distance journeys) can be very complex and we would therefore encourage you to check any intended route using our Journey Planner to validate that it can be used with your ticket.