Your questions about all types of train tickets from Southern answered here…
Do I need a ticket to travel?
Yes, you’ll need a valid ticket (or permit to travel) to travel on our trains. If you travel on a train without a ticket, you’ll be asked to pay the full single or return fare or, may be given a penalty fare.
What do you mean by Off-Peak?
What is the difference between Return and Day Return for Anytime and Off-Peak tickets?
What types of train tickets can I buy?
You can buy tickets for rail journeys throughout Great Britain – not just Southern.
You can get:
- regular single and return fares
- season tickets
- cheaper Off-Peak tickets
- discount fares for group tickets
- low-cost children's fares
You can use your Railcard to get a third off for some journeys too.
How do I buy tickets?
What time does my local station ticket office open?
Will buying a season ticket save me money?
If you make the same peak time journey three or more times a week you can save money. If you buy an annual season ticket you'll also get extra benefits and discounts on top.
You can choose a ticket that's valid for any period from seven days to one year and you can get off at a different station along your route.
Do I need to buy child tickets for my children?
It depends on the age of your child.
Children aged under 5: Up to two children under five can travel with you free of charge if you have a valid ticket. But they can only sit in a seat if it's not needed by another passenger with a ticket.
Children aged 5-16: You pay child fares up to the child's 16th birthday.
Children aged 16+: Once children turn 16 they must buy an adult ticket. The 16-25 Railcard can save money for young people in full-time education. How the 16-25 Railcard works
Students in or around Brighton or Worthing may be eligible for a Unizone ticket, which gives you unlimited travel at a discount. Find out more about Unizone.
Anyone travelling on a child fare may be asked for proof of age by our inspectors.
Can I use my Oyster card on your trains?
You can use Oyster Travelcard season tickets on our trains for journeys insidethe valid zones.
You can also use Oyster pay as you go (PAYG) within the Travelcard zone area.
Does a ticket including 'London zones 1-6' allow me to travel on any mode of transport within the relevant zone?
What railcards can I use to get discounted travel?
Can I reserve a seat on your trains?
No. We don't offer seat reservations on any of our services.
If part of your journey is with another train company who do offer seat reservations, we can arrange them for you (subject to availability) when you buy your ticket at a ticket office or online.
Can I use my freedom pass on your network?
Freedom pass holders can travel free on National Rail routes within the valid zones after 09:30 on weekdays or at any time on weekends and public holidays.
You can travel free at all times on most Transport for London (TfL) services.
If you are planning a trip that takes you out of the London zones and the service you are using stops within the London area, you will need to buy the additional appropriate ticket at the start of your journey.
You can show your pass and you will only have to pay the additional fare starting from where the London Zone boundary ends to your final destination.
Freedom passes are issued to older and disabled Londoners by your local council.
Can I buy a season ticket with a company cheque?
Yes, we accept company cheques for the purchase of annual season tickets from a ‘PLC’ or ‘Limited company’. We don't accept personal cheques.
Many companies have season ticket loan schemes so that their employees can get the benefits of an annual season ticket. These are often paid for by company cheque and so if your company cheque has the wording "for and on behalf of "(Name of the Company) and ends with one of the following - PLC/Limited/Ltd/ LLC / LP/ LLP we can accept those too.
If you are buying a season ticket with a company cheque, our ticket offices will need:
- proof of identification, for example a utility bill or driving license
- a letter of authority from the company you are working for. This can be in the form of a letter on headed paper from your company to you indicating your travel entitlement, a payslip, or any other documentation which confirms the company has issued the cheque to you.
The cheque should be made payable to Govia Thameslink Railway Limited.
Can I get a refund on my ticket?
If the train you planned to catch is delayed or cancelled and you decide not to travel, you can return your unused ticket (except Season tickets) to any National Rail ticket office for a full refund, no administration fee will be charged.
If the train service is running normally and you decide not to travel you can apply for a refund at any National Rail ticket office by completing a refund application form within 28 days of the ticket's validity. Our staff will tell you if your ticket is eligible for a refund. You may have to pay an administration charge of up to £10.
If you bought your ticket from anyone other than Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern or Thameslink please contact them for a refund.
Can I get a refund on my Season ticket?
If you no longer need your Season ticket and there is: three months remaining on an annual, seven days on a monthly or three days on a weekly then you can get a refund from one of our ticket offices.
Refunds are worked out from the date you hand the ticket in and are the difference between what you originally paid and what you would have paid for a Season ticket (or combination of tickets) ending on that date.
We don't give pro-rata refunds because it would mean that customers could buy an annual Season ticket at a discount, travel at the discounted rate (i.e. cheaper than those who are buying weekly tickets), but then hand it in part way through the life of the ticket and be given a refund as if they had paid the higher rate.
Refunds are not made on duplicate Season tickets, nor are refunds given for time periods of non-use (except for a minimum period of four weeks continuous sickness) when travel is subsequently resumed.
Refunds are made in the same way you paid for your ticket - if you bought it with a debit or credit it will be paid in to the same account.
There is a £10 charge and the refund process can take up to 28 days to complete.
Can I get a season ticket refund if I've been away from work because of illness?
If you’re a season ticket holder who’s been temporarily unable to travel for more than four weeks because of sickness you can apply for a discretionary partial refund.
We'll ask for supporting evidence, such as a medical certificate. You can visit your local ticket office for advice and assistance.
What can I do if my season ticket is lost, stolen or damaged?
Lost or stolen tickets
Please report a lost or stolen season ticket to a Southern Railway ticket office as soon as possible. You should also report any theft to the police.
If your ticket is valid for a month or more we'll issue a replacement the first time you lose it within a 12 month period.
We may also issue a second replacement if the first was stolen or destroyed in a fire, or there are other exceptional circumstances. In this case, you must apply in writing and supply police or fire service evidence.
We won't issue more than two duplicates in 12 months.
You'll have to pay an administration fee of £20 for a duplicate ticket.
We won't issue duplicates for weekly season tickets.
If your ticket is faded or damaged, or doesn't work in automatic ticket barriers, you can return it to any Gatwick Express, Great Northern, Southern or Thameslink ticket office where we'll happily replace it free of charge.
How far in advance can I buy a season ticket?
Monthly or annual season tickets
If you're buying a new ticket starting on a Monday or Sunday, you can buy it any time from noon on the previous Friday. If the start date falls on any another day, you can buy the ticket after noon the day before.
If you're renewing your monthly or annual season ticket you can do this up to seven days before the printed expiry date on your ticket.
Weekly season tickets
Weekly season tickets can normally only be issued on the first day of travel.
Can I change my season ticket to cover a different journey?
Yes, as long as your Season ticket is monthly or longer and valid for at least another seven days. You can change the origin and/or destination station(s) without needing to pay an administration fee. We'll keep the expiry date the same and we'll give you a pro-rata refund or charge the difference if it costs extra.
You need to ask promptly as we can't change a ticket retrospectively - so if there is a refund payable it won't be backdated.
Check with the ticket office staff before you apply.
I've seen the National Conditions of Carriage mentioned on your website. What are they?
The National Rail Conditions of Travel are the contract between us and you that's created when you buy a ticket.