What train ticket do I need?
Where are you heading to and when? Your ideal train ticket type will depend on several factors including:
- The time of day that you’re travelling – can you travel outside the busiest hours?
- How regularly you plan to make that journey – is it your daily commute?
- Who you’re travelling with – are the kids coming along too?
- What discounts are available to you – do you have a railcard?
- Your own travel preferences – prefer first class? Ready to go paperless?
- The area that you’re travelling in – are you travelling within London zones 1-6?
What are the different ticket types and when would I use them?
Whatever your reason for travelling, there’s a good chance that you’ll be able to find a train ticket that’s made for you. See our different ticket types below, along with the scenarios they’re best suited to.
If you’ve got something pencilled in your diary and can plan your journey ahead of time, you could get great deals with Advance train tickets. They’re usually released up to 12 weeks before your travel date and start at £5 – though you may need to move quickly as they can sell out.
Learn more about getting ahead of the game with an Advance ticket.
If you’re not sure when you’ll be travelling or you can’t guarantee it being a certain time, an Anytime ticket gives you the freedom to travel whenever you want. That includes peak times and you can get off at any stop along the way if you want to explore.
Anytime tickets could be right for you if you think a meal or meeting might overrun or if you can’t guarantee when you’ll be able to get to the station. Find out more.
Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak
Are you catching the train outside the busiest morning and evening times, on a weekend or a bank holiday? You could save some extra cash with an Off-Peak or Super Off-Peak – and enjoy a quieter journey while you’re at it.
You can bring the kids along too for just £2 each. Take a peek at Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak travel.
Got a new job? Trying out a new commute? If you’re making the same journey more than three times a week you could save valuable time and money with a weekly, monthly or annual train ticket.
See if a Season ticket suits you.
First Class travel is perfect if you have a long journey and want to make sure you’re comfortable. Discover where you can go with a First Class ticket.
The Key Smartcard
If you want to keep all your tickets in one place, you can sign up for The Key Smartcard for free. You can add any of the above tickets to your card, and even enjoy the flexibility of pay-as- you-go travel with our KeyGo system.
Simply tap your card on a ticket barrier at the start and end of your journey. If you travel regularly on our trains, find out about adding, using and renewing tickets with the The Key Smartcard.
Flexi Season Ticket
The new national Flexi Season Ticket on Smartcard gives you 8 passes to use over 28 days between 2 destinations – so you can make 8 anytime/peak return journeys, any days you choose. Buy your Flexi Season Tickets online or at any of our ticket offices, load it onto your Key Smartcard, and travel when it suits you. Find out more.
If you’re looking for the best ticket for train and Tube travel, a Travelcard could be the answer. You can use the Travelcard to travel in London Zones 1-6 on trains, buses, the tube, trams and most DLR trains.
You can pick one up from any station in London. Get all the details you need on the Travelcard.
What ticket discounts are available to me?
Once you’ve found your perfect ticket, it’s worth checking if you can get any more discounts on top before you buy.
Having a railcard can save you 1/3 off the price of many of our different ticket types and nationwide journeys, and there is a wide range of cards available to suit different ages and travel preferences. Most railcards cost £30 and last for one year.
Find out about the different types of railcard available and how to get them.
Are you booking tickets together for a work outing or a friend’s reunion? If you’re travelling as a group of 3–9 adults outside of busy weekday times or on weekends or bank holidays, you could save 34% on your tickets.
Learn more about using GroupSave.
Does your journey start before you get to the station or continue after you arrive? Adding a PlusBus pass to your ticket gives you unlimited bus travel from £2 a day.
Read more on the benefits of PlusBus and find out if it’s available in your area.