Searching for train times and fares
Need help searching for train times and fares, and buying tickets online, then take a look at this handy step by step guide.
Where do you want to go?
Type in your start and end station in the ‘from’ and ‘to’ boxes, and select whether you’re looking for a one way or return journey.
If the station name is ambiguous, we’ll give you a few choices to make sure we display the correct train times and fares.
When are you travelling?
We’ll automatically search for trains leaving within the hour and returning the same day, but you can change any of the search options by clicking on the appropriate section, which will expand downwards to reveal further choices, including
- time of travel
- number of passengers
The all-new booking pages
When you’ve completed these details, click on ’Search’ to be directed to our new booking page, known as the ‘mixing deck’. Here you’ll be presented with a range of trains and fares, and you can choose the ones that best suit your journey.
To make sure we sell you exactly what you need, there are a lot of choices, but don’t be put off! Click on the ‘Help me’ button on the right of the screen to display a number of ‘pop ups’ that guide you through the process (see below).
Check we’re looking for the right journey
On the left hand side of the screen you’ll find details about the number of passengers, the number of railcards and the types of fares you are searching for. For certain journeys there may be several different routes you can take, although you will usually be offered the fastest
one (which may also be the most expensive). Click on ‘show other routes’ to select a particular route.
Across the middle of the screen, in the orange band, you’ll find your origin and destination stations and the date of travel. If this isn’t correct, click on ‘Amend search’ on the left hand side of the screen.
Selecting your trains
Search by fare
Above the orange band are all the fares available for your journey; below the band are train times.
Rollover a fare to see which trains you can travel on with that fare, then click to select the fare you want. Only the trains on which that fare is available will then be shown below the orange band. To unselect the fare, click it again.
If you have selected an Advance fare, you’ll also need to choose a specific train from below the orange band before you can click on the ‘buy now’ button.
Search by train
Below the orange band are all the trains available for your journey. Rollover a train time to see what fares are available on each departure, then click to select the train you want. Only the fares available for your chosen departure will be displayed above the orange band.
Once you’ve chosen the train, you’ll be offered the best fares for that departure; just select the fare you want above the orange band, then click ‘buy now’. To unselect a fare, click it again.
Cheapest fare finder
If you’re just looking for the best value fare for your journey, simply click on our ‘Cheapest fare finder’ gadget at the bottom left of the screen. You’ll be shown the cheapest fare combinations at different times of day; just select the price you want to pay - it couldn’t be simpler!
Changed your mind?
You can amend your journey details or completely start again by clicking on ‘Amend search’. This is where you can also choose to search for train times rather than times and fares.
Completing the purchase
Once you’ve click on ‘buy now’, you’ll be presented with a screen summarising your journey. Where applicable, you will also be offered the option of reserving a seat and adding a London Travelcard (for travelling on London’s buses and tubes).
When you’ve completed this section, just click on ‘continue’.
* Don’t forget you may be able to buy an all inclusive Travelcard from your local station (simply type in London Travelcard All Zones as your destination during the booking process).
Receiving your tickets
The final page before we actually take payment allows you to choose how you want to receive your tickets. Depending on when you are travelling will determine what options you are given.
- Ticket on Departure (collect at station from ticket machine) – available if travel is at least 2 hours after booking.
- Special Delivery – available if travel is at least 1 postal day after booking
- Recorded Delivery – available if travel is at least 3 postal days after booking
- First class post – available if travel is at least 5 postal days after booking
Ticket on Departure and First class post are free of charge. You need to pay extra for Special Delivery and Recorded Delivery, although your tickets are insured against being lost in the post.