Tickets FAQs

Frequently asked ticket questions.

An e-ticket is a new type of electronic ticket that we send to you as a PDF file. You can choose to it print yourself or use it on your mobile device.

With no need to queue for tickets at the station, you're free to head straight for your train!

  • When booking from our website or mobile app select 'e-ticket' as your delivery option
  • Once purchased we will immediately email your tickets as PDF files attached to the ticket email (we will send one email per journey booked)
  • You can simply open the PDF attachment on your phone to show as needed when travelling (we recommend that you save the ticket to your device before departure)
  • If you are buying a ticket for someone else then you can send the ticket to them by email
  • If you prefer to print the ticket you can do that instead of, or as well as, using it electronically
  • For the best experience you can also keep the tickets close to hand in our mobile app (at which point they will be the same as any other Mobile Tickets in the app)

You'll receive an email with your e-ticket as a PDF. You can print this at home or use on a mobile device. You cannot collect an e-ticket from a station.

You'll receive an email with your e-ticket as a PDF. You can print this at home to bring with you on your journey, or use on a mobile device.

When required, you can either show the PDF tickets on your phone or show a printed copy (or both if you prefer). If you are an iOS or Android user, we would recommend that you use our app as a ticket wallet for your e-tickets - this will keep them safe and easily accessible when you need them.

If you have booked a return trip, there will be two tickets attached to your e-ticket email, they will be labelled as either OUT or RTN to help you identify which ticket applies to which direction of travel.

If you have booked for multiple passengers then you will see that the tickets are distinguished as Adult or Child and the type of railcard used if applicable.

Some station barriers will have a scanner, simply present the barcode to the scanner and you will be allowed through the gate.

If you encounter a gate that does not have a scanner, just show your e-ticket to a member of staff at the barrier.

You may also be asked to present your ticket on-board the train. Again simply show the ticket on your phone, or a printed copy. The guard may use a scanner to scan the barcode on the ticket.

It’s your responsibility to make sure that you can present the ticket you purchased at the ticket gate and when asked by a member of rail staff. If you can’t – for whatever reason – then you will need to buy a new ticket in order to travel.

E-tickets cannot be refunded or changed.

You can buy Advance tickets on our website up to 12 weeks in advance of travel.

  • Advance tickets offer great value but are sold subject to availability and carry restrictions in terms of which dates and trains you must travel on
  • They usually go on sale 6-12 weeks ahead of travel depending on the season. They can sell out quickly so the further ahead you book and the more flexible you can be, the bigger the savings you can make and the less likely you are to be disappointed
  • Our Standard and First Class Advance tickets are sold only as single fares, allowing you to purchase the best deal on each stage of your journey e.g. by buying a Standard Advance for the outward stage of your journey and a First Advance for the return
  • There is a cut-off time for buying Advance tickets of 6pm the night before you want to travel. This is an industry-wide specification
  • Advance tickets are not refundable

Find out more about Advance tickets

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 and may be given a penalty fare.

We sell tickets for rail journeys throughout Great Britain, check out our Tickets & Fares pages to find out more.

Online

It is often cheaper and more convenient to buy tickets online. Just click Buy Tickets and enter your journey details.

Mobile app

You can also buy tickets through our free mobile app for Android and iOS.

At stations

If you go to one our stations you can buy for travel on the day through a ticket vending machine. We also sell our full range of tickets at our ticket offices.

As soon as you turn 16, you must buy an adult ticket.

Up to two children under 5 can travel with any adult free of charge if they have a valid ticket. Child fares are available for those aged between 5 and 15 years old. Anyone travelling on a child fare may be asked for proof of age by our inspectors.

Don’t forget that a 16-25 Railcard can mean great savings on journeys after 10am generally, for those aged 16-25 or in full time education.

You can use Oyster Season Tickets or Oyster/Contactless “Pay As You Go” (PAYG) on London Northwestern Railway trains between London Euston and Watford Junction, including intermediate stations.

Railcards are a great way get discounted rail travel throughout Great Britain - saving you at least a third on the standard fare. Just choose the one that suits you best.

You can buy Railcards from any of our ticket offices or online at www.railcard.co.uk

Find out more about Railcards and discounts

  • If you're a group of three to nine adults, travelling together Off-Peak, you often benefit from discounts on certain routes using the GroupSave discount. Buy tickets at the station or online - just select GroupSave from the list of Railcards
  • For larger groups of ten or more, discounts are available when you book at least ten days in advance. To make a Group Travel booking or enquiry, please contact Customer Services on 0333 311 0039 (lines are open Monday to Friday 09:00 - 18:00)

Find out more about group discounts

We don't offer seat reservations on any of our services.

If part of your journey is with another train company who does offer seat reservations, we can arrange them for you (subject to availability) when you buy your ticket online, through our app or at one of our ticket offices.

Yes, if you have an ENCTS pass issued to you by Centro for travel within the West Midlands boundary, or if you have been issued with a Freedom Pass for travel within London.

Centro-issued ENCTS pass holders can travel free on our services within the West Midlands after 09:30 on weekdays or at any time on weekends and public holidays.

Freedom Pass holders can travel free on our services between London Euston and Harrow & Wealdstone, including intermediate stations

You can travel free at all times on most Transport for London (TfL) services.

If your ticket is faded or damaged, or doesn't work in automatic ticket barriers, you can return it to any of our ticket offices where we will replace it free of charge. Or if you bought your ticket with us online, call us on 0333 311 0039.

The National Rail Conditions of Carriage have recently been updated and are now called the National Rail Conditions of Travel. This document forms the basis of the contract between us and you.

Read the National Rail Conditions of Travel here

Your Railcard must be carried on each journey for which it has been used to purchase a discounted ticket. If you forget your Railcard, you will be liable (as now) to buy a new ticket or a Penalty Fare.

However, if it is the first occasion in a 12 month period on which this has happened you should contact our Customer Relations team. Include a copy of your original ticket, your Railcard (which must have been valid at the time of travel) and the new ticket you purchased.

If the station has a ticket office, then return your ticket immediately and we will be able refund this ticket and issue the correct one. Alternatively you can purchase the correct ticket and submit the incorrectly purchased ticket for a refund online or at another of ticket offices.