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Faq - ticketing

01) How do I purchase train tickets?

Please ensure you always have a valid ticket for your entire journey. 
There are a number of ways to purchase tickets for our trains.

Buying tickets: 


02) What are the different types of tickets available?

Advance: These tickets are bought in advance of travel (subject to availability). Advance tickets are Single (one-way) fares offering great value for money on longer distance journeys.

Off-Peak: These cheaper tickets are valid on services at quieter times of the day, and all day at weekends. Restricted times vary by journey, and will be advised to you when you purchase your ticket.

Super Off-Peak: These are the cheapest tickets you can buy on the day and are available for selected journeys. They are not valid for travel at busy times of the day, but are valid at all times at weekends. Restricted times vary by journey, and will be advised to you when you purchase your ticket.

Anytime: There are no restrictions on these tickets. These are the most flexible walk-up fares: there are no time restrictions at all and are suited to people who need complete flexibility.

The above restrictions apply to Chiltern Railways and other operators have different restrictions and prices.

03) What are the benefits of a Smartcard?

Smartcards are more secure, durable and flexible than their paper equivalents.  

  • Secure. If your Smartcard is lost or stolen, you can block it so that no one else can use it. You can do this yourself through your online account or by calling us on 03456 005 165.
  • Durable. You will no longer have to queue up to change their tickets when they fade or when the magnetic stripe wears out.
  • Flexible. You can purchase tickets online or via the Chiltern App.  
  • Convenient. You can store more than one ticket on your card at a time – a Smartcard can hold up to 5 tickets. One card – many journeys. 
04) What tickets are available on Smartcards?

Season tickets, including Travelcard seasons plus many single and daily returns are available for Smartcard holders. During 2019, more journey and ticket types will become available, so please check our website for the latest options.

05) When I buy my ticket online, where do I collect it from?

When you buy your ticket online, you’ll be asked to select the station at the start of your journey. To collect your ticket at the station, simply touch your card on the yellow gate reader. If there is no gate at your station, you can also collect by touching the Smartcard reader at the ticket vending machine. You may also collect from any PayPoint location or download your tickets using the Chiltern app on an NFC enabled Smartphone. Your ticket will be loaded onto your Smartcard and you’ll be ready to travel (please wait 2 hours from when you purchase to load your ticket if collecting from a gate).

06) How do I check my season ticket on the move?

You can download the Chiltern app onto an NFC enabled smartphone and check your Smartcard at any time. 

07) Do I need to carry photo ID?

A revenue inspector may from time to time ask you for photo ID. This can be a National Rail photocard (available from any of our ticket offices), or you may prefer to show your driving licence or other official photo ID instead. 

08) What do I do if I lose my Smartcard?

Get in touch with us as soon as you can. You can either visit our website to block your card or call our customer relations team on 03456 005 165. Once a card is blocked, it cannot be reactivated.

09) Do I need a new Smartcard when my season ticket expires?

No. Your Smartcard is reusable. When your season ticket expires, you can log in to your online account to purchase a new one. Your expired ticket will be removed from your card next time you touch the gate readee.

10) Can I break my journey between stations where my season ticket is valid?

Yes. You can break your journey at any station along the route that your season ticket is valid.  

11) What is card clash?

If you touch your purse or wallet containing more than one contactless card on a reader, the reader will not know which card to read, and if you are inside London, it could also take payment from a card you did not intend to pay with. This is called card clash. To avoid card clash, only touch the card you want to use for your journey on the card reader. 

12) What do I do if I experience a problem with my ticket or Smartcard at the station?

If you have any queries about your Smartcard or ticket, please ask a member of station staff or contact the number on the back of your Smartcard.  

13) Is it possible to reserve a seat?

We do not offer seat reservations on our trains.

When booking tickets for other train companies, if seat reservations are available, you will be given the option to choose any preferences you may have, such as table, power points and direction of travel. These preferences can be saved in your booking profile.

Only when the booking is placed will confirmation be made that your seat reservation has been successful.

On some routes especially over bank holidays it is compulsory to reserve a seat and you cannot join the train without a reservation.

Seats may be reserved for children, but for a child under 5 a reservation can only be made if a suitable child ticket has been purchased.

Onboard trains, seat reservations are either shown in an overhead display or as paper seat reservation in the back of the seat.

14) Can I amend my ticket when I've bought it?

This depends on the terms and conditions of the ticket you have purchased.

If your ticket is an Anytime, Off-Peak or Super Off-Peak fare and you wish to change we advise you to cancel and obtain a refund and re-book.

If your ticket is a First or Standard Advance (for travel on a specific booked train), your ticket can be amended prior to the booked time of departure, subject to an amendment fee of £10 per ticket plus any difference in fare that there may be to travel at the new time.

Please contact the original point of sale, or ask at any station ticket office, for information on how to amend a First or Standard Advance ticket.

ADVANCE fare single Terms & Conditions are available here.

15) How do I receive/collect my train tickets?

Tickets that have been purchased in advance will either be posted to you, printed from our ticket vending machines, or you can print them at home. If youc are collecting tickets from a ticket vending machine, you will need to have the card you booked the ticekts with, to collect them. Please note, you will be notified of which collection method is relevant for your ticket upon purchasing.

16) Can I collect my tickets from any station?

If your tickets have been booked through our website then yes you can collect your tickets from any ticket machine at a Chiltern Railways station. Please note, other ticket providers may have a different policy.

17) What should I do if my tickets are lost in the post?

If your tickets are lost in the post prior to your date of travel,  for a 1st Class or Special Delivery ticket, please call our customer service team on 03456 005 165 (option 1, option 2)

18) If a specific name is on a ‘print at home’ ticket, can another person use the ticket?

Yes, another person can use the ticket, or one person can buy multiple tickets on behalf of a group, individual passenger names do not have to be on tickets. Please note, this applies to tickets bought through Chiltern Railways, other companies policy for this may differ.

19) Which stations have self-service ticket machines

You don't need to pick up your tickets from the station you selected when making a booking - You can collect from an enabled machine at any one of over 1700 stations in the list below.

Below is the list of available stations :

20) Can I transfer my tickets to another train company?

If you have bought train tickets for any route these can be used with other train companies. If you have bought tickets that are for a specific train company such as Chiltern Railways it is not possible to transfer train tickets. You will need to cancel your original tickets and rebook for a different journey.

21) Can I use my ticket on a different train/ day / operator?

Tickets are only valid on the dates permitted as printed on your ticket.

Tickets that have been purchased with an “any available route” option can be used with any train company that operates between the stations you wish to travel.

Any time tickets are the most flexible and can be used on any train on the chosen day of departure for the journey you have booked. An anytime ticket allows you to return on any train within the dates displayed on your ticket.

Advance tickets are the best value tickets available but can only be used for your chosen train on the specific date and time. They are non-refundable and if you miss your train, you will need to buy a new ticket to travel.

If you have purchased an Anytime, Off Peak or Super Off Peak ticket then you will need to travel within the times as per the terms and conditions. Please see question “What is the difference between Anytime, Off Peak and Super Off Peak” for further information.

22) Can I use my ticket with a different train company?

Tickets that have been purchased with an “any available route” option can be used with any train company that operates between the stations you wish to travel.

23) How do I contact another train operating company?

A list of all train operating companies and their contact details is available from National Rail Enquiries.  

24) What are the age restrictions on train tickets?

Children under the age of 5 travel for free, ages 5-15 can travel using a Child’s ticket, 16+ must pay a full adult fare.

25) What are the different types of season ticket available?

Weekly, Monthly, Monthly+ (between one month and one year), Annual.

26) Can I buy a season ticket online?

Yes, click here to go to our online season ticket shop.

27) Does my season ticket entitle me to free weekend travel?

Yes, if you buy a season ticket originating from a Chiltern Railways station worth £150 or more a month (£1500 or more a year) you are entitled to free travel across our network (on Chiltern Railways services only) on weekends and bank holidays. You must buy your season ticket from Chiltern Railways to benefit from this offer.

28) Do you offer part-time season tickets?

The brand new Flexi-Season Ticket is perfect for customers looking for a part-time season ticket. The new ticket offers 8 days of travel in 28 days - any time between two stations.

29) What other discounts do I get if my season ticket is a Gold Card?

Being a Gold Card holder means you are entitled to many discounts such as 1/3 off other fares within the annual Gold Card area. For full details, see NRE’s section on Gold Cards.

30) What is a Carnet ticket?

We offer Carnet tickets which offer passengers 10 open return journeys to London Marylebone for the price of 9 and these are anytime tickets valid for 3 months from the date of purchase.

All you have to do is fill in the date of travel on the ticket before boarding the train when you make a journey.

For more detail read the Carnet - terms and conditions page.

Please note that Carnet Tickets are no longer available from Monday 28th June 2021.

31) Can I purchase a Network West Midlands travelcard from Chiltern Railways stations?

Yes, these can be purchased at Chiltern Railways stations within the Network West Midlands travel zones.

32) What rail ranger/rover tickets are available?

We offer rail ranger/rover tickets that allow for unlimited travel in a designated area. These are:

West Midlands Day Ranger: Valid in the Network West Midlands area and surrounding areas.

33) How can I use my Oyster Card on Chiltern Railways trains?

Oyster Cards can be used in 2 ways:

  1. A Travelcard season ticket can be purchased that is valid for one or more of the London fare zones. You can use your Oyster Travelcard on our services between Amersham and London Marylebone and between West Ruislip and London Marylebone inclusive (and all intermediate stations) provided it is valid for the zones you wish to travel in/between. Please note, Oyster Card season tickets must be purchased from Transport for London.
  2. Oyster Cards can also be used on a pay-as-you-go basis. On Chiltern Railways pay-as-you-go can be used between Amersham and London Marylebone and between West Ruislip and London Marylebone inclusive (and all intermediate stations).

Oyster Pay As You Go can NOT be used to pay for any other journeys on Chiltern Railways.

34) Where and when is a Freedom Pass valid?

The route between London Marylebone and Amersham

If you are a Freedom Pass holder then you may travel for free at any time between London Marylebone and Amersham in either direction (including to / from intermediate stations) on our services.


The route between London Marylebone and West Ruislip

Freedom Passes are also valid between London Marylebone and West Ruislip (in either direction) at any time except not before 09:30 on weekday mornings. However, for journeys between South Ruislip and West Ruislip ONLY, Freedom Passes are valid at any time.

This means that on weekday mornings (that are not bank holidays), Freedom Passes are not valid for travel into London Marylebone before 09:30 am if travelling on our services from any of West Ruislip, South Ruislip, Northolt Park, Sudbury Hill Harrow, Sudbury & Harrow Road or Wembley Stadium stations.


Not valid beyond the London Travelcard Zones

Freedom Passes are not valid on any train service outside the London Travelcard Zones i.e. Beyond West Ruislip on the High Wycombe Line or beyond Amersham.

Further information is available here.

35) Do Chiltern work with other businesses to offer discounts on days out at attractions?

Yes, see our special offers section for a list of great deals you can get when you travel with us 2for1 attractions.

36) What are the different types of London Travelcard available?

London Travelcards provide unlimited travel on London Underground, Docklands Light Railway (DLR), Croydon Tramlink, National Rail services, within the period of validity of the ticket and within the zones for which the travelcard covers*, and on all London Buses.

[*Travelcards issued by Chiltern Railways cover London Travelcard Zones 1 - 6. Travelcards issued from Aylesbury Vale Parkway through to Great Missenden (inclusive) also include direct travel on services that pass through Travelcard Zones 7 - 9. Travelcards issued for travel along the Metropolitan Line are valid at stations Amersham to Rickmansworth inclusive (the stations in Zones 7 - 9) although for technical reasons the automatic ticket barriers at those stations will not operate - customers will need to talk to a member of London Underground staff at those stations.

Anytime Day Travelcard: This gives you a same day return to London Marylebone, which includes the benefits of travel on London's transport network.

Off Peak Day Travelcard: Valid on trains scheduled to arrive into London Marylebone after 10:00 (Mondays to Fridays).  There are no time restrictions at weekends. For journeys wholly within the London Fare Zones area, Off Peak Day Travelcards can be used from 09:30 on Mondays to Fridays and at any time on Saturdays and Sundays. A GroupSave Travelcard allows groups of 3 or 4 to travel for the price of 2!

Travelcard Season Tickets: Travelcard season tickets can be purchased for 7 days, or for any length of time between 1 month to 1 year. For more information, see also Season Tickets.

Weekend Travelcard: The Weekend Travelcard gives you 2 consecutive days' return travel to London Marylebone and unlimited travel on London's transport network within the London Fare Zones. Our Weekend Travelcard is only available from Aylesbury, Stoke Mandeville, Wendover or Great Missenden to London. The ticket is valid on Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays.

Family Off Peak Travelcard: Like the Off Peak Day Travelcard, it also offers big savings for groups of up to 2 adults and 4 children (and you do not have to be related!).

37) What group travel discounts do Chiltern Railways offer?

We offer competitive group discount rates when tickets are purchased from booking offices at our stations.

34% off all groups of 3 to 9 adults with GroupSave for all journeys.

Groups of 10 or more: A number of different discounts apply to groups of 10 or more people travelling together on Chiltern Railways services. Our specialist team will advise on the best value ticket for your group and help you make your travel arrangements. These tickets need to be booked at least 7 days in advance.

For a quotation and advice, please download the Group Travel PDF and complete the details, scan and email to [email protected] and we will get back you.

Please note, group travel tickets are only valid on Chiltern Railways services, and are not available when there is an amended timetable in operation e.g. due to Wembley Stadium events.

38) Why do I have to put my tickets through barriers at stations?

We operate ticket barriers at some of our stations to ensure that passengers are travelling with the correct and genuine tickets and we are not losing money that could be being invested back into your railway.

39) Why do you check tickets on board?

Our revenue protection policy is designed to prevent fare evasion by ensuring all passengers have the correct ticket for the journey they are undertaking.

When passengers travel without the correct ticket, it can result in significant financial loss to the rail industry.

This can affect the price of tickets for other rail users and have an impact on reinvestment programmes to upgrade facilities. For more information, see our revenue protection and prosecution policy

40) Who will be eligible for the new 16-17 Saver discount?

The new 16-17 Saver can be purchased by all 16 and 17 year olds.

41) How much will the 16-17 Saver card cost?

It will cost £30 per year.

42) Which services can the 16-17 Saver be used on?

The 16-17 Saver will be valid on services provided by all English and Welsh train operating companies, including cross-border journeys into Scotland. The card will not be valid on ScotRail or Caledonian Sleeper services at the time of launch.

43) How long will the 16-17 Saver card be valid?

The card will be valid for one year or until the holder’s 18th birthday, whichever is earliest.

44) Can the 16-17 Saver be used for season tickets?

Yes – the card will be valid on singles, returns and season tickets. It is designed to enable 16- and 17-year olds to access the same half price child fares that they could access until they were 16.

45) How does 16-17 Saver differ from the existing 16‐25 Railcard?

16-17 Saver will provide a different level of discount to the existing 16‐25 railcard, which is aimed at leisure travel. The 16‐25 railcard has a minimum fare of £12 for journeys starting between 4.30am and 10am on week days and is therefore less useful for travel to and from education or training. There will be few restrictions associated with the 16-17 Saver, with card‐holders eligible for half price fares, including on season tickets, and with no minimum fares.

46) Why have you introduced this new card?

Young people are required to stay in education or training until their 18th birthday, but they only have access to half price child rail fares until their 16th birthday. This new card is designed to bridge that gap and provide an additional two years of Child Fares to support young people.