Travelling by train can be fun. It’s often faster than going by coach or car and you can watch a film, play games or have a picnic on the way. It is also much more environmentally friendly than driving.
Buying train tickets
If you buy your ticket the same day you travel you are likely to pay the highest price. So it pays to plan ahead! Train companies issue a limited number of cheap tickets, so get in there early to get the best prices. Tickets are usually available up to 12 weeks before you want to travel.
Different times, different routes and different train companies will charge different prices. Yes it’s confusing! You can often reduce costs if you avoid the morning or evening rush or take a slower train. To hunt down the bargain prices, look at National Rail to see a table of all times and prices or ask your local rail office to find you the cheapest fare. Some companies also offer discounted fares when you book online.
Children and young people aged five to fifteen get a 50% discount on most train tickets. If you are 16, 17 or 18 you can apply for a Scottish Youth Railcard, which will get you a 1/3rd of rail travel.
All intercity train services and most other mainline services are wheelchair accessible. Access to the train is provided by a ramp kept either at the station or on the train. If you need help getting on or off the train, then National Rail will be able to assist. You will need to book assistance in advance, preferably 24 hours in advance. To book assistance phone National Rail Enquiries ‘Assisted Passenger Reservation Service’ on 0845 7484 950 or text to 0845 6050 600.
Train and bike
Taking your bike on the train in the UK is free but this doesn't mean it's always easy. Different train operators have different policies, and may have restrictions on what times you can travel with your bike. Spaces are limited, so if you’re planning a trip it would be best to phone your train provider in advance and reserve a space for your bike.
British Transport Police is the national police force for the railways, providing a policing service to rail operators, their staff and passengers throughout Scotland, England and Wales. They believe travelling is about more than just getting there. It’s about ensuring safety and security all the way.
The British Transport Police have put together some tips to make sure you stay safe on the trains.
- Store your luggage securely and keep an eye on it.
- Don’t leave phones, laptops, ipods etc at your seat unattended.
- If you see an incident or encounter problems inform a member of staff or BTP right away.
- Visit British Transport Police for more information about your local area and the journey you are making. You can also get in touch with your local team by e-mail.