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Guidance on fares and validities

Cheapest Fare Finder

Our Cheapest Fare Finder uses information supplied by the train companies into a central fares and reservations database. Some tickets and fares may have limited availability or be valid only at certain times or days of the week and therefore National Rail Enquiries is unable to guarantee that such fares will be available at the time that you wish to travel.

Cheapest Fare

The term "Cheapest Fare" relates to the cheapest point-to-point fare we find in the industry reservation system based on the information submitted by the customer. Other fares may be cheaper based on changing the information submitted by the customer.

Ticket validities

The ticket that you have selected may require you to travel at specific times of the day, days of the week or on a specific route.  Our Journey Planner will have already taken this into account with the selection that you have made and will only have shown tickets that are valid for the selected trains.

Your ticket is associated with a ‘Restriction Code' applied by the train companies and this can be viewed by clicking the link from the Journey Planner ticket terms and conditions page once you have made your selection.

Permitted Routes

The ticket that you have selected may require you to travel via a specific route.  Our Journey Planner will have already taken this into account with the selection that you have made and will only have shown tickets that are valid for the selected trains. If you wish to travel via a specific route you can use the advanced options on the Journey Planner to select ‘travel via', ‘avoid', ‘include interchange' or ‘exclude interchange' so that the route and the required ticket(s) will be recalculated for you.

Please note that if no fare is shown, the route is not a permitted one and you will have to purchase more than one ticket if you want to make the selected journey.

All tickets are valid via any reasonable route unless specifically stated on the ticket.

Fulfilment of tickets selected for purchase

We aim to display the full range of tickets available for the journey that you have selected. National Rail Enquiries does not retail train tickets and so when you are ready to purchase the ticket that you have selected we impartially offer all of the train companies and independent retailers that can complete the transaction.

On occasion, though, it may be the case that the retailer is unable to fulfil the transaction and this may be due to, but not limited to, system limitations, site functionality variations, browser caching issues or products that can only be purchased from certain vendors.

Certain online retailers may charge a booking fee. Where this is charged it will be in addition to the fares(s) quoted for the train tickets. Retailers should clearly display this charge before the transaction is completed. Retailers that do charge a booking fee usually only do so per transaction and not per ticket.

Range of fares

Our Journey Planner uses information supplied by the train companies into a central fares and reservations database and will show the full range that can be retailed by any train company. On occasion, there may be other fares available which are not shown for several reasons and examples may include but not limited to:

  • Some tickets not primarily being railway products
  • Sleeper service journeys which may require supplements
  • Some tickets are issued with nominal destinations/origins which are not recognised by the Journey Planner
  • Some Train Companies and Third Party retailers offer special fares, promotions or methods of fulfilment that can only be bought direct through their own website

Please check with your train ticket provider before purchase.