Train ticket types explained

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There’s a lot to like about travelling by train. Wherever you’re going, you can simply hop on, sit back, and let the driver do the work. It’s better for the environment than driving, and there’s no need to waste time hunting for a parking space once you arrive. You can even enjoy a drink or two if it’s that kind of trip… 

Government data shows we took 1.8 billion rail journeys in 2018/19 – with demand doubling over the past two decades. In that time a variety of tickets have been released, each with their own purpose and benefits. Below I break down the key types to help plan your next journey. 


As the name suggests, Anytime tickets allow you to travel on your chosen route at any time of the day. This flexibility is ideal if your schedule is loose and you want the freedom to travel whenever you need to.  

You can buy single or return Anytime tickets in advance or on the same day of your journey.  


If you know you can travel outside of busy morning and evening times, Off-Peak tickets are the way to go. They can work out significantly cheaper than journeys during peak times, and you might enjoy a quieter carriage too!  

Super Off-Peak tickets are available on weekends and bank holidays and are even cheaper, so it’s worth shopping around before you commit to a specific journey.  


Advance tickets offer another smart way to save money on the price of a standard train journey. They’re available up to 12 weeks in advance, making them perfect if you like to plan ahead. 

Bear in mind Advance tickets are usually only valid for the specific date and time you select, however.      

First Class

Do you like to travel in style? Then it could be worth paying a little more to upgrade your journey with a First Class ticket. Perks range from complimentary snacks and drinks to extra legroom and Wi-Fi, all of which can help make your journey more comfortable.  

You’ll also get access to First Class lounges in certain stations.


Season tickets are designed for commuters and offer unlimited travel between two specified destinations within a set timeframe. This can be anywhere from a week to a year, saving you time and money in comparison to buying individual peak returns 5 days a week. 

Where do you plan to go on your next train journey?   

About Becky



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