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  • Buy Before You Board - header image Mar 2017

    Buy Before You Board

    Your responsibilities 

    If you are travelling from a station that has ticket purchasing facilities available (a ticket booking office or a ticket vending machine), it is your responsibility to buy a valid ticket for the date and time of your journey before getting on the train (as set out in the National Rail Conditions of Travel and Railway Byelaws (2005)). 

    You must carry this ticket with you at all times and have it available for inspection or to use automatic ticket barriers. Keep your ticket safe. It is your ticket, not the receipt for it, which gives you the right to travel. If you board any of our trains without a ticket, at a station where ticket buying services are available, you may only be sold full fare tickets by available on-train staff or Unpaid Fares facilities at selected destination stations. This means that railcard savings, lower priced or discounted fares may not be available.

    Please note: On train staff may not always be available to retail tickets on board due to other on-board duties.

    The exceptions to this are:

    • If you are unable to buy a ticket because the ticket office is closed
    • If there is no ticket machine at the station where you start your journey or if it is not in operation
    • If you are unable to access our ticket retail facilities as a result of your disability
    • In these circumstances you can buy any ticket available on the train, on the day of travel, including Railcard discounts if applicable 

    Travelling without buying a valid ticket before you board can even result in prosecution and a fine of up to £1,000

    These rules are set out in the National Rail Conditions of Travel and Railway Bye Laws 2005.

    Where can I buy tickets? 
    There are a number of ways that you can buy train tickets for any journey with us: 

    How to buy your ticket

    • Online - simply enter your journey details into the 'Train tickets and times' search to find the best fares or  click here. We don’t charge booking fees
    • Our app - you can buy your ticket on your smartphone with the free  ATW app. Buy tickets securely on our app and collect your tickets from ticket machines, or if m-tickets are available for your journey, your ticket will be stored within the app on your device (mTickets must be activated before boarding the train)
    • Book in advance - get your tickets mailed to you, collect them from a ticket machine at the station 
    • For regular travel - weekly, monthly or annual season tickets may offer great savings.
    • Ticket machines - you can buy tickets using ticket machines at many of our stations to buy tickets on the day of travel, or collect pre-paid tickets
    • By phone - 08709 000 773 
    • In person - visit your local staffed rail station 
    • From a travel agent - visit any ATOC Licensed Travel Agent 

    If you need information or advice to help you choose the correct ticket, including any restrictions on when the ticket is available, please ask our staff at ticket offices or check our website. 

    National Rail Conditions of Carriage
    There are National Conditions that apply to the sale and use of rail tickets. If you would like more information, a copy of the ‘National Rail Conditions of Travel’ booklet, is available from the National Rail website:

    If your ticket is in breach of the terms and conditions associated with the ticket type, your ticket will be invalid and you will be asked to purchase a new ticket or pay an excess fare. Please read the terms and conditions of your ticket carefully before boarding the train and check for any restrictions that may apply. Details of the ticket types available can be found at

    Frequently asked questions

    Can I buy my ticket at my destination if I am in a rush? 
    No. You are responsible for ensuring you buy a ticket that is valid for your entire journey before travelling – the only exceptions to this are detailed above.  Please allow extra time in your journey planning to buy a ticket before you board. 

    What should I do if I have forgotten my photocard and/or season ticket? 
    You should buy a daily ticket to cover your journey before travelling. You may then apply for a refund on this daily ticket at the ticket office where you buy your season ticket. Only two such refund applications will be considered in a 12 month period and you may be charged an administration fee.

  • Revenue Enforcement Policy

    The ethos of Arriva Trains Wales is to collect the correct revenue that we are contractually due from all our passengers. We recognise however there is a small minority of passengers who will deliberately attempt to evade payment. You can read more about our Revenue Enforcement Policy here.