1.1 Introduction to ticket types
This section discusses single
ticket allows a single journey in one direction from the origin to the destination.
ticket allows an outward journey from the origin to the destination together with a return journey back again, either on the same day or up to a month later, depending on the ticket type.
It is permitted to start the return journey without having made (or completed) the outward journey, but the outward portion of the ticket then becomes invalid and can no longer be used. In other words, the outward portion is only valid when still in possession of the unused return portion.
Alternatives to Single and Return Tickets
Various other tickets are discussed in separate sections of the guide as follows:Ticket Categories
- Multi-journey Tickets
Even when only one journey is being made, a ticket allowing multiple journeys can often offer better value. Such tickets include season tickets, rangers, rovers and travelcards, and are discussed separately in Section 5.
- Integrated Fares
When a longer journey is being made involving more than one mode of transport, integrated fares may be available that include bus, ship travel etc. together with a rail journey, all on one ticket. Full details are in Section 7.
- Penalty Fares
Penalty Fares are special single tickets, priced more expensively than normal, that certain train companies are permitted to charge on-board certain trains to passengers who have not purchased a ticket prior to boarding, when there was an opportunity to do so. More information is available in Sections 10.4 to 10.7.
All return tickets, and most single tickets (i.e. apart from Advance fares) fall into one of the two categoriesThese two categories are also known collectively as Walk-Up Fares. They can be purchased any time from the day of travel up to a year in advance, although you must specify the required date at the time of purchase. Depending on the ticket type (see Sections 1.1.1 and 1.1.2 below) the ticket may be valid only on this date, or also for a number of days following it. Anytime and Off-Peak tickets do not tie you to travelling on a specific train and you may travel via any permitted route for the given journey (see Section 3 - Routeing). You have up to and including 04:29 in the morning following the last day of validity to complete your journey.
The majority of single fares allow the journey to be broken and resumed along the way (see Section 1.5), and some of them allow travel to be split over two days with an overnight break. Break of journey is allowed on the outward portion of most return tickets and on the return portion of almost all of them. Where the validity is longer than 1 day, this can include multiple overnight stays en-route if so desired.
The main distinction between Anytime and Off-Peak tickets relates to the times of day at which they may be used. These time restrictions are discussed in more detail in the next sections. A secondary distinction is that Off-Peak tickets are not normally available to buy on-board the train, unless there were no ticket issuing facilities at the station where you boarded. Anytime tickets can usually be purchased on-board the train, but in some cases only Penalty Fares are available for on-board purchase - so buying before boarding (when facilities are available) is the best policy to avoid having to pay more than necessary.
Single tickets may also be available as Advance Fares, which have a category of their own:They have a number of specific conditions attached, which are discussed in the next sections.
Advance is a completely separate category of ticket from Anytime and Off-Peak, with much more stringent validity conditions - Anytime and Off-Peak tickets purchased in advance are not Advance tickets!