Clapham junction platforms

VioletBee

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So I am new to using the trains and the journey I'm going on requires 1 change at Clapham junction, and I was wondering how its supposed to go. I'm not sure what platform I will be dropped off at or which platform I need to go to (I will look up the platform information on the day after I buy a ticket at the desk) but it seems there will be around a 10 minute times gap for the interchange. I have no idea how big Clapham junction is, is this plenty of time to reach far away platforms? And how does the ticket system work for changing trains, will I just be able to get off at one platform and go to the other? Or do I have to show my ticket somewhere before I board the second train? The ticket is for one journey after all (and return), but I'm not sure if I can just jump off from one platform and then get on the other one. The journey I'm making is from Gatwick to Barnes, I also need to get back through the same/similar route. Any advise about interchanges or Clapham junction would be useful, thankyou.
 
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swt_passenger

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Arrival from Gatwick will be at platform 12, you need to go up to the footbridge and over to platform 5 or 6 for the departure to Barnes. The footbridge part of the transfer is a fair length, about 130m, which can be busy.

Returning from Barnes you will arrive at either platform 3 or 4, then back across the footbridge to platform 13 for Gatwick.

You should probably try and be in the rear part of the train when arriving at Clapham Junction in either direction.

However there aren’t separate ticket barriers, it’s all the same paid area.
 
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Hophead

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There is also a subway between platforms, which may be closer to where you alight from the train. It used to be noticeably busier down there, though.
 

VioletBee

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Arrival from Gatwick will be at platform 12, you need to go up to the footbridge and over to platform 5 or 6 for the departure to Barnes. The footbridge part of the transfer is a fair length, about 130m, which can be busy.

Returning from Barnes you will arrive at either platform 3 or 4, then back across the footbridge to platform 13 for Gatwick.

You should probably try and be in the rear part of the train when arriving at Clapham Junction in either direction.

However there aren’t separate ticket barriers, it’s all the same paid area.
Right, thankyou that is very useful to me. So no need to check in or anything, I should just be able to find the platform and get on the second train, thankyou very much!

There is also a subway between platforms, which may be closer to where you alight from the train. It used to be noticeably busier down there, though.
Ahh okay, thankyou I will take note of that!
 

181

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The subway is a bit shorter than the bridge, as the station is V-shaped and it crosses a narrower part of it.

In case it's useful, here is the station seen from above. You need to get from roughly the middle of the southern group of platforms to the southern part of the northern group (or a bit further on the way back). You can see the bridge in the picture; the subway isn't visible, but it's maybe about 100 metres or so east of the bridge.

The map here is less geographically accurate, but it shows the platform numbers and the subway.

If you do miss your connecting train, don't panic. I presume that for a short journey like that you will have a ticket valid on any train on the route, and you wouldn't normally have to wait too long for another one.
 

VioletBee

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The subway is a bit shorter than the bridge, as the station is V-shaped and it crosses a narrower part of it.

In case it's useful, here is the station seen from above. You need to get from roughly the middle of the southern group of platforms to the southern part of the northern group (or a bit further on the way back). You can see the bridge in the picture; the subway isn't visible, but it's maybe about 100 metres or so east of the bridge.

The map here is less geographically accurate, but it shows the platform numbers and the subway.

If you do miss your connecting train, don't panic. I presume that for a short journey like that you will have a ticket valid on any train on the route, and you wouldn't normally have to wait too long for another one.
Yes thankyou, those maps are helpful! I have a more clear idea now and yes I was worried about missing the connecting train as my ticket wouldnt match but im glad it shouldnt be much of a hassle even if I did miss it.
 

AlbertBeale

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Yes thankyou, those maps are helpful! I have a more clear idea now and yes I was worried about missing the connecting train as my ticket wouldnt match but im glad it shouldnt be much of a hassle even if I did miss it.

When you say your ticket "wouldn't match", that's only relevant if you're on a (cheaper) Advance ticket which is tied to a specific train which is printed on the ticket. I can't imagine you have an Advance for a local journey like that - they might well not even exist. Trains from Clapham Junction to Barnes run every quarter of an hour or so, outside peak times, and more often at busy times I think; the journey time's only about 10 minutes; a normal ticket would be valid on absolutely any of those trains, all day.

Even if your ticket from Gatwick was an Advance, with a time on it for the Gatwick to Clapham Junction leg, it would presumably not specify any particular train for the onward local connection. (If you're leaving Gatwick having arrived on a flight there, then having a fixed-time Advance would be a bad idea anyway, given the unpredictability of when you'd be out of the airport system and onto the station.)

(Your ticket might come with a suggested time of trains you could use it on - depending on how/where it was bought - but that doesn't mean that the ticket is tied to those trains, unless the ticket itself says so.)

Since the connection is frequent, I would prioritise taking it easy at the interchange, rather than rushing for a particular Barnes train. The underpass can be very busy - especially if you're trailing luggage - and so the overbridge makes more sense even if it takes a couple of minutes longer. Also, there should be lifts to and from the overbridge, but not via the subway; so if you have luggage, bear that in mind too. Clapham Junction station (especially at some times of day) can be quite a frantic place, and seem a bit much for people not used to such a busy station (or any railway station!).
 

VioletBee

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When you say your ticket "wouldn't match", that's only relevant if you're on a (cheaper) Advance ticket which is tied to a specific train which is printed on the ticket. I can't imagine you have an Advance for a local journey like that - they might well not even exist. Trains from Clapham Junction to Barnes run every quarter of an hour or so, outside peak times, and more often at busy times I think; the journey time's only about 10 minutes; a normal ticket would be valid on absolutely any of those trains, all day.

Even if your ticket from Gatwick was an Advance, with a time on it for the Gatwick to Clapham Junction leg, it would presumably not specify any particular train for the onward local connection. (If you're leaving Gatwick having arrived on a flight there, then having a fixed-time Advance would be a bad idea anyway, given the unpredictability of when you'd be out of the airport system and onto the station.)

(Your ticket might come with a suggested time of trains you could use it on - depending on how/where it was bought - but that doesn't mean that the ticket is tied to those trains, unless the ticket itself says so.)

Since the connection is frequent, I would prioritise taking it easy at the interchange, rather than rushing for a particular Barnes train. The underpass can be very busy - especially if you're trailing luggage - and so the overbridge makes more sense even if it takes a couple of minutes longer. Also, there should be lifts to and from the overbridge, but not via the subway; so if you have luggage, bear that in mind too. Clapham Junction station (especially at some times of day) can be quite a frantic place, and seem a bit much for people not used to such a busy station (or any railway station!).
Ohh okay, I dont think its an advance ticket that I would be buying since ill just go straight to the ticket desk on the day. Thankyou, that makes me alot less worried about the inter change!
 

norbitonflyer

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Note that not all trains from platforms 5 and 6 call at Barnes. On those that do, it will be the third stop on the list.

The subway is shorter than the bridge, but narrower and busier. I've never counted them, but there seem to be more steps down and up to/from the subway than for the bridge. I usually use whichever's nearest, unless I have luggage in which case the lifts to/from the bridge make that preferable.

There are no barrier lines separating groups of platforms - useful if your entire journey is on one or the other (Gatwick and Barnes are both in the contactless/Oyster area) , but a nuisance if you are switching between Oyster/contactless and paper tickets.
 

swt_passenger

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If you are going to buy on the day then the easiest and cheapest way is probably to use a contactless card and just tap in at Gatwick and out at Barnes. £12.90 in the peaks and £8.70 off peak - check the tfl fares calculator Single fare finder - Transport for London (tfl.gov.uk)
For everyone’s info the original poster also has a current thread in the fares section about the best fare to use:
 

VioletBee

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If you are going to buy on the day then the easiest and cheapest way is probably to use a contactless card and just tap in at Gatwick and out at Barnes. £12.90 in the peaks and £8.70 off peak - check the tfl fares calculator Single fare finder - Transport for London (tfl.gov.uk)
By the way, this is just one single fare right? I actually need to travel at at on peak times at some point, just once though. Its about £26 for single and return, but if im getting a car lift when returning, its would be useful to use contactless!
 

30907

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By the way, this is just one single fare right? I actually need to travel at at on peak times at some point, just once though. Its about £26 for single and return, but if im getting a car lift when returning, its would be useful to use contactless!
Yes, that's a one-way fare.

From your other thread, I suspect you might be able to use a 16-25 Railcard. To get the discount you can't use Contactless but you can use Oyster, getting the discount added at a Tube station (which will mean a detour).

You won't actually save with contactless unless you do a one-way Off-peak journey, because the 16-25 Railcard has a minimum £12 spend before 0930.
 

VioletBee

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Yes, that's a one-way fare.

From your other thread, I suspect you might be able to use a 16-25 Railcard. To get the discount you can't use Contactless but you can use Oyster, getting the discount added at a Tube station (which will mean a detour).

You won't actually save with contactless unless you do a one-way Off-peak journey, because the 16-25 Railcard has a minimum £12 spend before 0930.
Thankyou for the reply, so I just checked using the LNER app, for on peak times and there was an option to add a railway card so I tried it out to see if it would get accepted. And it seemed to have given a discount (not sure how they verify the railcard as I dont have one yet) - this was just to check if it would give a discount at the on peak times, and it did, so is it safe to assume that I can use it when I get one? Pretty sure its the 16-25 railcard I used for testing it, and its the one ill be getting.
 

NSE

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Don’t stress is my main advice. Clapham Junction is big and busy and is known for it. But actually, it’s quite operationally simple. I find it well sign posted and being so busy means there are plenty of staff. You seem nervous (apologies if you aren’t!). If it helps, your route starts at Gatwick and passes through East Croydon, two well staffed stations where there are plenty of trains. You’ll smash it.
 

VioletBee

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Don’t stress is my main advice. Clapham Junction is big and busy and is known for it. But actually, it’s quite operationally simple. I find it well sign posted and being so busy means there are plenty of staff. You seem nervous (apologies if you aren’t!). If it helps, your route starts at Gatwick and passes through East Croydon, two well staffed stations where there are plenty of trains. You’ll smash it.
Thankyou so much, haha yes I was pretty worried since im not even used to catching and using buses! But im less worried now, this forums been really helpful - and with some practice ill be stress free for the next journeys.
 

30907

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Thankyou for the reply, so I just checked using the LNER app, for on peak times and there was an option to add a railway card so I tried it out to see if it would get accepted. And it seemed to have given a discount (not sure how they verify the railcard as I dont have one yet) - this was just to check if it would give a discount at the on peak times, and it did, so is it safe to assume that I can use it when I get one? Pretty sure its the 16-25 railcard I used for testing it, and its the one ill be getting.
Yes there is a discount, but it's less than 34% before 0930 on a one-way ticket because of the £12 minimum; on a return the discounted fare is paying £17+ anyway so that isn't affected
 

NSE

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Thankyou so much, haha yes I was pretty worried since im not even used to catching and using buses! But im less worried now, this forums been really helpful - and with some practice ill be stress free for the next journeys.
Don’t mention it. We’re pretty helpful here. Clapham Junction footbridge also has some seats on it so if you need to sit, check your surroundings, you’ll have plenty of time to do so. In other parts of the country, some trains are 1 or 2 a day, you’re talking about a high frequency bit of track. I commute daily on the Barnes line and there was 8 trains per hour from Clapham Junction to Barnes (covid may have changed that but only to like, 6 per hour). This may not apply in your situation, but I’d suggest the footbridge personally. Bigger, wider, less busy (or at least less cramped) and you may feel more comfortable seeing the trains below through the window and knowing you haven’t got to panic and sprint.
 

VioletBee

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Yes there is a discount, but it's less than 34% before 0930 on a one-way ticket because of the £12 minimum; on a return the discounted fare is paying £17+ anyway so that isn't affected
Thankyou for your help, so I will purchase the railcard as it makes the on peak times more affordable (aswell as off peak obviously)!

Don’t mention it. We’re pretty helpful here. Clapham Junction footbridge also has some seats on it so if you need to sit, check your surroundings, you’ll have plenty of time to do so. In other parts of the country, some trains are 1 or 2 a day, you’re talking about a high frequency bit of track. I commute daily on the Barnes line and there was 8 trains per hour from Clapham Junction to Barnes (covid may have changed that but only to like, 6 per hour). This may not apply in your situation, but I’d suggest the footbridge personally. Bigger, wider, less busy (or at least less cramped) and you may feel more comfortable seeing the trains below through the window and knowing you haven’t got to panic and sprint.
Yep the footbridge seems like a better option for me, especially as you mentioned the big signs as I tend to miss things when I panic - but im sure ill be able to find my way around with this, thanks so much for the information!
 
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WesternBiker

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Don’t stress is my main advice. Clapham Junction is big and busy and is known for it. But actually, it’s quite operationally simple. I find it well sign posted and being so busy means there are plenty of staff. You seem nervous (apologies if you aren’t!). If it helps, your route starts at Gatwick and passes through East Croydon, two well staffed stations where there are plenty of trains. You’ll smash it.
Agreed. If you need to use the lift (e.g. with luggage) then use the bridge (which is wide and covered). There are electronic signs not only showing all departures but on the footbridge by the stairs to each platform. And, if in doubt, ask - there are usually plenty of staff on the platforms.
 

VioletBee

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Agreed. If you need to use the lift (e.g. with luggage) then use the bridge (which is wide and covered). There are electronic signs not only showing all departures but on the footbridge by the stairs to each platform. And, if in doubt, ask - there are usually plenty of staff on the platforms.
Im glad to hear that! Thank you for the reassurance, I feel more at ease now that I have a jist of what it'll be like.

Yes, that's a one-way fare.

From your other thread, I suspect you might be able to use a 16-25 Railcard. To get the discount you can't use Contactless but you can use Oyster, getting the discount added at a Tube station (which will mean a detour).

You won't actually save with contactless unless you do a one-way Off-peak journey, because the 16-25 Railcard has a minimum £12 spend before 0930.
Sorry to bother you about this again! I think I will use contactless if I am getting a ride home when returning on car but im confused with one thing. Since contactless doesnt give a ticket, what happens if staff on the train ask to see my ticket?
 
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jfollows

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Sorry to bother you about this again! I think I will use contactless if I am getting a ride home when returning on car but im confused with one thing. Since contactless doesnt give a ticket, what happens if staff on the train ask to see my ticket?
They read the card you used to touch in with at the start of your journey, to verify that you did indeed do so.
 

VioletBee

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They read the card you used to touch in with at the start of your journey, to verify that you did indeed do so.
Ahh okay thankyou, that makes sense!

Also after some reasearch, I see that I can link an oyster card with a railcard discount so does this mean that I can get a discount on the contacless single fares too? I know that contactless pay wont give any discounts but since oyster cards can have linked discounts railcards, is this possible? The single fare calculator isnt working for me for some reason, so im not sure how much pay as you go will cost for my journey
 
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norbitonflyer

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Ahh okay thankyou, that makes sense!

Also after some reasearch, I see that I can link an oyster card with a railcard discount so does this mean that I can get a discount on the contacless single fares too? I know that contactless pay wont give any discounts but since oyster cards can have linked discounts railcards, is this possible? The single fare calculator isnt working for me for some reason, so im not sure how much pay as you go will cost for my journey
Unless things have changed recently, you can't link a railcard to a contactless bank account, but you can to an Oyster. I understand this to be because Oyster is a stored value system - swiping your card reduces the value stored on your card by the amount of your fare - whereas contactless instructs TfL to send a bill to your bank, as it would if you use contactless in a shop (it actually tots up all the ins and outs you use the card for, and sends a bill to your bank for the total, so capping can be applied). TfL do not have a record of your bank card until you use it to pay a fare - and so it can't charge a discounted rate. The bank has no way of knowing you have a railcard so has no way of applying a discount to the amount TfL have billed you.

I understand what happens when an inspector checks your card is that his device sends a message to the TfL system that you were in the system at the time, which it then reconciles with the rest of your record for that day, and adjusts the charging accordingly (for example if you were checked by an inspector having previously failed to touch in, or had already touched out again). However, unlike Oyster, the inspector cannot tell there and then whether you had touched in - the System will only catch up with you when it adds up your movements at the end of the day.

I'm sure I'll be corrected if I have misunderstood
 

jfollows

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Also after some reasearch, I see that I can link an oyster card with a railcard discount so does this mean that I can get a discount on the contacless single fares too?
Yes, on Oyster only, as you say. £5.75 off-peak, see https://tfl.gov.uk/fares/find-fares/tube-and-rail-fares/single-fare-finder, then if you read down the page there's "More information" (https://tfl.gov.uk/fares/free-and-discounted-travel/national-railcard-discount?intcmp=54723) on how to register to get the discount on Oyster.

EDIT No discount on travel at peak times, 06:30-09:30 and 16:00-19:00, though.
 

VioletBee

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Unless things have changed recently, you can't link a railcard to a contactless bank account, but you can to an Oyster. I understand this to be because Oyster is a stored value system - swiping your card reduces the value stored on your card by the amount of your fare - whereas contactless instructs TfL to send a bill to your bank, as it would if you use contactless in a shop (it actually tots up all the ins and outs you use the card for, and sends a bill to your bank for the total, so capping can be applied). TfL do not have a record of your bank card until you use it to pay a fare - and so it can't charge a discounted rate. The bank has no way of knowing you have a railcard so has no way of applying a discount to the amount TfL have billed you.

I understand what happens when an inspector checks your card is that his device sends a message to the TfL system that you were in the system at the time, which it then reconciles with the rest of your record for that day, and adjusts the charging accordingly (for example if you were checked by an inspector having previously failed to touch in, or had already touched out again). However, unlike Oyster, the inspector cannot tell there and then whether you had touched in - the System will only catch up with you when it adds up your movements at the end of the day.

I'm sure I'll be corrected if I have misunderstood
Rightt, as long as they can check like that then its fine - I was just confused about how they know. Thankyou for the information!

Yes, on Oyster only, as you say. £5.75 off-peak, see https://tfl.gov.uk/fares/find-fares/tube-and-rail-fares/single-fare-finder, then if you read down the page there's "More information" (https://tfl.gov.uk/fares/free-and-discounted-travel/national-railcard-discount?intcmp=54723) on how to register to get the discount on Oyster.

EDIT No discount on travel at peak times, 06:30-09:30 and 16:00-19:00, though.
Ah okay that's good, depending on my schedule I could use oyster pay as you go for cheaper travel then, thankyou for letting me know!
 

NSE

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Thankyou for your help, so I will purchase the railcard as it makes the on peak times more affordable (aswell as off peak obviously)!


Yep the footbridge seems like a better option for me, especially as you mentioned the big signs as I tend to miss things when I panic - but im sure ill be able to find my way around with this, thanks so much for the information!
Don’t mention it. Always happy to help. At the top of each set of stairs there is also a board with the vast majority of usual destinations printed. Barnes will be printed at the top of the stairs to platforms 5&6. They are also the same island so if your train changed platform, you’d only have to turn around and use the other side. You wouldn’t have to go up and over etc.
 

VioletBee

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Don’t mention it. Always happy to help. At the top of each set of stairs there is also a board with the vast majority of usual destinations printed. Barnes will be printed at the top of the stairs to platforms 5&6. They are also the same island so if your train changed platform, you’d only have to turn around and use the other side. You wouldn’t have to go up and over etc.
Ohh right, that sounds alot easier! I will keep that in mind, thankyou.

I got back from my train journey, and it went smoothly thanks to everyone's help! Its true Clapham junction is not confusing at all, the signs were very easy to see. The only thing that confused me was the return ticket, as no one checked it. Since Barnes doesn't have a ticket barrier and you dont need to scan a ticket to leave Gatwick - I thought it was weird and sort of annoying that no one checked - but any how, I will definitely be using the trains more often now that I know how to use them!
 
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