How to Travel by Train in London

Currently, the UK’s National Rail is actually a group of 20 private operators that run the networks across the country. The National Rail service is efficient, clean and economical. It is monitored by the British government and his held to very high standards. That is why timings, bookings and other matters are handled from a central location which makes dealing with the different operators easy. Also travelers with valid tickets will not have problems when switching train which are run by different companies. London is an important stop for most of these routes across the United Kingdom and there connections to the rest of Europe. The following is a step by step guide for traveling by train in London and should get you started on your journey with out a hassle.


  • 1

    Location, date and time

    Before you begin your journey on train from London you need to decide where you want to depart from and arrive. You also need to finalize a date and time. Of course the timing might need to be adjusted because the trains run on a set schedule. If you have set a budget for your trip make sure to note that down so that you can make an informed decision.

  • 2

    Train timing and ticket pricing

    Once you have set your requirements, you will need to check on train timing and the price of tickets. The quickest and most recommended way to do this is to go to the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC) run website here. There you will see all trains and their fares across the UK. You can search to find the exact one you require.

    Another way to get timings and prices if from phone. You can call the National Rail Enquiries line at +44 845 7484 9 50. The hot-line is open 24 hours.

  • 3

    Purchasing tickets

    There are two methods of buying ticket: Online and by Phone. You will need your credit or debit card to make the transaction.

    You cannot purchase tickets from the National Rail website directly. It will however recommend other websites of operators that you can purchase the tickets from. They usually list the cheapest one on top. Online ticket sales services include the following:

    Visit Rail Easy website
    Visit The trainline website
    Visit East Coast website

    All ticket pricing is the same across the board. However, only operators of that specific line do not charge a service fee for their own routes.

    You can also buy a ticket by phone. Each train operator has there own telesales lines and they all offer their tickets at the same price. You can call Virgin Trains at +44 8457 222 333.

  • 4

    Receiving Ticket

    You can pick up your ticket from any train station on short notice. However, if you have time, your tickets can be delivered by mail. There will be an extra charge for delivery by mail and pickups are free.

  • 5


    Advance bookings, specials and other discounts can be found on each operators website. It is best to search around before making a choice because you can find cheaper tickets if you wait for deals. However, advance booking is only available 12 weeks in advance but British trains tend not to sell out so you dont have to worry.

  • 6

    Checking train arrivals

    Before you depart for your journey you can easily check to see if your train is on time. Go here two hours before train arrival to see if it is on schedule.

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