Accommodations: First or Second class?
The First Class Advantage:
- Seats in First class have more space, extra leg room and are generally wider than Second class seats
- First class carriages are nearly all equipped with power sockets, WiFi (usually free of charge) and often offer complimentary newspapers.
- The carriages are generally quieter than Second class
- There are less seats per carriage in First class than in Second class; therefore, there is generally more luggage space
- On a long-distance InterCity journey, dependent on the train operating company, tea and coffee will be served during travel and may offer complimentary at-seat snacks as well. Some trains may even offer free meals!
- On a few selected departures to the Southwest of England, the Great Western Railway operate a Pullman Service Dining Car. This must be booked in advance and you can do so at the First class lounge in London Paddington station.
British Train Ticket Fares
British train tickets are offered as one-way (single) and round-trip (return) fares in three categories; Anytime, Off Peak and Advance in First and Standard class. All British train tickets are issued as Print at Station e-tickets.
Three fare levels offered
- Advance: Buy in advance (max. 12 weeks). Subject to availability. Ticket is only valid on the date/train specified
- Anytime: Walk-up fare available on day of travel. Anytime and Anytime Day fares are valid for any train, no peak hour or other restrictions.
- Off-Peak: Walk-up’ fare for travel outside peak hours. When there are two Off-Peak fares, cheaper/more restrictive fares will be known as Super Off-Peak.
If price includes Underground segment, the ticket retrieved locally can be swiped through ticket reader to board the Tube.
Children discounted fare for children ages 5-15. Up to two children under 5 can travel free with each fare paying passenger.
The fares are available in First and Second class. Seat assignments will be included automatically for trains with mandatory or optional reservation requirements. Seat assignments will appear on proforma invoice once booking is queued to print. First class Anytime, Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak tickets provide access to the following lounges, based on train operator and subject to availability:
- Virgin Trains East Coast: London King’s Cross, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh Waverley, Berwick-upon-Tweed, Darlington, Wakefield Westgate and Doncaster stations.
- East Midlands: London’s St Pancras International on the upper concourse, near the statue of Sir John Betjeman; Nottingham Platform 4/5, Derby Platform 4, Leicester Platform 3.
- First Great Western: London Paddington and Cardiff Central.
- ScotRail: Mon – Fri: Edinburgh Waverley – Platforms 11 and 14. and on Sunday 1600-midnight, Glasgow Queen Street – First class customers can wait in comfort in The Millennium Hotel, situated right next to the station and overlooking George Square. Just present your ticket to staff, Aberdeen Station, Inverness – First class customers can enjoy a complimentary tea, coffee or mineral water at The Royal Highland Hotel, right next to the station. Just present your ticket to staff.
All About e-tickets
- e-ticket confirmation will be sent via email. It is imperative to advise customers of this and verify the email address in the booking.
- Passengers will need to print their ticket locally at a self-service ticketing kiosk. Some stations may not have Print at Station facilities (ticketing kiosk or ticket window). In this case, passengers must retrieve their tickets from the closest Print at Station location.
- Passengers should arrive at the station at least 20 minutes prior to the train departure to ensure there is plenty of time to print the ticket(s) and find the train.
- Tickets can be retrieved a day or more in advance at any station.
- To print tickets, proceed to the Ticket Window or Ticket Vending Machine (TVM /FastTicket) at the station. When prompted, enter the FastTicket/PNR/e-ticket reference number.
- The screen of the FastTicket machine contains all the instructions needed to print the ticket(s). When prompted, enter any credit card – it does not have to be the credit card used to purchase the tickets and it does not charge the card.