Ticket types & restrictions
- To make it easier for you to choose the right ticket, we’ve made things simple and explained our popular ticket types and the benefits they offer below.
- Advance - great value tickets for specific trains. Mix and match fares for outward and return journeys
- Anytime - our most flexible ticket with no restrictions on when you can travel
- Off-Peak - cheap travel with some added flexibility. Make your outbound journey on your selected date and return on any Off-Peak service within one calendar month from the start date shown on the ticket
- Super Off-Peak - save more by travelling outside the busiest times
Learn more about different ticket types here.
- Advance - great value tickets for specific trains. Mix and match fares for outward and return journeys
- With Ranger and Rover tickets, you get unlimited off-peak travel for a day, or even longer. They are great for both long day trips, and for exploring the towns and cities on our network.
Find out more about Rangers and Rovers and book your ticket here.
- Anytime ticket - Breaking your journey is allowed on all Anytime tickets.
Off-Peak ticket - In most cases a break of journey is permitted on Off-Peak tickets (unless otherwise indicated by that ticket's restrictions). All travel must be completed by 04:29 in the morning after the day the journey started.
Super Off-Peak ticket - In most cases a break of journey is permitted on Super Off-Peak tickets (unless otherwise indicated by that ticket's restrictions). All travel must be completed by 04:29 in the morning after the day the journey started.
Advance ticket - A break of journey isn't possible with Advance tickets. You can't start, break and resume, or end your journey at any intermediate station except to change to/from connecting trains as shown on your ticket or other valid travel itinerary.
- Travelcards are great for getting around London. They can typically be used on almost all of London's public transport services. Some Travelcards are valid on our services, as long as they are within the zones specified on your ticket.
You can use Peak Day Travelcards at any time from Monday to Friday on the day your ticket is valid. It's cheaper to buy an Off-Peak Day Travelcard on weekends and public holidays. Off-Peak Day Travelcards can be used for travel throughout London on journeys after 09:30 on weekdays. They can also be used at any time on weekends and public holidays. Just make sure you travel on the day your ticket is valid. Both tickets are valid until 04:29 the next day.
Buying a ticket
- There are different ways to get cheap train tickets and save money on rail travel across Britain.
- book early – buy tickets in advance
- travel in a group
- buy a season ticket
- buy a Railcard
- enjoy weekend upgrades
- buy Ranger and Rovers tickets
- buy Family tickets
- We are accepting cash onboard our trains and at our stations, but we encourage you to buy your tickets online or on the GWR app before you travel. Or, go paperless with a mobile e-ticket or our touch smartcard.
If you travel between Reading and London Paddington, we’d prefer you to use Contactless pay as you go.
- If you’re travelling in a group of 3 to 9 people, you may be able to get a discount on off-peak fares with GroupSave.
Families of up to 2 adults and 4 children, travelling to or from London Paddington, may be able to buy our fixed-price Family Ticket. Numbers are limited, and they can sell out fast.
Find out more about Family Tickets.
We have a dedicated Group Travel team to help groups of 10 or more.
Find out more about Group travel.
- You won't be able to change the ticket collection method once the booking has been confirmed.
- When you book your ticket will be asked for your billing address (this is the address to which your payment card is registered). You must complete this field. You can then choose to have your tickets delivered to another address. Please complete the delivery address field making sure you include the correct postcode.
You won't be able to change the delivery address or collection method once the booking has been confirmed.
- We'll usually offer the option to add an Underground ticket with your booking if part of your journey involves using the tube or if you type in a London Zone as your destination station when searching for tickets. All the tickets you need should be included in one payment when you book on our website. You can also usually buy Day Travelcards through our website as an add-on if your arrival station is in London.
- PlusBus is a discounted bus pass that you can buy with your train ticket. It gives you unlimited bus travel, on participating operators’ services, around the whole urban area of the town or city for as little as £2 a day.
If you’ve got a Railcard, you’ll get a third off your PlusBus ticket, and children aged between 5 and 15 get half price off.
You can buy PlusBus from ticket offices or GWR.com.
Find out more about PlusBus here.
- A booking reference is 8 alpha-numerical characters. It will be included in the confirmation email you receive when you have made a booking.
To view your reference, log into My Account then click "Check my order status". This shows all the bookings you have made. The booking reference number is at the top of this page.
- To collect your tickets, all you usually need is the card you used to make your booking and the 8-digit booking reference. If you paid for your tickets in full using PayPal or an e-voucher, you can use any debit or credit card for collection.
Head over to the ticket machines when you get to the station, choose the 'Collect' option and follow the instructions on the screen. It's worth noting that you don't actually have to collect your tickets from the station you selected when you booked your ticket. You can collect your ticket from any National Rail station with ticket machines across the UK.
- It is really important to keep hold of your tickets after you've collected or received them. If you lose your tickets, you'll need to buy new tickets to travel. This is in line with the National Rail Conditions of Travel.
If you find your lost tickets, we might be able to refund them depending on the type of ticket you had. Visit the place or website you bought your original tickets from and they'll process your refund. A refund must be requested within 28 days of the ticket's validity.
Advance tickets are non-refundable.
- Pay half fare for children aged 5 – 15, and take up to two children under five free of charge. Children under five travelling free can use a seat, provided it's not needed by a fare-paying customer.
- It is sometimes necessary for children to prove their age when travelling on a child ticket. If the child looks 16 or over, it may be appropriate for proof of age to be carried when travelling.
- If you book on our website, your confirmation email acts as your receipt. If your tickets are being delivered by post then a receipt will be enclosed with them. If collecting from a self service ticket machine the receipt will be printed with the tickets.
If you're buying your ticket from a station ticket vending machine, you'll either be given a receipt automatically or given the option to print one. Our ticket offices will usually give you a receipt too, unless you ask us not to.
There are no VAT charges on train tickets.
- Train tickets are zero-rated for VAT but our VAT number is 876 3057 01.
- Tickets are dispatched within 24 hours of booking and delivered within 4 postal days. If you have not received your tickets within 7 postal days then please call Web Support on 03457 000 125 ensuring that you have your booking reference handy.
Amending a ticket
You can change the date and time of your ticket at any time before your scheduled departure. An admin fee of £10 will be applied. If the price of your new ticket is more expensive, you'll need to pay the difference.
Off-Peak, Super Off-Peak, and Anytime tickets
You can change the date and time of your ticket up to the date of departure without having to pay an admin fee.
- Sometimes our trains are quieter than we’d like during the week. So, we’ve got together with the team at Seatfrog to give you the chance to bid on a First Class seat - seamlessly from your mobile phone.
Find out more about Seatfrog and upgrading to First Class.
With Weekend First, you can upgrade your seats on weekends and public holidays from as little as £10.
Find out more about weekend upgrades.
- If your train is cancelled, you will be allowed to use your ticket on the next available service.
To travel on another day, you will usually need to buy a new ticket and apply for a refund on the original - this applies to all Advance, Anytime, Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak singles. This also applies to Off-Peak and Super Off-Peak returns if you are on the outward leg of your journey.
However, if you hold an Off-Peak or Super Off-Peak return and are on the return leg, you can use the same ticket as long as it is within 1 calendar month of the specified outbound date.
With an Anytime return, you can make your outbound journey on any train up to 5 days after the specified start date, and return on any train within 1 calendar month of the specified outbound date.
- If you travel on the same route three or more days a week, you could save hundreds of pounds and avoid the daily ticket office queues by buying a season ticket. Plus, you can travel between your origin and destination stations, including intermediate stations, as much as you want – even on weekends.
View the different types of season tickets available.
- Most Railcard discounts are not available on season tickets as these tickets are already heavily discounted. There are exceptions, such as the Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card and the 16–17 Saver.
- It’s important that you keep your ticket safe. If you lose a paper season ticket, we can give you a duplicate, but we will charge you an admin fee. If for any reason your ticket stops working, where possible we will replace it with a Touch Smartcard.
If you have a Touch Smartcard, please let us know if you lose it, we will immediately cancel the card and a new one can be arranged.
Find out more about Touch Smartcards here.
- In most cases, we can refund an unused portion of your season ticket. We calculate the refund as the difference between the cost of the season ticket you originally bought, and the cost of travel made up to the date the ticket is surrendered.
Our season tickets offer great value for regular travellers because you pay a lot less per day for your journey than on daily tickets. You also save more per day on an annual season ticket than you do on a monthly one, for example. An annual season ticket is calculated on the rate for 40 weeks. So, you might find that there’s only a very small amount, or nothing, to refund when you return it to us if there is little validity remaining.
Find out more information about season ticket refunds and make a claim here.
- If you arrive at your destination 15 or more minutes late because your GWR train was delayed or cancelled, you can claim Delay Repay compensation.
Find out more about Delay Repay and how to make a claim here.
Flexi Season ticket
- A Flexi Season ticket provides customers with 8 days of travel in 28 days - any time between two named stations.
The 8 days of travel doesn’t need to be specified in advance, giving part-time commuters more flexibility to travel when they want and need.
Flexi Season tickets allow commuters to make eight return journeys over a 28-day window, while saving at least 20% on the cost of an equivalent monthly season ticket, when travelling two days a week at peak times.
Flexi Season tickets are available as a Smartcard ticket which you can buy at GWR.com, our app or from our ticket offices. If you don’t have a GWR Touch Smartcard then register for a smartcard here. Please allow plenty of time to get one before you travel - they can take up to 5 days to arrive by post.
Alternatively, you can visit any of our ticket offices to get your smartcard on the spot.
Find out more about Flexi Season tickets.
- A Flexi Season ticket is a new, more flexible, kind of season ticket that allows 8 days of travel in 28 days with unlimited travel, from the time you activate your day pass until 04:29 the next morning, between two stations each day that it is used. It’s great for commuters travelling during peak times 2-3 days a week, Monday to Friday, as it offers an alternative to a traditional season ticket.
- Season tickets are available in First Class and Child options, while Flexi comes in standard class only as it is aimed at commuters travelling during peak-times, Monday to Friday, 2-3 days a week.
To see the full terms and conditions for Flexi seasons, please click here.
- You can buy a Flexi Season ticket on GWR.com or our mobile app, or you can buy one at any of our ticket offices. Flexi Season tickets are currently only available as a Smartcard ticket.
Smartcard - If you have a GWR Touch Smartcard, you can buy your Flexi Season ticket at GWR.com or GWR app and add it to your Smartcard when you get to the station by ‘touching in’ on the yellow reader on the gate or at a platform validator. You can also buy Flexi season ticket at any of our ticket offices.
If you don’t have a Smartcard then please visit our ticket offices to get it on the spot or order it free of charge at GWR.com/touch; allow plenty of time to get one before you travel - they can take up to 5 days to arrive by post.
If you’ve already got a GWR Touch Smartcard, all you need to do is head to our season tickets purchase page and enter the relevant details for your journey in order to buy.
- No, but Flexi Season tickets can be used for travel during peak and off-peak periods. Flexi tickets are aimed at commuters making the same journey 2 –3 times a week during peak times.
- No. Flexi Season tickets are only available in standard class.
- No. Flexi Season tickets are only available for adults.
- If you lose or forget your smartcard or Flexi Season ticket you will need to purchase a new ticket to make your journey. Ensure you’ve contacted us to block a lost smartcard to prevent misuse.
- With a Flexi Season ticket you can make unlimited journeys between your named start and end stations. You can also break, start or end your journey at any station on your permitted route. Your day pass will be valid from the time you activate it until 04:29 the next morning.
- At the start of your journey, just place your Touch smartcard on a smartcard reader. This will load any new purchases and activate one of your day passes and allow you to travel. Our onboard team can check your ticket by scanning your smartcard.
It is important that you touch in at the start of your journey and out at the end where facilities exist, to validate your journey. You can also activate your Flexi Season day pass using the National Rail Smartcard app (more info available soon).
Flexi Season tickets can be used on any services that run on your route, even if they aren’t GWR trains, unless otherwise specified. If your Flexi Season ticket is valid for a specific operator only, this will be stated at time of purchase.
Make sure you keep your payment cards and smartcards separate when touching in or out to avoid touching more than one card on a reader at the same time.
- In most cases you can use any operator between your start and end stations. If your Flexi Season ticket is valid for a specific operator only, this will be stated at time of purchase.
If your Flexi Season ticket is only valid on one operator but you wish to travel with a different one then you will need to buy a new ticket for your journey.
If your Flexi Season ticket is restricted to a particular route, you will need to buy a new ticket for your journey. To change a route for one single or return journey (except where a route specifies a particular train operator), Flexi Season ticket holders can do so by paying the difference between the appropriate day tickets for each route, for each journey being made.
- No. Journeys within the London Zonal Fare Area are not available on a Flexi Season ticket. You can use Pay as you go on Oyster or Contactless for onward connections on Transport for London services.
Pricing and refunds
- A Flexi Season ticket is great for helping you save money if you’re commuting during peak-times at least two days a week. Flexi Season tickets allow commuters to make eight return journeys over a 28-day window, while saving at least 20% on the cost of an equivalent monthly season ticket, when travelling two days a week at peak times.
- A refund is calculated from the difference between the price you paid for the Flexi Season and the cost of an Anytime return ticket for each day you have used, minus a £10 administration fee. If you only have one or two journeys left on your Flexi Season you may find that no refund is available.
- You must apply for a refund before the end of the 28-validity period. The refund will be calculated based on the price of an Anytime return ticket for the journey your Flexi Season is valid for, the number of travel days used within the ticket's validity minus the administration fee. If you’ve bought your ticket from the ticket office, please visit the ticket office to get a refund. If you’ve bought your ticket online or through our app, please complete our online refund form.
- You can’t exchange a Flexi Season so, if you’ve already been using your Flexi ticket, our recommendation would be to use up your eight journeys and buy a season Ticket once you’ve used all your journeys. Alternatively, you can request a refund less the admin fee and buy a season ticket.
- 16-17 Saver and Job Centre Plus Travel Discount Card holders are able to get 50% off their Flexi Season ticket, but no other Railcard or group discounts apply.
- If you were sick and couldn’t use your Flexi Season ticket you must apply for a refund before the end of the 28-Day validity period. There must be a minimum of one unused journey left to refund and a £10 admin fee will apply. If you can provide evidence that you were not able to apply for a refund because of illness (such as a doctor’s note), we will still consider your refund application after the expiry date.
- You’ll need to download the GWR mobile app (available from your app store). Then you can buy tickets from either the app or GWR.com to save straight to your mobile device.
- Most single and return ticket types, including Advance Single fares are available as mobile tickets. Season tickets aren’t available as mobile tickets yet - but we’ll keep you updated.
- You can buy from either the GWR app or GWR.com. If a mobile ticket is available it will be shown as a delivery option. If you’re buying a ticket on the go, make sure you’ve got a good mobile signal or are connected to Wi-Fi.
- Yes, normal Railcard discounts will apply.
- Yes, if available, you can reserve your seat.
- Your mobile ticket will be delivered to your device as soon as you’ve paid for it.
- Yes, you will still receive an email confirmation.
- Have your mobile device ready, with the barcode showing from the app. To enter or leave the station, place the screen against the scanner on the right-hand side of the gate. If a station doesn’t have a scanner, any member of staff will be able to check your ticket and let you through.
- If you can’t show your mobile ticket, you will need to buy another ticket. So make sure you bring your mobile device and keep it charged. We provide power sockets on most of our trains.
- Your mobile ticket is stored in the ‘My Tickets’ section of the GWR app. So you’ll still be able to view it, even if there isn’t a mobile signal available.
- You can save a copy or print the PDF version of the e-Ticket attached to your booking confirmation email as a back-up.
- We have got two options for you to get a Smartcard.
Online: You’ll need to set up an account on GWR.com. When you’ve done this, you can apply for a Smartcard by going to the Manage My Smartcards section under My account. You should get your touch smartcard within 5 working days.
Apply for a smartcard.
Ticket office: You can get a Smartcard at most GWR ticket offices. You will need to provide your details to be printed on the card.
- A touch smartcard is an easy way to store your train tickets and it is reusable. It is a great alternative to traditional paper tickets. When you set up a GWR.com account, you’ll be able to see what you’ve bought, re-order tickets, and keep your personal details up to date.
Our touch smartcard is available for season tickets, London Travelcards, and single and return tickets (on selected routes).
Find out how to get your free smartcard and how to use it.
- You’ll be able to use your touch smartcard for travel across the whole of Great Britain, and on the London Underground using London TravelCards.
- It’s easy to buy tickets with your touch smartcard online, from a GWR ticket machine, or from a GWR ticket office.
1. Login to your touch smartcard account
2. Follow the simple instructions
3. Tap at the ticket gate or platform validator at your chosen station to collect (allow 2 hours after buying).
From a GWR Ticket Office:
Talk to us and we’ll help you find the ticket you need. You can buy season, Single and Return and London Travelcard tickets.
From a GWR ticket machine:
1. Tap your card on the machine’s card reader
2. Follow the simple instructions to buy your ticket
3. Tap your card on the reader again to load your ticket
- Yes, normal Railcard discounts will apply for singles and return tickets. Your Railcard works in the same way as it does with any other type of ticket.
- If you buy a smart ticket from GWR.com your ticket should be ready for collection within two hours. If you buy your ticket from a GWR ticket office or ticket machine then it is instantly uploaded to the card at the time of purchase.
- Yes, you will still receive an email confirmation if you buy a smart ticket on GWR.com.
- Once your ticket has been added to your touch smartcard you can travel as normal. To ‘tap in’, present your touch smartcard at the ticket gate or platform validator (where available). Just do the same at the end of your journey to ‘tap out’.
If you have more than one contactless card in your wallet, make sure you keep them apart when you tap in and out to avoid card clash.
- If you are travelling on GWR or any other train operator’s service, you do not need to carry a separate photocard.
- Your GWR touch smartcard can’t be used by anyone else.
- This is the same as leaving any kind of ticket at home – you’ll need to buy a new ticket for your journey.
If you have a season ticket on your GWR touch smartcard you may be entitled to a refund of the cost of this new ticket. Keep the ticket and ask at the ticket office within 28 days – bring your GWR smartcard with you.
An administration fee of £10 may be applied for the first two occasions when a refund is requested. No further refund will be provided in any 12-month period, starting with the date of the first occasion the Season Ticket could not be produced and regardless of the number of Season Tickets purchased in that time.
- Call our Web Support team on 03457 000 125. We’ll cancel your GWR touch smartcard to stop anyone else from using it and send you a new one.
We can arrange for a replacement ticket to be added to your smartcard if the ticket was purchased at a GWR station or on our website. We may charge a fee to replace your tickets.
- Speak to a member of staff at any GWR station first. If your GWR touch smartcard needs to be replaced, visit any GWR station ticket office, or call Web Support on 03457 000 125.