Travelling by railway
In order to travel on train services you must have a valid ticket for your entire journey. Tickets can be purchased as a single journey, return journey as well as season tickets (weekly, monthly, and annually).
You can purchase a ticket from ticket machines or ticket offices at your station. Smaller stations may not have ticket purchasing options (reduced ticket office hours, no machines), in these instances you will need to purchase a ticket from a conductor on the train. They will walk through the carriages on the train so keep an eye out for one.
You can also purchase tickets in advance of your travel date via the operator’s website, National Rail or various other ticket sites. There are discount schemes available for various travellers including disabled persons and Senior railcards. The full range of cards can be found on the railcard website.
Some stations in Hertfordshire fall within the Oyster Card zone (Hertford East and North, Ware, St Margarets, Rye House, Broxbourne, Cheshunt, Elstree & Borehamwood, Radlett, Watford Junction & High Street, Bushey Carpenders Park) and allow customers to use Oyster Cards or contactless debit/credit cards to pay for their journeys. In these instances, travellers will need to ‘touch in’ at the contactless and ‘touch out’ on the contactless card readers.
Most railway stations are reachable by car, bus or taxi. You can use our travel planner page to find out your journey options from your location to the railway station. If you are travelling by bus you may be able to purchase a PlusBus ticket for your journey to reduce your total journey cost.
Before travelling you can view the accessibility feature of any railway station via network rails accessibility map. This shows details such as wheelchair accessibility, toilets and staff assistance at a chosen station. This may help when choosing where to travel from and to. Some operators will provide additional transport (usually a taxi at no extra cost) if a station you require is not accessible.
If you require assistance when travelling by train from any railway station you can request this before you travel. National rail have a free number 0800 0223720 or text 60083 which you can call to arrange assistance. Most train operators also have their own contact numbers as well, we recommend checking the relevant operator website for further details.
Most operators ask for 24 hours’ notice before you are planning to travel to ensure the assistance you require is prepared.
This can include meeting you at the station entrance, helping you around the station, providing ramps to get on and off the trains, carrying bags etc. You can also book assistance directly with the train operator of your service.
It is also recommended that passengers requiring assistance arrive at least 20 minutes before their departure time to ensure assistance is not rushed.
Railway stations have both audio announcements and visual real time information to assist passengers with visual and hearing impairment. Many train services also have on board audio and visual information screens.
Assistance dogs are also welcome on all train services.
Trains passing through stations can generate strong air currents as they travel by.
Whilst waiting for your train at the correct platform, please always keep well back from the platform edge and stand behind the yellow line.
If you are a wheelchair user or traveling with a wheelchair user ensure you hold tight onto wheelchairs and apply brakes fully.
If you are traveling with children, ensure those in pushchairs are strapped in and apply brakes fully. Please hold tight the hand of your older children.
Additionally, hold tight onto portable items such as luggage and other belongings.
National Rail encourages the combined use of train and bike.
PlusBike is a free tool with all the information passengers need to plan their journey when there are planning to complete a part of their journey by bike. You can travel with your own bike or hire one at some point in your journey.
You can also find out information on facilities at the station including bike parking spaces, bike hire schemes and information about taking your bike with you on a train.
There are some restrictions regarding taking non-folded cycles on board of the trains. The rules might different between the operators and services. Please make sure you are aware of the bike on train carriage rules before travelling, you can find this information within PlusBike.
Folding bikes are carried free of charge and without restriction on all services, subject only to the additional requirements for specific services set out below:
- Stansted Express - folding bikes should be transported in a protective carrying case.
- London Overground - carried free of charge, up to a limit of one per vestibule area at peak times.
Bikes are carried at the owner’s own risk.
Passengers can take up to three items of luggage free of charge. Full details of the free allowances are available at stations and directing via contacting the operators.
Excess luggage and certain bulkier items (such as skis) may be carried, subject to available space, at an extra charge (if they don’t exceed one metre in any dimension). Please check ahead of travel with Customer Services of individual Train Companies for further details.
Passenger can take with them on board of a train a maximum of two small animals per person for free including dogs, cats and other small animals (and subject to conditions below) provided they do not endanger or inconvenience customers or staff.
Animals outside of the free allowance may be subject to payment of a fee (no more than 50%) of the Adult fare. Each train company set their own charges that apply in those circumstances.
Animals must be carried in an enclosed basket, cage or pet carrier (that includes dogs without leads, cats, birds and small animals).
Animals and containers must be placed on the seats, otherwise the passenger will be charged.
Extra conditions apply on Sleeper services, please check with the operators before you travel.
You are not allowed to take on the train articles exceeding one metre in any dimension which includes: canoes, hang-gliders, surfboards, large furniture and any large musical instrument that cannot be carried without assistance; motorcycles, mopeds, motor scooters and motorised cycles; livestock; any animal or article which, in the opinion of the train company staff, is causing or is likely to cause inconvenience to passengers due to its size or behaviour.
Staff are authorised to ask the passenger to remove those items/animals from the train.