National Rail Penalty Fares
What are penalty fees?
The penalty fare system is designed to protect the majority of customers from a minority of people traveling without a valid ticket for the journey they are making.
Depending on the network, rail operators can reduce the number of people traveling without a ticket in various ways. On long-distance trains, it is often possible for staff on board to check the passenger's ticket. Trains stop more frequently on rural routes, but since they tend to have fewer cars and carry fewer passengers, onboard ticket checks can also be effective.
This page contains information on penalty fares issued by National Rail operators up to and including January 22, 2023.
Information on penalty fees as of January 23, 2023Click here
However, on urban and suburban routes where stations stop frequently and trains are often full, it is not always possible to control each passenger's ticket between each station.
In the past, tickets were checked by staff at ticket gates, but it is very expensive to provide staff at each ticket gate and it is also inconvenient for passengers. An alternative is the implementation of a "penalty fee" system.
How do penalty fees work?
Where penalty fares apply, rail passengers must purchase their tickets before boarding where facilities such as an open ticket office or self-service ticket machines allow this. If you board a train without a ticket at a station where facilities are available, you may receive a Penalty Fare Notice (PFN) and may be required to pay a penalty fee from a designated ticket inspector as a "penalty collector".
When can penalties be imposed?
Fine notices can be issued if you,
- traveling without a valid ticket;
- You cannot present a valid train ticket for a discounted ticket;
- Travel in first-class accommodation on a Standard Class ticket;
- 16 years or older traveling on a child fare ticket;
- Travel beyond the destination of your ticket.
How much is a penalty fee?
the punishment is20,00 €*or DOUBLEreasonable single feefrom the station where you started your journey to the next station where the train stops or the station where the train departs**, whichever is greater.
If you wish to travel beyond the nearest station, you must also pay the applicable fare from that station to your final destination.
*excluding London Overground and Elizabeth Line penalties. See below for more information.
**This may be the case when a train has already stopped at a station and you have time to get off the train when required by a ticket collector. This doesn't necessarily have to be the end of your journey.
Where are penalty fees incurred?
Penalty fares apply if you are traveling from a "penalty station" or are in a "CTA".
Penalty rate stations and ticketing areas must be clearly marked as such by yellow “WARNING” signs (example above) at the boarding points. Your local railway company can also advise you.
Stations that incur fines can also be found on our station page atwww.nationalrail.co.uk/estaciones. You can find a train station by searching by name and checking the "Buy tickets and withdraw" box.
National Rail Penalty Fares
Penalty fares apply to the following domestic railway companies:
Transportation to London
The penalty fares issued by TfL-managed operators London Underground, London Overground, London Buses, London Trams, DLR and Elizabeth Line are subject to different rules. For more information, seehttps://tfl.gov.uk/fares/find-fares/penalty-fares-and-how-to-pay-them
How do I avoid a penalty fee?
1. To avoid being issued a penalty fee, you must purchase a valid ticket to your destination for the travel class you intend to usebefore you start your journey. 2. If you can't do it, you need to buy onetravel permit, Öpromise to payof the machines provided in most stations. This authorization must be exchanged for a valid ticket at the first opportunity. 3. If you are unable to purchase a Travel Permit or Promise to Pay, you must obtain a ticket from the conductor or attendant or as soon as possible.
2. If you can't do it, you need to buy onetravel permit, Öpromise to payof the machines provided in most stations. This authorization must be exchanged for a valid ticket at the first opportunity.
3. If you are unable to purchase a Travel Permit or Promise to Pay, you must obtain a ticket from the conductor or attendant or as soon as possible.
National Rail penalty fares and the law
To read the Railways (Penalty Rate) Regulations 2018 seewww.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2018/366/pdfs/uksi_20180366_en.pdf(opens on gov.uk).
The Rail Delivery Group has also written a guide to the regulations. These guidelines are not required by law, but are and can be a useful interpretation of the regulationsdownloaded here