Travelling by train – UK and worldwide – for non-rail staff

Travelling by Train – UK and Worldwide 

Train information: For UK train times and fares visit  This site will also give you live train running information and station information. Tel: 08457 48 49 50 for train information. Similar information is also available on the websites of most Train Operating Companies, listed below: 

List of Train Operating Companies (TOCs) in UK 

Arriva Trains Wales       
Cross Country                
Chiltern Railways           
East Midlands Trains      
Thameslink Great Northern
Great Western               
Gatwick Express           
Grand Central               
Greater Anglia               
Hull Trains                     
Heathrow Connect        
Heathrow Express        
Island line                     
London Midland            
London Overground       
Northern Rail                
Southwestern Railway  
Southern Railway          
Trans Pennine Express 
Virgin Trains                  

Virgin trains East Coast 

A number of websites will sell tickets but please note that many of these charge booking fees and credit card charges may also apply. It is normally cheaper to buy tickets from the website of the Train Operating Company you will travel on.

All Train Operating Companies sell tickets for all journeys throughout the UK on all other Train Operating Companies.

Some of the sites below will also show how you can reduce the cost of rail travel by splitting journeys or by other means.

The complete National Railway timetable can be downloaded free from

Travelling in London

Oyster/contactless: For travel in London either obtain an Oyster card or use your contactless debit card on trains and buses. The cost is the same. Most ticket offices at London underground have now closed although there are always working ticket machines and all stations are staffed. You cannot buy a bus ticket from the driver. Visit for full details.

Travelling in Europe and Worldwide

Everything you need to know about travelling by rail in all countries of the world is available on

The Thomas Cook European Rail Timetable is now printed by another organisation and can be obtained from Stanfords, Long Acre, London or direct from

Rail Holiday Operators 

If you are looking for a company to organise a complete package by rail for you here are a few suggestions: 

Great Rail Journeys – escorted group tours worldwide including the UK and Ireland. (Discount available for REPTA members – see advert on this site)

Rail Discoveries  – escorted group holidays worldwide for those on a lower budget. Operated by Great Rail Journeys  (see advert on this site)

Planet Rail. Tailor-made holidays to Europe. (see advert on this site)

Rail Touring Co. – UK and worldwide rail excursions and tours by steam train aimed at Railway Enthusiasts.

Inside Track – UK and worldwide rail excursions and tours for railway enthusiasts – railway

Golden Eagle Luxury Trains Ltd. – Specialising in a luxury private trains on the Trans Siberian, China and Mongolia.

This is just a small selection of operators.