National Rail Contact Number

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03457 48 49 50

National Rail is the passenger rail service across Great Britain. National Rail should not be confused with Network Rail, who manage the infrastructure of the railways.

Why would I need to call the National Rail Contact Number?

  • To book tickets for a rail journey in advance.
  • To find out live arrivals/departures/delays.
  • To report a lost item.
  • To purchase a season ticket.
  • To find out about any future engineering works.
  • To find out if there are any changes to rail schedules
  • To get information on the train facilities.
  • To apply for a railcard.
  • To request special assistance whilst travelling.
  • To make a complaint about the service you have experienced.

National Rail Enquiries Opening Hours

Department Opening hours
National Rail Enquiries 24 hours, 7 days a week

National Rail Enquiries Head Office

Department Head Office

National Rail Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a refund for an unused ticket?

With the exception of some Advance/special offer tickets, a ticket may be refunded before travel. In the case of a return, it can take 28 days to process. If you are seeking a refund due to a delay or cancellation, you should be entitled to compensation on top of the refund. If your ticket is unused, you should seek your refund from the outlet where you purchased your ticket. If you booked online, this should be on your confirmation email.

How can I find out if engineering work is going to affect my rail journey?

By using the National Rail website, you can see which areas are affected by engineering work, with a detailed breakdown of where and when. Your local train station will be able to give you more information on rail replacement services.

Do I have to use the National Rail website to buy tickets or can I buy at the station?

You can opt to purchase your tickets at the station if you wish, but often buying online in advance will result in them being cheaper. Buying online also allows you the opportunity to shop around for the best price for the time you want to travel.

Is there ever any discounts on group bookings?

Yes. There are sometimes offers available for groups. This can include the Two Together Railcard for two people over the age of 16 travelling together which costs £30 for the year and lets you save 1/3 on your journeys. There are similar deals such as the Duo tickets for a shorter term trip.

I’m a mature student so not eligible for the 16-25 railcard, but it would be really helpful to me. What can I do?

Mature students who are over the age of 26 can still get the 16-25 railcard if they provide National Rail with adequate evidence that they are full-time students. Open University, Distance Learning, and part-time courses do not qualify. You can apply for the railcard online or at the station with a completed form, ID, and passport style photo.

National Rail Journey Planner

The National Rail journey planner is an online tool which allows you to plan your journey from your start point to end point. You can see ticket prices, the amount of changes and overall journey time, as well as live service information. You can use the tool to save your favourite journeys for the future and set up alerts to inform you if a train that you travel on regularly is running behind. The journey planner also has a tool called fare finder, which if you are flexible with your journey times, allows you to see which time has the cheapest fare available.

National Rail Timetable

If you are looking to see the timetable for a specific journey, the timetable is published by Network Rail twice a year. A printed version is available to order from Middleton Press for a fee, but an online version is available for free on the Network Rail website. You can also create a pocket timetable to include all of the journeys that you regularly travel on, which you can then get as a PDF to store on your computer/phone. Each train company will also produce an individual timetable for the routes they serve, which will be available at the stations.

About National Rail

National Rail was introduced in 1999. It is not a brand, but rather a network consisting of several train companies. A digital (pdf) version of the timetable for the entire network is available free of charge on the National Rail website. The website itself includes a journey planner, cheap fare finder, and live travel information.

Popular questions about National Rail

What are National Rail off peak times?

Off-peak fares are often cheaper because you will be travelling on a train which is less busy than others. Restrictions apply with regards to the time and route you can travel- you will be informed of the restrictions when you purchase the ticket.

How to pay National Rail penalty fare?

If you are issued a penalty fare, you can choose to pay it on the spot. Alternatively, you can give your details and you will be pursued by National Rail by post or phone, who will then give you alternative ways to pay.

Are National Rail tickets refundable?

It depends on the provider of the train for your journey. The majority of rail companies will allow you to change your ticket for an admin cost. You may also get a refund if your journey was delayed or cancelled over a certain amount of time.

When do National Rail fares increase?

National Rail tries to avoid increasing fares, but may occasionally have to do so using the measure of inflation. This usually occurs in January or July, but this is not entirely confirmed by National Rail.

When is the next National Rail strike?

No train companies have announced a strike for the near future. National Rail always aims to keep customers informed of strikes by the website and phone number on this page.

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