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Off-Peak Train Tickets

Enjoy cheaper travel outside of busy commuter times.

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If you don't need to travel at the busiest times of day, buying an Off-Peak ticket can be a great way to save money on your train tickets. To travel with an Off-Peak ticket, you will need to make sure that your planned journey is within off-peak hours. Off-peak train times vary by operator, route, service, and origin/destination stations. Travel restrictions usually apply to both outward and return journeys, though time restrictions may differ between outward and return routes. 

CrossCountry Off-Peak Travel Times

Though peak times differ between train operators, CrossCountry follows a more simplified approach to off-peak ticket restrictions on our services.

In general, if travelling on a CrossCountry train before 09:30⁺ or between 15:30 and 18:15⁺, customers will likely need to purchase an Anytime ticket. Journeys between 09:30 and 15:30, or after 18:15 are eligible for Off-Peak ticket usage. 

However, there are some variations to Off-Peak ticketing which may have an impact on which ticket you can use on your journey. If you are unsure, please check specific ticket restrictions before purchasing an Off-Peak ticket.

Benefits of Off-Peak Train Tickets

Travelling with an Off-Peak ticket can help you to save money on your travel, so long as your journey falls outside of peak hours! As the trains are typically quieter at off-peak times, you can also enjoy a wider choice of seating options on board. Off-peak travel enables you to use your Railcard more freely, so you can save a little extra.

Types of Off-Peak Train Tickets

Customers may come across a handful of different types of Off-Peak train tickets, including:

  • Off-Peak: Generally includes morning travel restrictions.
  • Off-Peak Day: Generally includes both morning and evening travel restrictions.
  • Super Off-Peak: Generally includes tighter travel restrictions, especially in the morning.

Checking Off-Peak Travel Restrictions

If you are unsure whether your journey is eligible for Off-Peak fares, you can find specific Off-Peak train times for a selected journey online with CrossCountry or on the CrossCountry app. Simply input your desired journey and Off-Peak options will pop up if available.

If you have purchased a physical ticket, you can use the National Rail ticket validator to check your travel restrictions. Simply search your 2-digit code, found printed on your ticket.

Travel one-way on any train on the date shown on your ticket

Ticket properties Off-Peak Day Single
Outward journey Any off-peak train on date shown on ticket
Journey breaks Break of journey is allowed unless otherwise indicated by a restriction shown against the ticket’s validity
Trains and routes Any off-peak train, subject to route of ticket
Limited availability No
Booking deadline Day of travel
Seat reservations Advisable
Railcard discounts Yes
Amending tickets If you wish to change the date of travel, or the origin or destination of your ticket, it may be necessary to buy a new ticket and apply for a refund on your existing ticket.
Refund availability Yes, less the administration fee
Where to buy Any outlet
Ticket properties Off-Peak Return Off-Peak Day Return Off-Peak First Return
Outward journey Any off-peak train on date shown on ticket Any off-peak train on date shown on ticket Any off-peak train on date shown on ticket
Journey breaks Break of journey is allowed unless otherwise indicated by a restriction shown against the ticket’s validity Break of journey is allowed unless otherwise indicated by a restriction shown against the ticket’s validity Break of journey is allowed unless otherwise indicated by a restriction shown against the ticket’s validity
Trains and routes Any off-peak train, subject to route of ticket Any off-peak train, subject to route of ticket Any off-peak train, subject to route of ticket
Limited availability No No No
Booking deadline Day of travel Day of travel Day of travel
Seat reservations Advisable Advisable Advisable
Railcard discounts Yes Yes Yes, except Young Persons and Family & Friends
Amending tickets If you wish to change the date of travel, or the origin or destination of your ticket, it may be necessary to buy a new ticket and apply for a refund on your existing ticket. If you wish to change the date of travel, or the origin or destination of your ticket, it may be necessary to buy a new ticket and apply for a refund on your existing ticket. If you wish to change the date of travel, or the origin or destination of your ticket, it may be necessary to buy a new ticket and apply for a refund on your existing ticket.
Refund availability Yes, less the administration fee Yes, less the administration fee Yes, less the administration fee
Where to buy Any outlet Any outlet Any outlet

 

* Morning and evening peak travel periods are defined differently by the different Train Operating Companies. Please see individual restrictions for full details.
⁺ Restrictions do not generally apply at weekends or on bank holidays unless specifically stated.

 

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