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Industrial action 1-9 December
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All rail passengers are required to purchase a train ticket before boarding any UK train if you have boarded at a station with ticket facilities. Failure to do so may result in a Penalty Fare of at least £100.

What is a Penalty Fare?

If you board a Northern train without a ticket or ‘Promise to Pay’ notice at a station where ticket purchasing facilities are available, you may be liable to pay a Penalty Fare.

From 23 January 2023, the minimum Penalty Fare is changing from £20 to £100, plus the price of the full single fare applicable for your intended journey. However, if the fine is paid within 21 days, this is reduced to £50 plus the price of the single fare applicable.

As well as failure to show a valid ticket when travelling, a Penalty Fare may be issued if you:

  • Are unable to produce a valid railcard for a discount ticket.
  • Are 16 or over and travelling on a child rate ticket.
  • Travel beyond the destination stated on your ticket.

What is a ‘Promise to Pay’ notice?

A ‘Promise to Pay’ notice must be obtained from our ticket vending machines if you do not have the ability to pay by credit or debit card, and want to pay by cash. The notice allows you to board the train with the intention of exchanging it with the train conductor, or at the next available booking office.

Why should you purchase your train ticket in advance?

We always recommend purchasing your train ticket in advance. Not only will you avoid a fine, you can save up to 65% when you plan ahead and buy your ticket in advance. Advance tickets are made available to purchase up to eight weeks ahead of travel – but you can get a last-minute bargain online up to 5 minutes before departure! Railcards also apply to advance tickets, so you can save even more.

Can I change my advance train ticket?

We know plans change, so you can swap the departure time of your Advance train ticket on the same day from as little as £2.50. You can also make changes up to 10 minutes before your original train departs.

When is the latest I can buy a train ticket for my journey?

You can buy a last-minute train ticket for your journey right up until the train’s original departure time on the Northern app. This won’t be as cheap as an Advance ticket, but we recommend using this option if you’re in a rush.

Download the app in the App StoreDownload the app on Google Play

Northern App

Streamline your journey and get tickets straight to your phone. Making your journey contact-free.

Northern App

Streamline your journey and get tickets straight to your phone. Making your journey contact-free.