Man buying ticket from self-service machine

How to buy your train ticket

Find out where to buy your ticket, from eTickets to collecting at the station

There are lots of different ways to buy your train tickets, depending on what suits you. You can buy train tickets online, from the ticket office, a self-service machine or through our app. In some circumstances you can also buy tickets on board the train.

Where can I buy a train ticket?

Buying a train ticket in advance

The best way to buy a train ticket in advance is through our app. For most routes across the UK, you can download the ticket as an eTicket, which is a collection-free and contact-free way to travel – just scan your ticket at the gate. For Advance tickets, you’ll also be able to benefit from Automated Delay Repay when you use an eTicket. If you want to use an alternative type of ticket, you can add your ticket to a smartcard or choose to use a paper ticket.

You can also buy your ticket through our website. You can choose to add your ticket to a smartcard, collect it from the station or have it posted to your home.

Buy your ticket on the SWR app

Collecting your tickets from the self-service machine

Collecting your ticket at the station is easy:

  • When buying your ticket, select the option to collect your ticket from the station.
  • Please avoid using virtual payment cards as these cannot be used to collect the ticket from the self-service machine.
  • When you arrive at the station, use the self-service machine to collect your tickets – you’ll need the collection number and the physical payment card that you paid with. Virtual payment cards cannot be used to collect your ticket.
  • If you paid using PayPal, Google Pay or Apple Pay you still need a payment card in your name and the booking reference to retrieve your ticket(s) from the self-service ticket machine, however, you can use any credit or debit card.
  • If you do not have a credit or debit card, you will be unable to collect your booked ticket(s) and you will be required to purchase a new set of tickets in order to travel.

Buying your ticket at the station:

You can buy your ticket at the station by visiting a self-service machine or the ticket office.

Self-service machines

Our self-service ticket machines are easy to use. They sell tickets for travel on the day, or the next day if you use them after 15:00. You can buy:

You can also renew monthly season tickets, or buy your car parking if you’ve driven to the station, from the self-service machines. Self-service machines can only sell tickets that start at that station. Some machines have a Virtual Ticket Office feature to connect you to our specialist team who can provide help if you need it.

Ticket offices

Our ticket offices can sell all types of tickets:

  • Advance tickets
  • Anytime, Off Peak and Super Off Peak tickets
  • Weekly, Monthly, Monthly plus and Annual season tickets
  • Travelcards
  • Ranger tickets – tickets valid over a certain area
  • Rover tickets – tickets valid over an area for a number of days
  • Car parking tickets

They can also sell tickets that don’t start at the station where they’re based.

How do I pay for a train ticket?

There are many ways to pay for a train ticket - from traditional cash to paying through Google and Apple Pay through the app, making it easier and more secure than ever to buy your train ticket.

Apple Pay

You can now use Apple Pay when you're buying online or on our app


You can use a credit or debit card to pay online, through our app, at self-service ticket machines and at the ticket office


You can use Paypal to buy your tickets online


You can pay in cash at ticket offices and at select self-service machines

You can also pay with a business cheque when you’re buying an annual season ticket at the ticket office – just make them payable to First MTR South Western Trains.