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Finding out about the validity of your ticket

With so many different tickets it can be a problem working out what you can do with them.  What time trains can you catch?  Which way can you go?  Can you get off and get on again?

Here is how to find out:

For advance tickets the ticket is only valid for the trains that were specified  on your booking confirmation.  You will normally get reservation slips for each train.  If you miss a connection on an advance ticket then get an official to write on the ticket that the train was delayed if you can.  You are entitled to travel on the next available train (don't forget to claim compensation if you are delayed by more than half an hour.)

If you have booked two separate advance tickets (for example one from Lewes to Crewe and then another from Crewe to Glasgow) and you miss the train on your second ticket because the first one was late then you will lose your money and will have to buy a new ticket.

For all other tickets start with whatever web site you usually use to book tickets or view train times.

Input your journey.  A number of tickets will come up.  Press the button for the fare you are interested in.  You will now be shown the trains that this ticket is vailid on.

If you want to know whether or not you can travel on a particular route click on "options" just after the place where you put in the start and finish stations.  You will see a drop down box which gives you the option to either avoid or go via a particular station.  Select "via" and go input the station you want to go via.

If you are presented with a fare then you can travel via this station (note that the fare may be the same, cheaper or more expensive).

For example, suppose you want to go  from Lewes to Three Bridges via Brighton.  Input your start and finish stations and then click "options"  and "via" Brighton.  This gets you a fare.  So you can use this ticket to travel via Brighton.  Your ticket will not say "via Brighton" so you can use it to travel direct if you want to.

If you want you can also buy a ticket from Brighton to Three Bridges via Lewes.  This is actually cheaper than buying a ticket starting at Lewes.  Since you are allowed to break your journey at any point on any ticket except advance tickets you can buy a ticket from Brighton to Three Bridges and start from Lewes.  You will probably have to show your ticket to a member of staff as it will probably not go through the machines.

You can buy tickets from other stations at the ticket machine at Lewes.  Look for the "tickets from other stations" option

You can find out more about the restrictions on your ticket, but you will have to do it on the national rail web site

Visit website http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
- Enter a journey, for example  Lewes to Victoria on a weekday at 16:52.
- Beside the journey, click the Other Tickets link.
- Make sure the ticket you want to buy is selected.
- Just below the drop-down list of Train Operating Companies to buy from is a line saying1x (the ticket you want to buy). The ticket name is a link, click on it.
- Scroll down to Restrictions and you'll see a link which says view the specific "Validity Code" applicable to the journey plan that you have selected

This link takes you to the restriction code and the restrictions