Planning your journey

As more and more people choose to travel by train, the need for the railway industry to provide fast, accurate and impartial information has never been so important. We are leading the way in maximising communications technology to provide access to information, both in advance of travel and during journeys.

With customer demand for up to the minute information it’s vital that we continue to improve the delivery of our service however, whenever and by whatever media required.

Online Journey Planner

Our desktop Journey Planner allows users to find the best journey options between any two National Rail locations. Using complex rules to find suitable journeys, the latest release of the Journey Planner allows users to:

  • Plan a journey to or from a National Rail Station to, and via, any other National Rail station or stations in a group
  • Plan a journey to or from  London Zone 1 or DLR station
  • Quickly see if a journey is being disrupted (in real time) and choose to see suitable alternative journeys
  • Register to receive SMS text message alerts about delays to trains – either as a ‘one off’ request or for the same trains over a longer period of time
  • View availability of ‘quota controlled’ fares, so the customer knows exactly what tickets are available at the time of the enquiry
  • Find the cheapest fare (direct from A to B) over a range of dates, across different operators.
  • Find comprehensive ticket terms & conditions, as well as ticket route information - the customer knows when and where the ticket can be used
  • Discover special offers that may be associated with the requested journey
  • See the range of add-on fares – such as London Travelcards – that may be available
  • Produce their own personalised ‘Pocket Timetable’ which they can print out and carry with them           
  • Find the prices of Season Tickets for appropriate journeys for seven days and any period between one month and a year
  • See Oyster and most contactless 'Pay as you go' fares as well as National Rail fares


Alerting is a simple web based solution to easily inform passengers of delays or cancellations of specific trains. Our alerting service allows customers to choose the trains they wish to be updated about. Once they’ve selected a few simple options, the customer can sit back and relax in the knowledge that should anything happen to the running of their train, they’ll receive a chargeable SMS text message, email or Twitter direct message to let them know.

TrainTracker™ - 0871 200 49 50

TrainTracker™ uses the speech recognition and text-to-speech technologies to provide an automated enquiry service. It allows callers to:

  • Plan any journey within the next 12 weeks
  • Plan multi-leg journeys
  • Hear ‘real time’ service disruption information, with information taken directly from Darwin, presented using the latest ‘text-to-speech’ technology
  • Re plan a journey should one or more of the trains be delayed or cancelled
  • Hear details of available tickets and fare options for all journeys on the National Rail network
  • Be transferred to a National Rail Enquiries Advisor if they need help or be transferred to the appropriate telesales department to buy a ticket, if they choose.

Our service is continuously updated to improve performance, including improved recognition of regional accents and dialects. If TrainTracker™ is unable to recognise the caller, callers can use their telephone keypad to input their request or be transferred to our contact centre to handle their enquiry.

TrainTracker™ Text 84950

Train Tracker Text offers the same robust journey planning system as the web-based Journey Planner and TrainTracker™ services, but through a chargeable text message to a mobile telephone. Users can request live departures or arrivals or journey plan up to 12 weeks in advance.

Live Departure Boards

Our Live Departure Boards service is a web-based representation of the departure and arrival line up for every station on the National Rail network. Using information from Darwin, it provides scheduled, expected and actual train times.

Additionally, if bus or boat services are included in the timetable system for the station, the scheduled departures are also shown within the Live Departure Boards display.

Windows 10 app

Launched in late 2012 you can look up live departure & station information from your tablet or laptop, or desktop PC.

Windows 10 app is available in Windows store by searching ‘National Rail Enquiries’ or click here

Mobile site

Customer now have the option of having access to the National Rail website via a mobile device. The website allows mobile users to have ‘on the move’ access to disruption and station information, along with all the usual favourites of journey planning and live departure boards.

iOS and Android apps

Our app includes all you’d expect, from the ability to plan your journey, purchase tickets, ability to check ‘live’ departure and arrival information from across all GB railways. Alongside this it has the ‘Get me Home’ functionality which allows you to find the nearest stations to your location enabling you to plan quickly whilst on the go.

Our apps our available in an advert supported version although you can, for a one off charge, upgrade to an advert free version. If you haven’t downloaded our app yet simply visit the App Store or the Google Play store where you can download for free.

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Last updated:   02 June 2020