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How to Get Free Train Tickets


Are you tired of the high costs associated with train travel? Well, you’re in luck because there are several ways you can get free train tickets. In this article, we will explore various strategies and programs that can help you save money and even score free tickets for your journeys across the United Kingdom.

1. Loyalty Programs

One of the easiest ways to earn free train tickets is by joining loyalty programs offered by train companies. Many train operators in the UK have their own loyalty schemes that reward frequent travelers with points or miles for each journey they make. Accumulated points can then be redeemed for free or discounted tickets.

For example, Virgin Trains offers the Virgin Atlantic Flying Club where you can earn air miles through train travel. These air miles can later be used to book free train tickets or other rewards. Similarly, the East Midlands Trains loyalty program allows you to earn points that can be converted into free travel vouchers. Make sure to check if your preferred train company has a loyalty program and sign up to start earning those valuable points.

2. Railcards

Railcards are an excellent way to save money on train travel, and in some cases, they can even provide you with free tickets. The most well-known railcard in the UK is the 16-25 Railcard, which offers a 1/3 discount on train fares for individuals aged 16 to 25 or full-time students of any age.

However, did you know that many train companies offer free railcards as part of their promotions? For instance, if you open a new Santander student bank account, you may be eligible for a free four-year 16-25 Railcard. This could potentially save you hundreds of pounds on train tickets throughout your university years.

3. Competitions and Giveaways

Another exciting way to secure free train tickets is by participating in competitions and giveaways. Train companies and various organizations often run contests where you have the chance to win free travel vouchers or tickets to specific destinations.

Keep an eye out for promotions on social media platforms, as many train companies frequently host giveaways on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Additionally, local events, such as travel expos or community fairs, may have raffles or competitions where free train tickets are up for grabs. Participating in these opportunities could reward you with complimentary journeys to your desired locations.

4. Voluntary Delay Repay

Delay repay schemes are typically used to compensate passengers for train delays or cancellations. However, some train companies have introduced voluntary delay repay programs that enable you to donate your compensation towards future travel vouchers or tickets.

For instance, Great Western Railway offers a “Delay Repay 15/Voluntary Compensation Scheme,” where instead of receiving cash compensation for a delay, you can choose to receive vouchers for future travel. By opting for this scheme, you can accumulate enough vouchers to cover the cost of your next trip, effectively obtaining free train tickets.

5. Work-Related Discounts

If your work requires regular train travel, it’s worth checking if your employer offers any travel benefits. Many companies have agreements with train operators that provide discounted or even free tickets to their employees.

Moreover, some businesses offer salary sacrifice schemes where you can purchase annual season tickets using a pre-tax salary deduction. This method allows you to save money on both ticket costs and income tax. Speak to your HR department to explore the possibilities of obtaining free or discounted train tickets through your workplace.


In conclusion, getting free train tickets in the UK is possible with a bit of effort and knowledge about available opportunities. Joining loyalty programs, utilizing railcards, participating in competitions, taking advantage of voluntary delay repay schemes, and exploring work-related discounts are all effective strategies to secure free or heavily discounted train travel.

Remember to regularly check for promotions, follow train companies on social media, and keep an eye out for local events where you might win free tickets. By employing these tactics, you can enjoy the convenience of train travel without breaking the bank. Happy journeying!

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