Our rules of travel

Guidelines for our revenue protection policy.

We want to be clear and transparent with every ScotRail customer. We also want to be fair and consistent. Our rules of travel help us achieve this.

This policy helps us reduce the number of people who travel without a ticket, and make our services fair for everyone. The vast majority of our customers do buy the right ticket, which helps us invest in improving services for all.

Buy before you board

We make buying a ticket before you board as easy as possible - at stations, online, over the phone and at self-service ticket machines. At stations where there's no facility to buy a ticket, we make sure that customers can buy the best value fares on the train instead.

Travelling with an invalid ticket

If you travel with an invalid ticket you may have to pay an excess fare or, in certain circumstances, purchase a new ticket to complete your journey. If you travel with an Advance ticket on a service that's different to the one booked, you'll need to buy a full new ticket.

An invalid ticket might mean you've travelled beyond your destination or travelled with an off-peak ticket during peak times.

Please note, between 2 October 2023 and 31 March 2024, Off-Peak tickets will be valid for travel all day, any day. Click here to find out more about this trial.

If things go wrong

We know things don't always go as planned - tickets get lost or stolen, or people miscalculate fares. If you have a problem, please speak to us first, rather than boarding a train and hoping for the best.

We can allow your ticket to be paid for by another person at any National Rail station. In some circumstances we'll give you with an authority to travel, allowing you to complete your journey.

Minors and vulnerable adults

Our staff are trained to assist vulnerable people. We'll help people who are stranded or don't have the means to get home. If you find yourself in this situation please speak to a member of staff.

We also have Help Point telephones at each of our stations where you can speak to someone and get advice.

Ticket errors

If you travel without a valid ticket, we may issue a Travel Irregularity Report.

This means we'll record your full name and address, and date of birth, as well as the time, location and description of the incident. We'll then post you a bill, which will include an admin fee.

National Rail Conditions of Travel

When you purchase a ticket to travel on the National Rail network you enter into agreement with the train companies whose trains you have the right to use. The National Rail Conditions of Travel (NRCoT) set out your rights and any restrictions to those rights.

Copies of the NRCoT are available from ScotRail booking offices or from www.nationalrail.co.uk/nrcot