Our top tips for travelling with kids

Last updated: Friday, 8 September 2023

Taking the kids on the train can be a great adventure but it can also be a little bit daunting too.

There can be a lot to contend with when travelling with kids - particularly younger ones - like getting a buggy on and off the train, navigating stations and even knowing what to pay.

If you ever have a question or need to put your mind at ease, please always get in touch. You can reach us on twitter , using WhatsApp on 07555 012345, by speaking to a member of staff or using a station Help Point.

Traveling with kids

So, to help you on your way to a stress-free and fun journey with the kids, here are a few of our top tips.

Arrive in plenty of time to board the train

Everything always seems to take that little bit longer when there are kids in tow. If you’re catching a train, always try and leave a bit of extra time so you’re not having to rush and put yourself in any danger. If you’ve got a pram, everything takes even longer - particularly when you need to use the lift.

Once you’re on the platform, always apply a brake to the pram, or if the kids are on foot, keep them close by. Please always stand behind the yellow line until the train has stopped. Trains passing through a station, even just to get to the other end of the platform can cause enough force to make little (and big) feet unstable.

When it’s time to get on the train, take your time and hold on to any little hands. There can be big gaps between the train and the platform, and sometimes a bit of a step up too.

Once on board, find a seat and enjoy your journey. There’s always lots for little eyes to spot outside when you’re riding the train.

Please don’t ever try to get on or off a train when the doors closing alarm is sounding – that’s the really fast beeping noise.

Getting off the train with a buggy or pram

When you’re approaching your destination give yourself plenty of time to get your belongings together and to strap your little one into their buggy. The easiest and safest way to get a buggy off a train is for you to step off the train and onto the platform first. Once you’re on the platform, pull the buggy by the handle towards you and lower it onto the platform, reversing away from the train until you’re a safe distance to turn the buggy around, so you’re all facing forward again.

Leaving the station safely

When you’re travelling with a buggy or you’ve got luggage with you, it’s always safest to take the lift if you need to. If you can’t see the lift or you’re not sure if there is one in the station, please ask a member of staff or use a station Help Point.

When there are ticket barriers, always look for the wide aisle ticket gate. This makes getting through with a pram, buggy or luggage really easy. You just pop your ticket in as usual or scan your smartcard or mTicket barcode, and the barriers will open and away you go.

Knowing what to pay

All children aged four and under travel for free and don’t need a ticket. For kids aged 5 to 15, when they travel with a fare paying adult on an Off-Peak service, they can travel for just £1 return with a Kids for a Quid ticket. Each adult can take up to four children with them for £1 each.

You can buy a Kids for a Quid ticket at the ticket office just before you travel. Or, if there’s no ticket office at your station, you can buy it on board. You cannot currently buy a Kids for a Quid ticket online.

If you’re heading on a fun day out, you can show your Kids for a Quid train ticket at some attractions to get one free child entry. Have a look at the attractions taking part in the offer here.

Remember, some of these attractions require you to book entry in advance. Please check with the attractions before travelling.

What to do if you get separated from your child

In the unlikely event that you become separated from your child when travelling by train, here’s what to do:

If you’re on the train

If your child is left on the platform, and you’re on the train but the doors have locked, pull the red Emergency Stop device by the train door. This will stop the train and the train doors can be reopened.

If the train has started to move, try to contact a member of the on train staff.

If you’re at a station

If your child is on board a train and you’re on the platform, try and alert the driver. If you’re unable to do this then speak to a member of staff or go to the station Help Point. Staff will do all they can to help and will make arrangements to reconnect you with your child as quickly as possible.

Planning your journey

Before you travel it’s always worth planning your journey using Journey Planner here on our website or by using the ScotRail app.

When you’re on the go, you can access live train information through the app too so you know how long you’ve got to catch your train. With the new app you can now buy mTickets so you don’t need to faff with paper tickets when you’re trying to juggle a pram or kids, as your train tickets can be stored on your phone.

If you’re planning to travel with kids and are feeling a bit nervous about it, please do speak to a member of the team. We’re always happy to help and a lot of us are parents too and have ridden the train with a pram many a time. It’s always ok to ask for help or a bit of reassurance.

Want to take the kids on an adventure by train now?
Find out more about Kids for a Quid