Returning to the office by train

Last updated: Friday, 4 March 2022

As a more hybrid way of working becomes the norm, we’re delighted to welcome more commuters back onto our trains. It’s hard to believe that it’s been two years since we swapped our morning commute for a walk to the kitchen table.

A return to the office brings a lot of excitement - being able to catch up with colleagues in person, socialising after work, visiting your favourite lunch spot again or even just having that bit of time to yourself at the beginning and end of the day. But it can also bring about some nervousness at travelling and being around people again. To help alleviate any concerns or for a bit of reassurance, here’s our guide to returning to the commute.

Train window displaying ticket examiner selling ticket to customer

Why should I choose the train?

  • We’re still carrying out enhanced cleaning

Throughout the whole pandemic we worked hard to keep people moving as safely as possible. This meant ensuring we undertook the strictest of cleaning, even redeploying members of staff to help with it. We’re still undertaking enhanced cleaning, particularly of key touchpoints like doors and handles to ensure our trains are as clean as can be.

  • It’s a greener way to travel

It can be easy to hop in the car, feeling like it’s a better, safer choice. But the environmental impact of everyone doing this is huge. Travelling by train is one of the most sustainable modes of transport there is. You can check out how many emissions you save when you swap the car for the train with our carbon calculator here.

  • Time to yourself

With life ramping up again taking the train gives you time to relax at the beginning and end of each day. You don’t need to concentrate on anything else and can use the time to do something for you – read a book, catch up with friends, listen to a podcast or simply gaze out of the window.

Woman working in a cafe

Which train ticket should I choose?

In the past it was perhaps an easy choice to plump for a Season ticket as you were commuting five days a week. But now, if you only need to travel one or two days a week it’s not going to give you the best value. If you still need to travel at peak times then a Flexipass is the way to go. This nifty ticket gives you ten single journeys that can be used at any time over two months. Flexipass is only available on Smartcard, so if you don’t have one already, you can get your free Smartcard here.

Click here to find out more about Flexipass

When’s the quietest time to travel?

Since the pandemic, travelling patterns have changed dramatically. Gone are the traditional commuting times with trains getting busier mid-morning as people travel for leisure. Of course, it’s different across all routes but that’s the general pattern we’re seeing.

Commuter on the train with ticket examiner

Where should I sit if I want to try and keep some distance from others?

Typically, the very front or back of the train is the quietest part as most people wait to board around the middle of the platform. There aren’t any social distancing rules in place anymore but we fully understand that some people, particularly if they haven’t travelled in a while, will be nervous about being close to others.

What rules are still in place for travelling by train?

All passengers are still required to wear a mask in stations, on platforms and on board our trains to help keep customers and staff as safe as possible. You'll spot hand sanitiser points throughout our main stations, and of course, we’re asking people not to travel if they don’t feel well.

Find out the best value ticket for you
Check out our commuter page