Eligibility & Conditions Of Use

General Conditions:

Where in any of the sections we use the term “including” followed by a list of examples, the list is not exhaustive and there may be other circumstances not listed which that section also applies to.


Eligibility: BritRail is a trademarked name of the Association of Train Operating Companies Limited (ATOC) whose members operate rail services on Britain’s National Rail network (we also refer to these as Participating Operators).

All BritRail Passes can be purchased by non-UK residents. Anyone who has lived in the United Kingdom for the last six months or more is not eligible to purchase a BritRail Pass.

BritRail Passes will either be issued as a paper ticket or as an electronic QR code, either by email or on your mobile device (this QR code we refer to as an MPass).

Please note that by travelling on any train within Great Britain, your travel will also be subject to the National Rail Conditions of Travel available at nationalrail.co.uk.

ATOC themselves do not retail the Passes but we try to ensure that our members accept your travel on their services subject to these conditions. Any problems you have with the purchase of your Pass should be referred back to the retailer from which you purchased it.


Purchase Restrictions: Pass holders must be non-UK residents. BritRail and its representatives may ask at any time for proof of foreign residency and reserve the right to confiscate a paper Pass or cancel an MPass in such circumstances. The BritRail ticket is non-transferable and must only be used by the person or persons specified on the ticket. As such, where the Pass has been issued as an MPass, you must not pass any print or screenshot of the MPass to any other person.


First Class and Standard Class: Many local trains in England, Scotland and Wales have Standard Class accommodation only. First Class Pass holders should note that some trains provide standard accommodation only, this has been factored in for the pricing of the First Class Pass.


Seat Reservations: Reservations for certain journeys may be compulsory and you should check before you travel with the relevant train operator. For other journeys, whilst reservations may not be compulsory for busy trains they are advisable (e.g. mainlines in peak hours.) It is not necessary to validate a Pass in order to reserve a seat / sleeping berth in advance. Should you wish or need to reserve a seat, please contact the relevant operating company or retailer. Normal fees are payable.


Traveller Categories: The BritRail traveller category should be the correct category at the time of validation, and not the time of purchase. Traveller categories are as follows: Adult (26-59), Youth (16-25), Child (5-15). and Senior. (60+). Children under the age of 5 and not occupying a seat may travel for free without a Pass. If your Pass validity covers a period where you transfer from one category to another, you should purchase:

  • Child into Youth – a Youth Pass
  • Youth into Adult – an Adult Pass
  • Adult into Senior – an Adult Pass.


Prices: BritRail reserves the right to change prices without notice whether such changes are related or not to alterations in the rates of exchange.


Exclusions: The BritRail Pass is only valid on National Rail services and therefore is not valid on Eurostar services; services in Northern Ireland; special excursions; the Tyne and Wear Metro (Newcastle-upon-Tyne area); Glasgow Underground trains, Manchester Metrolink or other tram networks; road or light rail links between airports and railway stations; Docklands Light Railway; privately owned railways, steam services, heritage, tourist or other leisure railways; London Underground trains and buses; ships, hovercraft, nor any other services not mentioned.


Pass Validation: Passes are issued open dated and must be validated within eleven months from the date of issue and prior to the first use. To validate a Paper BritRail Pass, present it along with your passport to the Railway official at the station of departure. At this time, the first and the last day of validity of the Pass as well as the passport number is entered by the station staff and the passenger must sign the Pass. Under no circumstances is the Pass holder allowed to validate his or her own Pass. If, however, your first journey is from an unstaffed station, your Pass will be valid provided you take it to be validated at the next interchange station, or at your destination station. In the case of a FlexiPass, the passenger must enter the date of travel each day before he/she boards the first train of the day. BritRail M-Passes are already validated once you have chosen your start date and received the barcode. There is no need to go to the ticket office to validate an M-Pass, simply start travelling.

All BritRail Passes are valid from 00:00 hrs to 23:59 hrs (Midnight to Midnight) on a chosen day of travel. If a Pass holder is travelling on an overnight train containing sleeper accommodation, the next day’s date must be inserted. Failure to comply with this requirement may result in the payment of a fine and the cost of a full fare ticket. Validity for travel in case of delay or cancellation of a service is covered by the provisions of the National Rail Conditions of Travel as if it were a single ticket. Validated Passes which include days when no train service operates (Christmas, etc.) will be extended by the number of days when no service operates.


Refunds will be granted if an unvalidated paper Pass is returned to the retailer from which it was purchased within 11 months from the date of issue, (unless a different time period is specified by your travel agent); or a request to cancel an MPass is made to and confirmed by the retailer. Paper Passes must bear no evidence of having been tampered with in any way, or in the case of an M-Pass, travelled on. No refund or exchange can be made at stations in Britain. No refund can be made if the Pass cannot be produced. Refunds are not given on validated Passes once the commencement date has been reached for both paper and M-Passes.

Where a Pass forms part of an inclusive Tour Package, it is not separately refundable. Where no other cancellation charges are specified by travel agent, the cancellation charge will be a minimum of 15%. Special offers are not refundable. Neither the train operators nor their agents can accept any responsibility for any failure in the provision of any special offers included. Refunds should not be returned to the Freepost address listed on the ticket cover but to the agent you originally purchased it through. Seat and Sleeper reservations are non-refundable.


Lost Tickets: BritRail is not responsible for tickets or vouchers, which are lost, stolen, mutilated or destroyed. In respect of an M-Pass, it is your responsibility to ensure that your mobile device is charged and either has suitable connectivity or that the M-Pass has been downloaded and is readable on your device. Refunds cannot be authorised in any of these cases. Therefore, travel insurance is recommended. The agent you purchase your BritRail Pass through may also advise a rail protection cover for your Pass while travelling.

In no circumstances will ATOC liability exceed the cost of the BritRail Pass, however your primary agreement is between yourself and the agent that sold you your ticket; and your journey is between yourself and the relevant train operating company under the National Rail Conditions of Travel.

These terms and conditions are governed by the laws of England and Wales unless your Pass exclusively covers travel in Scotland, in which case they will be governed by the laws of Scotland and any dispute under these terms and conditions would need to be raised within those jurisdictions. As per the previous paragraph, you will need to consider whether your dispute is actually against the agent that sold you the Pass or against the train company which operated your journey.


Conditions for Specific BritRail Products

The BritRail Pass: allows travel on all scheduled trains of participating Train Operators in Great Britain (or temporary replacement road services). First Class and Standard Class versions are available. BritRail Passes are valid on all National Rail services, including Gatwick Express, Heathrow Express and Stansted Express.


BritRail Saver Pass: in the case of a Saver Pass (minimum of 3 to qualify) passengers must travel together for all journeys covered by the Pass. All other conditions are the same as the original Pass purchased.


The BritRail England Pass: First Class and Standard Class are valid for travel only on scheduled trains of the participating Train Operators within England. Any journey made onwards, outside the BritRail England Pass area boundary must be paid for in advance of boarding the relevant train (e.g. a valid ticket must be held, otherwise penalty fares will be incurred.) This includes journeys into Scotland or Wales or any other journey beyond a Boundary Station. BritRail England Passes are valid on Gatwick Express, Heathrow Express and Stansted Express. Boundary Stations for the BritRail England Pass: Carlisle, Berwick upon Tweed, Lydney, Gloucester, Cheltenham, Hereford, Bucknell, Shrewsbury, Chirk, Crewe, Chester, West Kirby.


The BritRail London Plus Pass: First Class and Standard Class are valid for travel only on scheduled trains of the participating Train Operators, within the London Plus Pass boundary. We remind you that this only covers National Rail services and does not include travel on the London Underground.  Boundary Stations for the London Plus Pass: Harwich, Kings Lynn, Huntingdon, Bedford, Long Buckby, Stratford-upon-Avon, Worcester Foregate, Bedwyn, Salisbury, Bristol Temple Meads and Weymouth.


The BritRail South West Pass: Valid on most mainline and branchline services operated by Great Western Railway, South Western Railway and Heathrow Express trains. The BritRail South West Pass cannot be used to travel on the following routes:

  • any train west of Swansea; any train between Gloucester and Newport via Chepstow;
  • Great Western Railway’s Night Riviera sleeper service, unless a berth has been purchased in addition to the BritRail South West Pass;
  • any train services east of Portsmouth, even if this route is operated by Great Western Railway;
  • any route in South Wales other than the Great Western Railway services on the Newport – Cardiff – Swansea mainline;
  • any service operated by Cross Country Trains, Transport for Wales, Chiltern Railways, Southern, Great Northern, Thameslink, Southeastern or London North Western Railway.

The Pass provides access to Gatwick airport on regular trains via Reading and is not valid on the Gatwick Express to London Victoria. Boundary Stations for the BritRail South West Pass: London Paddington, Greenford, Marlow, Henley, Reading, Didcot, Oxford, Banbury, Hereford, Gloucester, Bristol Parkway, Cardiff, Swansea, Bristol Temple Meads, Weston-Super-Mare, Barnstaple, Gunnislake, Newquay, St.Ives, Penzance, Falmouth Docks, Looe, Exmouth, Weymouth, Portsmouth Harbour, Basingstoke and Gatwick Airport.


The BritRail Spirit of Scotland Pass: Valid on all scheduled daytime passenger trains for journeys wholly within Scotland, including Avanti West Coast trains to/from Carlisle and LNER trains to/from Berwick-upon Tweed. (BritRail Spirit of Scotland Passes cannot be used to travel before 09:15 Mondays to Fridays, except between:

  • Glasgow Queen Street - Oban/Fort William/Mallaig
  • Glasgow Central - Stranraer
  • ​Inverness - Kyle/Wick/Thurso
  • Direct services from Lockerbie to Carlisle, Carstairs, Motherwell or Glasgow Central
  • 20% discount on Northlink Ferries standard fares between Scrabster-Stromness; Aberdeen-Lerwick; and Aberdeen-Kirkwall-Lerwick. (Valid only on day of sailing, and applies to reclining seat fares only, not cabin inclusive)

This Pass also allows for 20% off ferry travel to Northern Ireland on Stena Line journeys from Cairnryan to Belfast.

It is also valid on the following coach services: on selected routes including Argyll, Skye, the Borders and Northern Highlands, with Scottish Citylink, Stagecoach and West Coast Motors. Please check with the operators before you intend to travel.