Train icon

Get tips, information and resources on trains...

  • Bus icon
  • Walk icon
  • Cycle icon
  • Drive icon

Buying train tickets

It is a legal requirement to have a valid ticket or pass before you start your journey. Depending on how often you travel and the type of ticket you need, there are a number of different ways you can purchase your ticket:

Where to buy a train ticket

At the station 

Ticket vending machines sell a range of tickets for popular destinations for immediate use.

At the ticket office 

You can buy the full range of tickets from staffed ticket offices. This includes weekly, monthly and annual season tickets.

From the conductor 

If the station has no ticket machine or ticket office, or the ticket office is closed, you can buy your ticket from the conductor on the train.


Advance, off-peak and standard any time single and return tickets can be purchased directly from the train operator’s website  or at sites such as,  National Rail or

On your mobile 

Selected tickets can now be bought through mobile ticketing, providing a quick, easy and convenient way to buy your ticket while on the move.

Train fares & tickets

Planning ahead and using the train more often will often result in saving money. Below are some examples of tickets and rail cards available:

Ticket type


For a one way journey


For two trips - one outward and one return


[external link] 

One return train ticket, plus a second for half the price when two adults travel together and return the same day*


Unlimited travel between two stations for one week


Unlimited travel between two stations for a four week period


Unlimited travel between two stations for a whole year

16-25 Railcard

 [external link] 

Discounted travel rates for all people aged 16-25 and people who are 25+ and in full time education

Family & Friends Railcard

[external link] 

Discounted travel rates for families of up to 4 adults and 4 children aged between 5 - 15

Two Together Railcard

[external link] 

Save 1/3 on journeys when two named people, over the age of 16, travel together.

Disabled Person Railcard

[external link] 

Discounted travel rates for eligible disabled people and adult travel companion

Senior Railcard

[external link] 

Discounted travel for any person over 60 years of age

*Only available on selected routes operated by Northern Rail.

If you hold a Durham County Council issued concessionary pass for elderly and disabled people you can travel for half fare on Bishop Line rail services. This is valid for journeys from Bishop Auckland, Shildon, Newton Aycliffe and Heighington stations to stations along the line as far as Middlesbrough

To find out more about tickets and fares please visit Northern Rail  [external link] or National Rail [external link]

Combined bus & rail cards

If you're travelling by train to/from many stations, including Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Darlington or Durham then you can buy a rail PLUSBUS ticket [external link]. These tickets allow you to travel in the area you are going to/from at a discounted price. 

Travelling further afield?

If you're planning a day out in the region, you can purchase a Ranger and Rover ticket [external link]. These tickets give you the freedom to explore all over the North by train.

Onward Travel by Bus and Metro

Onward travel by bus

If you're travelling by train to Middlesbrough, Newcastle, Darlington or Durham then you can buy a rail PLUSBUS ticket [external link] with a valid train ticket.

The PLUSBUS ticket gives you unlimited bus travel around the whole urban area of the town at the start and end of your train journey. Day tickets and season tickets are available for frequent commuters. Rail card holders get 33% off day ticket prices.

Tees Valley Live Departure Information

For up to date departure information from any station in the Tees Valley area, please visit our partner site, Connect Tees Valley [external link].

Train maps & timetables

Tees Valley train map

A map of the stations and train operators can be found here Tees Valley train map  [external link].


Online timetables

For the Bishop Line, up to date train times can be found using Northern Rail’s journey planner [external link]. 

To download a full timetable, relevant to your station, please visit Northern Rail’s timetables [external link].

For all other journeys in the United Kingdom visit National Rail's timetables [external link].

Printed timetables

Train stations that have staff are helpful places to gather more information regarding timetables, fares and even specific rail cards.  If you have questions regarding train travel, this is the best place to go for help.

If you’re still looking for more information, the Local Motion team are here to help. Please contact us for more information. 

Tips for getting the train

Travelling by train is a cheap, direct and convenient way to get around. Follow our top tips to help you get started.

1. Plan your journey

It’s best to plan your journey before you set off. All you need to know is where you’re travelling from and to, and what ticket you need.

Where are you going?

Visit Northern Rail’s Journey Planner [external link] to find your local station and plan your journey.

Which ticket do you need?

There are many types of tickets and fares available. You can make good savings by buying tickets in advance or by buying season tickets, such as weekly, monthly or annual passes.

To find out more about tickets and fares please visit our train fares and tickets page.

Get live updates

Trains run frequently, depending on the time of day and day of the week, but delays can happen. It’s best to check before you travel.

For information on how to access live departure information visit Northern Rail's Live Departures [external link] or try National Rail’s Train Tracker app for your phone [external link].

2. Getting on the train

Many stations have electronic screens and/or audio announcements to let you know when your train is due and at which platform it will arrive. 

If the station has a ticket office or a ticket machine, you must buy your ticket before boarding the train. If there isn't a ticket office or machine, you can purchase your ticket from the conductor when you board the train.  Often buying your ticket a few weeks in advance may also save you money.

3. Getting off the train

Many trains are fitted with an audio announcement system so the conductor will provide travel updates and let you know which station you are arriving at. When you are approaching your destination, make sure to have all your belongings with you and head to the exit doors when you’re ready. There is no bell to signify that you want to get off the train, but the train will automatically stop at every station on the route so there is no need to worry about getting left behind.  You will need to press the button to open the doors as they do not open automatically.


Reasons to travel by train

Switching your car for the train could potentially save you hundreds of pounds each year. With a range of season tickets and rail cards available and no parking charges, the train can often be a cheaper alternative to driving.

Lose weight and get fit

Walking to and from the train station can contribute towards the 30 active minutes we need to do each day in order to avoid putting on weight and stay fit and healthy.

Free up your time

If you think there aren't enough hours in the day, commute by train and give yourself back some 'me time'. Whether it’s reading a book, checking emails or just watching the world go by, travelling by train allows you to sit back and relax while someone else does the driving.

Reduce your stress levels

Traffic congestion, bad weather and careless drivers can add up to unpleasant driving conditions. Swap the car for the train and you can start and end your day more relaxed.    

Help look after the environment

Did you know that a Bishop Line train can hold approximately 100 seated passengers? This means that just one train journey has the potential to remove 100 single occupancy vehicles from the road. Using the train instead of the car can help to reduce your carbon footprint and also contribute to a much cleaner, greener environment by limiting the number of cars on the road. 

Travel direct

If you live or work close to the station, the train can often be a faster and more direct alternative to driving. The train doesn't have to wait in traffic and many stations are located in the centre of towns and cities, close to other transport links.

Travel at your own convenience

With a set timetable and live departure information available, planning your journey around your schedule has never been easier. You only need to be at the station a few minutes prior to departure and you always know the planned time of your arrival.

Travel safely this winter

Connect Tees valley Logo
Journey planner