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What’s the minimum age to travel on a train alone?

The simple answer is that there’s no minimum age to travel on a train alone. However, your child should be mature enough to travel by themselves or with their friends. They should also understand the risks and dangers (as well as the benefits!) of travelling by train.

Can my child be accompanied if they’re travelling alone?

While there’s no minimum age to travel on a train alone, you should also know that rail operators don’t offer a chaperone service. Unless your child otherwise meets the criteria for Passenger Assist, staff cannot be pre-booked to accompany them on and off trains.

Is there any guidance for children travelling alone?

The British Transport Police have prepared some useful guidance for when your child travels by train without an adult. This advice includes:

  • Texting or writing down details of the trains they’ll be catching
  • Making sure their mobile or other device is fully charged
  • Let them know the ‘61016’ number, which is the number to text for non-emergency situations
  • Tell them to always call 999 in an emergency
  • Teach them how to use a help point on a station.

There are also some basic safety rules that children should follow when travelling alone or with friends:

  • Keep well away from the platform edge, moving trains and closing doors
  • Stay together and look out for each other if in a group
  • Stay away from the tracks and don’t ever use them as a shortcut
  • Follow any instructions from railway staff
  • Always find a member of staff or a police officer if in doubt or in need of help.

If railway staff think that a child might be in danger, or that they’re vulnerable, then they’ll contact the British Transport Police.

To make sure that your child has the right ticket before they travel, you can use the Railsmartr website. You can either choose to buy an eTicket to email them or print out for them. You could also collect it from the station so they have a physical ticket. You’ll receive a detailed itinerary with every ticket, so that your child knows where to go and when.