Interchanging Trains

A train journey can involve one or more trains to get you from where you are to where you are going.  Often this will be between trains run by the same company (eg from a fast to a stopping Southeastern train at Bromley South) or different lines (eg from District to Central lines at Mile End).  You may have to walk down several corridors (eg Bakerloo to Northern lines at Charing Cross) or change between types of train (eg Southeastern and DLR at Woolwich Arsenal).  In all the examples so far the changing has been done within one station so it is just a continuation of the same journey with no need to touch out and back in again.  But what if it isn’t?

Out of Station Interchanges

At most London terminal stations you have to go through gates between the National Rail platforms and the concourse, while the Underground station is through a further set of gates in its own ticket hall.  Sometimes you have to go out onto the street to walk between stations (eg Shadwell, Shepherd’s Bush) and sometimes two nearby stations are deemed close enough to allow interchange between them (eg New Cross and New Cross Gate).  In each of these instances the Oyster system allows you to join two journeys together as long as you don’t take too long between touching out at one station and in at the other.  This is known as an Out of Station Interchange, or OSI for short.  After years of having to make freedom of information requests to get the details, TfL now publish the raw data on their website. However, it is far from user friendly, so we have expanded on the detail and have the complete list here. Note that the page can take a few seconds to load.

Emergency OSIs

The Oyster Control Centre has the ability to set and remove emergency OSIs in real time according to locally made requests. These will typically cater for short term (un)planned station closures and some weekend engineering work. An EOSI will be set at a number of stations and will allow interchange between any of those stations within 30 minutes, including re-entering the same station. These EOSIs are not included in the main list because of their extremely fluid nature.

384 thoughts on “Interchanging Trains”

  1. You mention changing at Shepherd’s Bush. But TFL Journey Planner seems to have a problem with changing from the Ealing Broadway branch of the Central Line onto the northbound Overground at Shepherd’s Bush. I tried to get times for a journey from Hayes & Harlington to Kensal Rise but it couldn’t find any. I then tried from Ealing Broadway to Kensal Rise – no luck there either! Same for West Acton. In the opposite direction, though, it works fine, and it seems to work fine for changing to the southbound Overground or from the West Ruislip branch of the Central Line onto the Overground in either direction at Shepherd’s Bush. I can’t find any contact details to report problems with the TFL website – I assume this is just a website glitch and not a lack of a connecting passageway or a disallowed connection?

    • Hi Stuart,

      It’s certainly not a disallowed connection, plus they are two separate stations. The TfL journey planner seems to work with speed as the main criteria so the results can often look odd.

  2. Hi,

    Do you mind helping me?
    Fairly simple query I think. A journey I make is Cheshunt to Piccadilly Circus Underground. This involves an overground train to Tott Hale – and transferring to the underground for the journey onwards (one more change to switch lines at Finsbury Park).
    My query is about the fare charged – using the single fare tool – it states the full journey is £6.10 off peak.
    However, if I look at the two separate legs – Cheshunt – Tott Hale, and then Tott Hale – Picc Circus, each fare is only £2.70, making a combined total of £5.40. So why have I been charged £6.10? And moreover, why should I be charged £6.10?

    Thanks for any reply.


    • Hi John,

      There are lots of factors at work here. Firstly you have the way Greater Anglia price their fares, which is completely different to the way TfL price theirs. Then you have to add in the premium for mixing National Rail and TfL Rail on a journey involving zone 1. Normally this adds an amount to the NR fare to London terminals which is less than the price of a zone 1 TfL fare. The problem here is that there are other places where you can change to the Underground such that the overall fare is more than the constituent parts. You may find that this situation changes when London Overground take over some of the Liverpool Street suburban lines because then the whole journey will be TfL Rail charged.

      In the meantime, you can force Oyster to charge two separate journeys by breaking the OSI. The easiest way is to take more than 20 minutes between touching out of one station and in at the other. Most people won’t want to take that long, so the other way is to double enter. This only works where there are gates, so if both stations have validators you are stuck. The best method is to touch in to the second station, touch back out again within 2 minutes and then touch in again within a further 45 minutes. This invokes the same station exit procedure such that the second touch in starts a new journey. If the second station doesn’t have gates then you need to touch out, back in and then out again at the first station before touching in at the second station. This should work, though I have heard of issues if an emergency OSI is set at the first station. The final method of breaking an OSI is to touch into a bus between the two stations and then get off again. This won’t help you because the bus will charge £1.45, but can be useful if part of your journey is covered by a travelcard season where all bus travel is included.

      Hope this helps, and do let me know what happens if you try it.

  3. Thanks for the tip – managed to read it just before I went – and followed it to the letter (i.e. arrived at Tott Hale – touched in and out almost immediately at the Underground gates, and then back again – and then did the same again on the way back – at the Tott Hale NR gates – albeit the train I wanted was on the platform waiting to go – but still just managed to board in time) – and was charged 4 lots of £2.70 instead of 2 lots of £6.10 – hence saving me £1.40 – thanks for the tip/advice/clarification.

  4. On the weekend I need to travel to finsbury park and will interchange out of the underground into the national rail (and back again later), so to clarify does this mean if i take under 10 mins to do so i will only be charged £1.80 and not 2 x £1.60?

    • Hi Al,

      I can’t comment on the individual fares without knowing the stations, but yes, if you take less than ten minutes between touching out and touching back in again you will only be charged for the one journey.

  5. Hi. I wonder if you can help. If i use my oyster from Kings X national rail to gordon hill and I have to change at Finsbury Park from one platform to another through the barriers. Do I have to tap out and then back in and will the fare deducted be correct?


    • Hi Stephen,

      The barriers at Finsbury Park NR are set so that you can enter even if you are already in the system. The balance it shows on entry will be lower than you think (it includes the maximum fare for that journey) but it will all be sorted when you touch out. You should only go through one set of barriers because almost all northbound trains use the same island platform. The ones which don’t use an unbarriered platform.

  6. Hi I am after some clarification if anybody has the answer…

    My daily journey is from Walthamstow Central to Vauxhall on the underground and then on to Clapham Junction on national rail.

    With both Walthamstow and Clapham J being in zone 3 I was under the impression this would cost me £3.20 each way so £6.40 per day.

    However, at Vauxhall there are barriers between the underground and NR so I seem to be being charged an additional £1.80 each way so £3.60 per day.

    This is £10.00 daily as opposed to the £6.40 daily I was expecting. Is this correct or am I doing something wrong?

  7. Hi Mike,

    Thanks so much for doing this site – I’m sure it’s been a labour of love!

    Can you just help me to clarify a couple of things? I live near Clapham Junction, if that gives perspective.
    1. When changing from National Rail to underground (eg at Waterloo), is that counted as two separate journeys?
    2. When changing from the overground to underground at Shepherds Bush, is that going to be charged as a single journey or two? What about other overground interchanges? What if I get the national rail to Shepherds Bush – how do they know what type of train I’ve got there – I have both options to get from Clapham Junction, I believe.
    3. It’s terrible that the TFL website doesn’t give you prices for journeys in their journey planner, I’m not sure why they don’t, so thanks again for doing this site!

  8. I’ve noticed a similar issue to John above, where you’re really penalised for catching the underground.

    It costs £4.80 to go from Gipsy Hill to Notting Hill Gate (via Shepherds Bush). Given that it costs £2.20 to go from Gipsy Hill to Shepherds Bush (Overground) this seems a bit crazy (both Shepherds Bush and Notting Hill are in the same zone).

    If you break the journey into two fares it’s £1 cheaper:

    £2.20 Gipsy Hill > Shepherds Bush (Overground)
    £1.60 Shepherds Bush (Central Line) > Notting Hill Gate

    But that’s still a lot more expensive than it should be, if it was priced the same as a Zone 3 to Zone 2 tube journey.

    To make it even more frustrating, there are other similar journeys such as Barnes to Notting Hill Gate via Shepherds Bush that are allowed and cost just £2.20. I don’t understand how that makes sense.

    Ok, this gets even odder.

    I’ve just realised that Gipsy Hill is a complete anomaly – at least according to the Single Fare Finder on TFL’s site. If you look at stations either side of Gipsy Hill (Crystal Palace or West Norwood), they both allow £2.20 fares to Notting Hill Gate. Both are in the same zone as well, and in the case of Crystal Palace, you’d actually go via Gipsy Hill!

    Is this something that can be reported to TFL?

    • Hi Edwin,

      I’ve merged your three comments together. Yes, I would definitely report this to TfL. As you say, you have to go through Gipsy Hill from Crystal Palace so I think it must be an omission. I will also report the issue as well.

      The £4.80 fare is assuming travel via zone 1 and including the through premium for mixing NR+TfL services. There is no premium when you don’t go through zone 1, hence Shepherd’s Bush and Notting Hill Gate being the same when you travel via Shepherd’s Bush.

  9. Hi Mike,

    I’ve contacted TFL, though they got back to me completely misunderstanding the question, thinking I wanted to go to Shepherd’s Bush Market for some reason. I’ve clarified it with them.

    I was wondering if you know how it is possible to get the £3.20 fare between Crystal Palace and Oxford Circus:

    I can’t think of a combination of times or changes that would make it possible.

    • Hi Edwin,

      That’s the default route so it involves no intermediate touches. Try Crystal Palace to Canada Water/Whitechapel then by Underground which is a TfL only fare.

  10. Hi Mike,

    I am traveling to London for vacation.Could you please advise what is the best way of commuting from Heathrow airport to Marriott west India quay? And from west India quay to at Pancras? We will have luggage and try to avoid stairs and long walk.


  11. Hi Mike,

    Did you ever get a reply from TFL regarding the journey from Gipsy Hill to Notting Hill Gate via Clapham Junction and Shepherds Bush?

    They replied to me, but completely misread the question and told me the fare to get to Shepherds Bush Market, and my response back to them hasn’t been answered for weeks. Maybe you have a better contact?



  12. Hi Mike. Recently I made two journeys for which I think I was overcharged:
    1.My journey from Upper Holloway to Royal Victoria via Barking and West Ham which passed through zones – 2,3 and 4. The total charge for off-peak travel should be £1.50 but I was charged £2.70.
    2.Similarly – my journey from Canary Wharf to Upper Holloway via Stratford and Gospel Oak passed though zones 2 and 3 only and the charge (peak travel) was £1.60 but I was charged £2.80.
    I contacted TFL and they said that the charges were correct and that they were set up like that ignoring the fact that the journeys did not pass through zone 1. Can you please let me know who is right? It is very difficult to argue with TFL and I do not think I have too much influence.. and also it is not worth following up the issue for such a small amount..but I also think that people need to speak up when something is not right!

    • Hi Milen,

      Unfortunately both those journeys are defined as travelling through zone 1. The alternative routes are deemed too roundabout to be considered viable by the majority of passengers.

  13. I got this answer from TFL:

    “There are three fare structures, ie the Transport for London (TfL ) fare structure, National Rail (NR) fare structure and the through fare structure for a combination of TfL and NR services.

    The journey from Gipsy Hill to Notting Hill Gate is charged on a through fare basis and the amount charged is based on the mutual agreement with the Train Operating Companies.

    The journey from Crystal Palace to Notting Hill Gate is charged on default basis as a TfL journey (Zones 1-3), but there are both cheaper fares for a through basis avoiding Zone 1 and through fares for Zones 1-3.”

    I understand what they’re saying, but I don’t really consider this an explanation as to why Gipsy Hill is treated differently to West Norwood. Both are managed by Southern, both are in the same zone on the same lines with the same trains stopping at them.

    I feel like I need to escalate this to someone, but I’m not sure who!

  14. Hi Mike,
    I catch the DLR from Canary wharf to cannon bury with interchange at shad well (DLR/Overground) and get charged two fares each way 🙁 to walk from one station to the other takes about 3 minutes. Should this not count as one fare? If so how do I get to rectify this? Tx. A

    • Hi Ann,

      It is one fare but it’s charged in two stages. Canary Wharf to Shadwell is a zone 2 single but when you then go through Shoreditch High Street it becomes a zone 1-2 single. Coming back it will charge the whole fare on exit at Shadwell and the rest will appear to be free. If you want to avoid zone 1 then take the Jubilee line to Stratford and the Overground from there, making sure to touch the pink reader on the Overground platform at Stratford.

  15. Thank you very much for your help. Iam planning to move chelmsford.But i am working in london weekdays.pls How can i reduce my trvelling cost? Just i dont have any idea.

  16. Hi Mike

    A couple of queries for you please.

    If I was to travel from White Hart Lane (NR), change at Seven Sisters (LU), change at Highbury & Islington (LO) touching the Pink Reader and exit at West Hampstead Overground, should I in theory be charged a single excluding Z1 fare?

    Also if I was to travel from Goodge St (LU) to Euston and then change to London Overground to Kilburn High Rd, would this be a single fare? Reason for asking is I was recently charged two fares, although I think I must have missed the interchange time as I was just over 20mins between touching out and in.

    • Hi Dan,

      Unfortunately White Hart Lane to West Hampstead does not have any alternative routes programmed. I think this is down to restrictions of the routeing system on Oyster. Your best bet might be to contact London Travelwatch and see if they would be prepared to get TfL to set up an automatic refund when such a journey is made.

      When travelling Goodge Street – Euston – Kilburn High Road you have 40 minutes to interchange at Euston. The other way is only 20 minutes. It will be charged as one journey if the interchange time is not exceeded.

  17. Thanks Mike…in the meantime I guess I’ll just do the Seven Sisters-West Hampstead part and avoid Z1.

    Looks like I’ve been overcharged for the Euston interchange…I’ll speak to TFL to get a refund.


    • Thanks David,

      I tried for quite some time to get the single fare finder to show those fares. It just goes to show how careful you have to be with similarly named stations. Although the cack-handed auto complete function doesn’t make things easy when the station name starts with West.

  18. Hi, I hope you can help/advise me. I travel from Leytonstone to Dalston Junction for work, changing at Mile End for the District Line and then at Whitechapel for the Overground. All stations are in Zones 2 and 3, however my Zone 2-3 Travelcard does not appear to cover the journey and I am charged more for each journey. Is this right? Many thanks, Jane

    • Hi Jane,

      Yes it is right. Shoredicth High Street is in zone 1. You need to change at Stratford onto the Overground to Dalston Kingsland instead. Make sure you touch the pink validator on the overground platform at Stratford.

  19. I normally travel from Upminster to Highbury & Islington without going through zone 1, recently due to engineering works I have had no option but to travel through zone 1, are you aware if TfL refund for the extra charge?

    • Hi LJ,

      If a train operator advertises that to make a particular journey you have to go via a more expensive route then they should compensate. I’m not clear which operator caused the problem in your case and what their advice to prospective travellers was. You may need to take the matter up with the appropriate operator.

  20. Hi ,

    Can any one please give a cost saving tip on how to avoid Zone 1 charge when travelling from Clapham North / High Street to Upton Park.

    The Oyster Journey planner say £6.60, I am sure as I am only travelling between Zone 2-3 there must be a cheaper way to travel.

    • Hi Mukesh,

      The single fare finder gives a default single fare of £3.30 from Clapham North because that involves travel via zone 1. If you ask about Clapham High Street to Upton Park then the default fare is £1.70 with a change at Whitechapel.

  21. hi Mike, i want to go to Brighton and see that I can travel to E Croydon on my freedom pass. Can I get the NR train at Victoria or do I have go to E Croydon by tube and change there?

    • Hi Badger,

      Yes you can use the NR train from Victoria (there’s no tube at East Croydon btw). As long as you have the ticket from East Croydon to Brighton there is no need for you to get off there.

  22. Hi Mike,

    My everyday journey is from St. Margarets to Paddington. I take NR to Richmond and then continue with underground to Paddington via Hammersmith. Sometimes I find the price is unreasonably high compared to the fare finder on tfl web. Would it be any difference if I tap on the pink oyster reader (ie interchange)? Of if I tap out-and-in again in Richmond or Hammersmith? Thank you for your help

    • Hi Ditto,

      Unfortunately you are being charged the through (mixed mode) premium for mixing NR and TfL travel in a journey involving zone 1. It doesn’t look like there is a way around it sadly. The pink reader won’t do anything, while touching out and in again at Richmond or Hammersmith would cost more.

  23. Hi Mike , just found this site and it looks really useful. my question is this: I live in Basildon and have an Oyster card for frequent trips to London. I am aware that on Barking and Upminster Stations there are validators for Oyster card users and i would like to know if it is OK to buy a return C2c ticket for either station and when i get to either, then exit the train, tap in and reboard the c2c train and continue my journey. I would do the same on the reverse journey. I f this is ok, is there anyway of finding out where the validators are in relation to the c2c carriages. I have done this before but it’s always been a bit of a scramble trying to find the validators and get back on to the train in time.

  24. I regularly travel Liverpool St to West Hampstead changing atFarringdon from tube to Thameslink. Should I tap out and in again at Farringdon?

  25. Your page about the interchange Walthamstow Central/Queens Road can be updated now the shortcut route is open!
    Its so much easier now.

  26. I sometimes need to change trains at London Blackfriars NR. Northbound is now no problem as it’s across the platform, but southbound means going down the escalators and up again.

    I’ve never had to do this when the ticket barriers ate in use. Any thoughts as to whether this would count as two journeys?

    • Hi David,

      It certainly shouldn’t do as there are other examples of OSIs between different gatelines, but I don’t know for certain. I’ll try and find out though. Also, if you change platforms at the southbank end you won’t go through barriers.

  27. Hi,

    I live in Bromley south and often travel to earlsfield. Just to check if I touch in before 4 (and have to go via Victoria and clapham junction touching in and out) is this still charged at off peak? I have to ti such out at Victoria and touch back in for trains to clapham and sometimes underground

  28. Hi Mike
    If travelling from Ealing Broadway to West Brompton, would it cost extra to change at Shepherds Bush and get on the Overground, as opposed to stay on the underground using the District line instead? Many thanks.

  29. Hi Mike

    I travelled from Loughborough Junction to South Kensington (changing at Blackfriars from overland to underground). I had to tap out and then back in again at Blackfriars – will it charge me for two journeys or just the one?

    Thank you – great website!

    • Hi Tam,

      Just one, as long as you didn’t exceed the interchange time between touch out and in again. You get 20 minutes for that change.

    • Hi Az,

      Yes they do. The only difference is that sometimes the back office may break an OSI if it avoids charging a maximum fare (eg. if you’ve exceeded the maximum journey time or ended up traveling in a circle).

  30. Hi Mike,
    I travel to Tottenham Crt Road from Hackney Downs via train at Hackney Downs- Liverpool street -Oxford Circus.(tube) Is this a more expensive route than if I were to travel hackney central – Highbury islington- Oxford circus because its a different train company? or is it considered an interchanging train journey at Liverpool street?
    Thank you

    • Hi Kay,

      The fare is the same via both routes. TfL fares are charged on the NR lines between Tottenham Hale and Liverpool Street so it makes no difference.

  31. Hi Mike,

    Can you advise on how to travel to white hart lane from Bromley by bow by avoiding zone 1? The route I currently get is Liverpool street station overground to white hart lane. I would preferably like to use the overground from Stratford or Whitechapel.

    • Hi Aswad,

      Whitechapel will be no good because Shoreditch High Street is in zone 1. You either need to change at Seven Sisters, Tottenham Hale, Stratford and West Ham or Mile End; or Hackney Downs/Central, Stratford, West Ham or Mile End. The Hackney Route is probably preferable especially now there is a direct walkway between the two stations.

  32. Hi Mike

    Thanks for this useful site.

    I am going to travel between Chingford and Gunnersbury.
    So overground from Chingford (Zone 5) to Walthamstow Central. I need to get out through Oyster validator to walk down to enter underground (Victoria Line). Then change at Highbury and Islington, where it has pink route validator, to use overground again to Gunnersbury. Although, at Walthamstow I am leaving from overground and entering again to use underground, I think all should be counted as a single journey, right?

    TFL single fare finder says, £2.80 peak, which is Zone 2-5 peak. But, the off peak says £2.40, which looks strange, where Zone 2-5 off peak is only £1.50. What is your view?

    Hoping the train will not be late, so I will be within maximum journey time of 90 minutes.


    • Hi Erdinc,

      Yes it is all one journey. You will be travelling through zones 5-4-3-2-3 which means you have 110 minutes on Mon-Fri daytimes. Sadly the single fare finder is right. The new London Overground routes out of Liverpool Street do not share the same off-peak fare structure as the rest of the LO network.

  33. Hi Mike,

    Thank you for your answer. So if I use DLR from Devon’s Road to get to Stratford and then walk over to the overground bg touching pink reader to get to Hackney Central, does that mean I pay double as I will need to tap in again once I walk over to Hackney Downs to get to white hart lane? What will the total cost be to get to white hart lane avoiding zone 1 with oyster card?

    • Hi Aswad,

      No, Hackney Downs to Hackney Central is on the OSI list so as long as you don’t exceed the time between touches it will join the two journeys together as one. The fare is £1.70 peak, £1.50 off-peak.

  34. Just found this fascinating resource, thank you!

    With TfL taking over the line to Cheshunt, I went into London last night, changing at Seven Sisters. Couple of points:
    * There’s no evening peak Cheshunt to central London, so it should be £4.00.
    * There IS evening peak to Seven Sisters, costing £4.30.
    * The reason I know this, is I accidentally touched out at SS (thinking I had to walk down the street), realised and turned back within a minute, touched in and went down to the Tube. And I’ve been charged £4.30 + £2.80 for 2 journeys.

    I’ve submitted an online complaint, be interesting to see if I do get a refund, as it’s obvious what I did.

    • Hi Nick,

      Hopefully you will get a refund for that. There are some anomalies between ending in zone 1 in the afternoon peak and ending in zone 2 or 3. It’s particularly noticeable on the NR set fares and the new TfL fares for the lines into Liverpool Street.

  35. Hi Mike
    I am changing jobs and will be travelling from Sevenoaks to London Cannon Street. As part of my travel allowance I receive a Zone 1-3 Oyster Travel card.
    *Can I get a season ticket up to the point where the Travel card becomes valid?
    *Does the train have to stop at that station or do I just have to travel into the zone?
    Ideally I want to be able to use the fast trains with limited stops.
    Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Jane,

      To be able to use the fast trains your extra season ticket will need to be a Sevenoaks to zones 4-6 travelcard. As it happens, Sevenoaks is one of the places where it is slightly cheaper to split travelcards rather than just get a Sevenoaks to zones 1-6 travelcard.

  36. Travelling on National Rail from Surbiton to Crayford with my SNR Monday to Friday touching in at Surbiton at 18.30 then touching out at Waterloo about 18.50 then touching in at Waterloo East at 19.05
    Is the fare £6.00 or £2.45 or £4.90 or something completely different. I would appreciate your help

    • Hi Len,

      If you make the journey as described it will cost £6.00 because leaving zone 1 on a journey which starts between 1600-1900 gets a peak fare. However, Surbiton to Waterloo is just £2.45 as you end in zone 1, and Waterloo East to Crayford is another £2.45 if you break the OSI and touch in after 1900. The simplest way to do this is to touch in at the gates for Waterloo East, then walk through, turn round, and touch out again and walk back. Finally touch in again and walk back in. The first two touches will trigger a same station exit which ends your journey from Surbiton. The last touch starts a new (off-peak) journey to Crayford. I call this move the hokey-cokey.

      Finally, if time is not critical you can reduce the cost further by avoiding zone 1. Change at Clapham Junction, Denmark Hill and Lewisham. The whole journey will be peak as you aren’t going into zone 1, but it only costs £4. And if you can delay touching in at Surbiton until 1900 then it’s all off-peak so £2.45 via Waterloo and £1.70 via Denmark Hill.

  37. Hello,

    I hope you have time to give me a bit of advice. I use thameslink trains from herne hill – west hampstead thameslink To complete my journey I get the jubilee line at west hampstead to willesden green. This is an out of station interchange. The thameslink journey to WHT is £2.10 off peak, £2.60 peak which is a standard fare for zones 1-2 but when I change onto the jubilee line I am still charged an additional £1.50 for the single zone 2 journey.

    I would be grateful to know if you think this is wrong or right.

    • Hi Cat,

      Sadly it is right. Herne Hill to West Hampstead is a NR fare. When you add in the Jubilee line it becomes a mixed NR through fare which is £1.60 peak (£1.50 off-peak) extra when the the journey involves zone 1.

  38. Hi Mike

    I occasionally travel on the DLR from Cutty Sark, change at Herons Quay and walk to Canary Wharf to pick up the Jubilee Line to Zone 1, using PAYG.

    I always make a point of touching out at Herons Quay, even though there are, of course, no gates there and the Herons Quay/Canary Wharf OSI kicks in when I touch back in at Canary Wharf.

    If I didn’t touch out at Herons Quay would the OSI still be triggered when I touched in at Canary Wharf?

    • Hi Reggie,

      No it wouldn’t. There used to be signs at the entrance to Canary Wharf LU warning you to go back and touch out if you hadn’t already.

  39. Hi, Mike.

    Yesterday I travelled westbound on the Jubilee intending to get off at Waterloo but when I alighted there I was puzzled that there weren’t any signs to Waterloo, only to Waterloo East. I followed these knowing I could get to Waterloo via the footbridge. Much later at home I realised that I’d got off one stop too early at Southwark (don’t laugh!).

    I expected to end up with two journeys: Upton Park – Southwark and Waterloo East – Feltham. I wasn’t bothered because I knew I’d reach the daily cap anyway. But there’s only one journey:

    Friday, 07 August 2015 £7.75 daily total
    16:27 – 17:46 Upton Park to Feltham [National Rail] £4.30 £22.85
    17:46 Touch out, Feltham [National Rail] +£3.20 £22.85
    17:09 Touch in, Waterloo (platforms 12-19) [National Rail] £4.90 £19.65
    17:08 Touch out, Waterloo East [National Rail] +£4.90 £24.55
    17:02 Touch in, Waterloo East [National Rail] £5.65 £19.65
    17:02 Touch out, Southwark +£5.65 £25.30
    16:27 Touch in, Upton Park £7.50 £19.65

    It’s as though the Southwark/Waterloo East OSI and the Waterloo East/Waterloo OSI have been combined into one big OSI. Is that expected behaviour? I wonder if it works like that anywhere else?

  40. Hi mike

    Check in on the citymapper app this morning on how to get from Whitechapel to kings cross one of the suggestions was district line to Aldgate East, then change to Aldgate and get met or circle line to kgx. It said the price would be £2.90 peak but I thought that this wasn’t an acceptable OSI? I know the obvious route is just to get a Hammersmith and City train direct but as it could take a while for one of these to arrive it seems like a decent alternative if it was possible (far nicer than changing at monument for the northern line then having to get all the way up to the surface with heavy bags) it would also be handy in reverse if there was a big gap to the next H&C train.

    • Hi Michael,

      Oh dear, Aldgate to Aldgate East was an OSI during the Olympics but not now. Another alternative if there’s a long gap to the next H&C is to change at Tower Hill onto the Circle the other way.

  41. Hi Mike
    I read on the TFL website today that it is possible to use oyster/contactless on the Southeastern high speed service between Stratford International and St Pancras. Do you have any idea what the fare might be if I went, say, Wanstead – Stratford – Stratford International – St Pancras – Russell Square? More changes, but potentially quicker and almost certainly more pleasant… Thanks!

    • Hi Jon,

      The HS1 part of the journey is charged separately so you’d get three charges. Wanstead to Stratford International £1.50, Stratford to St Pancras £3.80 and Kings Cross to Russell Square £2.30. All fares quoted are off-peak.

  42. Thanks Mike, I get a different fare on the single fare finder for SI – StP but I’m sure its possible I might be charged more in reality. At that price and with no linked fare with other journeys I struggle to see who would use it?

    • Hi Jon,

      You need to make sure you choose the right Stratford International station on the single fare finder. You will get a different lower fare if you select the DLR station, but the route will be via traditional lines, not HS1. I expect lots of people will use it while the rugby world cup is on.

  43. Noticing leaflets and posters posters on pick touch readers, I asked whether one should touch in and out on yellow readers when doing OSI at a station, to find they don’t know. Not going to survey every staff person, but there is a risk you will be charged for two journeys, or for a Zone 1 you haven’t made.

    The OSI point I’ve noticed is South Tottenham, Seven Sisters which isn’t shown even on the new overground maps, or the BeckUNing, the “Tube Map”; and with the closure of the Victoria Line and the publicity, not even the map shows South Tottenham. Walthamstow however is shown, so we should congratulate the age of miracles.

    • Hi John,

      Not completely surprised at staff knowledge. Given most OSIs require touch at a gateline for at least one end, I don’t think it causes that many issues. There are lots of OSIs not mentioned on the rail/tube maps. My bigger concern is where the TfL journey planner suggests a route using an interchange which either isn’t an OSI or where use of that OSI isn’t programmed into the fares database.

    • Hi Ancilla,

      Yes. Change at Lewisham, Peckham Rye or Denmark Hill, Clapham Junction and Richmond. You need to touch the pink validators at both Clapham Junction and Richmond.

  44. Hi Mike,

    I was wondering if you could help me, I travel to Farringdon from Brockley and I was wondering what the most cost effective way of travelling would be? I currently use the overground to Canada Water and change for the Jubilee up to Southwark validating my card on the pink touch reader. I then catch the 63 bus to Clerkenwell. On returning I take the Southeastern train from London Bridge. I find that my fares seem to range from 5.90 to 6.40 and on some occasions they jump to 7.10 if I catch the train from Farringdon to Crofton Park (which I can walk to my house from). I find the price difference a little bewildering and wondered if you could advise me on the cheapest way to travel – is 5.90 the best price? Many thanks for your help.

    • Hi Will,

      That’s quite a variety of routes and zones there. Brockley is in zone 2 which will always be cheaper than Crofton Park which is in zone 3. £6.40 is the daily cap for travel within zones 1-2 while when you venture into zone 3 it can rise up to £7.50. The fares for the various rail journeys depend on the modes used. Brockley to Southwark via Canada Water is £2.60 as is London Bridge to Brockley, though it’s possible that some of these fares are skewed by the Thameslink works. Farringdon to Crofton Park is £3.30 which gives you the £5.90 total without a bus. Each bus adds £1.50. You can actually travel from Brockley to Farringdon via Whitechapel for £2.60 so you could do the return trip for £5.20 if you avoid buses and zone 3.

  45. Hi there Mike,

    I travel to Warren Street from Southbury station daily and was wondering do I tap in at seven sisters when I get there or just tap out at Warren Street? I would just like to know what works out cheaper and if I’m allowed to skip the tapping in at seven sisters to get to Warren Street. Thanks very much for your help.

  46. Hi Mike,

    I travel from Alexandra Palace to Kings Cross, changing at Finsbury Park using national rail. Do I need to tap in and out using my contactless payment card at Finsbury Park? Many thanks Tom

  47. Hi Mike
    once a week I travel between Clock House Rail Station and West Ferry DLR- I change at Lewisham. Last week I was charged almost £17 for the return journey. I rang customer services about this and they organised the refund, but didn’t explain how to avoid being overcharged again. What do I need to do?

    • Hi Amanda,

      It looks like you’ve missed a touch or two. You need to touch in at Clock House, touch out at Lewisham NR, touch in on the validator on the DLR platforms and touch out on the validator at West Ferry. The same applies in reverse.

      If you can paste your journey history in a reply I can see exactly where you went wrong.

  48. Hello Mike
    I take Overground from Norwood Junction (z4) to Leyton Underground (z3). I made a travel pass for Z3-4, but every time i finish my journey i am charged for the travel even though i have a travel card. can it be because i have to travel through zone 2? is it not like tap in station zone tap out station zone?
    My journey history: Norwood junction overground to dalston junction ( change at white chappel for district line to mile end)
    Mile end central line to Leyton under ground)

    looking forward to your reply as its so confusing.

    • Hi Imtiaz,

      Sorry for the delay replying – this isn’t a 24/7 job, just a spare time hobby. If you take a look at the FAQ page you’ll see the first question is of a similar nature. You have to pay for all zones that you travel through.

  49. Hello Mike,

    I was wondering if the interchanging between West Hampstead Overground and Underground is covered by OST or if it represents two different journeys.

    Thank you for your reply

  50. During the recent Victoria Line closure between Walthamstow and seven sisters in August, I took an alternative route from Highams Park to New Southgate. Highams park to Walthamstow Central Overground, interchanged at Walthamstow Queens Road, overground to Harringay Green Lanes, interchanged to Harringay and then National Rail to New Southgate. This all fell within zones 3 and 4. TFL insisted on charging zones 2-4 as if the trip had been made through Finsbury Park. £2.70 as opposed to £2.30. I queried the charge but they said the single fair finder price is correct. How do they determine what to charge if the journey didn’t enter zone 2?

    • Hi Henry,

      There is only one fare for that journey. Under normal circumstances you would go via Finsbury Park. As the alternative route you chose did not cost more it was probably not considered as part of the automatic refund process. Personally I would hope they would consider refunding the overcharge, but if it was just a one off journey, is it worth it for just 40p. If you made several trips then ask again citing the lack of the Victoria line meaning that the route charged for wasn’t available.

  51. Hi,
    As I am new to London.I would like to ask a question about the interchange from overground to underground.I start from Imperial Wharf using the overground, then i change from over to the tube at West Brompton Station, and from there I go to South Kensington.Should i touch in my oyster card at West Brompton Station, when i make the interchange?

  52. Hi Mike,

    hope you can help me out !

    I travel to Victoria from Enfield Town, change at 7 sisters. Do I need to tap out from 7 sisters ? I didn’t do so, it seems when I tap out from Victoria, a signal saying “seek assistance ” , there’s no one around. I was in a hurry but went out immediately.

    Since a train from Enfield Town was cancelled and I had to catch a later train. Was I be charged more on the journies ?

    • Hi Maggie,

      Seven Sisters is all one station so there’s no need to touch when interchanging there. If this was today then you’ll need to wait until tomorrow to check your journey history. Is it possible that the whole journey from touch in at Enfield to touch out at Victoria took longer than 1 hour 50 minutes?

  53. Hi Mike and thanks so much for making this site.
    I will have to travel 3 days a week from hackney to havering, and two days a week from hackney to denmark hill.
    i am trying to avoid having to pay for zone 1 (so i can buy a monthly of 2-6) but the denmark hill one is a pain with me having to go to stratford, then canada water, then overground again to denmark hill, and having to touch the pink readers at both stratford and canada water.
    1. do you think it would be cheaper to buy 2-6 and then just top up some money so i can make the journeys through zone 1? i think its 2.35 each way or something? it would be travelling at peak times i think, at 8 am and around 4pm.
    2. if i was to do the whole kerfuffle to avoid zone 1, do i really have to touch the pink readers in both stratford AND canada water or does doing it once in canada water suffice?
    3. can you think of any alternatives?
    many many many thanks

    • Hi Tasitsa,

      1) The zone 1 single fare is £2.30 and it doesn’t matter when you travel. You’d need to make 6-7 journeys a week to make the extra zone worthwhile on your travelcard.
      2) You probably need to use both pink readers. If one can be missed it is likely to be Canada Water; Stratford is definitely going to be required.
      3) If you can let me know which station in Havering is your destination I can advise on whether it’s better to get a zone 2-6 travelcard or a zone 2-3 one and use PAYG for the rest.

  54. Hi Mike, many thanks this is great!
    I think, seeing as I would need to make about 4 trips a week in zone 1, maybe I could just add £10 a week, which means £40 a month in top up. I think it’s still a saving of about £30 for the monthly zone 1. (I am a student so monthly would be roughly £155 for 2-6 and £215 I think for 1-6. So about £70 difference between them)
    In Havering I would need to sometimes be going to Harold Wood, and sometimes I think I would be going to Hornchurch.
    So maybe one day a week Harold Wood, and two days a week Hornchurch, which is also unfortunately still zone 6. And Harold Wood is zone 6 so I would be doing 6 trips a week there back and forth. What do you think?
    In terms of the Canada Water and Stratford question, it’s funny because the advice from the overground people varied, one told me to touch in both stations and one told me to touch only in canada water. And then another one told me to touch in both and not listen to the previous one 🙂

    • Hi Tasita,

      OK. It’s close. Zone 2-3 travelcard costs £92.60/month whereas zone 2-6 is £154.00/month, difference is £61.40. Zone 4-6 peak singles are £2.40 each regardless of destination, so 6 journeys a week is £14.40 or £57.60 for 4 weeks. But most months have just over 4 weeks and an extra £4.80 would tip the singles over the travelcard saving. So, I think a zone 2-6 travelcard is the way to go.

      With the validators, the problem is that it’s quite easy to hop off at Canada Water and touch one before getting back on the same train, so if you just touched that one the system would think you may have gone via Cannonbury and Shoreditch High Street. Once you touch the Stratford one you have definitely gone out of your way to avoid zone 1 which is why I’m not convinced that the Canada Water one is necessary. I’m not surprised that staff on the ground haven’t got a clue though.

      Finally, are you eligible for an 18+ Student Oyster? If you are then you get 30% off the price of all travelcard seasons.

  55. Hi i needed some help on which zoned i should purchase for a monthly oyster card. I start at canning town station which is zone 3 & i get off at canada water for the overground which is zone 2, to get off at west croydon which is zone 5. Should i get a zone 2-5 because of the interchange or zones 3-5. Im not sure which one is right. Many thanks.

  56. Hi Mike,

    I’ve only just discovered this site and I’m already loving it! Great job!

    Similarly to Tom, I travel from Alexandra Palace, but in Finsbury Park I change from National Rail to Victoria and go to Oxford Circus. I use my contactless card. Should I touch at Finsbury Park station and if so, do I pay two separate fares or does it count as one journey from Ally Pally to Oxford Circus?


    • Hi Matt,

      If you’re changing at Finsbury Park then you should either touch twice (out and in) or not at all. On the way back you will be let through the gates into the NR platforms even if you didn’t touch out from the tube. In all cases it will count as one journey unless you take too long between touching out and back in again.

      However, why are you changing at Finsbury Park? Surely it would be easier to change at Highbury & Islington where it is a cross platform interchange? If you do that you can ignore the yellow readers on the platforms as you are already in an Oyster journey.

  57. Hi Mike,

    Wondering if you can help! I get national rail from Berkhamsted to Queens Park and always change at Harrow Wealdstone. Wondering if when I get off my national rail at Harrow I can just use the validator at Harrow to ‘tap in’ and then ‘tap out’ at Queens Park using this section as contactless payment rather than buying a full London travel card each day? Since I won’t be leaving the Harrow station I cannot tap in at the gates so would need to use the one inside the station, is that possible? Similarly on the way back ‘tap in’ at Queen’s Park and use the validator at Harrow to tap out then continue my journey on national rail from there? Thanks so much in advance!

    • Hi Izzi,

      Yes, that’s absolutely fine. In fact, that’s precisely the reason for the validators at key interchange stations like Harrow.

  58. Hi Mike, I’ll be travelling from Stratford to Heathrow,changing at holborn. With a zone 3-6 travelvcard. Will I have to pay extra for travelling in zone 1? Will I need to touch in at Stratford on a PAYG, touch out again at zone 3 at say, Acton town and then finish my journey to Heathrow with my ticket?

    • Hi Cecil,

      Yes, you will have to pay for zones 1-2. No, you don’t need to touch during the journey. The system will work it out for you.

  59. I take Victoria tran from seven sisters to Victoria change district line to west Brompton angain change to overgound to imperial wharf…it charge me extra money due using zone 1 ..Have any way I can ignore overcharge?

    I will be great full …give some guide line.

    • Yes! Change at Highbury & Islington (or Hackney Downs/Central) onto Overground and possibly also Willesden Junction. You must also touch the pink reader at Highbury or Hackney.

  60. Great advice. Just wondering: from Grange Park touching out (but not in) at Finsbury Park (or Highbury and Islington) before catching the tube to say Hammersmith or Oxford Street. Staff have advised that you need to touch out (never used to), so have started doing that. Can’t see where to touch in again, so only touch out again at the final destination. So far it seems to be charging fairly. Is this the wrong way to go about it?

    • Hi CAS,

      At Finsbury Park you should touch out on the gates on the NR platforms and then touch back in again on the validators in the subway before entering the tube station. If you haven’t had to touch out at the gates then there is no need to touch the validators, but doing so won’t cause problems as they have continuation exit set which means that a further touch out later on will be treated as a continuation of the journey.

      At Highbury & Islington there is absolutely no need to touch anything, although again the validators are set to continuation exit so it will work.

  61. Hi
    I recently travelled from Upton Park to Stoke Newington using Bethnal Green and Cambridge Heath as a handy Interchange that saves time and money and Liverpool Street. However, I’ve been charged for 2 £1:50 fares. I’ve checked and it’s no longer on the interchange list. I’m sure it used to be. Is there any point chasing this up with TFL?

    • Hi Nick,

      I’m not aware of any OSIs linked to either Bethnal Green station in the past. You could suggest that they consider adding this as an OSI, but I wouldn’t hold out much hope.

  62. Hi Mike.
    Sometimes in the off-peak I get a paper National Rail ticket into a zone 6 station. Often there is a free standing oyster tap-in machine so I then use that to start my oyster journey, however if there is not can I just tap out at the barriers (but not leave the station) and this will start my journey? or do I need to tap out and leave the station with my paper National Rail ticket and then go back through with my Oyster to start my journey. I ask as I try to get the same train that I have just temporary disembarked so only have about 20 secs!, I dont want to experiment for fear of getting charged for 2 journeys or an incomplete journey.

    Cheers and thanks for your amazing work on this site!

    • Hi Simon,

      Readers attached to gates are one direction only, so if you touch out without having previously touched in it will charge an incomplete journey charge. You would need to exit using your paper ticket and enter again using the Oyster.

  63. Hi Mike

    If I travel from Bow Church to Enfield Lock via Stratford, do I need to touch a yellow card reader at Stratford Station? When I asked a staff at Stratford Station, he said “Yes” but later I found out I was charged more than a zone 2-5 single fare. There’s a pink card reader on Overground platform but nowhere else I can find. As long as I read your pages, probably I don’t need to touch in&out at Stratford but I don’t know how the oyster figure out I avoid zone 1 by using Stratford.

    Thank you so much for your amazing web site, I love it.

    • Hi Haruna,

      The default fare for that journey avoids zone 1 so there is no need to touch anything at Stratford. You will be charged more if you travel through Liverpool Street. Also, Enfield Lock is in zone 6.

  64. Hi Mike,
    Sometimes in the off-peak I get a paper National Rail ticket into my zone 6 station. There is a free standing oyster tap-in machine so I then use that to start my oyster journey, however if it is too far to get to, can I just tap out at the barriers (but not leave the station) and this will start my journey? or do I need to tap out with my paper National Rail ticket and then come back through the barriers with my Oyster card to start my journey? I ask as I try to get the same train that I have just temporarily disembarked so only have about 20 seconds! I don’t want to experiment in case they charge me too much.

    Great work on this site by the way!! and many thanks

  65. Hi Mike,

    Does the contactless weekly cap apply if both national rail and underground travel is involved? I travel from Wimbledon to Bank, switching at Waterloo to the Waterloo & City line sporadically (sometimes its a few times a week, sometimes none) and am trying to figure out the cheapest option.


  66. Hi!
    When travelling from Romford I change at Liverpool Street to a circle line. Do I get charged twice? I have to tap out of the tfl rail platform and tap back in again to get to the underground platforms.

    Thanks in advance!


  67. Hi Mike

    I travelled from Brentford to Whitechapel yesterday and have a query about it. The single fare finder says £2.20 off peak as long as you don’t change from national rail at Waterloo or Victoria which would cost £4.30. I changed at Vauxhall instead, got the Victoria line to Victoria then the district line home. I did indeed get charged only £2.20 for the journey (previously I would have got the overground from Clapham Junction to avoid zone 1 but didn’t want to take the long way round).

    So far so good, but what I want to know is if you know why if I went to either of the Bethnal Green stations, it would cost £4.30 unless I specifically avoided zone 1? In the case of Bethnal Green overground, it would be a completely crazy route all around the overground then changing at the Hackney stations which surely no one would consider.

    • Hi Michael,

      It’s a complex art defining default and alternative fares, especially where there is no direct or wholly obvious route. I think that it’s possible that the route via Vauxhall is an omission. And there are people who are desperate to avoid zone 1 at all costs, so I’m pleased when ‘crazy’ routes are allowed.

  68. Hi Mike

    Thanks for the reply, I’m really intrigued to know what happens if I do the journey in reverse. As the single fare finder says its 20p more expensive off peak (10p peak) to travel Whitechapel to Vauxhall via Victoria than it would be to go all the way to Brentford. Do you think it would charge me the cheaper fare on touch out at Brentford or not?

    • Hi Michael,

      No, it will charge you the fare to Vauxhall if you use Oyster. Contactless will charge the cheaper fare because it will see the whole journey at once.

  69. I am not sure where to put this question. Here goes:
    I travel from Weybridge to Bank. I have until now always bought a combined rail & tube ticket. I have worked out that it is cheaper for me to separate the journey as rail and tube in some cases. My question is, when I change to Waterloo & City at Waterloo in the morning, there is a passage to the tube DIRECT from the railway platform without my having to exit at the main platform gates. Where is the reader located in these under-the-platform passageways for me to touch-in to BEGIN my TFL part of the waterloo&city journey using oystercard?

    • Hi Mr King,

      I believe that you need to use the standalone validators at the top of the passage leading down to the Waterloo and City. You are not alone in getting confused though.

  70. Thank you. I will look out for those validators before risking using oystercard at the direct platform interchange at Waterloo rail with TFL.

    • The main thing to be aware is that the gates you go through under the mainline platforms are the exit gates from Waterloo NR, NOT the entry gates to Waterloo LU.

  71. I am trying to work out the most cost effective way to travel from Wickford to Crossharbour! Do I combine a season ticket with an oyster card? HELP!

  72. Last week I travelled from St Pancras Int to Lewisham – ThamesLink from SPI to Farringdon, Circle Line to Bank, DLR to Lewisham. It was not clear whether I had to touch out and touch back in at Farringdon and Bank and no explanatory signs. What should I have done?

    • Hi Clifford,

      Sorry for the delay, your comment was held by the spam checker unfortunately. There is only one fare for that journey so no touches are required unless you need to go through gatelines. The readers at Farringdon are to allow people who have used paper tickets from outside London to start/end an Oyster journey. Some interchanges at Bank require you to touch out and in again within the station.

  73. Hey!

    Just wondering, when travelling from Bromley South via Brixton, do I need to tap out at Brixton NR station and then tap in on the underground? Or can I just bypass tapping out and save myself queuing up?


  74. Hi
    Is there any way I can reduce my cost travelling from Chelmsford in Essex to London Liverpool street? i use peak travel 5 days a week for work but its becoming extortionate. I go through Shenfield and Stratford and didn’t know if i could mix fares? thanks

    • Hi Suzanne,

      There is unlikely to be much saving available on a purely NR journey with just one operator. If you can get to Shenfield before 0630 then you might be able to do something, and/or if you can leave Liverpool Street outside of 1600-1900, but otherwise I don’t think there’s much I can suggest.

  75. If I am using Oyster to complete a single journey that involves a change of trains (e.g. underground-overground-DLR), and I am required to take a replacement bus for the middle part of that journey due to engineering, and therefore my journey is no longer a “single” journey as I’ve touched out and back in, should I be able to apply for a refund from TfL? My query could equally apply to a journey on a single service where the middle part is suspended.

    • Hi Doug,

      Replacement buses are a bit of a grey area with Oyster. If the journey in question is priced by TfL then you are likely to receive an automatic refund. If you don’t after 2-3 days then you can certainly call the helpdesk and they will sort it out. With National Rail operated replacement buses you will almost certainly have to call in, but you should still get the refund. You might have to contact the TOC running the replaced trains.

  76. Hi Mike,

    I commute between watford Junction and canarywharf. I have opted for monthly zone 2 to zone 9 including watford pass, which costed me £219. If I exit at Euston to Euston square, will I be fined. I am asking you this as I had to touch zone 1 when I exit in Euston. Could you please advice.


    • Hi Priya,

      You won’t be fined, but it will deduct a zone 1 single fare from your PAYG balance. If you have no balance it will make the balance negative and you won’t be able to use the travelcard until you top the balance up. You can make the journey you require without zone 1 by travelling Watford Junction – Willesden Junction – Stratford – Canary Wharf. If you must go via Euston then you are probably better off with a zone 1-W travelcard.

  77. Hi Mike,
    here’s one for you. I cycled from Palmers Green to Holland Park. Was too tired for the journey back so got on a train at Shepherds bush intending to change at Highbury and Islington for the train home.
    At some point I realised I would not be able to take my bike underground at H+I so got off at Caledonian Road and Barnsbury and cycled to Drayton Park (5-10 min) where I boarded the train. I did not check out and in again and the journey registered as one continuous journey. Not sure but it seemed to me if challanged on a train I would have a valid ticket. Cheekily I did claim a refund claiming I forgot to use the pink reader at H+I.
    Is there any way this could be counted as OSI if leaving at H+I and cycling to Drayton Park as I may make this journey more reguarily?

    • Hi Tad,

      You were quite lucky to be able to exit and enter without using gate lines. Even luckier if they gave you the refund. There’s no chance of an OSI being created over such a distance where direct trains cover it.

  78. Greetings. Will be staying near the Hackney Central Overground station during an upcoming visit, and can already see the need to change at Highbury & Islington for Victoria Line. Do I need to tap the Oyster card at H&I, either leaving/entering the tube or leaving/entering the Overground?

    • Hi Michael,

      If you are travelling to/from/through zone 1 then no. If you are avoiding zone 1 then you should use the pink validators on the Overground platforms at Highbury & Islington.

  79. Hello,

    I’ve been struggling with my daily journey between home and work (Gunnersbury and Leatherhead). Technically, I would go from Gunnersburry to Richmond, Richmond to Clapham Junction, then on to Leatherhead. My problem is where to touch my Oyster in Richmond. I would need to change from the district line to the South West Trains in Richmond station, but I don’t know where to end my journey in Richmond. There has been a lot of incomplete journeys on my account which I claimed a refund for. Get this, I called TFL the other day and told them about the whole issue. Their advice was keep making incomplete journeys throughout the week, and call us at the end of the week so we can refund them to you. Every week. If I could just punch them through the telephone I wouldn’t hesitate.

    Anyway, I’m sorry if this wasn’t clear enough, I did my best to explain exactly what was going on. Any advice/ cheaper routes?

    • Hi Ahmed,

      You don’t say what ticket you are using to get from Richmond to Leatherhead. However, all tickets available for Richmond to Leatherhead are also available for Gunnersbury to Leatherhead at no extra charge. Let me know what you currently use/have and I’ll advise what you might need to do.

  80. If i have a railcard, can i travel off peak discounted from hampton on a southwest train (but still classed as zone 6) then get off at waterloo then get on a tube to bank, and only be charged a single zone 1-6 off peak railcard journey.

    hope you can help


    • Hi Tom,

      Yes you can. Bear in mind that adding the tube will make the journey more expensive, but not as much as if it charged you for two journeys. If you look in our fares guide at the single fares page then Hampton to Waterloo is a NR1 fare while Hampton to Bank is NR1-T.

  81. Hi there,

    Some time ago you recommended a way of breaking the osi between NR and LU at Tottenham Hale. You suggested entering Tottenham Hale LU, then leaving, and then entering again.
    I tried this today using a credit card but it didn’t work, so I was charged £7.70 from ware to zone 1. However, this did work for another of your readers who was only charged £3.50 NR and £2.80 LU.
    Was this because I was using a credit card as opposed to an Oyster card ?

  82. My TfL account only shows a complete journey from Ware NR to Brixton LU. So I tapped in at Ware then out at Tottenham Hale NR. I tappped in again at Tottenham Hale LU but when I went to immediately tap out again to break the OSI the machine said “seek assistance” This I did not do but continued my journey and tapped out at Brixton LU.
    Hope this helps

    • Hi John,

      Thanks. It’s a shame you didn’t try again at another gate. As far as I know exit gates should always let you out* so it appears as though there was a read error. You certainly didn’t break the OSI, so that explains the full charge.

      *on contactless. There is a specific instance where Oyster users won’t be let out involving incomplete journeys.

  83. Mike,

    Thanks for that. I don’t travel that frequently but I’ll certainly give it another go next time.

    PS. I think I may have inadvertently sent my travel details twice! Apologies

  84. Traveling from Going by Sea to Tilbury Town.

    Separate ticket from GBS to VIC

    Contactless from VIC to Upminster. Should be £3.10

    Separate ticket Upminster to Tilbury.

    Can I change at West Ham to the Tilbury train without having to purchase the more expensive ticket?

    Or do I have to get off at Upminster to use the validator to effect end of journey?

    • Hi Robert,

      Yes you do need to get off at Upminster. You can still use a C2C train (maybe the one before the Tilbury one) but you must touch out to end the journey.

  85. New card readers are being installed at Liverpool Street station, which means entering the platforms via a disabled/wide gate you have to touch the pad on the left not the right. I have been overcharged on two occasions as the pads are not multi-directional. Raised with TFL today, who are not aware of this issue. But wanting to let others know.

  86. What is the maximum interchange time from Victoria mainline to tube? I took about 25 minutes and was charged for 2 separate journeys for what was essentially a single journey.

    • Hi Ray,

      It’s 20 minutes when going to the Underground. You get 40 going the other way because you are more likely to have to wait on the concourse until your train’s platform is announced.

  87. Hi Mike
    St Pancras-Bromley North tomorrow 1500. Is there a way of getting the NR-only fare (£1 cheaper for us seniors) for a journey via London Br? Can’t work it out from the SE website info on the Thameslink programme. thanks

    • Hi Colin,

      Probably a bit late now, sorry, but there is another way. You can travel via Northern Line between Elephant & Castle and London Bridge. It’s not directly intended to work from the north, but it does. St Pancras -> Elephant -> London Bridge.

  88. Hi Mike – loving the site.

    I’m mystified as to why I am charged more to go from Baker St to Syon Lane (£2.85) than to go from London Bridge to Syon Lane (£1.85). Both routes I travel first by tube to Waterloo, touch out, touch into the NR and then Southwest Trains to Syon Ln. I have a YP discount.

    Any thoughts?

  89. Hi Mike – another Tottenham Hale question!

    So I’m going to touch in with my Oyster and Waltham Cross then go a few stops to Tottenham Hale before changing to Victoria line. Do I have to find a validator to end my Greater Anglia journey before going on to swipe my Oyster on the London Underground gates?

    Or do I simply get off the train and swipe my Oyster on the LU entry gates?


    • Hi James,

      There are two gatelines at Tottenham Hale, one for NR and one for LU, so you’ll need to touch out at one and in at the other.

  90. Hi Mike

    I will be travelling daily from Gipsy Hill (zone 3) to Chancery Lane (or alternatively Temple). I have a number of options, one of which involves changing at Norwood Junction which is in zone 4. If I have a zone 1-3 travelcard will I be charged extra for travelling through zone 4? Also, if I use a different route, will the system know that I haven’t travelled through zone 4?


    • Hi Nick,

      The only fares available assume zones 1-3 only. You are fine as long as you touch in at the start of your journey and out at the end. For your own peace of mind I would have enough PAYG credit to exit at Norwood Junction should it be necessary. I would also definitely make sure you have touched in at Gipsy Hill or a touch out at Norwood Junction will be expensive. But in summary, in normal circumstances you will not be charged extra.

  91. Hi, I have a single ticket from Euston to crewe. the train stops at Hemel Hempstead which is the first stop of the journey, would it be ok for me to join the train at hemel with my Euston ticket, or would they disqualify my ticket?

    • Hi Chris,

      It depends what type your ticket from Euston to Crewe is. If it is an Advance single valid on one train only then joining after Euston is not allowed. If it’s an Anytime single then you will be fine. If it’s an off-peak single then you should be fine, but check the restrictions to make sure break of journey (which includes starting late) is not prohibited.

  92. Out of station interchanges can be very frustrating…yesterday I made several journeys in zones 1-4 expecting to pay the price cap. One journey was Gallions Reach to Embankment and another was Charing Cross to Woolwich Arsenal; I was only in the Charing Cross area for a few minutes. Very frustratingly, I have been charged 2 maximum fares; it has been recorded as one journey from Gallions Reach, with a touch out at Embankment, a touch in at Charing Cross and no touch out, and another journey with just a touch out at Woolwich Arsenal. I did not expect this to happen, and know that in future it could be avoided by touching onto a bus, however I did not have time for this and furthermore it could happen that I was not going to my price cap, so doing this would cost me more.

    As well as the hassle caused by this, could I have been charged a penalty fare if there had been a ticket check on the train from Charing Cross to Woolwich Arsenal?

    • Hi Harry,

      Your usage is unusual, and a good example of why we don’t recommend Oyster when roving around the place. If you are paying adult fares then a contactless card would have broken the OSI to avoid the issue. It’s unlikely that an RPI would have issued a penalty fare on the train because the card was correctly in the system. The quickest way from Gallions Reach to Woolwich Arsenal is via Canning Town and is a 2-zone journey. On a weekday the system expects that to be completed within 80 minutes. Had you gone on to Dartford it would then have been a 6-zone journey with a 120 minute allowance which may well have been OK.

  93. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for the quick reply! I touched out at Woolwich Arsenal 83 minutes after touching in at Gallions Reach so perhaps that explains it then…I do use contactless sometimes, however as a railcard holder it is frustrating that there is no way of using one card and always getting the best fares [if I’m doing a peak price cap and want to do an off-peak extension fare, I have done this without the railcard discount in a case where it would have cost more on my Oyster card]. If I am travelling in zones 1-6 only, starting after 10am I am happy to buy a paper travelcard as it’s only 10p more, however in most cases the difference is significant [and also my first journey is normally a bus, meaning that I have to buy it in advance].

    It would be great if they let you buy a travelcard for Oyster for the same price as a daily price cap, much like having a weekly/monthly/annual Travelcard; as well as presumably avoiding this problem, it would also mean that we could benefit from extension fares rather than automatically being charged the higher price cap, and use it with boundary zone tickets [I sometimes buy a paper anytime zones 1-6 travelcard as it can save money to do this and buy boundary zone tickets, but why shouldn’t we be able to pay the Oyster price cap amount?]. [I can imagine perhaps they fear that people may abuse this though]

    I appreciate that journeys like this are rare but surely the point in a price cap is that you can make any set of journeys within your zones. If I ever need to do such a journey again I guess I’ll just have to take the maximum fares and contact TFL for a refund!

  94. Hi Mike

    I’ll be doing the tourist thing come September and heading out to Windsor Castle (on a Tuesday likely)

    Google has me travelling from Euston > Vauxhall Station > Vauxhall (National Rail) > Windsor & Eton Riverside

    I was wondering how all of this works using an Oyster Card. What the cost is, and how to properly use an Oyster card for a trip like this.

    Thank you!

    • Hi Dustin,

      You can’t use Oyster out as far as Windsor, it’s only valid to Feltham on that line. I think I’d suggest using Oyster for the Euston to Vauxhall bit and then get a paper ticket for Vauxhall to Windsor & Eton Riverside.

  95. Hi Mike
    I would like yo go from Rotherhithe to Parsons Green, and it seems to me the simplest way would be via London Overground, changing at Clapham Junction, to West Brompton where I would then change to the District Line. This would all be within zone 2. The tfl website doesn’t even show this as an option, can you tell me if it’s possible and would I be chargesd a zone 2 fare?

    • Hi Penny,

      Sadly you would be charged zones 1-2 whichever way you go. Overground to Whitechapel and District line the rest, possibly changing at Earls Court, is what they reckon most people would do.

      I agree that avoiding zone 1 seems like a reasonable option. Perhaps you could contact TfL and ask them to consider adding it as an option.

  96. Hi Mike,

    My daily commute starts at Tooting Bec and ends at Kempton Park, to get to the next railway station (Balham or Clapham Junction) I have a oyster card with a monthly travelcard for the zones 2 and 3.
    I’ve also got the monthly railway travelcard this one from Wimbledon until Kempton Park, so that it covers the rest of the trip outside my oyster zones.

    The question is, because I tap in my Oyster at Balham or Clapham to enter the railway, I never get to tap out until the end of the day (doesn’t make any sense getting out of the train at Wimbledon just to tap out, and coming running back in) which causes me to accumulate incomplete journeys everyday.
    Is there any problem with that?
    Is something I’m doing wrong?
    Can I be persecuted for that?
    Thank you.

    • Hi Joaquim,

      That’s fine. You are not penalised for not touching in/out within the zones covered by your travelcard as long as all your travel is covered. Your paper ticket allows you to carry on. You might be able to save money though. You currently get zone 2-3 monthly at £94.90 plus Wimbledon – Kempton Park at £136.40, total £231.30. You could get a zone 2-6 monthly at £158.30 plus Hampton – Kempton Park at £56.10, total £214.40.

  97. Hello Mike,
    I know you probably hear this a lot, but thank you so much for making this site, it is very useful!!!
    My parents are visiting and are staying near Elverson Road(DLR), if they were to take the DLR to Lewisham, take a train to Charing Cross, then take the tube to, say Piccadilly Circus, would they be charged a single zone 2 to 1 journey because of OSI?
    And just out of interest, when I used the single journey finder, Elverson Rd->Lewisham(DLR) and Elverson Rd->Lewisham(Rail) had a 10p difference in price…. How would it be possible for people to go from Elverson Rd to Lewisham Rail without touching out??!
    The TfL single fare finder is quite rubbish in the sense that it always says “No fares found, please try again” when there are clearly routes for such journeys…
    Many thanks,

    • Hi Crispin,

      Elverson Road to Piccadilly Circus would be one journey as long as the OSI interchange times are not exceeded. Travelling via Lewisham and Charing Cross will be more expensive than via Canary Wharf and Green Park because of the different fare scales involved.

      I’m not quite sure how you get a 10p difference between Elverson Road and Lewisham NR/DLR, however, the longer route would be Elverson Road – Greenwich – Charlton – Lewisham. Yes it’s bonkers, but it’s likely to be the effect of clustering nearby stations together.

      Finally, most of the routes that no fares are set for are considered illogical. There are some that have slipped through the net and you can always email TfL and ask them to add a fare. The actual live system will generate a ‘default’ fare if you actually make a fareless journey.

  98. Hi Mike

    I travel from East Putney to Mansion House on the District Line at the morning peak, then from Bank to Wandsworth Town (via Waterloo & City Line and Waterloo mainline station) at the evening peak. Both trips are Zone 2 to/from Zone 1, but the morning journey is £2.90 whereas the evening journey is £4.40.

    It seems to be charging me more for travelling via/changing at Waterloo even though the zones are the same. Is this to do with having to tap out and then in again at Waterloo, and how do I avoid it?

    Many thanks.

    • Hi James,

      If you take a look at my fares guide pages the answer should become clear. The evening journey uses National Rail and Underground which is charged a premium when it goes through zone 1. The morning journey is Underground only. However, are you using the same Oyster or payment card? If yes then the afternoon journey should be capped at £3.70.

      As for avoiding it, you’ll have to avoid National Rail.

  99. Ah, many thanks Mike. With a supposedly “joined up” transport system within London it doesn’t make sense to me to differentiate between two different types of rail transport where the start/end zones are the same, but there you go…

    • Well the problem is that different companies run the different bits of the system. We were heading towards simpler fares but then the people of London elected a mayor with the wrong colour rosette and Chris Grayling threw his toys out of the pram.

  100. I have discovered another anomaly with oyster. A single peak journey from Sloane Square to Ware would cost you £9.60. However the peak fare from Sl.Square to Tottenham Hale is only £3.30. If you reach TH after the peak, the off peak from there to Ware is £3.60, a total of £.6.90 and a saving of £3.00 on the through fare for the sake of a few extra tap in and outs !!

    • Thanks John,

      Yes, there are loads of opportunities to ‘split’ at Tottenham Hale. It’s a shame GA can’t sort out the fares really. Perhaps if more people did the in-out-in it might get noticed.

  101. Does the ‘OSI’ scheme apply when entering and leaving the same station within a set period of time?

    eg. Leaving the Victoria line at Euston to use the left luggage facility then re-entering to continue my journey on either the Victoria or Northern Line.

    • Hi Martin,

      Not normally, no. There are some stations where you can exit one gateline and enter via another, eg Kings Cross St Pancras, but not at Euston.

  102. Hi Mike,
    This is an extremely useful and well-maintained website!
    My normal commute is from Woodside Park to Mile End. I realised that I can avoid zone 1 by doing the OSI thing at Camden Town to transfer to Overground at Camden Road, then touching the pink scanner at Stratford, and finally getting to Mile End via Central Line. I tried this, but I am still charged as if I it were a trip involving zone 1 (£3.90 peak, £2.80 off-peak). Actually, it’s also what the Tfl single fare finder gives me. Is this unavoidable, or is it an omission that I should report to Tfl?

    • Hi Achilley,

      It’s a route that TfL don’t think anyone would make as it’s a bit roundabout, hence why the single fare finder doesn’t show it. You could ask them to add it, but I wouldn’t like to raise any false hopes.

      In the meantime, if you are commuting 5 days a week then you can buy a zone 2-4 travelcard and fiddle the journey. They do allow Woodside Park to Stratford via Camden Town/Road, so if you then touch out at the gateline at Stratford and touch back in again you’ll make it two journeys both covered by the travelcard. You will need to use a gate-line rather than any pink/yellow validators.

  103. Hi Mike,
    Thanks! I am not always travelling 5 days a week. I know I’m perverse but I still want to make this trip. I just submitted an inquiry at the TfL website.
    I must say that how their system works is strange. If it is not in their database, it must assume that you have taken the shortest route consistent with OSI and pink scanners… I guess it’s because their system can’t do such computation during the short time that the yellow scanner is touched…

    • Hi Achilley,

      The system only works with defined journeys. As you say, there isn’t time to work out different possibilities at touch out time.

    • Hi Achilley,

      I have to say that I’m not very surprised by this. The extra change and the reverse nature of the last leg make it a pretty unattractive option to most people.

  104. Hi Mike,
    I sometimes commute from Petts Wood (zone 5) to London Cannon Street (Zone 1). This morning, the bus I was on was slow moving and I missed my train. When I fired up Citymapper, it advised going further out by 1 stop to Orpington, changing platform and taking the fast train into Cannon Street. Firstly, if I did this, since I’m not leaving the station would I need a ticket to cover the venture into Zone 6 and secondly, if I did, would touching a yellow card reader at Orpington, assuming there is one somewhere other than the exit barriers cause any problems with the fare calculation?



    • Hi John,

      That trip is fine without touching at Orpington. As long as you touch in at the start of your journey and out at the end you cannot be off-route as long as you stay within the Oyster PAYG area.

  105. Hi Mike. Thanks for this site. I have recently started travelling to Hornsey from Clapham Common, once a week. I am taking the Victoria line to Highbury and then changing to overground. The overground platform is right next to the underground platform and doesn’t require going through any ticket barriers, but there are card readers on the platforms. Do I need to tap my card on one/both of the platforms when changing, or can I just move from train to train and only tap out when I get to Hornsey?

    Thank you


    • Hi Dave,

      Sorry for the delay, your comment was flagged as spam for some reason. There is no need to touch the readers at Highbury & Islington on your journey. They are there to assist people travelling on paper tickets to/from Potters Bar and beyond so they can start/end their Oyster journeys without having to go up to the gateline.

  106. Hi Mike,
    Yeah, I understand that the route is perverse, unattractive, and all that. But you shouldn’t be penalised for taking an unattractive route 🙂 Fares must be calculated only based on some solid rules, like zones and time of travel. It’s their “it’s a feature and not a bug” attitude that pisses me off.

    • The problem is that to cover every esoteric way of avoiding zone 1 by any means would add an awful lot to the routes database and could well require additional validators to be installed. A line has to be drawn somewhere. They have in the past added avoiding zone 1 routes where it seemed reasonable to do so.

  107. Hi Mike. I’ve got a few OSI-related queries. Firstly, I did a Sunday afternoon journey from Clapham junction to Golders Green, intending to use the OSI at Camden rd & Camden Town. But I couldn’t enter Camden Town as the station was exit only in the afternoon so I had to walk to Mornington Crescent to complete my journey to Golders Green. Consequently I was charged two separate fares. Should the oyster system have recognised that this was an OSI, as Camden Town is exit-only every Sunday afternoon? The staff at Golders Green wouldn’t refund anything as there were no incomplete journeys, and I gave up on the oyster helpline after being on hold for 15mins. Secondly, it looked easier to do this journey if there was an OSI at Hampstead Heath and Hampstead- it would save a few stops, and perhaps ease some congestion at Camden Town. I couldn’t see Hampstead as an OSI though- is it something being considered or has it been ruled out for some reason? Thanks. Paul.

    • Hi Paul,

      If you look at my page for the Camden OSI you’ll see that it’s noted that Camden Town is exit only on Sunday afternoons. Sadly this means that you can’t use the OSI in that direction at that time. You can use Kentish Town to Kentish Town West (although I realise that that is on the wrong branch of the Northern line). Hampstead Heath to Hampstead is considered to be too far to be an OSI.

  108. Hi. I live in Epsom which is outside the zones. I work in Earls Court and buy a monthly paper ticket that covers Epsom through zone 2. I am going to Lords on Saturday and will need to go through Waterloo. I normally use Oyster to cover zone 1 travel. How do I do this though if I am on the train and cannot tap in at Vauxhall for the last bit of the travel to Waterloo? I would like to take advantage of OSI. Or do I need to get off at Vauxhall and take the Victoria line (which is what I usually do to solve this annoying problem with how Oyster works/doesn’t work for those with travel cards). Thanks much.

    • Hi Catherine,

      You need to touch in before travelling in zone 1 and Vauxhall is the best place for that. Vauxhall LU to St John’s Wood on a Saturday is still £2.40.

      You could also lobby your MP to get Epsom included in the Oyster system. He’s quite an appropriate one as he’s also the transport minister. Approach him as an annoyed constituent but aware that he can’t fob you off with having to write to the minister.

  109. Hi, I used the fare finder to discover a new route between Bromley South and Hatch End. I see the zone 1-6 route via Willesden Junction is charged at £3.80
    It lacks the simplicity of the route via Euston, which is also Zone 1-6. Can you tell me why there is a different charge for the same zones?

    • Hi Patricia,

      Bromley South – Victoria – Euston – Hatch End involves Underground as well as National Rail whereas Bromley South – West Hampstead – Willesden Junction – Hatch End is all National Rail.

  110. Travelling from woolwich to shepherds bush. I’m aware it’s in zone 2. I’ve got a monthly oyster for zone 3-4. What routes would I need to use to avoid any unnecessary charges. Can I use my oyster card to travel there.

    Thank you

    • Hi Ozzy,

      Yes, you can use Oyster. You’ll need to pay for zone 2 and can do it one of two ways. First travel via Lewisham, Denmark Hill and Clapham Junction (and touch the pink reader there) before taking the Overground to Shepherd’s Bush. The other way takes the DLR to Stratford (where you touch the pink reader) then Overground round to Shepherd’s Bush, possibly changing at Willesden Junction.

  111. Hi Mike – I understand from the above that if I go THROUGH zone 1 I have to pay for it –and I am trying to avoid paying zone 1 as much as I can, so what about if I want to go to the following:

    *from Queens Park (Zone 2) to Brixton (Zone 2)? I usually take the Bakerloo line from Queens Park to Victoria then I change to the Victoria line.
    *And from Queens Park (Zone 2) to Hayward Wood (Zone 6)? I usually go from Queens Park with the overground and change to Euston but need to tab the barriers to go to Moorgate and Liverpool station, so I get charged for zone one.

    Thank you,

    • Hi Ragy,

      My Oyster fare finder says you can avoid zone 1 by travelling via Willesden Junction, Clapham Junction, Clapham High Street/North and Stockwell. That sounds like a very roundabout route, but it does save money. Likewise for Harold Wood you can change at Willesden Junction and Stratford, making sure you touch the pink reader at Stratford.

  112. Hi I need to travel from upminster to Hertford east on Oyster preferably as cheaply as possible I have been advised the “default” route is upminster to barking , barking to Tottenham Hale. Change and onto Hertford east I have worked it out I would also have to change at black horse road which Oyster help did not mention how do I go on with touching in and out and pink validators etc and also as I will have luggage is there any way of avoiding Blackhorse Road stair access for the same 3.60 fare thanks in anticipation

    • Hi Moonie,

      As it is the default route you can ignore any pink validators. You can go pretty much any way you choose as long as you don’t leave the system and don’t go through barriers in zone 1 (Fenchurch Street or Liverpool Street). Try Upminster to West Ham, then Stratford, then Tottenham Hale, then Hertford East.

  113. Hello Mike,

    I travel routinely in what is known as the evening peak period from Enfield Lock to Zone 1 (e.g. King’s Cross/St Pancras), changing at Tottenham Hale with a National Railcard (16-25) applied.

    Any journey in the evening peak period from outside Zone 1, into Zone 1 is deemed an off-peak journey, I am expecting to pay £2.05 as stated by the Single Fare Finder.

    Tottenham Hale requires touching out and back in, it is a listed OSI for this purpose.

    When I touch out, I am immediately charged the Peak Zone 6 – Zone 3 fare, I then continue my journey and touch out in Zone 1, where I am charged a further £0. Typically this would mean I am charged £2.80 for the entire journey. The Off-peak Zone 6 – Zone 1 is less than the peak Zone 6 – Zone 3, hence I am overcharged every single time.

    I can get refunds through Tfl by contacting them by phone, but this is a chore.

    Is there any way I can avoid this occurring (outside of travelling to Liverpool St), and do you know if Tfl are aware of this problem? My understanding is that it should be rectifiable by treating Tottenham Hale as a via point, then issuing the appropriate refund at a Zone 1 exit.

    Any comments, or advice for future steps to take to rectify this more permanently are warmly received.

    • Hi Daniel,

      This is a known limitation of the current Oyster system. It will be fixed in a year or so when Oyster moves to the back office system that contactless currently uses. In the meantime you need to avoid changing at Totteham Hale. You could try changing at Hackney Downs/Central and Highbury & Islington.

  114. Hi Mike,

    I used to regularly travel from Sydenham to Ealing Broadway. If I used Southern to get to London Bridge and changed onto the Underground from there, I would be charged the higher price of £5.10.

    However, I always noticed that if I made my way to Paddington on the Overground and Underground, then changed onto Great Western/Heathrow Connect to get to Ealing Broadway, I wouldn’t be charged the premium you usually are when mixing Underground with National Rail. At peak times it would be £3.30.

    Is there a reason Paddington seemed to be an exception to the rule for the other Zone 1 stations mentioned above?


    • Hi Joe,

      If you travel on Overground to Canada Water or Whitechapel and then on the Underground you are using TfL services all the way. In addition, GWR charge TfL fares so you still don’t pay NR rates. If you use any of the other zone 1 interchanges (eg London Bridge, Victoria) then you will pay NR rates.

  115. Hello

    I’m travelling from Forest Hill to Cockfosters tomorrow, but there are closures on the Overground affecting the route I would usually take.

    Do you know if there’s likely to be an EOSI between Dalston Junction and Highbury & Islington? As I can get the replacement bus on this section if so.

    • Hi Jo,

      Are you sure there are closures? According to the TfL website there are no closures on the Underground and only the Gospel Oak to Barking line is affected on the Overground.

    • Hi Jo,

      Sorry I didn’t get back to this in time. It does appear as though there were inconsistencies between the page you linked to and the weekend engineering map. Sadly it isn’t normally possible to know where EOSIs will be set up in advance. If the amount you’ve been charged for the journey seems excessive then call the helpdesk and they may consider a refund.

  116. Mike – great site!

    I have a Z1-Z3 annual Travelcard on my Oystercard. Tonight I travelled Charing Cross (Z1) to Woolwich Arsenal (Z4) on the mainline. Then without having to pass through any ticket gates or seeing any Oyster readsers, I took the DLR three stops to Pontoon Dock (Z3). My understanding is that I should somehow pay to cross (Z4) but the system would never know that was my route. If however I got a DLR ticket check whilst still in (Z4) and travelling back to (Z3) am I in trouble? I would guess so.

    Thanks Rob

    • Hi Rob,

      As long as you touched in at Charing Cross and out at Pontoon Dock then you will be charged the correct fare. In this instance there are multiple ways that you could make the journey and the Oyster system says it should be a zone 1-3 fare. I would not expect trouble from RPIs making this journey.

  117. No worries. As it turned out, there were no Southern trains running either so I just got a replacement bus to London Bridge and took the tube from there. Wasn’t the quickest of journeys but cheap enough.


  118. Hi, I am travelling from Streatham station (Thameslink) to Bromley South (via Herne Hill) to Bromley South where I am catching a South Eastern train to Maidstone East. When I have done this journey before I used my contactless debit card from Streatham to Bromley South but when I arrived at Bromley South I had to walk up the stairs and actually touch out at Bromley South and then go back in with my rail card from Bromley South to Maidstone East. This nearly caused me to miss my train from Bromley to Maidstone. Are there are card readers on the platforms at Bromley South?

    • Hi Sam,

      Sadly not. The best advice is to be in the right part of the train for the bridge at Bromley South so you don’t have to navigate along the platform.

  119. I’m a little bit confused as to what I’m supposed to do for journeys from Clapham Junction and into, say, Tottenham Court Road. The Single fare finder says that Default Route should cost £2.90/£2.40, but changing from train to tube at Vauxhall, Waterloo or Victoria is £4.40/£3.80… so what am I meant to do? What other ways are there? And what on earth would be the cheaper default route?

    • Hi Alyssa,

      The default route in this case is either via Shepherds Bush or Clapham High Street/North. Those use London Overground rather than SWR or Southern.

  120. Yeah was wondering about the High Street/ North connection, if that could work. Having the same issue with getting to Alexandra Palace from CJ, £2.10 if avoiding Zone 1 via Willesden Junction and Highbury & Islington… Been trying to figure out the route, but I can’t get it to be not super complicated.

    Also thanks so much! For a while it seemed living in zone 2 was gonna be three times as expensive travel wise as living in zone 4 with TFL rail access.

    • Hi Alyssa,

      I guess it depends on your definition of complicated. It’s London Overground to Willesden Junction then change onto another LO train to Highbury & Islington, then a Great Northern train to Alexandra Palace. If you’re lucky you might not have to change at Willesden Junction, but it’s the same platform if you do.

  121. Do you think that it’s necessary to touch out and in if interchanging trains at Catford and Catford Bridge? Since they are right next to each other and both unbarriered.

  122. Hi Mike,

    I have a query on which I’d appreciate your input.

    I have to travel from Swanley (National Rail, Zone 8) to Osterley (Zone 4). I will be travelling off-peak during the week, so would swipe in at Swanley before 06:30.

    I checked the single fare finder for Oyster/Contactless and it came back as £6.40, but I’m not sure what route this refers to or whether the route actually matters.

    For example, I could travel from Swanley to Victoria, then take the District Line on the Underground to South Kensington and then change onto the Piccadilly Line. Or I could travel from Swanley to Elephant and Castle, then take the Bakerloo Line to Piccadilly Circus and change onto the Piccadilly Line. Both of these routes take me into Zone 1.

    However, an alternative route would be to travel from Swanley to Denmark Hill, then take London Overground to Clapham Junction, Clapham Junction to West Brompton (again on London Overground), then change onto the District Line at West Brompton and travel to Earl’s Court where I could pick up the Piccadilly Line. This route would allow me to avoid Zone 1.

    Does the single fare stay the same regardless of whether I try to avoid Zone 1 using the above route, or would it actually be cheaper if I were to travel via Denmark Hill?


    • Hi Jake,

      There is only one fare for Swanley to Osterley so it doesn’t matter which way you go. It’s likely that they consider changing so many times would make the journey unattractive and no-one would go via Clapham Junction.

  123. Here’s a new minor anomaly, at least to me: last week I travelled off peak from Bow Church DLR to Dartford rail changing at Greenwich rail/DLR. On the way back I got charged £4.20 (which is the correct fare according to your fare according to the TFL fare finder) but on the way there I got charged £1.50 and then £2.80 which is £4.30 in total.
    The difference in journeys was that I signed in and out at Greenwich on the way there but not on the way back (as I didn’t need to leave and then reenter the station to change trains going that way); but a) I think you are meant to ‘exit/enter’ using the scanners when you change between the DLR and rail; and b) there might be a barrier you have to go through to reenter the rail station in which case you need to ‘exit’ the DLR first (it turns out there aren’t any barriers so you don’t need to ‘exit’, but you don’t know that when you get to the station). So the moral of the story is for this journey you get charged 10p over the odds if you do the right thing.
    (In fairness I should say that I pointed all this out to TFL and they reimbursed me and said it was an ‘interesting’ problem but offered no explanation.)

    • Hi xerxes,

      OK, Greenwich is an interesting station. As you discovered, changing from a London bound SE train to a Canary Wharf bound DLR train is cross platform. Any other combination is not and requires use of the underpassage where various validators exist as that is also one of the entrances to the station. Despite these validators there is no need to use them if you are simply changing trains. Perhaps this needs to be made clearer by signage.

      The 10p difference results from being charged two journeys rather than one. I wonder if you know how long it took between touching out and back in again? In particular, was it more or less than two minutes?

  124. Thanks for the reply. The guy at TFL also said it was an ‘interesting’ problem so I’m glad I added some spark to his working day! Unfortunately as well as correctly although foolishly signing in and out on the way there, I also didn’t time myself doing this. I didn’t dawdle in changing from the DLR platfrom to the rail one but you have to go through the tunnel and then climb the stairs/ramp to touch in on the rail platform so I would say changing in 2 minutes is possible but pushing it if you are (as I was) unfamiliar with the setup there. I think the thing to do is to provide signage making it clear that either you do or don’t have to sign in/out when changing from the DLR to/from rail.

  125. Simple question. I’m travelling from Bromley by Bow to Greenwich / Cutty Sark DLR. TFL suggests one stop to Bow Road and then changing to Bow Church DLR. However, according to TFL estimates it’s a 9 minute walk from one station to the other. Do I have to touch out at Bow Rd and in again at Bow Church? Signage at Bow Rd indicating you can change to the DLR would suggest not, but a 9 minute walk
    suggests otherwise.

    • Hi Victy,

      Yes you do need to touch out and in again. I’m pretty sure that Bow Road has gates so you have to touch there, thus you need to pair up the touches at Bow Church.

      Oh, and Google maps thinks it’s a 4 minute walk.

  126. Thanks for providing this, it is helpful as I have been unable to figure it out on the official TFI website. I am visiting London and will be travelling to North London (Waltham Cross) which requires a change at Tottenham Hale. However, it is unclear what I will be charged. It does say I need to tap in and out when changing stations, but I don’t know if that will mean I am charged a single from Euston – Tot Hale and then a second single from Tot Hale – Waltham Cross. This is a little more expensive than the straight single from Euston to Waltham Cross. Which in turn begs the question of why does a single contactless fare exist (I think it’s £4) from Euston to Waltham Cross when it is impossible to make that as a unbroken journey.

    • Hi James,

      I think you’ve probably worked it out on the OSI List page, but yes, it will combine the two parts of the journey as long as you don’t exceed the allowance when changing at Tottenham Hale.

  127. Hi congrats for great site. Question, going from Southend Central with C2C to London Bridge underground (dep 8am ret 5pm) they charge £26.80 BUT a return to West Ham is £17.10 and two single Oysters to L Bridge are £2.90 & £2.40 price dif £4.40 ! So what am I suposed to do at West Ham cus no barriers between the platforms. Thanks

    • Hi Chris,

      Firstly, the return trip from London Bridge to West Ham is also £2.90. The afternoon peak fares are only not charged if you finish the journey in zone 1.

      I’m not that familiar with West Ham, but if there are yellow validators on any of the platforms then you can use those to end/start your Oyster journey. Otherwise you will need to go through the barriers, once with the paper ticket and the other with the Oyster.

  128. Hi,

    I just had a quick question. I want to travel from Zone 1/2(Northern or Victoria line) to Watford Junction during 7.9am and 5-7pm and I have a railcard. I have a friend that says if I get a yearly zone 1-2 travelcard to travel through central and tap out at Warren St or St Panc and walk to Euston it significantly then reduces the price of my train then from Euston to Watford Junction. Do you know if/why this happens?


    • Hi Stephanie,

      Yes, it’s correct. Travel between Euston and Watford Junction against the peak flow is charged at off-peak rates in both directions. The reason Warren Street or Kings Cross St Pancras are used is because they are not linked to Euston NR so you effectively make it two journeys. You can get off at Euston LU, but before going to the NR gateline you MUST touch on a bus outside the station. As you have a travelcard you will not be charged for the bus but it will break the rail journey in two. Finally, because you have a travelcard you are only charged for the zone 3 to Watford Junction fare which is really good value off-peak.

  129. Hi , I have been reading through about where to touch in and out on transfer journeys and am still a little confused . I havent made a journey like this before . I am going from dartford to heathrow terminals 1,2,3 and intend to use my oyster , change at london bridge and go on the underground. I touch in at dartford and I would touch in and out of the underground . Do I need to touch at london bridge on the national rail platform before touching in on the underground ? Please advise

  130. Hi,
    next week i am travelling to London. From Stansted Airport i will use the stansted express ending at Liverpool Street. My end station is West Drayton. From Liverpool Street I will take the tube to Paddington and from Paddington the Great Western Railway to West Drayton. Is this the correct route? I will use Oyster PAYG and I am a little bit confused regarding Touching in and out the Oyster card correctly. Can you please explain to me, where to touch in and out on my route?

    • Hi Manuel,

      Sorry for the delay replying. Touch in at Liverpool Street LU, out at Paddington LU, in at Paddington NR and out at West Drayton.

  131. Hi Mike, I’m confused about the “premium” charged if you change trains at Waterloo NR onto the Underground (or vice versa), and the TfL journey planner/fare finder giving out a “normal” route, but not saying what this is. For example, travelling from Bank (LU) to Clapham Junction, the fare finder says £2.40, but also gives an “alternative fare” of £3.90 if “you change from LU to National Rail at Waterloo”. I can’t see why anyone would want to go from Bank to Clapham Jn not via Waterloo! So how does this “extra” fare of £1.50 work, please? And if I’m use Oyster or contactless, is there any difference (I’ve seen some comments on your site about CPCs calculating fares differently) ? Finally, if I’ve already reached the Fare Cap for the day, presumably the extra £1.50 is irrelevant? Many thanks – I can’t find anything at all on TfL/National Rail about this additional fare.

    • Hi Andrew,

      The £1.50 is the off-peak premium charged when you mix TfL-priced services with NR-priced services on a journey involving zone 1. In this case the section between Waterloo and Clapham Junction is the NR bit. Whilst I agree that not many people would avoid this section to make the journey, it is possible to do so without touching out and in again en-route. An example is District line from Monument (Bank) to West Brompton then Overground to Clapham Junction. Both those operators are TfL-priced.

      There is no difference in the single fares when using Oyster or contactless, and if you’ve reached the cap already there will be no extra charge whichever way you go.

  132. Mike – thanks, that’s all very clear. It is a bit poor (one might say devious) that this extra charge is not made clear on TfL or National Rail, as there is so much publicity about Oyster within the London zones 1-6 and the inter-operability between LU and NR…..

    • Hi Andrew,

      It’s political. TfL would rather the premium wasn’t there. The bits of NR which charge it are the bits that had to be forced to accept Oyster in 2010. They have little interest in Oyster.

  133. Hi Mike – I have a monthly travelcard for zones 2 to 5 to travel between Elephant and Castle and East Croydon. If I use the Thameslink and change trains at Blackfriars station (using the underpass at the Southbank end where there aren’t barriers), will I pay a surcharge for travelling through zone 1?

    • Hi Dave,

      I don’t think you will because the default route is zone 2-5, but I would recommend that you always have enough credit to allow you to exit in zone 1 if necessary.

  134. Hi,

    Quick question: what happens if, at an OSI, you:
    1 – Don’t touch out
    2 – Don’t touch in
    3 – Neither touch our not touch in?

    I often do the Liverpool Street NR->LU OSI, and often the barriers are open at the NR end so I think about not touching out.

    Similarly, at Limehouse, the footbridge between the Eastbound DLR platform and the Train Station has a stand-alone reader for you to touch out, followed immediately by barriers to touch in, and I question whether it’s really necessary to touch out on the stand-alone reader.

    • Hi Chris,

      You will probably be charged an incomplete journey in the case of 1 or 2. There are some places where this doesn’t happen, but it’s better to be safe than sorry. In the case of 3 you will still be charged for one journey. Eg at Lewisham if the NR gates are open you can avoid touching when changing to the DLR.

  135. Hi,

    Just a quick question about a journey I made recently. I travelled from Shepherds Bush NR (Z2) to Higham’s Park (Z4) going through Gospel Oak (touched Pink reader) and the OSI at Walthamstow Queens Road to Walthamstow Central, and was charged as if I went through Z1, even though I didn’t.

    I noticed that the fare finder suggests that I took the NLL to Hackney Central and used the pink validators en route to Hackney Downs, in order to avail of the fare avoiding Zone 2.

    Do you know if this is an anomaly, or is it just my weird routing that’s causing me problems?

    • Hi James,

      TfL haven’t programmed the route via Gospel Oak. As you didn’t touch any of the readers which would have confirmed an alternative route, it has charged you the default fare. I think your route has merits for that journey so I would be inclined to suggest it to TfL.

  136. Hi,
    I buy zone 2-3 travel card traveling on the overground trains from Harringey Green Lanes, changing in Gospel Oak towards Clapham Junction. In Clapham Junction I change platforms to catch a South Western train (one stop) to Earsfield, which is in zone 3.
    For some reason I’m being charged £2.40 every time I take that train. Why is this happening? The journey is within zone 2-3 and I have a valid travel card. What makes it even more bizarre is the fact that my colleague makes the same journey Earlsfield – Clapham Junction without being charged extra money… He also uses zone 2-3 travel card, only instead of taking overground he travels with another train. Many thanks.

    • Hi Pat,

      The only fare for Harringay Green Lanes to Earlsfield is via zone 1. When you get to Clapham Junction do a slight detour via the exit and touch out and back in again. That will split your journey in two and both of them will avoid zone 1, so you won’t be charged. Repeat on the way back as well.

  137. Morning Mike,
    A bit of advice please as I am sure I’ve been overcharged for my journey using my contactless card – and wanted to check before calling up TfL 🙂
    I made a journey from Woolwich Arsenal (National Rail) to Brimsdown and my journey was as follows :-

    09:54 Entry Woolwich Arsenal (National Rail)
    10:41 Exit Waterloo East
    I walked to Waterloo and took the Waterloo and City to Bank and Central Line to Liverpool Street.
    10:44 Waterloo (London Underground)
    10:57 Exit Liverpool Street (London Underground)

    This is charged me £4.50
    I then continued my journey

    11:04 Entry Liverpool Street (National Rail)
    11:35 Exit Brimsdown

    And I was charged £3.10 for this journey separately – Making a total of £7.60 when the fare finder says it should have been £4.90.

    Which is correct?

    • Hi Christopher,

      You have been overcharged. Is the journey recent? Have you looked at payment history rather than journey history? I’m thinking that one of the Liverpool Street touches was late getting to the central system. It might sort itself out, but in any case the helpdesk ought to be able to adjust it. I’d be interested to see what they say is the reason for the overcharge.

  138. Hi Mike,

    I am travelling from earlsfield to East Croydon and I have an apprentice Oyster card covering zones 3-5. Do I have to avoid Clapham Junction as I have found that I have been charged an extension fee?

    • Hi Olivia,

      You need zones 2-5 to make that journey by rail because you do have to travel via Clapham Junction. However there is a cheaper alternative. If you get a zone 3-4 travelcard you can travel to Wimbledon and take the tram. Trams don’t operate in zones so no need to worry that you end up in zone 5.

  139. Hi Mike,
    Just getting back to you with regards to my Woolwich Arsenal to Brimsdown journey 🙂
    I got a refund on the overcharge but was told it was correctly charged as two journeys because I must have exceeded the interchange time at Liverpool Street!
    I must admit I was quite surprised considering that I felt quite lucky in just having 7 minutes interchange time considering the train service I was changing to is half hourly.
    Out of interest what is the maximum interchange time here meant to be before it would be classed as a break of journey?
    But the main thing was I got my refund 🙂

  140. Hi Chris,

    He doesn’t know what he’s talking about. LU-NR at Liverpool Street is 40 minutes, precisely because there are services which only run every 30 minutes.

  141. Hi Mike,

    I travel to Hackney Downs from Cambridge. My train from Cambridge arrives at Tottenham Hale, where I then catch a NR train to Hackney Downs. I buy an advance single to Tottenham Hale and then use contactless the train to Hackney Downs. Do I have to use my ticket to exit the gate, before using contactless to walk straight back in? Could I just go on the next train and tap out at Hackney?

    • Hi Pete,

      You need to exit and enter so that the system knows where you have started your contactless journey from. If you don’t you’ll get a maximum fare charged on touch out.

  142. Hi Mike

    Can one go from Liverpool St TfL Rail to Moorgate to get the Northern line and vice versa ?

    I tend to walk to Moorgate rather than go the one stop, but the last 2 times got charged for 2 journeys

    • Hi Alex,

      No, there is no need to touch at Seven Sisters, unless you need to use the accessible route which goes out of the paid area and back in again.

  143. My journey, Shortlands to Blackwall DLR involves three touch-ins and three touch-outs, and there is only a single closed barrier on the way home.

    For 11 out of 12 touches in the day it’s up to me to be careful. I find many of the screens are obscured, an important issue in itself, but I always wait for the green light.

    Nevertheless a couple of times per month I might make a mistake.

    More importantly I have found on my statement three instances over 6 weeks in which I have done all the correct touching in and out BUT the system has misinterpreted my journey and overcharged me by considering my final touch-out to be a touch-in. How is this possible when most journeys are charged correctly?

    There’s nothing unusual about the timings at all.

    This seems like an important complaint since many hundreds of people may be affected, and I know most do not check their statements.

    • Hi Topcat,

      I agree that it looks worrying. Is it possible to copy a snapshot of a days usage where it has trated the last touch as the start of a journey?

  144. A BAD DAY
    Tuesday, 20 November 2018 £16.50 daily total
    19:08 – ????
    Shortlands [National Rail] to [No touch-out] £5.50 £12.80
    19:08 Touch in, Shortlands [National Rail] £5.50 £12.80
    17:37 – ????
    Blackwall DLR to [No touch-out] £8.00 £18.30
    18:49 Touch in, Catford [National Rail] £5.40 £18.30
    18:48 Touch out, Catford Bridge [National Rail] +£5.40 £23.70
    18:11 Touch in, Lewisham [National Rail] £6.30 £18.30
    18:10 Touch out, Lewisham DLR +£6.30 £24.60
    17:37 Touch in, Blackwall DLR £8.00 £18.30

    and a NORMAL DAY
    Wednesday, 21 November 2018 £6.00 daily total
    17:37 – 18:51 Blackwall DLR to Shortlands [National Rail] £3.00 £46.80
    18:51 Touch out, Shortlands [National Rail] +£5.00 £46.80
    18:24 Touch in, Catford [National Rail] £5.40 £41.80
    18:23 Touch out, Catford Bridge [National Rail] +£5.40 £47.20
    18:04 Touch in, Lewisham [National Rail] £6.30 £41.80
    18:02 Touch out, Lewisham DLR +£6.30 £48.10
    17:37 Touch in, Blackwall DLR £8.00 £41.80

    Note that I am touching-in and out 240 times per month, so perhaps failing to do that properly a couple of times in the month is to be expected. Then I have the additional overcharges due to the system, as above, and I’m chasing 4 overcharges per month!


    • Hi David,

      Right, I know what’s happened here. On your bad day you took 91 minutes to get from Blackwall to Shortlands and thus exceeded the maximum journey time for a zone 2-4 journey, by 1 minute. I think TfL need to look at this. In the meantime, if you can I’d leave touching in at Blackwall until the last possible moment before your train to Poplar arrives. It might help to mitigate the issue. And be in the right carriage of the last train so you can make a quick exit at Shortlands.

  145. Thanks Mike.

    Blackwall has a overhead rail and long staircases, and trains are frequent. Standing at ground level to wait is not really viable.

    I think I need to make a complaint combining these into a single document rather than making a series of separate refund requests.

    It does seem unfair that when the railway performs badly, and the passenger has to wait longer on the platform that there’s an additional penalty of being overcharged!

    I would like TFL to introduce a hyperlink next to each journey in the history to facilitate making a claim for overcharge. It’s too hard at the moment!

    Oyster does not seem to be viable for my journey.

    • Hi David,

      I do sympathise with you. I’m actually wondering if there’s been a mistake here because usually when there is more than one route available the maximum time is relevant to the longest route. That would be 2-1-2-3-4 rather than 2-3-4 and would give you an extra 20 minutes. I’m going to make some enquiries.

  146. Hi Mike
    I cannot work out whether I am better off buying an annual railcard or switching to Oyster. My journey is Swanley to Canary Wharf two days a week and Swanley to Blackfriars two days a week. Is there a calculator or app I can use to see which is cheaper?

    • Hi Marie,

      Commuting 4 days a week is generally cheaper using Oyster or contactless. If you travel to Canary Wharf via zone 1 then you’d need a full zone 1-8 travelcard which you won’t use when travelling to Blackfriars. If you get a rail-only season for Swanley to Blackfriars you’d need to pay tube fares to Canary Wharf each day you went there. If you avoid zone 1 (via Catford, New Cross, Canada Water) when travelling to Canary Wharf then you’re definitely better off with Oyster or contactless. Unless you plan numerous trips at weekends to London then I’d recommend using Contactless/Oyster.

  147. Hi I need to commute from Ilford to London Bridge daily. What would be best route to use oyster card. Of do you suggest buying a season ticket which cost 49 GBP for one week. Please advice ?

    • Hi Kumar,

      The route is Ilford to Stratford, then Jubilee line to London Bridge. Don’t buy a travelcard (£49) as ten single peak journeys is only £39.

  148. Hi Mike,
    Can you please advise on what to do when getting of a Great Northern train at Finsbury Park and continuing your journey on the underground? There are Oyster tap points between the overground and underground.

    • Hi John,

      Sorry for the delayed reply. It’s a while since I’ve been to Finsbury Park. If you have to touch out to get off the platform from the Great Northern train then you need to touch back in before going into the Underground. You either need to touch out and in, or no touch at all.

  149. Hi Mike,

    This is a wonderful source of information and tells me why TfL fares are so complicated (I come from Singapore where the system is a lot simpler. Happy to write about it if you are interested.)

    Currently, I have 2 questions:
    1. I commute from Kew Gardens to Covent Garden through Underground costing me £3.30 or £2.80 depending on the time of the day. However, I would like to use the Waterloo – Richmond connection when possible as I like the WiFi on trains. If I do a Kew-Richmond-Waterloo-Tottenham Court Road route, I end up paying £5.80/£4.50. Is there a way of using the rail and still paying a lower fare (closer to my tube fare, but not necessarily the same?)

    2. I take my kid for classes in the weekend, that involves going from Kew Gardens to Haydons Road. We either interchange at Richmond & Wimbledon (using National Rail from Wimbledon to Richmond) or Earl’s Court/Wimbledon (using tube all the way to Wimbledon). The last leg of Wimbledon – Haydons Road is always on Thameslink. Interestingly, the fares remain the same (£2.30) despite former going through Fare Zones 3-4 and the latter going only through Fare Zone 3. Would you happen to know how TfL calculates this?

    • Hi Shreeni,

      Thank you for your kind comments. I’m not currently looking to write about other fare structures, rather hoping that this one gets simplified in due course, though I’m not holding my breath.

      1) It depends how far you’re prepared to walk. The big issue is combining the tube with National Rail in zone 1. If you can walk from Charing Cross NR then you’ll only pay £4.10/£3.00.

      2) Are you sure you are charged £2.30? According to my fare finder it should be either £2.40 or £2.20. The Thameslink bit ensures that the National Rail scale is charged while avoiding zone 1 avoids the premium you’ve discovered when using SWR on your commute. Richmond is the station which adds in zone 4 while from there to Wimbledon adds zone 2 for Clapham Junction. Hence the default is zones 2-4. If you go via Earls Court then it is just zones 2-3. You can’t make the journey solely in zone 3.

  150. Hi Mike,

    That is super helpful – thank you. Is there a rule book that defines all these rules, or is it just a matter of reverse engineering from the Fare Tables / Single Fare Finder sites?

    Yeah, I gathered the NR-tube in zone 1 issue. The trouble is there are few trains from Richmond to Charing Cross, so if you add one more change, then it doesn’t seem quite worth it, but your feedback is well taken.

    As for the second bit, I understand this better now – I didn’t realize that the Richmond-Wimbledon journey will default to Zone 4-2 fare, because I was taking a direct train from Richmond to Wimbledon, assuming it was a 4-3 fare. And yes, you are right, I have been charged either £2.40 or £2.20 – I just checked my history.

    Thanks once again.


    • Hi Shreeni,

      There are no direct trains from Richmond to Charing Cross NR, but you don’t get charged extra for continuing from Waterloo East and the trains are quite frequent too. Richmond to Wimbledon is a conundrum for TfL. The direct train goes via Kingston in zone 6 but the greater frequency via Clapham Junction means that that is what they default to. They also usually give you the benefit of the doubt if there are two different fares. Zone 3-6 would be another 20p off-peak. If you use my fare finder then it tells you which zones are assumed by the fare.

  151. Hi Mike

    Going back to my earlier query: I suspected that my forgotten and failed touch-ins and touch-outs could be improved if I could remember consistently to not do so for the change at Catford/Catford Bridge since I’m cutting down the number of touches.

    That didn’t make much difference to my errors, and I decided to reduce all the problems by buying a weekly travelcard. (I don’t always travel 5 days per week so not an obvious choice.)

    Now with the weekly travelcard, and because the touch out at Lewisham is not always enforced by a barrier I now have to remember NOT to touch out at the end of the journey or else I get charged for visiting zone 1, which I did not.

    Oyster: not always simple!


    • Hi David,

      Oh dear. I have raised the issue of the maximum journey time for your journey being too short. They have said they’ll look into it early in 2019 with a view to making any changes by the May fares revision date. I’m not quite sure what to suggest to help you remember your multiple touches.

  152. Hi Mike

    I have a ticket for a Thameslink journey from Luton to Cricklewood. My plans have changed and I need to continue to Tulse Hilll. I was going to leave the train at Cricklewood and reenter the station using my Oyster card to catch the next Thameslink service but that is a 30 minute wait. Can I stay on my original train, leave at Tulse Hill swiping my Oyster as I go, wait for the maximum fare to be charged and then contest it?


    • Hi Colin,

      Whilst technically possible, it’s not a good idea. If checked on the train after Cricklewood you would be liable for a penalty fare or prosecution.

  153. Hi Mike,
    I can’t understand train-subway system. Please help me.
    I traveled with my mom from Kingston to Green Park and came back from South Kensington to Kingston.

    1. I had a railcard so bought a NR ticket in cheaper price for ‘Kingston to Vauxhall’ and ‘Wimbledon to Kingston’. And I used oyster card for tubes. My mom just used oyster card. But mom cost much less than me. So in this case, I don’t have to buy tickets for trains? Can I just use oyster card?

    2. I touched in oyster card at South Kensingston and couldn’t find anywhere to touch out at Wimbledon. So just took the train and came to Kingston(National Rail). I didn’t know which one to use between tickets and oyster card at Kingston, so I used train tickets. I think I overcharged and something’s wrong…When I transfer tube to train at Wimbledon, what should I do?

    • Hi Soo,

      1) Yes, you can use Oyster for all rail journeys within the zones. Make sure that you have your railcard discount set on your Oyster card. Just take it to a tube station and ask one of the staff in the ticket hall to add it for you. It only takes a minute.
      2) You should have touched out on the yellow readers at the end of platforms 1-4 at Wimbledon. But in future just use Oyster all the way. Call the helpdesk and they will adjust the overcharge for you if you explain that you couldn’t see where to touch out.

      There is also a page all about Wimbledon on this site which includes a map.

  154. Hi Mike,

    Just been caught out with the Single fare finder as I did not read down the page!

    Finsbury Park (LU) to Clapham Junction (NR)
    Default route Z1-2 £2.90
    Default route via Victoria £4.60
    Default route via Vauxhall £4.60
    Avoiding zone 1 via Willesden Junction £1.70

    I must admit I just looked at the first fare and seeing z1/2 did not look down and see the higher fares caused by the Z1/NR premium. And was already aware of the Overground route.

    But what is the default Z1/Z2 route that generates the £2.90 fare, the only routes I can think of are the ones involving NR or Overground.



  155. New to site. How do I as a question please? When the comments come up they are oldest first, so comment panel is at bottom of long list. I am on a phone.
    Many thanks.

  156. Hi Mike,

    The off peak journey from Shadwell (NR) to Hendon Central (LU) costs £1.40 on my 16+ Oyster when going through Zone 1 at Bank but I’ve found another route. From Shadwell (NR) I switched at Canada Water (LU) to get the Jubilee and tapped on the pink reader at Stratford (NR) to confirm my journey that’s avoiding Zone 1. I then got the Overground to Camden Road (NR) and tapped out. I knew about the OSI before my made my journey so I tapped in again at Camden Town (LU) to get the Northern to Hendon Central. I checked my journey history once I got to the station and it charged me £1.20 for the journey, is that the correct fare?


    • Hi Abdul,

      Sorry for the delay replying. There is only one fare for Shadwell to Hendon Central. Is it possible that you had capped at the zone 1-3 rate of £4.10 for the day? That might explain the lower charge.

  157. Hi, I need to know if it is cheaper to travel by train to Stratford, then Oyster from Stratford to Canary Wharf. Or use tfl from Shenfield then DLR . I will be travelling at rush hours. Tried on tfl site but no sense to me. Ever hopeful thanks so much

    • Hi Annie,

      I’m a little confused. I think you’re asking whether it’s cheaper to use a rail only ticket from Shenfield to Stratford then Oyster for the DLR, or buy a Shenfield to zones 2-6 travelcard for the whole journey. As long as you are travelling 3-5 days a week then the travelcard will be cheaper. If that wasn’t the question then please try again.

  158. Hi,

    What is the cheapest way to travel from a Cheam to Dollis Hill 3 days a week during peak hours please ?

    Thank you for your assistance


  159. Hi Mike,

    I see that the cheapest route from Mortlake to Dartford is £3.50 and is the default route. The other routes go via Waterloo or via Victoria/Clapham. My question is what actually is the default route? How can I get to Dartford without using Waterloo or CLapham? The only option I can think of is via tube at Richmond but this would require an interchange tap which wasn’t mentioned, and also to head to London Bridge?


    • Hi Mark,

      Don’t worry about Clapham Junction, it’s the zone 1 stations which you have to avoid. The default route is via Clapham Junction and Denmark Hill or Peckham Rye.

  160. So how on earth are you supposed to know when you change at Farringdon, that you need to get a ticket to get on the Thameslink? All there are, are the readers that say you need to tap in tap out, but nowhere is there a ticket machine, or an actual exit from the underground and entrance to the Thameslink, and nowhere does it say the oyster card will not be valid once you exit London. 🙁 And then when you reach St Albans City there are things to tap exactly like an oyster card, but it doesn’t accept it, and the employee tells you you have done an offence that would be worth a penalty charge, even when you explain where you changed trains and offer to pay for a normal ticket as you expected it to be deducted from your oyster card! This is ridiculous, and I should not be told that I ought to have checked before journeying, because how on earth would I know to search whether the oyster card is good outside of London? You make it seem as though it is good everywhere, but then obviously it is not! Please change the signage at Farringdon between the tube and rail parts of the station, and regarding oyster cards where the tap in and out machine is to say you must now having a ticket. Oh, and put a ticket machine there!!!

  161. Also I just wanted to add that I just spent about 10 minutes trying to search for where the oyster card is valid or not, and everything just talks about London, but to a traveler how on Earth do I know where London starts and ends? Also when I search oyster card on Thameslink to St Albans, this is the first thing that pops up, from 3 months ago, so I guess it’s just taking a while to implement. 🙁

    • Hi Katherine,

      I’m sorry to hear that you’ve fallen foul of the Oyster system not extending far enough. I do have to point out that my site is “Independent” as it says in the header, so I’m not in a position to change signage at Farringdon or install ticket machines. Oyster is accepted on Thameslink as far north as Elstree, Hadley Wood, and south to Gatwick Airport among other places.

      There is a desire to extend Oyster to Luton Airport Parkway which will include St Albans along with the other stations north of Elstree. As always, the devil is in the detail and there are lots of discussions to be had about fare levels amongst other things.

  162. I note you get a lot of comments about Tottenham Hale.
    In my situation my off peak journeys with a Railcard added Oyster from Ware to zone 1 is shown as £5.70, yet by changing at Tottenham Hale and hanging around it should be £2.60 + £1.85 (Z1-3) = £4.45. If I’m right that’s a big difference. There a similar issues for peak fares.
    I haven’t tried yet it but is this discrepancy real?

  163. Hi I need some help please.

    If I am travelling from Clapham Junction to West Brompton via the Overground, does this mean I have to tap the pink reader?

    If so, would I have to tap in the pink reader at Clapham Junction and also tap on the pink reader as I exit West Brompton? Or will just tapping on the pink reader at Clapham Junction suffice?

    • Hi Hannah,

      If your journey is just between Clapham Junction and West Brompton then you need to touch the yellow validators/gates at each end. If you arrive at Clapham Junction using a paper ticket then the pink validator will start a journey, but not end it. The end must be on a yellow pad.

  164. Hi Mike, please i need some help.

    I stay in slade green and I have to got to Clapham South for 3nights starting from Friday night to Monday morning. I leave slade green at 19:10 and leave Clapham at 8:30. Also from the following Tuesday, I will have to go from slade green to Chislehurst, thgat journey i make on a bus anyway. which do you advise, travel card or PAYG?

    • Hi Jay,

      PAYG definitely. Touch in after 1900 on the Friday and then all your journeys will be off-peak apart from the return journey on Monday morning (unless that’s Easter Monday).

  165. Thank you Mike. But how do I validate that I follow a route that doesn’t involve zone 1 in other to avoid zone 1 charges. you know what I mean.

    • Hi Jay,

      Yes, you need to travel via Clapham High Street and Clapham North. From Slade Green you’ll need to change at Lewisham and Denmark Hill before Clapham High Street.

  166. I use an PAYG Oyster and want to travel from Welling (Southeastern) to Canary Wharf (DLR). This means changing at Lewisham for the DLR. If I touch in at Welling, touch out at Lewisham, touch in at Lewisham, and touch out at Canary Wharf will I be charged for two journeys on a single trip?

  167. Hello Mike
    This site is so helpful
    How can I tell TFL that I have travelled from Crofton Park to Sutton via Peckham Rye not Z1?

    • Hi Frankie,

      You don’t have to because that is the default route. If you check on my fare finder (powered by TfL) it tells you the zones covered.

  168. Hello Mike,

    I want to make a journey from Abbey Wood (NR) to Euston (LU). If I interchange at St Pancras Int (NR) onto the Northern/Victoria line and get off at Euston, will I be charged the Mixed Mode Premium?

    I ask because on the TfL website, St Pancras Int does not appear as a station that gives an extra charge. (Unlike London Bridge, Victoria etc.) On the TfL website, it says the journey costs £2.80 off-peak.

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Raven,

      That’s the Crossrail bonus. Many journeys from Abbey Wood are charged at TfL rates because they expected Crossrail to have opened by now.

  169. Hi
    Do I have to tap in/out when changing from the great northern line from Oakley Park to Piccadilly line from Finsbury Park? Or do I just change tapping in at Oakley park and then out at Leicester Square ?

    • Hi Vicky,

      It’s dependent on what happens when you arrive at Finsbury Park. If the platform you arrive on has gates that you have to use then you also need to touch back in to the tube station. There are validators in the subway beneath the National Rail platforms for this. On the way back you can touch in at the gates on the NR platform regardless of whether you have touched out from the tube so don’t worry about having to go back down the stairs.

  170. Hi Mike

    I made a National Rail Thameslink journey from London St Pancras to London Bridge, touched out then changed my mind and touched in 5 minutes later to continue on National Rail Southeastern to Zone 5.

    I was charged £2.40 + £5.30 for 2 journeys.

    What are the chances of a refund of the £2.40?

  171. Hi Mike,
    Just wondering if I can get away with a zones 2-3 monthly travelcard doing the journey from Canning Town to Waterloo on the jubilee line and then changing at Waterloo using the national rail to Clapham junction as the journey is zone 2 to zone 2 or do I need to buy a zones 1-2 travelcard as I touch out and then back in again at Waterloo?
    Thank you,
    Kirsten =)

    • Hi Kristen,

      You’ll need zones 1-2 if you want to change at Waterloo. However, if you change at Canada Water instead and touch the pink reader you’ll only be charged £1.70 peak or £1.50 off-peak. This will be cheaper even than a zone 2-3 travelcard unless you make lots of extra journeys.

  172. Hi i take the dlr from limehouse to Bank and when i get off there i need to use the central line but the station doesn’t seem to have it inside. Im confused as i recently discovered that even though i get off at bank dlr its not bank Underground but instead its moorgate underground. Anyway i have to leave the station to go to bank Underground jyst to use the central line. Some of the the underground assistants said i dint need to touch out when leaving to use the central line but the other day one of them told me i have to touch out and then touch in at bank Underground station. So i would like to know why this is please.

    • Hi Salma,

      Bank station is a bit of a building site at the moment. Under normal circumstances you shouldn’t need to touch out and in there, but if you are being directed out of Monument station (the District/Circle) bit and back in via another entrance then it’s probably wise to touch both ends. The gates are all linked by an out-of-station interchange so you won’t have to pay any more.

  173. Hi Mike, it appears as though the fares for the TfL rail/ contactless extension to Reading have been published over the weekend. I cannot make out whether using a mix if TfL rail and tube will cause two separate stand alone fares, or a blended fare. I also cannot work out (I presume not) whether there will be capping for stations beyond west Drayton. Any thoughts?

    • Hi David,

      If it’s done the same way that recent contactless only extensions have been done then there will be through fares. My understanding is that there will be capping, but initially it might be done as a retrospective refund if you’re charged more than the appropriate day travelcard fare.

  174. Mike,
    Really helpful – I have wondered whether any of these “through” fares are published anywhere? I have not found them, and asking at the ticket office lead to a blank stare. I do find it incredible that we can be asked to assume that it will be better to use contactless as it may well not be as per your correspondent from Welwyn Garden City demonstrates

  175. I was looking at fares from Euston to Watford Junction, I realised it’s so much cheaper to tap out at Wembley Central first then tap back in! Is this true for the whole line? Just like East Croydon for Gatwick Airport?

    • Hi Crispin,

      I think Watford Junction is the only station where serious savings can be made. The fares from Willesden Junction to Watford Junction are all reasonable as are Euston to Watford High Street. The choice of fast trains between Euston and Watford Junction justifies the higher through fare.

  176. Hi Mike,

    First of all thanks for the amazing website and your support.

    I came across an odd behaviour of Oyster, which overcharges when the first leg of a journey (with OSI) is more expensive than the complete journey.

    An example is the ride from East Acton to Paddington (H&C) with OSI at White City & Wood-Lane with a railcard in the afternoon peak. The first leg, from East Acton to White City, costs £1.70 as a peak-journey, which is deducted when leaving the station. However, the whole journey is off-peak as it is from Zone 2 to 1 in the afternoon and costs £1.60 due to the railcard. However when touching out in Paddington the charge is not corrected, but remains £1.70 for the total journey.

    Have you ever observed this and know the reason for this overcharge?

  177. Hey Mike,

    Got a quick question; for stations where you’ve got to exit the gateline and then re-enter to get to the platform in the opposite direction, such as Kew Gardens, will this count as an OSI?

    • Hi Felix,

      Not at Kew Gardens, no. There is one at West Harrow because people often take the wrong train and end up there, but that isn’t likely to be a problem at Kew. They also sometimes provide an OSI if an accessible route leaves the paid are, like at Richmond.

  178. Hey Mike,

    Touched in at Hendon Thameslink to West Hampstead out £2.40

    Touched in West Hampstead jubilee line to Knightsbridge out £2.40

    I thought because of the interchange it would classified as one trip?

  179. Hi Mike,

    So here is my whole day’s journey.

    Saturday, 19 September 2020 £8.50 daily total
    19:05 – 19:52 Knightsbridge to Hendon [National Rail] £4.10 £4.15
    19:52 Touch out, Hendon [National Rail] +£1.60 £4.15
    19:28 Touch in, West Hampstead Thameslink [National Rail] £3.30 £2.55
    19:25 Touch out, West Hampstead [London Underground] +£3.30 £5.85
    19:05 Touch in, Knightsbridge £5.70 £2.55

    12:08 – 13:00
    Hendon [National Rail] to Knightsbridge £4.40 £8.25
    13:00 Touch out, Knightsbridge +£1.30 £8.25
    12:37 Touch in, West Hampstead [London Underground] £3.30 £6.95
    12:34 Touch out, West Hampstead Thameslink [National Rail] +£3.30 £10.25
    12:08 Touch in, Hendon [National Rail] £5.70 £6.95
    12:04 Topped up, +£12.50

    • Hi Innocent,

      You’ve been charged correctly. £4.40 is the single off-peak fare for Hendon NR to Knightsbridge. It’s more expensive because you’re using NR and LU. It’s still cheaper than 2x £2.40 which is the individual fares. On the way back the fare was cheaper because you were capped at the zone 1-3 rate. If Hendon Central is an option then the single fare each way is £2.80 off-peak.

  180. HI
    I use to get TFL from seven kings to Liverpool Station and then change the platform from overground to underground to get Hammersmith or circle line to reach Euston and it cost me double. First I need to tap out from Liverpool tfl line and then tap in to underground.

    Kindly find out the way pls

    • Hi Waqas,

      There is an out-of-station interchange between the NR and LU stations at Liverpool Street so your journey should be combined as one, as long as you don’t take longer than 20 minutes between touch out and touch back in again. Can you copy some journey history, and if you are being charged twice, please explain which entrance to the Underground you’re using and which platform you arrived on from Seven Kings.

  181. How does this work:

    Greenwich to London Bridge peak £3.70
    Greenwich to Farringdon peak £3.40

    The latter journey could be achieved by getting on the same (TL) service that passes through LB, but staying on for longer, and still exiting within Zone 1?
    Presumably CPC/Oyster is charging for a cheaper TFL/LU option ie DLR then LU, but I think elsewhere on the site you say that by default the charging would be for the most obvious route ie one train not one DLR and one tube? This seems a discrepancy.

    Thanks in advance,

    • Hi Sim,

      All factors are taken into consideration when deciding which would be the default route. My understanding is that a fully TfL journey will usually be charged as such, unless other factors seriously outweigh that one. The speed of Thameslink trains between London Bridge and St Pancras doesn’t help their cause, likewise the fact that it’s only a half-hourly service from Greenwich.

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