Same Station and Continuation Exits/Entries

Same Station Exits

Sometimes it is necessary to touch out at a station without actually making a journey.  The Oyster system reacts in one of three different ways depending on how much time has elapsed between touch in and touch out.

Between 0 and 2 minutes

This could happen if you immedately discover that there is disruption, or if the display on the gate says that you do not have enough credit to complete your intended journey and you decide to exit again to top-up.  The maximum fare will remain deducted and this will not count towards the daily cap.  However, if you re-enter (after topping up for instance) within 45 minutes the original maximum fare is refunded and a new journey is started.  The new journey can be at the same station or at another one, but you cannot use a bus or tram to get between the stations.  Using a different station is probably only useful in Central London.

If using a contactless card or device then no charge is made if you exit within two minutes.

Note that if using the same validator to enter and exit then 30 seconds must pass between the touches.

Between 2 and 30 minutes

In this instance the system will charge the cheapest single fare from that station at the time of touch in.  Usually that will be a single zone fare, but it can be two or more zones if the station is the only one on it’s line in that zone.  This charge will count towards the daily cap.

However, if you go to another nearby station and touch in using a validator (without using a bus between stations) within the maximum journey time from the first station, the system will class that as a journey between the two stations.  This will mean that you are no longer validated for travel.  TfL will adjust your journey history after the event, but it will thoroughly confuse RPIs.  If possible, use a gate to enter the second station.  Contactless will resolve the journeys automatically.

More than 30 minutes

Now the system assumes that you have made two incomplete journeys and charges you accordingly.  Neither journey counts towards the daily cap.

These charges are levied to discourage fare evasion.  If there is a genuine reason for making a same station exit then you will probably be eligible for a refund of the extra charges.  If the station has full Oyster facilities (i.e. most Underground stations) then you may be able to get the credit immediately, otherwise call the helpdesk for assistance.

Continuation Exits

There are a number of stations where it isn’t always obvious whether you should touch out or not using platform validators.  Usually these validators were intended to start or end Oyster journeys without leaving the station because the overall journey continued using paper tickets on National Rail.  In order to avoid problems at the station gatelines and/or the deduction of maximum fares due to unresolved journeys, the validators at these stations are set to continuation exit.  Note that this does not apply to readers attached to a gateline.

How it works

When you touch out at a standalone validator at one of these stations your fare is adjusted correctly as if you were leaving the Oyster system.  Any further touches at that station within 15 minutes (including at a gateline) will replicate the exit with no further deduction.  If you continue on from that station by a different mode then when you exit at your final destination the balance is readjusted for the new end point, as long as the new exit is within the maximum journey time from the station where you started your journey.

The drawbacks

There are two drawbacks to be aware of.  Firstly, if there are no gates at the station then you must touch out using a validator if that is the end of your journey.  However, it is impossible to touch in until 15 minutes has elapsed.  If you did not want to stay very long at one of these places then this could cause a problem.

Secondly there may be a problem with National Rail RPIs.  The exit touch removes the maximum fare which is what the RPIs are looking for when they check the card using a hand-held reader. If they examine the recent journey history on the card it will appear as though you are out of the system and travelling without a validated Oyster card.

If at all possible you should only touch out and back in again at an interchange station if it is absolutely necessary, usually because one or both parts of the station are protected by gates.

The stations

These are the stations where standalone validators are set to continuation exit:

  • Barking
  • Chalfont & Latimer
  • Elmers End
  • Farringdon
  • Finsbury Park LU
  • Harrow & Wealdstone
  • Harrow-on-the-Hill
  • Highbury & Islington
  • Kensington Olympia
  • Kentish Town (disabled while the Underground station is closed)
  • Moorgate
  • Old Street
  • Seven Sisters
  • South Ruislip
  • Stratford
  • Watford Junction
  • West Croydon
  • West Ham
  • West Ruislip
  • Wimbledon
  • Woolwich Arsenal DLR

Continuation Entries

There are a small number of stations where it’s possible to need to touch in to open gates when you are already in the system.  Rather than starting a new journey and leaving the old one incomplete the gates are set to allow you to enter again.  There are no revenue implications here, just a small confusion if using an Oyster card.

How it works

When you first enter the system with an Oyster card your balance is displayed on the screen.  The system then deducts the appropriate entry charge which can mean that your balance goes below zero.  This isn’t a problem normally because it is adjusted when you touch out so you only see the proper balance.  However, where you enter the system again using continuation entry the display will show your balance after the deduction of the earlier entry charge.  This is nothing to worry about because it will all get rectified when you touch out, but can be a little confusing if you’re not expecting it.  The other thing to note is that this touch will show on journey history as a pink validator.

The stations

These are the stations where gates are set to allow continuation entry:

  • Canary Wharf LU (Western Entrance nearest to DLR)
  • Finsbury Park NR
  • Limehouse NR
  • Shadwell NR (LO)
  • Walthamstow Central NR (LO)
  • Waterloo NR

432 thoughts on “Same Station and Continuation Exits/Entries”

  1. Hi
    I have just started to work on the ‘other side’ of London and have found this site very useful in planning my journey.
    As I only travel 3 days a week I have found that coupled with my Senior Railcard my journey from Billericay by NR to Stratford then Overground to Wembley Park via West Hampstead is the most economical but not necessarily the most convenient when it comes to touching out on my return journey.
    On my first return journey I failed to touch out at all, but this incomplete journey has been resolved. On my second attempt I asked the station staff at Stratford the correct procedure and was told that after alighting from platform 2 I should touch the Pink Validator on the platform and then go to Platform 8 where I should touch out using the Yellow reader, then return to platform 10 to catch my train home.
    This appears to be a rather clumsy way of doing things but that is what I did only to find that the message ‘Seek assistance’ flashed up on the Yellow reader. The journey completed satisfactorily but reading various posts here I am left wondering if all I really need to do is ‘touch out’ using only the Pink Validator rather than adding an extra 5 minutes walking backwards and forwards to platform 8.

    Can you help clarify this for me?

    Many thanks in anticipation and well done on such an excellent site!

  2. Hello.
    I will be in London in 2 weeks. I got confused with the use of the oyster card. From Heathrow airport I am planning to take the Piccadilly line until the greenpark station. From there I have to change to the Victoria Line until the Euston Station. What should I do with my Oyster card for this journey? I would appreciate it if someone could help me! Thanks In advance!!!

    • Hi Lena,

      Simply touch in at Heathrow and touch out at Euston. You don’t leave the station while changing at Green Park so there is nothing to worry about there.

  3. Mike

    Wow a really useful site – wish I’d found it ages ago! I’m a Met line/Chiltern Rail commuter using PAYG oyster. 2 questions:

    (a) I come in on CR and have a coffee/bacon role at M’bone before going down the tube (there or Baker St). Gap is 2-30 minutes (same principle if q’s at M’bone entry to tube so I don’t enter within 2 mins). Do I get charged more than if I’d gone straight down the tube at M’bone?

    (b) I get through the tube barrier within 2 mins, get to Bakerloo platform and find overcrowding. Decide to retrace my steps and walk to Baker St and enter tube there. Do I get charged more than a “simple” journey?

  4. I understand the need to combat fare evasion but as I find myself often changing plans I wish there was some more elegant way to cancel a touch in such as a seperate validator away from the gateline, or maybe at a ticket machine so it doesn’t confuse casual users?

    • Hi Charles,

      I sympathise with your predicament, but I can’t see it happening because it would confuse 99% of Oyster users. The other facility that I’d like to see along similar lines is a way to break an OSI without waiting for it to expire or touching on a bus. Again though, I can’t see most people understanding what the point was.

  5. Hi
    I have a question about touch in & out.

    I have a travelcard zone 3&4 on my oyster plus pay and go. I want to travel to central London, I will be changing at Stratford to get on the jubilee line or central line, do I need to tap my Oyster card before I get on the tube? Or will it register at the end and take pay & go money off for travelling into zone 1&2?


    • Hi Hannah,

      No touch required at Stratford in that scenario. Just touch in at the start and out at the end and the system will deduct a zone 1-2 single. However, the amount you pay will depend on where you’ve come from. If you get to Stratford on a NR train from Maryland and beyond or Northumberland Park and beyond then the journey will be treated as a through NR+TfL one and the fares will be £3.90 peak and £3.30 off-peak. If you get to Stratford on the Central line or NR from Tottenham Hale or DLR from Woolwich Arsenal then the whole journey is treated as a TfL one and charged at £2.80 peak and £2.10 off-peak. To avoid the higher fares you will need to touch out and back in again on one of the gatelines. Do not use either the pink validators or yellow platform validators as neither will do what you want.

      Hope this helps.

  6. Thanks Mike
    I will be travelling from goodmayes (z4) to baker street changing at Stratford. So do I only touch in at goodmayes then out at Baker Street ? Using travel card oyster z3&4 plus pay&go.
    Same scenario different stop what happens if I get out a wembley park (z4) will that take pay&go money or just my travel card which covers zones 3&4?

    • Hi Hannah,

      Goodmayes to Baker Street is a through NR+TfL journey. If you only touch in at Goodmayes and out at Baker Street then you will be charged £3.90/£3.30. That is perfectly legal, but, if you touch out and back in again on a gateline at Stratford you will reduce it to £2.80/£2.10. The same options apply for Goodmayes to Wembley Park as the system knows that you have had to leave zones 3 and 4 to complete the journey. There is also a further option here though if you avoid zone 1 by using the Overground from Stratford to West Hampstead. Rather than touching out and in at Stratford you need to touch the pink validator on the Overground platform to indicate that you’ve gone this way. You will then only be charged £1.60/£1.50 for a zone 2 journey. At West Hampstead you’ll need to exit the Overground station and re-enter the Jubilee line station.

      Sorry it’s so complicated, but I hope this helps.

  7. Hey Mike,

    How’s you ?

    Could I possibly get some clarification – as I’m now getting extremely frustrated at guessing what I’m suppose to do !

    I get the c2c from Rainham to West Ham, West ham to Stratford ( Jubilee ) then the overground to Camden Road, any enlightenment on where Im suppose to tap in and out ?

    Much appreciated

    • Hi Terry,

      You need to touch in at Rainham, touch on the pink validator on the Overground platform at Stratford and then touch out at Camden Road.

  8. Hi Mike,

    I travelled from Wimbledon to Clapham Junction on SW Trains where I changed to Southern Trains to travel to Victoria.
    I was unable to exit at Victoria, “seek assistance” at gate. The station staff allowed me to exit and then I still had problems using my Oyster card on entry to the next underground station.

    I’m new to London and wondering what I’m doing wrong. I have a Oyster photo card (60+)

    Any advice gratefully received.

    • Hi Peter,

      Were you travelling before 0930? The 60+ and Freedom Oyster cards are only free on most National Rail routes after 0930 Mon-Fri. If it’s not that then I’d suggest asking the helpline or an Underground station for assistance.

  9. Hi Mike,

    I travel from Waterloo to Bank regularly. It is convenient for me to enter Waterloo from the South Bank Entrance. So say I touch in there.

    The South Bank entrance offers access to all lines except W&C line. To access W&C, I have to first touch out again at the main exit gates in Waterloo. Will I be charged if I touch out again after touching in at the South Bank entrance?

    Then I am confronted by a platform validator by the entrance to the W&C line. Do I touch in?


    • Hi John,

      I’m not sure of the layout here, but it sounds similar to Paddington. If that is the case then when you touch in again at the validators for the W&C line it will continue the journey started at the South Bank entrance. You shouldn’t be charged any extra. Your balance may look a lot less when you touch in the second time, but it will be adjusted back to normal when you next touch out.

  10. Hi Mike,
    If I travel from Victoria tube station to green park on the Victoria line then switch at green park to the Piccadilly line to get to covent garden, do I just touch in at Victoria and out at covent garden or do I have to do anything at green park.
    Many thanks,

  11. Mike

    Weekend before last the District Line was down for maintenance. To get to central London I walked to Mortlake, took SW trains to Vauxhall and then Underground to my destination. I was charged £0.90 more on my Oyster card for this journey than if I had been able to go in by District Line. Same on the return journey.

    This does not seem fair, if I use the Hammersmith & City Line then transfer to the District I’m not charged more, even though I have to touch out, cross the road and then touch in again – within a certain time limit.

    Any idea why a SWT/Underground journey is more expensive?

    • Hi Andrea,

      SWT are one of the companies which still use the National Rail fare scale, and charge a premium if you want to mix travel with TfL routes on a journey involving zone 1. It’s not terribly fair, but neither is it going to be easy to resolve without some fares being increased dramatically.

  12. Can you advise if when traveling from Cheshunt to Warren street, when changing from overground to underground you have to touch out of Tottenham Hale before touching in when entering U/G ?

  13. On the 11th of august (i.e 4 days ago) i went into Gloucester road station at around 11:40, the train happened to be leaving as i was getting to the platform and couldn’t catch it. Immediately i was approached by a tfl guy who told me that was the last train, so i had no choice but to leave the station and use the bus… i’ve realized that i was charged 4.9 pounds for doing that which didn’t count to the daily cap, so i ended up spending 12.5 pounds in total for one single day to travel between zones 1 and 3.
    1-) I see this as a scam, why would i be allowed in the station if there are no more trains?
    2-) why would i be charged if i didn’t use the system? I was only in the station for two minutes (23:51 – 23:53) obviously i couldn’t use the tube anymore to get a refund as explained above.
    3-) Why does’t this count towards the maximum cap? i don’t understand the reason behind it.
    4-) The last time something like this happened to me, i had to call customer service but my surprise was that i when i got my mobile phone bill, the charges for that call were greater than the money i was claiming back. good one tfl!
    And to finish with, it wasn’t me alone i was with 3 more people, so tfl managed to steal almost 20 quid out of honest users!!

    • Hi Carlos,

      You’re on the right page to explain all this issue, but I’ll add my thoughts as well.

      1) You wouldn’t normally be allowed in the station if there were no more trains. If you saw the last train go then it obviously hadn’t left when you touched in. The length of time required to reach the platform depends on several factors including how far away the platforms are, how fast the person walks, and in the case of the last train whether it is on time or not.

      2-3) Other than at the end of the day, touching in and then out again is one of the key indicators of potential fraud. I don’t want to go too much into detail, but there is a good reason why an immediate touch out is charged as an incomplete journey. It’s a pity you couldn’t have taken a little longer to touch out because if it had been just over 2 minutes you wouldn’t have been charged (assuming you’d capped already).

      4) TfL have changed the number of the Oyster helpline so it is now an 03 number which is included in free minutes allowances. You can also send them an email using the help and contact section of the TfL website.

      I’m sure that the helpdesk will arrange refunds for you and your co-travellers because it is very clear what must have happened.

  14. Hi Mike,
    Great website!
    Does an OSI change whether a touch out is considered a same station exit? For example, if I get on at Canonbury, travel to Dalston Junction, then do an OSI to Dalston Kingsland then back to Canonbury, is this still considered a same-station exit?
    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Simon,

      Yes it would be. If you were lucky and touched out at the end within 30 minutes of your touch in then you’d pay a single fare. Otherwise it will be two incomplete journeys. OSIs are only used to join journeys together and sometimes as a via point if relevant. Where the journey is here to here no via points will be relevant.

  15. What is the situation now for people using prepay Oyster cards wanting to travel from Charing Cross to Waterloo East and then walk through to Southwark station? I can understand that there will be a charge for the Charing Cross to Waterloo East past of the journey… but will they be charged to walk through Southwark station and exit? Thanks in advance!

    • Hi Cara,

      Walking through Southwark is a long-standing concession which doesn’t charge more than the rail journey to/from Waterloo East.

  16. Hi Mike,

    I often travel between Cheshunt and central London through Tottenham Hale, where I change to the London Underground. If, as I have read above, it is necessary to touch out on the platform before touching in to enter the underground, what will I have been charged for the journeys I have made? I will definitely ensure to touch out and touch in again from now on! Also, if I am touching out and immediately touching in again, are there any problems with that? Thanks!

    • Hi Rob,

      Providing you touch back in within 20 minutes of the touch out at Tottenham Hale your journey will be treated as one and charged accordingly. Similarly, if you find the gates open and don’t touch at all then the journey will be treated as one. The unknown is what happens if you don’t touch out on the validators but do touch in on the gates. That may be treated as two journeys where one is incomplete, or it may be handled nicely and still joined together. Your journey history would tell you as long as you’ve done that in the last 8 weeks.

  17. Hi Mike,

    My daughter has just started A levels and has to travel to Brighton. She’s still uncertain about the commute so I’ve been going with her part of the way. We start at Kensington Olympia and change at Clapham Junction, where she gets the train for Brighton. I then return to Kensington Olympia.

    As I’m new to this, I stupidly thought that touching in at KO and out again at the same station when I exit, would count as one journey. But it deducted the maximum amount from my oyster. I’m not sure what I’m meant to do here. The ticket man at the gate said that I had to pay for the journey, which is what I was doing by touching in and out again at KO, but not sure why I was charged a ridiculous amount of money for it.

    I’m baffled. Thanks

    • Hi Namrita,

      Oyster charges journeys as singles, so a journey from here to here is not a journey; it must either be no journeys or two journeys. What you actually did was make a journey from Kensington Olympia to Clapham Junction, then another journey from Clapham Junction to Kensington Olympia. You need to pay for both journeys by touching in at the start and out at the end of each one. After seeing your daughter off on her train to Brighton you should exit through the gateline and come back in again.

      The reason it charges a ‘ridiculous amount’ is because it has no idea where you’ve been.

  18. Hi Mike, I’m confused about my journey. I travel from Stoke Newington (Z2) to Euston (Z1) via Seven Sisters. When you go from the NR service to the underground, there are 2 Oyster touch in points on the side. Do I have to touch in them if I use PAYG or even travelcard?

    Secondly, the tfl site fare calculator only shows a Z1/2 fare but dont I have to pay for Z3?

    Finally, if I do touch in again at Seven Sisters, will I have exited?

    • Hi Jonathan,

      The Oyster system seems to assume most people will do Stoke Newington to Euston via Liverpool Street. I think they accept that some might go via Seven Sisters, but they still charge the same. If interchanging between two legs of an Oyster journey you do not need to touch anything at Seven Sisters. If you do, the system will exit you, but if you exit again later on it will still work properly thanks to the continuation exit setting on those validators.

  19. Hello,

    I’m really confused by the fact that I have been charged at Clapham Junction Station with £7.2 just because I entered one side and exited the other side – where there’s a Sainsbury. I bought just bread and then entered again and exited again to reach the other side where my bus stop is. All happened in less than 20 min.

    Can you please tell me why I was charged?

    • Hi Paul,

      As far as I know there is no special arrangement to allow people to walk from one side of the station to the other. Assuming you took less than 2 minutes to walk across the station, your first walk will have charged £7.20. When you re-entered after shopping this charge will have been cancelled, but then reapplied when you again exited within 2 minutes.

  20. Dear site,

    I really want to report a faulty card reader at Blackheath rail station (heading towards London Bridge). I touched in, saw the cancelled train, and so touched out again, well within 30 mins. The reader beeped, and beeped once. I have been charged a full fare which from BH is over £7!! This isn’t the first time, I have previously complained to the station supervisor, and he wasn’t able to help, just said it’s best to buy a proper ticket. How can we report faulty readers?

    • Hi Kath,

      You really are best speaking to the helpdesk. If there is indeed a fault in the reader then they can liaise with someone at Southeastern who can deal with it. However, you say that it was well within 30 minutes. Was it possibly within two minutes? £7.20 is the peak incomplete journey charge levied on touch in almost everywhere. If you waited over two minutes before touching out then it should have converted that to a £1.70 single stop fare. Either way, if you report it to the helpdesk they can arrange to refund the charge. The £1.70 will count towards the daily cap, so if you make other journeys that day you may not need to claim it back.

      I hope this helps.

  21. Hi Mike,

    I tapped in to Highbury & Islington last night (22:14, 24 Nov) , saw the train times and decided I would get home faster on the bus, and tapped back out through the gates.
    When checking my account balance this morning, it states:

    22:14 – 22:16 Entered and exited Highbury & Islington £4.90.

    I would assume from the information you have provided above that I would be charged the minimum charge, at the most. Do I have a case for a refund and if so, who will I need to speak to?

    Thanks for your attention!

    • Hi David,

      I’m guessing that the actual duration was just under 2 minutes (e.g. 22:14:44-22:16:12) which is why it has charged an incomplete journey. If you contact the helpdesk once your bus journey has appeared I’m sure they will refund the whole £4.90.

  22. Hi Mike,

    Last Saturday I travelled from Oxford Circus to Grays via Fenchurch NR. The Oyster fare was £6.50.
    When changing from LU to NR and touching out and in at Upminster the fare would be £5.20 (£3.00 (LU)+£2.20 (NR)). How much time must elapse between touch out and touch in at Upminster for splitting the journey?

    • Hi Kempes,

      It should be nothing. It appears as though an EOSI must have been set at the time, which would mean you’d have to leave 30 minutes. Were there any engineering works taking place at Upminster on that day?

      I suggest you contact the helpdesk and ask them to refund the difference.

  23. This is NOT entirely true.

    08:42 – 08:44 Entered and exited Gunnersbury £7.20

    So, “Between 2 and 30 minutes
    In this instance the system will charge the cheapest single fare from that station at the time of touch in.” is a blatant lie.

    • Hi Peter,

      It’s not a blatant lie. Your times could be anything between 61 seconds and 179 seconds depending on what point in each minute you touched in and out. It looks like you didn’t quite wait long enough.

  24. Hi,
    I’ve ordered a top-up from Euston underground station. My plans have now changed and I’ll be starting my journey from a different (as yet unknown) tube station. Can I retrieve my top-up somehow given that, based on the above guidelines, if I enter Euston station to pick up the top-up then immediately leave I will be charged?

    • Hi Dave,

      You can’t retrieve the top up elsewhere, but if you don’t pass through Euston in the 8 days since it was ordered it will automatically be cancelled and refunded back to your bank. In the meantime you can topup manually.

  25. Hi Mike,

    Hopefully you can help me. I take a train each day from a zone 3 to a station on the edge of zone 2. It costs £11.70 per week.

    Recently I found myself having to travel home from zone 1 so I just decided to do Oyster for the whole journey.

    When I got to the exit gate it would not work so I just used my weekly ticket to leave.

    I then got an email to say I had been overcharged in relation to the journey and that there is a refund waiting for me from my home station.

    I don’t intend to travel from that station by Oyster as I get a weekly paper ticket.

    How can I get my refund?

    • Hi Brian,

      I must admit that I’m curious to know what your commute is because I can’t find anything that costs £11.70/week.

      Back to the refund though. After 8 days you will get another email saying that the pick up has not succeeded. You can then contact the helpdesk and ask them to refund to your bank direct.

  26. Hi Mike, I travel from Tulse Hill to Elephant and Castle.

    I work on Poultry. City Thameslink is a 5-10 minute walk, E&C 25-30 minutes.

    I think that there is probably 5-10 minutes lost by walking to Elephant but the ticket is half the price and I get a bit of exercise and some time to listen to Radio 4 in peace.

    • Hi Brian,

      That is a very good price for a season between a zone 2 and zone 3 station. Other similar journeys seem to charge about £16 for a standard 7-day ticket. If you do it again, try getting off at Elephant & Castle and touching the Oyster card out. That way you’ll only be charged a zone 1 single. Obviously best if the first train isn’t going to Tulse Hill.

  27. Hi Mike. I want to travel using Oyster PAYG from Shenfield (NR) to Strawberry Hill (NR). My plan is to travel by National Rail from Shenfield to Stratford; Tube (Jubilee) Stratford to Waterloo; National Rail from Waterloo to Strawberry Hill. According to the TFL fare calculator this should cost £10.40 single. I assume I should touch in at Shenfield and out at Strawberry Hill only. I’ve not done the journey before, but if there are gate barriers at any of the intermediate stations (Stratford or Waterloo, between NR and Tube) am I right to assume checking in and out within a reasonable time will not make my journey be charged as separate single trips? Many thanks, Andrew.

    • Hi Andrew,

      You will be fine at Stratford, but at Waterloo you will have to touch out and back in again. Full details are on the OSI page on this site, but it’s 40 minutes LU-NR and 20 minutes NR-LU. Also, there are two avoiding zone 1 routes which reduce the single price to £7.30. Either change at Stratford and Richmond or at Canada Water and Clapham Junction. To use either of these you must touch the pink route validators at Stratford and Richmond or Canada Water.

  28. Thanks Mike. Much appreciate your help. I might look at the via Stratford and Richmond route as I think there’s a single NR train that links the two (so my total changes would be the same as the via Z1 route), albeit a little slower. Thanks again.

  29. Yesterday I took the tube Euston-Finsbury Park, then 90 minutes later I took the Overground Crouch Hill-Harringay Green Lanes and I got the following in my Oyster history (I have a zones 1-2 travelcard):
    17.10 Euston
    touch in
    17.24 Finsbury Park
    touch out, journey EUS-FPK, £0
    18.40 Crouch Hill
    touch out, journey EUS-CRH, £1.60
    18.45 Harringay Green Lanes
    touch in
    Uncompleted journey, £5.20

    What I don’t understand is how Crouch Hill came up as a touch out instead of a touch in. Is this something to do with a continuation exit at Finsbury Park (where I touched one of the LU readers on my way out)?

    • Hi Martin,

      That’s exactly what happened. I’m sure that the helpdesk will arrange a refund. This is the drawback of the continuation exit marker being set at a station where you can get out without using gates. Finsbury Park is a mess.

  30. Hi Mike.

    Great site. I had a question. I did a journey from Leyton to Shepherd’s Bush, off peak.
    I stopped at Stratford to drop something off. So touched out and then touched back in.
    Then just got the Central Line as normal.
    The Oyster History says my first journey was free, and then Stratford to Shep Bush charged as normal (2.70).

    I am sure it doesn’t work the other way around – for instance on the reverse journey if I exit at Liverpool Street and then get the National Rail to Stratford, then continue the journey on the Central Line, I am charged for TWO off-peak Zone 1-4 journeys.

    • Hi Simon,

      Stratford is a bit of an oddity. I have heard several reports from people who have managed to continue journeys there, but whenever I have tried I get two journeys. The most likely explanation is that an emergency OSI was set at the time you travelled. In that instance you can reenter within 30 minutes and still continue the same journey.

  31. Mike,

    Having read above about issues at Stratford you may be interested to know what I encountered recently. The Oyster Help Desk sorted out a refund so this is just for info and any insight you might have.

    I hold a Z23 Travelcard. I boarded the overground at West Croydon, touched the route validator at Canada Water and exited at Stratford via a main gateline (no validator touch). The Z45 extension fare was deducted on exit as I expected. I then re-entered at Stratford after 10 minutes and continued to T Hale (NR gateline). This later journey is within my Travelcard validity. However on checking my account I noted that a further amount of money was deducted on exit at T Hale based on the Z15 TfL fare rather than the Z25 fare. I checked that there was a valid West Croydon – T Hale (NR) via Canada Water journey in the fare finder before starting and still the system got it wrong. I have asked that the issue be referred elsewhere in TfL for review as the Help Desk were as foxed as I was as to why the two separate journeys should be joined together given Stratford is not an OSI nor was there a temporary OSI in operation.

    • Hi PC,

      Thanks for this – very interesting. Canada Water is supposed to be a valid via point if going to Tottenham Hale NR, but if you go to the LU station you have to touch pink readers at Stratford and Highbury & Islington. I wonder if they’ve got confused between the gates? Can you paste your journey history for that trip so I can try to make sense of it? You could be onto a discrepancy in the fares database here.

  32. Hi Mike,
    I travel on c2c from Upminster to West Ham, then West Ham to Westminster on the Jubilee.

    At the bottom of the stairs at West Ham there are yellow Oyster readers.

    If i touch in at Upminster, touch again when i get off the c2c at West Ham it comes up as Exit…but then when i touch out again at Westminster it also comes up as Exit. I have asked and been told that this is right as West Ham are ‘Continuation Exits’.

    Is this right please as i don’t want to get into any strife at all.


    • Hi Dave,

      Yes, it is correct. But, you don’t need to touch at West Ham in the middle of your journey. You shouldn’t get into any strife, as you say, but I have had reports of RPIs not understanding the continuation exit marker, so personally I’d ignore those readers.

  33. Hi Mike, Thanks for setting this site up. I am about to travel from Raynes Park (Z4 SW trains) to Kentish Town using the Thameslink via Farringdon. I have a paper annual season ticket Raynes Park to London Terminals (i.e. not Z1) and a prepay Oyster. Can I just touch at Kentish Town, wait at least 2 mins and touch again to pay the excess fare?

    • Hi Kevin,

      No, you would be liable to a penalty fare after leaving City Thameslink. You need to touch in somewhere between Elephant & Castle and City Thameslink.

  34. Thanks Mike. But if I am on a train, how can I do this? There is only a half-hourly service from Wimbledon. Is there a platform reader at any of the stations that I would have time to touch?

    • Hi Kevin,

      I don’t think there are any platform readers at those stations, but bear in mind that trains through the central core come from other places as well so you wouldn’t necessarily have to wait 30 minutes.

  35. Hi Mike, Great site! I had a question I hoped you could answer.

    If I was to enter Clapham Junction by one exit (tapping in with my Oyster) and immediately leave through a different exit (tapping out with my Oyster) would I get charged? It would be a huge short cut for me!

    • Hi Kate,

      Short answer is yes. It would be less if you take at least 2 minutes between touching in and out. It is basically a same station exit as described above.

  36. Hi Mike,

    Sorry another newbie! –
    I am travelling from Brentwood which now has Oyster by Train to Liverpool street and then on to Camden –
    Do I tap in at Brentwood and then out at liverpool st – Then retap in when entering the tube (and tapout at Camden)? –
    Or can I stay tapped in from Brentwood all the way to Camden –
    Then I have read about the pink readers – do i use this at liverpool st if they have one?

    • Hi Phil,

      There are no pink readers at Liverpool Street, but you do need to touch out at the NR station and in again at the LU station. There is a cheaper alternative. If you change at Stratford onto the Overground and get off at Camden Road you won’t be charged for zone 1. You’ll need to touch the pink readers on the Overground platform at Stratford. This will save £3.10 peak or £3.20 off-peak per journey.

  37. Hi Mike,

    If I make my first journey during peak, but then the next and all subsequent journeys will be off-peak, which cap will be in effect?

  38. Hi Mike
    I travel from Islewoth(NR) zone 4 to Bank with change Waterloo. I use Oyster pay as you go. I have to touch out at Waterloo to come out of NR and then user Waterloo & City line with another touch in and the final out at Bank. I get charged around £5.70 after final touch out, but ideally zone 1 to 4 should be charged only £3.80. I am sure this is happening as I have touch out and in again at Waterloo.
    I am not sure how to avoid it or my understanding is incorrect. Could you please suggest.
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Gautum,

      Isleworth to Waterloo is just a NR journey. When you add on the trip to Bank it becomes a mixed NR+TfL journey and that costs more if it involves zone 1, which this does. If you can get to Osterley or Hounslow East on the Piccadilly line it will cost less as that is only a TfL journey.

  39. Hi! Your website clarifies better than tfls one!

    I want to get the great western from west drayton to ealing broadway and than central line to oxford circus.

    How do I use my oyster in this occasion? I know that ealings great western platform has touch in/out machine and I dont know if I should just hop into the underground or touch my oyster somewhere before doing so?!

    How should I do it?


    • Hi Rafael,

      Just touch in at West Drayton and out at Oxford Circus. You are not leaving the station at Ealing Broadway so there is no need to touch a yellow reader there.

  40. Thanks for replying!

    What will I be charged for?

    My Journey from West Drayton to Ealing + ealing to oxford circus? or just one of the two?

  41. I recently cycled to Stratford and to save my legs throught I’d get the national rail back out to Hertfordshire so swiped in with my Oyster.

    By the time I got to the platform I was told I’d missed the train and would have to wait over 1hr for the next or go to liverpool st (I can’t take my bike on the central line) so I swiped out (4mins later) and cycled back.

    I was charged £1.50 for the privilege of that 4mins in the station. How is this fair??

    • Hi Charlie,

      It’s a charge made to deter incorrect Oyster usage. If there is a genuine reason (like yours) then the helpdesk will arrange a refund. Also, if you had travelled enough to cap that day then the £1.50 is included in the cap so you may not have been overcharged.

  42. Hi Mike,

    I intend to travel to Paddington by bus from Victoria. If I then use my Oyster at Paddington to enter at the District line entrance at Praed Street and exit at the main ticket hall to travel on to Reading, will I be charged for using the subway?

    • Hi Nicholas,

      Yes you will be. It may be a maximum fare if you take less than two minutes, or £2.20 if you take between 2 and 30 minutes. You are not charged if you have a travelcard including zone 1, or take over 2 minutes and have or will cap for the day.

    • Hi Pamela,

      Yes you do. In the reverse direction it’s even more important because the Jubilee line station has gates whereas the DLR only has validators.

  43. I’ve been looking at my oyster history and I appear to have been charged £1.50 just for walking through Stratford station between 16.21 and 16.27 on a Sunday. Do you know why this is or whether I can get it back?

    • Hi Laura,

      Why is explained in the page above. Call the helpdesk and explain why you had to go in and out of the station without making a journey and they will decide whether to refund it. They usually do.

  44. Travelled from Colchester to the O2 via Stratford last night but three of us were charged £4.10 for the journey from Stratford to North Greenwich which I assume is because we didn’t touch in at Stratford – but there was nowhere we could see to do so! What should we have done instead?

    • Hi Chris,

      You need to touch the Oyster card in, as you’ve guessed. This can be done at any of the gatelines, or there are some validators dotted around, one in the Jubilee concourse and some in the corridor leading to the DLR platforms for Pudding Mill Lane and Poplar. You probably passed the one near the Jubilee line without realising it. If you call the helpdesk and explain what happened you should get a refund.

  45. Thanks Mike. We rarely use Oyster (normally just add a one day travelcard to the overground ticket) but as it was only 3 stops we did on this occasion. We assumed there would be gates at the platform entrance to touch in but it was all open.

    • Hi Chris,

      Yes, Stratford is all one station and you came into the paid side from Colchester. It’s one of the drawbacks of using Oyster as part of longer journeys. Anyway, the helpdesk should be able to refund to your bank rather than Oyster card, if you explain how you rarely use it.

  46. I am consistently being overcharged on the return route for the following journey Elm Park to Gospel Oak via Barking and the Overground line (ie not via any inner zones).

    On the outward journey the fare is always £1.50. The return fare is £2.70. Oyster helpline are unable to explain this discrepancy. Do you have any guidance on this?

    • Hi Paul,

      What times are the two journeys? I’ll guess that the first one is either before 0630 or after 0930, while the return is between 1600 and 1900. £1.50 is the off-peak fare while £2.70 is the peak fare. If that is the case then I’m disappointed that the helpdesk couldn’t explain it.

  47. Hi mike.

    I travel on national rail to west ham from shoe bury and then I change to go to Stratford.

    I have. 16-25 rail card.

    At west ham when I exit the national rail train there are not gates to go through until I exit at Stratford.

    There is a yellow oyster reader as I come off the national rail train

    If I touch in on this and then out and through the gates at Stratford am I covered? Or does a tap in only work if there is a gate to use?

    Many thanks and great site!

  48. Hi , I travel from barking to fenchurch street on c2c then tsp out and back in at tower hill to exit at high street Kensington . How and what am I charged for this journey?

    • Hi Glen,

      C2C fares are set by TfL so the whole journey is charged at the TfL rate. You will be charged the whole amount at Fenchurch Street and no further charge at High Street Kensington, unless you take too long to get to Tower Hill such that it becomes two journeys. The peak fare is £3.80 and the off-peak fare is £2.70. On the way back you will be charged £2.20 at Tower Hill (zone 1 all day fare) and the remainder up to the amounts quoted on touch out at Barking.

  49. Hi Mike,
    I’m visiting London next week and I was wondering whether I have to touch out at the same station if I have to change trains, for example if I’m going from Highgate to Hampstead, I’m still on the Northern line but I have to change trains in Camden Town station, do I touch out here and touch in again to take the northbound train?

  50. I will be starting a job that means travelling from Goodmayes to West Hampstead. Planning to go Goodmayes to Straford then to West Hampstead via overground is this the cheapest option and what do I need to do re tapping in and out at Straford? New to this after driving to work for many years

    • Hi Sue,

      You only need to touch the pink validators on the Overground platforms at Stratford. There is no need to touch out and in again. And yes, that should be the cheapest option.

  51. Hi Mike. My commute home is normally a very simple Moorgate – Enfield on Great Northern (ex-FCC). Sometimes though I end up travelling home from elsewhere in zone 1 changing via Moorgate. (As I work irregular days I don’t have a season/travel card so use payg).

    Since Oyster came in I’ve always adopted a belts and braces approach of touching in/out. So if travelling home from z1 on tube then Moorgate train, I touch on the in-station validator by the platform before getting on the train, then finally touch out at Enfield. I’ve always been charged the correct fare on this basis.

    Having read this I’m now worried I’m leaving myself open to problems. If an on-train inspector checked my Oyster en route from Moorgate to Enfield does it look like I’ve touched out at Moorgate and therefore could I be liable for a penalty charge? Surely if the Oyster readers are programmed to recognise it as one three stage journey the inspectors should do so too?

    I guess the ‘belt and braces’ is actually not to touch in at the interchange but I thought it was necessary to show I’d changed at Moorgate rather than say Highbury or Fins Pk to ensure the correct allocation of revenue between LU and the train operator.

    Any clarification greatly appreciated.


    • Hi Dave,

      Moorgate is in zone 1 so there’s no benefit indicating that you’ve gone that way. If you do have to show you’ve travelled via a station then the reader to touch would be pink. The Oyster reader used by RPIs does indicate continuation exit, but not all of them realise what it is saying. My advice therefore is not to touch at Moorgate.

      Oh, and don’t worry about revenue allocation either. It’s a complex algorithm which has gains and losses throughout, but it is solely a matter between TfL and the TOCs. A passenger never needs to worry about it as long as they touch in and out correctly.

  52. Thanks Mike. Very clear, only wish the instructions at the station were clear too. “Touch in/out here if travelling on National Rail with a paper ticket and using Oyster for London Underground.” Rather than “Oyster Users please touch in here.”


  53. Hi Mike
    I recently tapped out with my bank card instead of the oyster card I was using and have been charged £7.50 on both (£15 total) for incomplete journeys. Do you think there’s any chance of getting it refunded?
    Many thanks in advance

    • Hi Diane,

      I’d say there’s a good chance. Call the Oyster helpdesk and explain the situation. If both cards are registered to your online account then it should be very easy. Even if they’re not, the fact that you can answer security questions should prove that it is you in both instances.

  54. Hi Mike,
    On my way home from university I pass through Seven Sisters to use the overground service, should I touch my oyster card there or only when I get to my destination, Southbury Station(Enfield)?

    • Hi Zaima,

      There is no need to touch at Seven Sisters in the middle of an Oyster journey unless you are walking to or from South Tottenham.

  55. Hello,
    I was wondering if you could help me. I have just used my contactless debit card to go from Bethnal Green to Stratford where I changed platforms and got on my national rail train.

    Unfortunately I did not know about continuation exits and so did not know to find a reader to touch my card to before boarding my train. Will I be charged a maximum fare because I did not ‘touch out’ of the underground system before leaving London?



    • Hi Hannah,

      You don’t say how you paid for the National Rail train. If that was also with a CPC then you’ll be fine as the whole journey will be charged as one. If you had a paper ticket for the NR bit then you will be overcharged because you must touch in and out at each end of an Oyster or Contactless journey. If you call the Oyster helpdesk tomorrow they will be able to sort out a refund of the overcharge.

  56. Dear Mike,

    I was at Westcombe Park NR (Z3) station earlier this week. I looked at the departure screen my train was 2 mins late, so far ok. I touched in (contactless payment card) on the validator. There was then major disruption and the train eventually came 45 mins late.

    I felt like I had to commit to the journey as I had touched in and didn’t want a maximum fare by catching a bus before a completed journey. Is there any way I could have “cancelled” my touch in after about 15-20 mins?

    Thanks (and for this excellent site!)


    • Hi Alan,

      Between 2-30 minutes should result in a single fare to the next station, usually a one zone fare. After that it would be two incomplete journeys as per this page above. You can then request a refund the next day from the helpdesk, or online if your CPC is registered with TfL.

  57. Hi Mike,

    I travel from Chafford Hundred (which is only in the Oyster pay as you go zone) to London Victoria 5 days a week. I go from Chafford Hundred to London Fenchurch Street and then walk around for 2 minutes to Tower Hill and get the District line to Victoria. It costs me £6.40 each way in rush hour on the pay as you go.
    So that is £12.80 a day. It is even more if I then travel around London after work on the tube to meet friends at different locations.

    Is this my cheapest option?
    Surely there must be a cheaper route or travel card of some sort?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Bob,

      If you just make a return commute then PAYG is the best option. The anytime day travelcard is £18.60 which is less than you would be charged as a daily cap, so if making enough additional trips you might be better off with a paper travelcard that day. If you start travel after 0930 or at weekends then the off-peak cap is the same as the off-peak day travelcard so it doesn’t matter.

  58. Dear Mike
    Hopefully you can help! TFL customer services didn’t understand my question.

    I need to travel from Carshalton zone 5 national rail to Moorgate and I want to change at Farringdon to get the tube. Every time I have been to Farringdon I get confused as there is no where to touch in or out when swapping between train and tube. Only some validators on the opposite platform that I don’t need to go on. How to I avoid being charge the max fare? Do I need to touch out or will the journey be calculated automatically if I touch in at carshalton and out at Moorgate only?
    By the way I have to use oyster so I can claim back my journeys for travel expenses as I will only need to do this 3x a week.
    Many thanks

    • Hi Claire,

      There is no need to touch at Farringdon on your journey. The platform validators are designed for people to start or end an Oyster journey when using Thameslink services from/to outside London.

  59. Hi there

    I travel a lot between Guildford and Kensington Olympia during of peak hours. Would it be cheaper to use a paper ticket to cover the whole journey or paper ticket from Guildford to Clapham Junction then use my Oyster card from Clapham Junction to Kensington Olympia?

    Thanks in advance for your help.


  60. Hi Mike,

    I’m going to travel from Euston to Watford Junction on a Sunday. I have a Travelcard covering zones 1-6 and an Oyster Card. After doing some research I figured out that it would be cheaper to go from Euston to Harrow & Wealdstone (zone 5) by train using my travelcard, then catching the tube (Overground) from there to Watford Junction. I would have to touch in at H&W and out at WJ right? Is this my best option?
    Thank you very much.

    • Hi Mariana,

      Yes, I agree that does seem to be the cheapest option, assuming that your travelcard is not on your Oyster card. Yes, you would have to touch in at H&W and out at WJ. You can take London Midland or Southern trains instead of Overground if you want.

  61. Hi Mike

    When I began using PAYG oyster, I was advised that I needed to tap the card on the reader of every station that I go to, otherwise I would risk being penalised. So I followed this advice and yesterday was accused of not paying my fare when I got to my home station. My journey is Bromley South to Farringdon via Thameslink and then I change to the underground to travel Farringdon to Liverpool St. The chap who threatened to penalise me yesterday, didn’t know the answer, so I hope you can help – instead of validating at every station, should I not validate my card at the interchange platform in Farringdon and just tap at BS and LS?

    Your help is much appreciated!

    • Hi Maria,

      Argh! Let me guess, the inspector was at Bromley South? Did he let you touch out and see that the correct fare was deducted?

      Going back to your first question. You need to touch in and out at each end of your journey. If your journey involves passing through sets of barriers between stations then you need to touch out and in again while you change. What you don’t need to do is touch at a yellow validator on it’s own midway through your journey. If you do, you will still be charged properly, but as you’ve discovered, some RPIs don’t understand the special setting for continuation exit. The validators at places like Farringdon are there so people who want to make half of their journey using a paper ticket beyond the Oyster area can touch in or out without having to leave the station.

      I would urge you to write and complain about your treatment. I will be happy to proof read a letter so that the company is very clear that you know what is happening and are not evading the fare. I’ll send you an email in a minute so you can contact me direct.

      In the meantime, my best advice is not to touch at Farringdon on your usual commute.

  62. Hi mike, as always keep up the good work on this lovely website!

    I accidently tapped in at blackfriars underground tonight on my oyster card and tapped out again after going down and coming back up the escalators… Would it be likely I get a refund on this, as I got charged £5.20?

    Thanks in advanced.

  63. HI mike,
    I’m new to London, and I didn’t understood very much this continuation exit.
    Eg. I’m in woodgrange and pass on to barking to get the district line and get to bow road. I need to touch my oyster as I get on the platform, and then before I get into district line train, as it has another one?

    • Hi Marcelo,

      You don’t need to touch at Barking because you are in the middle of a journey. The validators there are for people coming in from the Southend area who want to start or end an Oyster journey without leaving the station.

  64. Hi Mike,
    I have been using Oyster as I am only working two days in London currently. I travel from zone 6 (Barnehurst) to either London Bridge or Waterloo East, Zone 1. According to the TFL website a journey on the overground like this from 1-6 should be £5.10 … I have been charged for quite some time £6. After trying for near on a month via email and twitter to reach TFL and having no response,I wondered if you could explain this and whether I should pursue this argument further?

    • Hi Samantha,

      Unfortunately you are confusing Overground (as in National Rail) with London Overground the TfL run TOC. Fares from Barnehurst are charged using the National Rail scale where zone 6 to 1 peak is £6.00. Probably not what you wanted to hear, but hopefully you can understand now.

  65. Hi Mike,
    Do the pink readers work when transiting between tube and National Rail?
    If I go from Woodford to Tottenham Hale, the best way would be to change at Stratford as this avoids Zone 1, but there is a possible (but illogical way) to go via Central London.

    • Hi Simon,

      The default route is the logical one so no need to touch the pink validator. If it was necessary then it would work, but in this case it isn’t.

  66. A good news story. On Monday I ended up doing a same station exit at East Croydon, for which I was charged £1.70. On my journey history I clicked the ‘contact us’ button and explained the circumstances which had caused it. I said that I didn’t require a response as I wasn’t overly fussed about it. today I had an email saying I’ve been automatically refunded. It’s good that Tfl will do something like this AND take the time to reply when I had said that I didn’t need a response.

  67. Hi,
    I am traveling to the o2 next weekend. I am getting the train from colchester, essex. The change is at stratford, do i have tap in on the platform? Is there one on the jubilee platform as this is where i need to get my next train from and it will be easier to do it there as there is only 5mins between the trains

  68. Hi there,
    I’m going from Moorgate to Farringdon, then catching the Thameslink to Kentish Town. How many time should I be tapping in/out, 4? One into Moorgate, then in between Farringdon to catch the Thames link, but then do I also tap out twice at Kentish town? Once getting off Thameslink, and the second exiting the station? Thanks!

    • Hi Sara,

      Just twice. Touch in at Moorgate and out at Kentish Town. There’s no need to touch at Farringdon as you are continuing your journey at that point.

  69. Hi Mike,
    An interesting one I thought I’d raise here, been bugging me for a few years!
    My TOC deploy a revenue team at West Ham as there are no barriers at the interchange between NR and LUL there and they have a problem with fare evasion there.
    However the revenue/security employed by the NR TOC (c2c) are forcing Oyster customers mid-journey to touch on the (yellow) standalone readers.
    It seems that TfL confirmed to me back in 2013 that if subsequently checked after touching on the reader making a continuation exit, the handheld reader would show you as out of the system and liable to PF.
    I suggested the TOC might want to equip the staff with handheld readers, but they haven’t bothered.
    I know one of the TOC twitter team understands the problem and raised it with their Head of Security who disagreed that there was an issue!

    • Hi Stuart,

      The validators at West Ham are set to continuation exit. This setting should be visible to handheld readers so it should not result in a penalty fare. I am aware of some instances where TOC RPIs have not understood this, but the last case I heard of was a few years ago. Although the card is effectively out of the system after touching out there, the journey will be recalculated correctly when touched out at a later station.

      I will assist anyone who is charged a PF in this circumstance.

  70. Thanks Mike – I’m trying to get a clear answer from TfL Customer Services on this but it’s challenging at the moment to get them to understand the question, never mind give a clear answer.
    If I do get a clear response, it’s been suggested I forward it on to my TOC with a request for it to be passed to Head of Revenue!
    It’s not an issue for me at the moment as I avoid changing at West Ham (not often I need to change there anyway) because the TOC’s security are so aggressive & rude!

    • Hi Stuart,

      OK, I understand. Playing devils advocate for a second, one of the weakest points on the Underground is Canning Town because the DLR comes straight into the otherwise gated station, but hardly any DLR stations are gated. You can hopefully see how that could well impact on C2C at West Ham. Whilst touching the yellow validators at West Ham won’t permanently end an Oyster journey, it will start one where people have sneaked on at the DLR. I’d imagine that if someone tries to get an incomplete journey refunded when touch in was on those validators they’d need a pretty convincing explanation. The continuation exit setting means that Oyster will ignore the touch out if there’s another valid one later on, so it won’t affect the charge.

      The only potential issue is that an inspector misreads the exit touch later on. I have been checked after making a continuation exit on at least 3 occasions (I tend to do it on purpose so I can challenge it if the RPI gets it wrong) and each time I’ve been thanked as normal. My gut feeling is that C2C and TfL have agreed this strategy at West Ham so you probably won’t get anywhere.

  71. Hi, I have a following issue. I have a train ticket from a National Rail station in Essex (o/s London) to Stratford London and an Oyster Card with five pound credit. After arriving at Stratford I want to immediately take an Overground train to a station in Zone 2 (at platform 1). Would there be a validator which I can touch in my Oyster card at, so that I can register the starting point of my journey? Last time I did a similar journey (after arriving at Stratford I took tube to Leyton) I wasn’t able to validate my Oyster (the validator at the platform simply showed me my balance) and I was charged the full day’s fee.

    • Hi Greg,

      Starting from Stratford it is possible to touch the pink validators on platform 1 because these act as yellow ones if the card is not touched in at the time. This is not normally recommended though because it is an un-published side-effect and there is no way to end a journey using pink validators. My advice would be to visit a gateline to be sure.

      As far as I am aware the only validators which just show your balance are those attached to ticket machines. On the platforms at Stratford they will be standard yellow validators. If you can copy your journey history for the day in question then I’ll try and work out what happened.

  72. Thought I’d leave an update with response I got back from TfL yesterday:

    “I’ve heard back from our ticketing manager and they were also sure that the practice is incorrect, and would also result in a ‘closed’ journey being shown afterwards in the card history. We have been in touch with our contacts in c2c’s Revenue Protection section and they will pass down a message to their inspectors at West Ham asking them to discontinue, and only use the correct hand held checkers.

    Thank you very much for bringing this to our attention. We have gone to a great deal of effort in the last twelve years to encourage passengers to use the validators correctly, so we are certainly keen to ensure that rail staff are not undoing the good work by accident.”

  73. Hi – how much will I be charged for the following journey
    Monthly travelcard zones 1-4 plus oyster top up
    Journey time 4.15pm Touch in – Zone 1 underground to Euston touch out
    Then get a London midlands train (couldn’t find a touch in point)
    To Watford junction (tap out) 4.55pm

    I think I was charged twice the £2.80 top up portion of the journey..

    • Hi Sam,

      You’ll be charged a reduced maximum fare because the system doesn’t know where you started the bit of the journey to Watford. It’s reduced because you have a travelcard loaded on the Oyster, but because the touch out is Watford Junction I can’t say exactly how much the charge would be. My understanding is that most platforms at Euston have Oyster readers near the top of the ramp from the concourse down to the platform. If you contact the helpdesk and explain what you did they will arrange a refund of the overcharge.

  74. Hi – Yesterday morning, I wanted to take a train from Catford to Nunhead, I touched in, went to the platform and realized my train was cancelled. If I waited for another train, I would have been late so after speaking to a member of staff I decided to touch out at Catford and walked to Nunhead instead. I was charged 1.70 or 1.90 (I don’t remember exactly), and am wondering if there is a chance I can get a refund on that. Thank you.

  75. Hi Mike,

    Today I used my contact less bank card between North Greenwich and Ramford. When I reached Startford I went direct to overground and asked staff there about touching out my card. He said that I can do that at Ramford exit gate and I did the same while returning also.

    Now I’m not sure about the charges and whether incomplete journey charges will occur

    Can you please advise?


  76. Hi Mike,
    Not sure where this comment belongs…
    Thanks for a great site, which has been the source of a great deal of information and explanations over the last few years.
    Today’s problem was the issue of when to tap out, when arriving by DLR at Stratford, and leaving the station, as there are both platform Oyster stands, and gatelines, and obviously one is presented with the potential of an incomplete journey. Your “continuation exit” article explains the situation well.
    There’s no need to reply to this, I merely wanted to express my gratitude for your continuing efforts.

  77. Just an update from my post in April regards the situation with c2c and Oyster at West Ham. Still ongoing but I have had in black & white from TfL that c2c’s practice is incorrect and would leave passengers open to a penalty fare. I have Tunde Olatunji (c2c Hear of Customer Experience) involved now so I’m hopeful of making some progress! I have this morning forwarded him a copy of my correspondence with TfL.

  78. Hi Mike cab you help answer or solve this query. I do the same journey every day and it’s my return that’s the problem. I take the Uxbridge 4.08 train home To East Croydon ..I arrive in by 4.24. Now some days I get charged 3.10 and sometimes I get charged 4.90..why??? I get to the same platform around 4.04..4.05. Take yesterday I was charged 3.10 but today same journey and time and it was 4.90. What’s going on?? Even oyster folk were unsure

    • Hi Jay,

      Nice easy one. £4.90 is the correct fare when touching in between 1600-1900. However, to avoid problems where the station clock or gateline clocks are wrong the actual cut-off time is around 3 minutes later at the start and earlier at the end. If I were a betting man I’d say that 1604 is likely to be off-peak while 1605 will be peak. The main point is that this is an unadvertised benefit. If you are charged the off-peak fare when touching in after 1600 then you are lucky. My advice to you is to touch in as soon as you can because you will increase the chances of being charged the off-peak fare of £3.10.

      For the benefit of others who might be confused, the journey is London Bridge to East Croydon on the Uckfield train.

  79. Hi, I have a query that I hope you can solve.
    I am making a journey from Harold Wood to Chelmsford and have a season ticket for this journey. However, on my way back I want to go to Stratford and it will be easier for me to get a straight train from Chelmsford. The problem is, for this journey I would like to use my oyster card but it would not be possible for me to tap in at Harold Wood on the fast train, so would I simply be able tap in before I make my normal journey to Chelmsford and then tap out at Stratford when I get there? I hope this makes sense

  80. Hi all , and new to oyster as new job in London. I will be going from plumstead – Greenwich , then onto the dlr at Greenwich to crossharbour. Do I need to

    1 touch in at Greenwich anywhere .

    Or just

    2. Check in at plumstead , and check out at crossharbour , any help I would be extremely great full , thanks in advance

  81. Hello,
    I am travelling from Brockley to Gospel Oak, all on the Overground… I plan to use pay-as-you-go but just realised I have to touch out in Dalston Junction to change and go to Dalston Kingsland. Will I be charged for 2 separate journeys?

  82. Hi Mike,

    You seem to know everything so hopefully you can help me out too! I’ll soon be travelling from East Croydon by train then crossing over somewhere (Victoria…is that best?) to London Euston on the tube. I’ve already searched for answers online about Oyster card procedure, but found mixed confusing information. What I need to know simply is this…I know I touch in at East Croydon on a yellow post, then what do I do when I arrive at Victoria (or an alternative tube station)? Do I touch out on another yellow post somewhere, and touch in again at the beginning of the tube journey to Euston, where I know I touch out at the final point of my journey? Do I have to use pink posts maybe? TFL quotes the total fare at £4.60, so I need to know how I get that with the correct procedure/combinations of touching in/out. Thanking you in advance for your attention.

    • Hi Diane,

      You’ll need to touch in at East Croydon and Victoria LU and touch out at Victoria NR and Euston. The two journeys will be combined into one as long as you don’t exceed 20 minutes between touch out at Vic NR and in at Vic LU. If St Pancras is a possible alternative destination (about 10 minutes walk from Euston) then there are direct trains between East Croydon and St Pancras and it will cost less.

  83. Hi, I will be travelling from Ipswich to Stratford on an overground train. From there can I tap my oyster card on a reader within the station and touch out at my final stop? Or would I have to exit stratford at the gates and then re-enter using my oyster card?


    • Hi Lauren,

      You can touch in within the station. I’m led to believe that there are validators on the GA platforms, also in the Jubilee line concourse and on the way to the DLR via Bow Church platforms. If you don’t pass any of these then you will have to detour to one, or a gateline.

  84. Hi,

    I am curious to why a journey from St Mary’s Cray to Warren Street costs £10.30 as suggest Oyster alternative on National Rail website?Should it not be within the Daily Cap?(£11.70)

    • Hi Alex,

      Yes, the £10.40 will count towards the daily cap of £11.70, so if you make one other journey you will have your charges capped.

  85. Help! …. Had to scan my oyster at clapham junction to top-up and as i did i realised my national rail ticket covered my 2nd part of the journey so i tapped in but not out – was in queues for comic con so got hurried from station platform and forgot to tap out as could leave on my other ticket – if i scan my card at kensington olympia 2 days later ( today ) will it update the fee – ive now been charged 5.20 for a journey i already paid for ? Help?

    • Hi Sophie,

      Sorry for delay. No, touching 2 days later will start a new journey, or trigger a new incomplete journey charge if the first touch is an exit gate. Call the helpdesk and explain what happened. They should arrange a refund of any overcharges.

  86. Hello,
    I’ll be travelling to Raynes Park later this afternoon and part of my journey includes changing from London Waterloo East to London Waterloo station. I’m not sure whether I will need to touch out to go from one to the other or is there a connecting route that will allow me to only touch out at Raynes Park?
    Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Anu,

      There are gates at both stations so you will need to touch out and in again. Towards Raynes Park you have 40 minutes between touches for it to be combined as one journey. The other way it is 30 minutes, but you don’t wait outside the gateline at Waterloo East.

  87. Hello, I will be travelling to Clapham junction from Exeter using a paper ticket. I then need to get to Carshalton. How do I go about this with regards to an oyster card/ticket? Do I just get straight on the train for Carshalton and then use an oyster card to leave the station even though I haven’t touched in as such?

    • Hi Katie,

      If you want to use Oyster then you’ll need to exit via one of the gatelines and re-enter with the Oyster card. If you haven’t already bought the ticket from Exeter then it might be cheaper to buy through to Carshalton.

  88. Hi, Mike! Hope you are still around. I’ve recently moved to Cheshunt and I work nearby Green Park. Now Cheshunt is part of London Overground, but still i’ve been charged £2,40 Cheshunt to Tottenham Hale and then £4,00 Tottenham Hale to Green park through Victoria . Considering I travel 6-7 days a week, what would be the cheapest way to pay for it? Now i have a PAYG . And what will be the shorthest way, goong out at Tottenham hale or to get down in Seven Sisters, cause I don t know whether the train towards Liverpool Street stops to Seven Sisters.. What do you suggest? Many thanks

    • Hi Andreea,

      I’m still here! Although Cheshunt is now served by London Overground trains the prices are sometimes higher than other LO lines. Normally Tottenham Hale will be faster because the trains stop at fewer stations, however, the Victoria line is closed between Walthamstow and Seven Sisters for most of August so you’d be better off using Seven Sisters instead. It’s the same price everyday. If you are travelling 5 or more days a week then a weekly travelcard will be better value than PAYG, unless you use a contactless payment card where weekly Monday to Sunday capping is applied at the same rate.

  89. Hello, I have a gold card from east grinstead to london terminals. I need to travel from east grindtead to demark hill (changing to overground at c junction) when /where do i tap in my oyster card as i do not leave the stn?

    Thank you

    • Hi Sarah,

      You don’t need to touch in at all. Your season ticket is valid between Clapham Junction and Denmark Hill as part of an alternative permitted route.

  90. Hi, wondering if you can help! I travelled Norwich -> Waterloo and back again within the same day this weekend. I thought my tickets covered all the way from NRW to WAT, but I think (have since discarded them) they were actually NRW -> “London Terminals”. Being unclear on what that means, I used the paper ticket to access the underground at Liv Street, but it wouldn’t let me exit at Waterloo so I had to tap through with contactless. About half an hour later (I was just meeting someone) I tapped back into the underground at Waterloo, but when I got to Liv Street my return paper ticket let me through the barrier. So I went into the underground on a paper ticket, out on contactless, back in at the same station on contactless, and back out at the first station on a paper ticket.

    I was charged £10.40, and I’m not sure why? I suppose it looks like two incomplete journeys? I’m new to the whole system so I have no idea how it works. (I actually did this journey twice over the weekend so got charged £20.80 on top of my return tickets, but it didn’t show up in my bank statements until now, ugh!)


    • Hi Beth,

      London Terminals from Norwich is Liverpool Street plus Moorgate, Old Street and Kings Cross. It’s likely that your ticket may have let you out at any of the other three, though I’m not 100% sure on that.

      If you call the Oyster helpdesk and explain what happened they may agree to reduce the charges down to 4x £2.30 which is the zone 1 single fare you would have been charged had you also used contactless at Liverpool Street. I’d also register your contactless card on the TfL website so you can track expected charges as they happen.

  91. Hi there,

    I’ve recently moved to London. Today I made a journey from Turnpike Lane to Kilburn Highroad – changing at Euston to join the overground. I had to tap out of the tube and tap in at the overground – will I be charged for two journeys today? I used a Contactless card – many thanks.

  92. Hi There

    I have got a new job and will be travelling from
    Gunnersbury underground (Zone3) to Brixton underground (Zone2) do I need to buy a zone 1-3 Oyster card because I change at London Victoria or can I buy a zone 2-3 oyster because I am not leaving Victoria station, just changing lines ? Many Thanks

    • Hi Leah,

      It’s a 1-3 you’ll need for that journey. Can you get to either Kew Bridge or Chiswick SWT stations instead? You could then take SWT to Vauxhall and the Victoria line from there to Brixton and then you would only need zones 2-3.

  93. Hi There,

    If I am travelling from Finchley Central (Zone4) To Balham (Zone3) Travelling on the Northern Line the entire way. What zone travel card do I need to buy. Will a zone 3/4 cover this journey

    Many Thanks

  94. Update from a previous post in June – as I got no final response, I escalated the issue up to MD level within c2c and received the following response earlier this week:

    “Your careful explanation means I am now asking the same questions of my team. I know what our practice was and I know we have changed it as a result of getting different technical advice – much as you have described. I don’t know what our our new position is on this – hopefully the same as you have explained.

    I’ll come back to you once I have an answer.


  95. Hi Mike, I tapped in and immediately had to tap out after discovering service delays, and was charged £3.45 for the privilege. My journey history shows it was 1 min so I clearly didn’t travel, and I have a photocard. I thought the system would automatically refund this, but my question is can I at least reclaim the maximum charge?

    I rescheduled my plans and did travel 2 hours later if that affects anything. I spoke to customer services yesterday evening after holding for 48 min, only to be told that only the daytime people can handle refunds, and they would call me back, which I didn’t receive. My job is very strict with taking long breaks or personal calls, so if you have any other suggestions that would also be appreciated!

    Thanks so such

    • Hi Saj,

      The £3.45 charge is correct, but yes you can get a refund. Can you call using a mobile during lunch? The helpline number is now included in free minutes allowances on mobiles if that helps. Otherwise call back in the evening and ask to speak to a supervisor. Get them to ensure that the refund is processed and an email sent to you.

  96. Thank you for the advice. I’ve tried calling at lunch for the past two days but had to hang up after waiting 30 min each time – is it always this bad? Would you know if station staff can handle this? I think there’s a station nearish which still has ticket windows, and I’ve read in some of your other posts that visible staff can use special cards to use the topup/ticket machines?


    • Yes, you should be able to sort it out at an Underground station. The helpline can sometimes have a long queue and I guess lunchtime is a likely time for that to happen.

  97. hi all,
    I would like to ask one thing that Im tired of trying to understand this oyster system.
    I want to make my card monthly however I dont know which zones to buy and which route to choose. Fastest and cheapest.
    I live near Isleworth. Everyday I take the bus number 267 to either gunnersbury(z3) or Hammersmith (z2). Then I take the district line to westminster. From there I change to jubilee line to canada water(z2) and finally bus number c10. After few stops my trip ends.
    What I dont understand is should I get zone 1to3 or 2to3 is enough. Do I need to pay also the zone1 which I just pass through but not use or get off. I also dont understand those transfer machines for oyster card at each station. Should I use it in westminster. Whats the + and – of them. I have never used them.


    • Hi Dardan,

      You are using zone 1 by travelling through it. If you are happy to always get the bus into zone 2 then you only need a zone 1-2 travelcard as all buses are included with any travelcard. If by transfer machines you mean the pink validators then there are none at Westminster. If you pass a pink reader while changing trains then you can touch them to indicate that you are avoiding zone 1. They will only work if there is an appropriate avoiding zone 1 fare for your journey.

      Alternatively, have you considered a zone 2-4 travelcard. Take South West Trains from Isleworth to Clapham Junction and then London Overground to Canada Water. That route avoids zone 1 and may well be quicker than using the long bus journey to Hammersmith. Zone 2-4 is cheaper than zone 1-2.

  98. Thanks for the quick reply and solution mike,

    Actually my home is at tw7 7lh (mogden lane). As you can see it is too far by walk to both isleworth and twickenham stations (twickenham is also z5). Thats why Ive choosen 267 bus but it also takes half an hour to gunnersbury. Im a bit confused 🙁

  99. Hi Mike,

    Couple of questions:

    1) I’ve been told that if I touch in at a station without gates (validators only) and touch out after 2 minutes there will be a £1.50/£1.70 charge (minimum fare) but this charge will be refunded automatically after 24 hours… Is this true?

    2) If I start a journey (touch in) at an un-gated station (which has an OSI with another station), then find that there is service disruption… Do I need to touch out on the validator before continuing my journey at the OSI station? For example, I touch in at Upper Holloway and realise there is no trains… Do I simply walk out and touch in at Archway station? Or would I need to touch out at Upper Holloway before touching in at Archway?

    • Hi Muhammad,

      1) Not quite. The single zone fare counts towards any cap that you might reach that day. If you don’t reach a cap then you can ask to have it refunded, but I’m not aware that this happens automatically.

      2) You need to touch out first or the touch in will be left as an incomplete journey. In this instance you won’t suffer a maximum charge because the OSI will join the aborted journey to the completed one and charge you accordingly.

  100. Hi Mike,
    The tunnel at Bank station which used to take you from the Central Line (and other lines) to the Waterloo and City Line is currently closed for renovation. This means to change to the Waterloo and City Line from another line at Bank, one must now tap out, walk several minutes, then tap in again to the separate Waterloo and City Line entrance. Does this mean I am now effectively doing two journeys so paying two fares or is it counted as a single continuous journey despite tapping out then in again? I’m currently using a contactless debit card (not Oyster). PS thanks for all the informative info already–I was unable to deduce an answer to my specific question and any help is much appreciated.
    Many thanks,

  101. Got stopped by Overground RPI staff at Seven Sisters this afternoon after changing at Finsbury Park from a southbound NR Moorgate train to northbound Vic line to pick up a southbound Overground service to Cambridge Heath. They were surly and dismissive and insisted that I had exited at Finsbury Park before letting me use the validator in the corridor which they were blocking and continuing my journey. Just submitted a complaint to TFL now.


    • Hi David,

      Can you elaborate on what readers you touched and where, particularly at Finsbury Park? I hope you get a satisfactory conclusion anyway.

  102. NR Platforms 1/2 have no barriers so I walked down the stairs to the corridor, touched on a validator then went down the spiral staircase to the Northbound platforms. So far I’ve been buck passed from TFL to IFCAS and back to TFL again.

    I touched in at the NR station Oakleigh Park in the normal way, and touched out at Cambridge Heath at the end of the journey.

    • Hi David,

      Thanks for that. The touch at Finsbury Park should have put you out, but with a marker that it was a continuation exit. Hopefully you were charged the correct £2.70/£2.10 on exit at Cambridge Heath.

  103. Oh sure, I’ve never been overcharged. It’s calculated correctly on exit from Cambridge Heath. The only issue I’ve had is this one with Revenue Protection. Overground customer services have come back to me telling me not to touch the readers when changing at Finsbury Park, as this contradicts all the signage I’m going to try push the complaint further.

  104. Hey Mike, I would be grateful for an answer since I am from Athens, Greece visiting London for holidays and a bit confused. I will be staying near Stratford (near devon’s road dlr to be exact) and friends told me, to get to centre is actually faster to do so by going by Strattford firs t( with dlr), and taking the central line, rather than walking to bromley by bow and taking the district line. So what I want to ask you is : taking the dlr to Stratford and then changing for the red line to go to zone1, would a zone 1-2 travelcard be ok? (since I am taking the dlr from zone 2) or do I need to have a travecard for zones 1-2-3 (since Stratford is zone 3?) And also I touch in at dlr and then out at the centre? Thank you so much in advance, I would be grateful for an answer.

    • Hi Athina,

      Lots of issues here. Firstly, are you here now, or coming next year? On Jan 2nd the zone 2/3 boundary is being moved so that Stratford is on it, so a zone 1-2 travelcard would then be fine.

      Next, I’m not sure I agree about going via Stratford being quicker. If you take the District from Bromley by Bow then you can change onto the Central line at Mile End where it’s literally across the same island platform. There’s also the DLR/District interchange between Bow Church and Bow Road which may be useful if Devons Road really is the nearest station.

  105. Hi Mike, thanks for the promt answer! I will be in London 26-30 December so the change in the zones does not affect me. So do you suggest I take a 1-2 zone card and just take the tube from bromley-by -bow or dlr? If I went for the Stratford scenario would I indeed need the 1-2-3 zone card? thank you so much for your help!

    • Hi Athina,

      Yes you would need zones 1-3 if you use Stratford this year. Zones 1-2 will cost less and I don’t think it will take any longer. In fact depending on where you want to go in zone 1, the District line or Hammersmith and City line may be the better choice.

  106. Hi Mike! You seem like you know everything there is to know on this subject… I have a good question for you.. However it’s for tomorrow morning so I hope you can reply today.. Thanks in advance!

    I need to go from Elephant & Castle tube to Hammersmith tube tomorrow morning (just to help someone with a suitcase). Then I will come back to Elephant. I was planning to just take the case to the barriers and then turn around for home again. But I believe this will count as a same station exit and I’m pretty sure at 8am this will take a good hour so they will charge me 2 x incomplete tickets = £8.80 (apparently?)

    On top of that – I’m then going back to Hammersmith later that day, where I will wait on the platform for my partner and then we will continue on to Heathrow tube station.

    So.. Is it better for me to tap out at Hammersmith in the morning and then tap back in and go home to Elephant?
    Or is it better to do nothing at Hammersmith and then come home but leave at say… Lambeth North or Waterloo and then walk the rest. This way it wouldn’t count as a same station exit.. but would they charge me loads because it took me over an hour to go 1 stop on the bakerloo line…?

    Thanks so much for any help!

    • Hi Damien,

      It’s better to touch out and in again at Hammersmith. By the time you get back to Waterloo or Lambeth you will have exceeded the maximum journey time for such a short trip. Later on you should be fine to wait inside the platform as long as you don’t get there too early.

  107. Hi Mike, today I tapped in at Grove park but when I reached barnes station the machines weren’t working so I couldn’t tap out. I got on the bus and realised I got deducted £9.50 on my oyster. I want to get my money back because this clearly wasn’t my fault. What should I do??

    Thank you

    • Hi Humda,

      If you contact the helpdesk tomorrow they can arrange to refund the difference between the fare and what you paid. The incomplete journey charge should be £7.60, the fare via Waterloo is £3.80 or via Lewisham, Peckham Rye and Clapham Junction is £2.70.

  108. Hi Mike,
    Yesterday I got a bus, followed by a tube journey from Elephant and castle underground to King’s Cross st pancras, to pick up my brother who’d just arrived there from Leicester.
    About 10 minutes later I touched in again at King’s Cross st pancras, and we got the tube back to E&C, followed by another bus (essentially the reverse of my journey there).
    My oyster card is linked to a 16-25 railcard, so I should’ve hit the off peak cap of £4.25, but instead I’ve been charged £3.45 for each of the tube journeys! It says E&C to “no touch out”, followed by “no touch in” to E&C, despite the fact that I had to touch in and out at St Pancras.
    What should I do?


    • Hi Sunny,

      It looks like you used different gatelines at Kings Cross St Pancras which has caused the journeys to be added together because they were less than 10 minutes apart. If you call the helpdesk and explain they will arrange a refund down to the fares/cap that shoud have applied.

  109. Hi

    I wonder if you could assist me in understanding the following scenario (sorry it’s a bit long!)

    On Christmas Eve I touched in at West Sutton station at 0746. The station does not have gates but has validators on posts at the entrance. Once on the platform I found the train was showing as cancelled so went to catch a bus. I was in a hurry and forgot to touch out when I exited the station. Anyway the buses were also disrupted due to an accident and I then found out that the cancelled train was running after all albeit 20 minutes late. I went back to the station and as a force of habit touched in again without thinking (at 0803), travelled to London Bridge NR and touched out through the gates (0906).

    The journey history shows this:
    0746 Touch In at West Sutton (Deducted £7.60)
    0803 Touch Out West Sutton (Returned £5.70)
    0906 Touch Out London Bridge (Deducted £3.00)
    Thus making the net fare £4.90 which is correct.

    It has charged me £1.90 for the two West Sutton touches which is consistent with the “Between 2 and 30 minutes” behaviour you describe. What I don’t understand is how it has arrived at the correct fare and what would have happened if an RPI had inspected my card before I got to London Bridge. It seems as though it has automatically inferred a single touch in at Sutton Common and returned the £1.90 it took for two same station touches. Are you able to explain how it sorted the mess out for itself as I expected to be having a complicated conversation with the help desk?



    • Hi Dan,

      I too am a bit puzzled. Your here-to-here journey will have been the last entry on the card when you went to touch out at London Bridge and you were within the maximum journey time, so maybe it can be sensible and join the ‘journeys’ together. It almost certainly wouldn’t if the touch at London Bridge had been on a validator, but as it was an exit gate it looks like it’s worked.

      As to what an RPI would have seen, again I’m not sure. I think you may well have received a penalty fare, but submitting the journey history as an appeal showing the correctly charged fare would hopefully have succeeded in overturning it.

  110. Hi! I am traveling from Barking to Lewisham using C2C to Limehouse and DLR from Limehouse to Lewisham. When I get off at Limehouse do i have to scan my Oyster 2 times? (to exit national rail and enter DLR?)

  111. Hi Mike,

    Moorgate problem;

    travelled for first time from Anerley to Moorgate (exited at 8.19) and was charged correctly £3.90.

    I was then charged another £7.60 on oyster

    08:19 -08:19 Entered and exited Moorgate £7.60

    travelled on from moorgate at 16.14 to Euston and was correctly charged.

    Not sure what I may have done, worth claiming refund?

    Many thanks

    • Hi Diane,

      How many validators or gates did you touch your card on at Moorgate? It looks like the system thinks you’ve gone out, in again and out again straight away. Anyway, whatever it was, definitely worth claiming a refund for.

  112. Hi Mike,

    Thanks so much for your prompt reply.

    Tbh am not sure. Was slightly disorientated by the exits, first time there!!! Doh!

    Will contact Tfl, fingers crossed 🙂

    Thanks again, you’re a totally positive lifeline foe our complex travel system.

    Very well done on your sterling work.


  113. Moorgate update

    contacted TfL and within 24 hrs they had responded and issued refund.

    Thanks for your encouragement to contest, may just have let it slide otherwise.


  114. Hi Mike,

    I am sure you have answered this question already but I’m confused.

    I need to travel from Leytonstone underground to Hackney Central, changing to the overground at stratford, do I need to touch out at stratford?

  115. Hi Mike.

    Swanley (Zone 8) has recently had an oyster card reader installed.

    My journey in question is:

    Swanley train to Peckham Rye, then train to Canada Water, then underground tube to Canary Wharf.

    Do I need to tap my contactless card anywhere besides the start and finish of my journey (Canada Water has a pink oyster reader)?

  116. Continuation Exits – Bakerloo line is not stopping at Paddington – i used to touch out and in at Paddington and this was treated as a “Continuation Exits” and i was charged for one continues journey from Drayton Greene to charring cross,

    if i walked to Edgware road or warwick avenue and catch the bakerloo line from there, will it still be treated as a continuous journey?

    • Hi Isantha,

      What you describe is actually an out of station interchange, even though you don’t leave the overall station at Paddington. It is possible that they’ve put extra OSIs in but I’m not yet aware of them. For Charing Cross you can take the Hammersmith & City or Circle line to Baker Street and change to the Bakerloo there.

  117. I’m very confused. I touched in at East Croydon and then out when i reached Sanderstead but then i got confused and touched back in again. Then when i got on the bus, it flashed red and said i had no money on my oyster, even though I’m 17 and therefore get free travel on buses. Do i need to go back and tap out?

    • Hi Emily,

      Sadly trying to touch in on the bus has probably locked the incomplete rail journey on your card. You’ll need to call the helpdesk and explain what happened so they can organise a refund. You’ll also need to top up your card before you can use it on buses again.

  118. Hi Mike, thank you for the service you are providing – majorly helpful.

    I wonder if you can help me now – twice I have been through Stratford station and been incredibly confused. I train in from Clacton-on-Sea using a paper ticket, but wish to continue further in to London on the Central line using my Oyster. Disembarking the train, the platform for the Central line is right next door, so just down the stairs, a left turn and back up them onto the platform, but there are no card readers for me to use to touch in to begin my Oyster journey. The same happens on the way out – get off the Central line and onto the train platform with no gate in between. The last time I was coming in, I had to walk all the way out of the station, turn around, and come back in again (and felt like a right dork doing so), and I have now had two incomplete journeys on my card for the way out. Studying the maps of the station proved to be no help. Maybe you can advise what is the procedure in this case? Am I just missing the location of the readers or does one really have to go for a walk?

    • Hi Emma,

      Stratford is a frustrating station. There used to be some platform validators on the shared GA/CL platforms but I’m not sure if they’re still there, especially since Oyster was extended to Shenfield. I think the nearest reader may be in the Jubilee line concourse against the wall. There are also some validators on the walkway to/from the Pudding Mill Lane DLR platforms (4/4a).

  119. Hi Mike,

    A quick question on same station exit, my partner tapped in at gospel oak and then changed her mind so tapped out again at same station.

    The station staff say she will not be charged because she has a zone 2-5 monthly on her oyster.

    I would like to know if you can use a zonal monthly oyster for same station exit as it would be useful for me to enter a ticketed station and use it as a shortcut to get home but I’ve always been concerned I’d get charged. I have a monthly zone 2-5 also.


    • Hi Shaun,

      You will never be charged for entering or exiting a station in a zone covered by your travelcard. The only possible issue is if you somehow get a negative PAYG balance, because then the Oyster card cannot be used, even within your zones, until the shortfall is cleared.

  120. Thanks for the clarification on same station exits there Mike.

    One other question, gospel oak to east Croydon via Clapham junction, is it required to use the pink card reader, the single fare finder doesn’t mention that it’s needed but staff suggest at the station that it’s always best to use it but I’d rather not have to do it every time if it’s not necessary.


  121. Hi Mike, great site, very helpful!

    I am moving soon, and will be traveling from Tottenham Hale to Weybridge, catching the Victoria Line to Vauxhall, and then SW Trains to Weybridge.

    The most cost-effective options is a Zone 1-3 Oyster annual travelcard and a Wimbledon to Weybridge annual paper gold card.

    The problem is that there is only 1 train every 30 minutes that I can travel on, so my oyster will cover my journey up to Wimbledon, but as I touch in at Vauxhall, I need to touch out at Wimbledon and enter with my paper travelcard.

    This means having to exit and re-enter every time at Wimbledon, just to get back on a train making the exact same journey.

    Is this correct, or would I be able to touch in at Vauxhall, stay on the train, and get off at Weybridge with my paper card? I would have assumed not touching out on my oyster would fine me.


  122. Hi Mike,

    In September I am going to travel Monday to Friday from Clapham Junction to Walton on Thames or Weybridge.
    The railway monthly ticket will be costing £200.
    Is there any way to spend less, maybe with a combination of Oyster Card and Railway ticket?


  123. Gareth

    You might like to double-check those prices. Unless I’m missing a special offer the separate tickets are only cheaper if you compare the cost with the more expensive Travelcard that lets you go via Virginia Water. The combination of tickets you’ve suggested wouldn’t be valid that way, and the inclusive Travelcard only valid via Surbiton is cheaper.

  124. If I buy a c2c off peak daily ticket a week in advance but miss my train can I go on the next one as long as its offpeak. A little confused on c2c that you have to select train time to book a ticket.

    • Hi Ruby,

      Yes, that’s fine. Bear in mind that the price won’t change and it can be bought on the day with no penalty at the station. If your plans change during the week and you need a refund you’d be subject to a £10 admin fee.

  125. Second Question if I may
    Given I have a Freedom Pass I can see no point FOR ME in registering my Senior rail card on PAYG Oyster although Gatwick might be a exception -for which perhaps buying a paper ticket to East Croydon might be the answer

  126. Hi Mike,
    I wonder if you can help…
    I recently travelled from Hendon to Gunnersbury on the Northern line – to Warren Street, then the Victoria line to Victoria, and then the District line to Gunnersbury. I tapped the Yellow reader at Hendon and Gunnersbury (which are the only readers on that route I could see as I passed through the stations) and it did not charge anything extra, despite the fact the Victoria line goes through Zone 1. I have a zone 2-3 travel card currently active and expected a charge for Zone 1 but nothing came of my PAYG amount. Am I doing anything wrong here?

    • Hi Fergal,

      Absolutely not. I can’t see why it doesn’t want to charge you, so take it as a bonus. You are correctly touching in at the start and out at the end of the journey which is all you have to do.

  127. I want to get to Cyprus station (Z3) from Northolt (Z5) so I catch the central line to Bond Street (Z1) and change to the jubilee line till Canning Town and then the DLR to Cyprus from there. I have an 18+ oyster, so should I get a monthly pass for Z1-Z5 or Z3-Z5 since I only tap in Northolt station and tap out at Cyprus station.

  128. Mike – in regards to Fergal’s comment on 30 Sept:

    I think he means Hendon Central rather than Hendon, although the following is probably true for both.

    If you have a Z2-3 travelcard, and there is a non-Z1 fare for your journey, you will not be charged Z1 PAYG unless you explicitly tell your Oyster that you have gone through Z1. Or as a general rule, when you have a travelcard, route validation is optional and the cheapest route will be chosen.

    For Hendon Central to Gunnersbury, there is a Z2-3 fare for Avoiding Zone 1 via Camden Town/Camden Road.

    On PAYG, obviously you need to touch out at Camden Town and touch in at Camden Road to benefit. However, when you have a travelcard, there is no need to do this!

    There is also a fare for Travelling on London Underground and National Rail changing at Waterloo and Richmond (or Victoria, Clapham Junction and Richmond). Actually going this route would force a Z1 extension to be charged when you exit at Waterloo or Victoria. There is also a fare for Via Vauxhall and Richmond, but as routes from Hendon Central to Vauxhall all involve Z1 too, when you touch out at Vauxhall a Z1 fare is charged. Money isn’t refunded to Oysters when subsequent travel is cheaper than already-paid travel so the Z1 fare remains charged (e.g. I think in 2009, Z2-3 railcard daily cap was lower than bus daily cap, so if you wanted to take 4 buses after 0930 you would save money by doing some tube travel first or something along that line).

    I discovered this by accident but then saved plenty of money with 6 annual Z2-3 travelcards when I later needed to commute Swiss Cottage to Earls Court via Z1. But I always kept at least a Z1 fare’s worth on PAYG (not that any RPI would have any success on the Z1 Jub/Picc lines at 0830).

    (Also I try not to publicise this in case TfL “fixes” it, but I am aware of 2 threads on railforums discussing this.)

  129. When going from the tube to the Finsbury Park NR do I need to tap out on the station level before going through the NR gates ?

    I’ve also noticed that the validators or gates show up as a pink reader on Oyster Online but they aren’t pink at the station, why is that ?

    • Hi James,

      Finsbury Park is a complex case. You don’t need to touch out of the tube station and the NR gates will still let you through even though you are already in the system. The balance displayed on the reader may appear lower than expected because the maximum fare is deducted on first touch in and only adjusted when you touch out.

      I don’t know about the pink issue, but it might be the way the system copes with an intermediate ‘in’ validation if you haven’t touched out from the tube. I wouldn’t worry about it as long as the fare charged at the end is correct.

  130. Hi
    when I travel from Harlow to London Preston road station, I take ticket for greater Anglia line from Harlow town to Liverpool street station and from there I take the metropolitan line to Preston road. Problem is I don’t know where to touch in my oyster before taking the underground. When I get down from the grater Anglia service in Liverpool street station , I’m directed to the platform for metropolitan with no where to touch in my oyster. Then when I get out at Preston road, I’m charged the maximum fare of £8.9. Could you please help me as to how to resolve this?
    Thank you

    • Hi Vani,

      Are you saying that you can get from the concourse at Liverpool Street to the platform for the Met line without passing gates? What you should be doing is using your ticket to get through the barriers from your GA train onto the concourse, then use Oyster when entering the Underground station.

      Also, you should be able to save money. Rather than buying a ticket to Liverpool Street, buy one to Tottenham Hale instead and change there onto the Victoria line to Kings Cross. The fare from Harlow to Tottenham Hale is cheaper than to Liverpool Street while the Underground fare is the same from either to Preston Road. Again at Tottnham Hale use your ticket to exit from the NR station and your Oyster to enter the LU station.

  131. Hi,
    I want to travel from Stratford to Finchley Central.
    If I take the overground to Kentish Town West then walk to Kentish Town Northern Line and get on there to Finchley Central (on the assumption I tap out of KTW & tap in at KT) then would I get charged as if I am doing two journeys? Or will this count as one journey and will only get charged a single journey?

  132. Hi!
    This morning I was in rush to the meeting and after touching out my contactless at TCR underground station-northern line I just wanted to continue with the tube from the same station with the central line. However, the reader could not read my card and an assistant there helped me to get over on it by touching IN his card, saying that I would need to see my bank, anyway when I m on my way out, I explained to another assistant there, Chancery Lane station, he insisted on to touch out my contactless so I did, but he did not reply to my question that was it a normal fare between two station or am I charged as an incomplete journey? I will be glad to hear your response, thank you.

    • Hi Sade,

      It’s likely to be an incomplete journey. You may be able to resolve it online, or if you call the helpdesk from tomorrow and explain the situation they will process a refund. Check your online history tomorrow before doing anything, just in case.

  133. Hi, I have bee travellering between welling Trian station to heron quay dlr since November, changing at lewisham where I have to tap out to leave the train station. I then tap In again at the lewisham dlr. I use my contactless card and it is charged a single journey. Welling to heron quay then heron quay to welling.

    Question is do I need to tap at lewisham dlr at all?

    • Hi Paul,

      You either need to tap twice or not at all. If the gates at Lewisham NR are open then there’s no need to touch out and back in at the DLR. The other way is more problematic as you won’t usually know whether the gates are open before touching out.

  134. I now have an Oyster 60+card. I travel from Richmond Station to Martins Heron on SouthWest Trains. I know that I can use my 60+ Oyster to Feltham. I purchase a ticket from Richmond Station from Feltham to Martins Heron. My query is this: Although I have touched in at Richmond Station how do I touch out when I get to Feltham? Obviously I am not going to leave the train I am on as I will have to wait another 20 minutes for the next one. Is it ok for me to just not tap out or will this present problems using my 60+card later when making another journey?

  135. I shall be arriving at Stratford by Greater Anglia with paper ticket and continue on DLR by Oyster(top up) without going through barrier.
    How do I validate my oyster so that it registers start of DLR journey? Thanks

    • As Island Dweller suggested, there are validators on the way to the DLR platforms if going towards Poplar. If using the DLR towards Canning Town then you may need to visit the gateline first.

  136. @David on 5 May. As you walk towards the DLR platform, there are oyster validators. Tap your card against the oyster validator to “register” your entry into the system. There are no barriers between the platforms, you need to look for the readers at the entrance area to the DLR platform

  137. Hi, looking for help please, I travel on South West trains to Clapham, then have to change to southern railway to get to Victoria,I literally have one minute to make the connection so cant exit CJ and come back in… the platform at CJ doesn’t have an oyster reader, but the barriers at Victoria do so I cant touch in only out at Victoria and get charged £5.40 each way (when I return I come through at Victoria and then apply for a refund online advising of my touch out at CJ)…. Any ideas where I can touch in at CJ?

    • Hi Bron,

      Can you tell me more about your overall journey and what the paper ticket that you use to Clapham Junction is? Do you also use any buses or tubes in London?

  138. hi Mike,
    I travel on South West trains, Eastleigh to Clapham Junction, (work sends the ticket) but its just Adult standard class. Once at Clapham I changed Platforms and head to Victoria (one stop battersea) on Southern Railway. Once at Victoria there are the normal barriers where I assume I use my oyster card to get out….the problem is oyster only picks up the touch out (or when I return the touch in) as there is no reader on the platform to Victoria. Yes I do use buses or tubes but I thought this was the quickest route as the office is opposite Victoria train station……

  139. Mike, my ticket sometimes says London Terminals, just looked online and that includes London Victoria… I am guessing I can just use my paper ticket to get out at Victoria! #lightbulbmoment#

    • Hi Bronwyn,

      Yes, that’s what I was hoping. London terminals from the south is a very flexible destination including Victoria, Waterloo, London Bridge, Waterloo East, Charing Cross, Cannon Street, Blackfriars, City Thameslink and Vauxhall (via Waterloo East).

  140. Out of interest, is a same station exit in the 2-30 minutes category combineable with an OSI?

    There’s an OSI between London Bridge National Rail and London Bridge Underground, so if I went into the National Rail section to get a coffee, then left and entered the underground, would this be treated as an OSI?

    (If you don’t know, I’ll try and report back).


    • Hi Chris,

      The answer is yes, but depending on what you do you might end up being charged more, especially after the station rebuilding is complete next year.

  141. The oyster fare from Horley to London Bridge (off-peak) is £6.60, but Horley to East Croydon costs £3.00 and East Croydon to London Bridge costs £3.30, which only adds up to £6.30! So can I get off at East Croydon, touch out, touch in again, and then get on the next train to London Bridge, paying only £6.30 in total? Do I have to wait 15 minutes between touching out and touching in again at East Croydon?

    • Hi Anthill,

      Yes, you can split your journey at East Croydon. No, you don’t have to wait as you are exiting and re-entering at a gateline. Enjoy the savings!

  142. Regarding same station exits, I noticed through experimentation that if a valid OSI applies between the Same Station Exit and subsequent touch-in station, the OSI links the journey despite the same station exit.

    If the OSI does not apply (e.g. too much time was taken), then the Same Station Exit and the subsequent touch-in, are treated as two completely independent journeys (with the first refunded within 45 minutes, of course).

    This can have a big difference in fare if the Same Station Exit was peak, but the subsequent touch-in was off-peak (or vice versa). It’s interesting to me that OSIs seem to take precedence here, and with a valid OSI it is not true to say that a ‘new journey’ is always started.

  143. Hi Mike!

    I get the train from Witham to Liverpool St, and then use the tube to wherever I’m heading. If I’m planning on using the Central Line, it’s quicker for me to change straight onto the tube at Stratford – in this case, is it better for me to buy an overground return ticket to Stratford and then use PAYG Oyster from Stratford onwards? If so, where do I touch in to begin my tube journey at Stratford? I’ve never seen any touch points between the platforms? I’ve looked on the TfL website for Stratfod and they don’t seem to have a proper map of the station indication where the Oyster points are either. I always return via Liverpool St, so the return part of the PAYG Oyster journey is fine, but I’m at a loss as to what to do at Stratford, or if I should buy a return overground ticket to Liverpool St and start my tube journey from there instead?

    Please help!

    • Hi Suzi,

      Sorry for the delay. If you are changing onto the Central line at Stratford then there are yellow readers on the Central line platforms. There aren’t that many, but I think there is one near the front of the London bound train. If you want to return from Liverpool Street then you’ll need to buy your paper ticket to there rather than Stratford.

  144. Hi all

    I wondered if anyone could help with my touch-in touch-out query. I live in Finchley (zone 4), I pick my daughter up every Friday from Elmers End (zone 4 – Hayes (Kent) SE Train station) via Charing Cross. Now my train times mean I have approximately a 5-6 minute stop over during which time I touch-out cross over on to the other platform pick up my daughter from the waiting area, touch back in and we board the train back to London.

    Unfortunately, the trains do not allow me to wait a full 15 minutes to travel back to London, so each journey I exceed my zone 1-4 daily cap.

    I have started buying papers tickets for the journeys to pick up my daughter. I was advised at one stage by TfL to not swipe back in but I am concerned about the reaction of the RPIs. I imagine I will have to wait the full 15 mins and then get another train.

    I would welcome any advice.

    • Hi Jamie,

      This is an example of a situation that I have been highlighting with TfL for years. You can get around the problem, either for nothing or a small 30p surcharge. Before you touch back in to return home touch on one of the tram validators. You can even do this instead of touching out as it ends any open rail journey as well as logging a tram journey. If both rail journeys are off-peak you will be charged an extra 30p to bring you up to the £9.50 off-peak cap. If either or both journeys are in the evening peak then you will just pay the off-peak cap whatever.

      If you have been charged more than £9.50 on any day in the last 8 weeks then call the helpdesk and ask for a refund down to that level. If you have been using contactless you should be able to go back a year.

      You are certainly right to be worried about meeting an RPI on the way back from Elmers End. I would expect the problem would be resolved, but it could take a lot of hassle.

  145. Hello there,

    I have an Oyster with a Z1-4 travelcard on it. Perks of my work.
    I’m quite into transport, and sometimes I like to ride trains aimlessly.
    No problem if I do it within my zones, but say I wanted to take a train from a central London terminal to somewhere like Z5-7… and back? Like without leaving the station – just going straight back on another train in opposing direction.

    For example, when new Class 345 trains debuted, I tapped in at LST, went to Shenfield and back without validating, and tapped out at Liv.St as well – wasn’t charged a penny.
    A friend has told me though this could be treated as fare evasion. I don’t want trouble with the RPIs, then again if I don’t intend to leave the station but to travel back to within the zones–– I don’t want to have to pay…
    Is there a way to do this “legally” but using my travelcard’s benefits of free travel, or should I only stick to my Zones of 1-4 only – just to be safe?

    Just to note, I’m obsessed with saving £££ – and to illustrate, I often alight at the last Z4 station on a line and continue rest of my journey by (free) bus!

    • Hi Fsh,

      There’s nothing wrong with trying to save money as long as you keep it legal. Sadly you do need to pay for out of zone rail travel. If you were to be checked by an on train RPI on the way back (say at Romford) then you might have some explaining to do. They will be able to see your last touch was at Liverpool Street. You can do a little bit of doubling back as long as you stay within the Oyster zones. As an example it is fine to take a fast train to Shenfield and then go back one stop to Brentwood. In your case you’d be charged a zone 5-9 extension fare for that.

  146. hi there
    would anyone be helpful in my case?
    1. three times a week i start my travel on SWT in Tolworth then interchange at Wimbledon to district line and go to south kensington. should i touch pink validator on wimbledon?
    2. two times a week a start on SWT in Tolworth, then interchange at Wimbledon to district line going to parsons green? shall i touch the pink validator?
    what if i do not touch pink? price will be higher?
    thank you for your help.

    • Hi Beata,

      In both cases, changing at Wimbledon is the default route so there’s no need to touch the pink reader. If you travel at peak times then it’s actually cheaper to change at Vauxhall to the Victoria line then District and Circle line to South Kensington. The single fare is 70p cheaper that way. There’s no difference off-peak, or at any time if going to Parsons Green.

  147. Hi mike,
    I have a zone1 – 4 travelcard&Rail Card, and I need to travel to woking.
    I will get a off peak day return Waterloo-Woking, with my railcard, it cost 8.00 ,
    If i get the train in Wimbledon to woking, it cost 5.00.
    What happen if I use oyster card to tap in London Waterloo and get the train to woking that stop at wimbledon, with my Wimbledon-Woking paper ticket, will I be charge for a incomplete journey?

    • Hi Jared,

      There is no penalty for not touching in or out within the zones covered by your travelcard. Your best bet is to buy a ticket from boundary zone 4 to Woking from the ticket office at Waterloo. You can use that with your travelcard on a non stop train.

  148. Hi Mike,
    This is a great site and thank you for taking the time to respond to everyone, it is really great!

    I am still quite confused with the process of interchange stations. I travel from Harringay (GWR) to Finsbury Park, then get the tube to get to Waterloo in the morning. I have been touching in at Harringay, then touching at an interchange touchpoint in Finsbury Park on exiting the train, then touching in again at an interchange touch point at the tube entrance, then touching out at Waterloo.

    Is this correct?

    Also, I travel one stop from Harringay to Finsbury park on GWR, Harringay is on the border of zone 2 & 3 – should the oyster charge for Harringay to Waterloo then be a zone 3 charge?

    • Hi Jini,

      Yes, you are interchanging correctly at Finsbury Park. If you take the Victoria Line to Oxford Circus then you could alternatively change at Highbury & Islington where it’s a cross platform and no touches required interchange. You can ignore the yellow readers on the platform at Highbury as you are already in the Oyster system.

      The fare should be a mixed NR and TfL zone 1-2 fare.

  149. Hi there, thanks for this really useful feed.

    I regularly get a National Rail train to Richmond, and then the district line to Earls Court. I’m not sure how I tap in at Richmond? There are the pink readers on the platforms but not the yellow ones?
    Many thanks

    • Hi Katy,

      If you are already using Oyster then you only need to touch the pink readers. If you have come from further out than Feltham then you need to exit through the gates and re-enter using your Oyster/contactless card.

  150. Hi Mike,

    arriving at Paddington LU must I touch out at a platform (standalone) validator, even if I am continuing my journey using GWR to West Drayton?


    • Hi Manuel,

      I don’t think it’s possible to exit either LU station at Paddington without using a gateline, but I may be wrong. There is Crossrail work going on there which may require temporary arrangements. I would still expect that you need to touch out from the Underground and back in for GWR though.

  151. Hi Mike, I will be taking the Hammersmith and City line all the way to Euston Square, from there I will need to walk to Euston Station to get the Virgin Train to Carlise. Will I need to tap out of Euston Square and Tap in at Euston Station? or can I show our tickets and family and friends railcard to enter Eustion Station?
    I will be traveling with my family and we will have our tickets and family and friends railcard.

  152. Hi Mike,

    This is a superb site – I applaud your hard work & expertise. I’ve a question, leaving at 18:20 (peak) I went from South Kensington Tube (zone 1) to Bruce Grove Rail Station (zone 3) arriving at 19:07 & was charged £4.80 – it should have been £3.30.

    I think the problem was that I hadn’t read your site before & on leaving the tube train at Seven Sisters, I may have inadvertently touched out at Seven Sisters tube & back in again when reaching the NR part of the station, where I took a train to Bruce Grove. Or maybe I failed to touch anything at Seven Sisters. I must confess to being confused about Oyster/Train rules. Just read the following (my apologies as you know all this)
    Changing trains
    If you have to change trains (without changing stations) during a journey, you should:
    Touch in at the start of the journey and out at the end
    Don’t touch any other yellow card readers during your journey. If you do, you may be charged for two separate journeys

    To get a refund I’ve been told to email TFL. I’ll them that I’ve been charged for 2 separate journeys – possibly due to being too conscientious about touching yellow readers. I’d very grateful if you please could give me any tips & advice on how I should word my email to TFL.

    • Hi Donald,

      You must have touched out and back in again at Seven Sisters because if you hadn’t touched anything you would have been charged the correct fare. I didn’t think you needed to go through a gateline between the Underground and National Rail platforms. I would simply explain that I must have got confused when changing trains and could I have a refund of the additional fare.

  153. Hi Mike, great site but still have a question. My children and I live in Sunbury – two stops after Hampton where zone 6 ends. Can we get some sort of extension ticket for Sunbury to Hampton then use our oyster/zip cards to travel in to London without having to leap off the train and touch in at Hampton? I believe there is an oyster touchpad at Sunbury. None of our cards is a season ticket, just payg. Thanks

    • Hi Laura,

      The touchpad at Sunbury is for the SWR smartcard, not Oyster. You can mix paper tickets and Oyster but you would need to hop off at Hampton. It looks like there are validators by the exit gates, so if you are in the right part of the train you might manage to touch in and jump back on. You’d also need to touch out again on the way home too.

  154. Thanks mike. Not so easy with the children – obviously don’t want to end up with part of the family on the train and part on the platform validating tickets 🙁 but good to have it confirmed

  155. Hi Mike, very useful site for sure, I have some questions regarding Finsbury Park, not sure if you are aware of the setup there?
    Here is my first question, there is a gateline on platform 7&8, if a passenger came from outside into the station touched in at the barriers to enter on plat 7&8 but due to some service disruption or change of plan decided they will make other plans and have tapped out after 2 mins, what is the min fare that they will be charged.

    Also can they apply for a refund if they tapped in using their contactless bank card?

    • Hi Halil,

      The minimum fares from Finsbury Park are £1.70 peak and £1.50 off-peak. And yes, they can apply for a refund if they are charged on a contactless bank card.

  156. Hi Mike

    Due to train disruptions along my route (Shepherds Bush, Clapham Junction, Denmark Hill, Buckley) I have been finishing my journey after the maximum allowed time. This has caused maximum fare charging which I have had refunded but you are only allowed do a few. It is also a hassle.

    I looked at the single fares along my route and found it is only 10p more for total fare if I were to tap out and then in again at the station with the delays and cancellations (Denmark Hill). I looked the tfl site and concluded that if I exit I should wait at least 2 minutes before re-entering.

    What is not explained (because the examples are all for entry then exit not the reverse) is if I do this re-entry after 2 minutes should I tap out at my final destination station which is not gated?

    Or will the system see this final exit as an entry instead and then charge me an uncompleted journey?

    • Hi Ray,

      If you exit through a gateline then you can re-enter straight away and it will start a new journey. If you have to use a validator then you do have to wait two minutes before touching back in. You should touch out at the end to end the second journey.

      Also, there is no limit to the number of times that incomplete journeys can be resolved as long as there is a good reason. They do limit the number of times you can do it yourself online, but in my experience joining together two incomplete journeys is not something that you can do yourself anyway.

  157. I brought a paper ticket at Westenhager station and exited the train at London Bridge. I made my way down the escalators to be faced by gates to exit. I used my bank card to do this, I do now realise I should have used my paper ticket, but as I wanted to use the underground I simply assumed it was the entrances.
    I kept walking until I got to another set of gates which was
    in fact the entrance for the underground. I tapped in with my bank card again.
    My question now is, will I be charged a penalty fare?

    • Hi John,

      You will probably have been charged a maximum fare (not quite as big as a penalty fare). If you call the Oyster helpline and explain what happened they should refund this.

  158. Hi Mike, I have a quick question about Continuation Exits.

    So, if I was to travel to Stratford, and want to start a end my journey and new one (in order to get a cheaper fare into z1 e.g. Grays to St Paul’s via Stratford), in order to avoid falling into the trap of continuation exit would I need to exit and re-enter at the barrier?

    …or would leaving the system prevent me from re-entering?

    I know that if I use a freestanding yellow validator to touch touch out then in, it will fail. I know that using a PINK one would start a new journey, but I can’t use it since i’m going into z1?

    Many thanks in advance and I hope what I have typed makes sense!


  159. Mike – could you clarify what happens if you tap in and out to walk through a station? For example London Bridge or Blackfriars where the route through the barriers would be more convenient than around them. Are there places where this is free?

    In the case of 0-2 minutes I would be charged the maximum fare and if the walk took longer than 2 minutes the cheapest single fare?

    • Hi Tom,

      I believe walking through Blackfriars is free, certainly from one side of the river to the other. There was talk at the time the station opened but I can’t find the details now. Southwark is also free to walk through on the way to/from Waterloo East. I’m a frequent visitor to London Bridge and I can’t see how walking through the barriers would be more convenient than not. The barriers run down the middle of the entire concourse. If there is no concession then yes, I would expect the usual charges to be made.

  160. Hi I still confused where to scan my oyster card after read the passage. I take tube from Liverpool street to Farmington, then change the train there. I see the yellow reader in the train platform, should I touch in/out, as I am didn’t finish my journey but I change the traveling method.anyway I will touch out at my home station.I am now clearing if I use paper train ticket, I should scan oyster card at yellow reader when finish tube journey, but what about if I use the oyster card?

    • Hi Viki,

      If you are just changing trains at Farringdon and both sides of your journey are using Oyster then there is no need to touch out. The platform validators are there for people using longer distance National Rail journeys with a paper ticket and using Oyster for the tube.

  161. Hi. New to this & have a 2 part question on route/stations I’ve never to before.
    1: I need to take the Jubilee Line from Westminster to Canning Town to change onto the DLR for Custom House. I am confused on whether I need to tap out of Jubilee and then tap in to DLR, or just transfer to DLR as one trip?
    2: When returning from Custom House on the DLR, I need to change at Shadwell to catch the Overground. Again, what is the deal with tap out/in; or just carry on as one journey.
    Thanks for any help!

    • Hi Dan,

      Canning Town is all one station so no need to touch there. Shadwell is two stations so you will need to touch out and in again. I believe the DLR station only has validators, but the Overground is gated so you must touch at both.

  162. Due to being completely lost, I ended up taking the DLR(I think it was) from Stratford to Stratford International and then the train (SE?) from Stratford International to St Pancras (for onward travel on Thameslink). I have a missing touch out at Stratford International, but I’m sure that all gates were only opening on successful taps. Have I missed something?

    • Hi Tracy,

      Last time I was at Stratford International there were no gates at the DLR station, just validators. If you call the helpdesk and explain what happened they will adjust the incomplete journey for you.

  163. Hello I have a 60+ Oyster card and travel to Gatwick tomorrow from Balham The Oyster plus is free travel up to Zone 6 and will buy a ticket to start from East Croydon – however will be going via Clapham Junction and will cross from one platform to the other but do not want to leave thevplatform as only a few mins between connections and will have luggage. How do I tap out my Oyster to correspond with the extension from East Croydon?

  164. Hi mike I have a season pass and tapped in at London Bridge but forgot to tap out at deptford. After realising on my way back I thought it best to not tap in at deptford a few hours later and just tap out again at London Bridge. How will this affect my season pass? Will I incur any charges or cause my pass to stop working?

    • Hi Jake,

      If your season pass covers both zones 1 and 2 then there is no problem. If it doesn’t include zone 1 then you will have two maximum fares deducted from your PAYG balance.

  165. Sorry just to double check, the pass covers zones 1-6 but I’m
    not sure why that’s relevant as I didn’t tap out when I arrived at deptford or tap in on my way back to London Bridge. Potentially I could of left the oyster area and returned again without buying a paper ticket so I want to make sure I’m not going to receive any penalties. The pass is for unlimited travel for a year and paid in advance so there is no PAYG balance for a fare to be deducted

    • Hi Jake,

      You are fine. There is no penalty for not touching in or out if your whole journey is within the zones covered by your travelcard. You hadn’t said what zones you have so I had to include the possibility that it didn’t cover zone 1.

  166. Hi Mike – excellent resource! I travel from Grange Park (zone 5) to Moorgate (zone 1) several mornings each week using contactless PAYG. My office is on London Wall so I leave Moorgate via the Fore Street exit (adjacent to the Westbound Metropolitan Line platform). For the last fortnight (and most of the rest of 2019) escalator works have been going on which have blocked my usual (gateless) route through the station to my chosen (gateless) exit, and consequently I now need to touch out through some gates, and touch in again 10 seconds later to get through some more gates to be able to access the Metropolitan Line platforms. As I think the system will expect me to be “in the station” after touching out and in again, I then touch out a third time as I leave the gateless exit at Fore Street. Looking at my contactless account, I can see I’m now being charged £2.40 every day for an incomplete journey commencing at Moorgate, on top of my usual fare between Grange Park and Moorgate. What am I doing wrong? Should I not be touching out the third time? There’s no way of getting to my exit without touching at least twice, and all the announcements at the station on the days after the escalator works started stated people should touch in and out to access the Metropolitan Line platforms and they wouldn’t be charged extra. Help!

    • Hi Bill,

      That is unfortunate. The third touch must be at a validator (as the exit is gateless) which means that it’s treated as a continuation entry. I’m not really sure what to suggest. You either need to wait 3 minutes between touching in and back out at the validator, or use a different exit during these works. Call the helpdesk to arrange a refund of the £2.40s. I’ll pass this on to someone at TfL so they know there is an issue.

  167. Thanks Mike. I spoke to the helpdesk yesterday to get 4 x £2.40 refunded, but they couldn’t think of a way to stop it happening again every morning while this is going on. At their suggestion I’ve emailed a complaint to “accessibility improvements” requesting they recalibrate the gates/validator at Moorgate while this is going on. They also gave me a reference number to quote which might speed up future refund requests to stop me having to explain the issue every time I call.

    Annoyingly, although I have registered my contactless card online, this only gives me the limited ability to confirm where my phantom journey ends, rather than void it completely. It won’t even let me choose Moorgate as the end destination as this is omitted from the drop down list of stations.

    When I travelled to work yesterday, I tried not touching out at the validator at the exit (after the double touch out and in) to see if this made a difference. However it charged me even more! £5.60 for an incomplete journey, rather than the £2.40 it’s been doing to date.

    Can you clarify what you mean by the “3 minute” wait above? I’d rather do this than spend 20 minutes on the phone. Do I just need to leave 3 or more minutes between touching back in through the second set of gates and touching on the validator as I leave the station? Will this avoid me being charged the £2.40?

    • Hi Bill,

      Sorry, the time is 2 minutes and I think you’re taking longer than that. If it was less you’d not be charged, but I don’t want to encourage you to run through crowds.

      On your journey history, click on the journey you want to query and it will show you the touches that make up that journey. Underneath there is a button to say something about the journey. Press that and you get a form to complete. You can put the reference in there and they should action the refund, or at least contact you back.

  168. There are two validators at the exit I use from Moorgate – one on the left wall and one on the right. I’m beginning to think they are programmed differently. The one on the left wall is the one I’ve been using in general as passengers are encouraged to keep left. However I did use the one on the right hand wall once and I believe that might have corresponded with the only time I didn’t get charged. I used it again today. Today’s journey has been charged at £2.40 as a journey from Moorgate to Moorgate. However I took longer than 2 minutes to leave as I was discussing the problem with station staff. The time I didn’t get charged I completed my exit in under 2 minutes. So, it may be that my solution is to leave in under 2 minutes and use the right hand validator. Watch this space…

    When I use the left hand validator, my journey history shows the touch but it doesn’t seem to register as an entry or exit, just a mid-point in a journey. Does this make sense?

    • Hi Bill (and Phil),

      Yes, I’ve noticed that contactless under 2 minutes doesn’t charge a maximum fare unlike Oyster which does.

      Bill: Thanks for your continued observations. If you can safely exit in under 2 minutes using the right hand validator then that would seem to be the best solution all round. I’ll pass on your info to my contact at TfL.

  169. Yesterday I was travelling from Croydon to outside the Oyster/contactless area and, in another fit of absent-mindedness, automatically tapped in with my contactless card instead of my paper ticket. I immediately tapped back out and then made my journey (remembering to use my paper ticket to exit when I returned). I expected a same station exit charge but they’ve auto-completed the journey as Croydon to Croydon and haven’t charged me anything despite my tapping out less than a minute after I entered.

  170. Hi Mike,

    Firstly, excellent website – really well done.

    I made an off-peak journey with my Oyster card from St Pancras International to Wimbledon exclusively via National Rail. Itinerary was as follows: touch in at St Pancras International; touch out at Waterloo East; touch in at Waterloo; touch at Wimbledon. I believe the correct fare should be £2.80. I have however been charged £4.30 which I believe is incorrect. For my journey, the TfL single fare finder shows £4.30 as an alternative fare that applies only if you change between London Underground and National Rail at Waterloo or Waterloo East. My journey was via National Rail only.

    I rang the Oyster card helpline and they refused to offer a refund saying the correct fare had been charged.

    Are they right? Have I misinterpreted the alternative fare description?

    Your thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

    • Hi Delia,

      That’s an awkward one. By the letter of the description given in the fare finder you should be charged the lower fare. But the problem is how the via points work. I’m not sure that the system can tell the difference between the different changes at Waterloo. I think they need to consider defining an additional route that specifies the Waterloo East to Waterloo interchange. I’ll pass on the issue to my contact at TfL.

      In the meantime I think I’d be inclined to ask for a refund again on the basis that both alternative (higher) routes specify using London Underground and you didn’t. You may need to escalate it to a supervisor.

  171. Many thanks for the response Mike. A supervisor rang me back later to tell me l would be getting a refund after all.

    Yes, they really need to sort out the issue with the Waterloo East to Waterloo interchange. I imagine loads of people are being stung by this without even realising.

  172. Hello, I have 2 questions for you. I live at Westferry and have thought of taking the DLR to Tower then changing onto the district/Circle which means leaving one station and entering another. Am I charged for 2 single journeys or does it recognise I’m transitioning between the two?

    Q2. If I travel Westferry DLR to Stratford then change onto overground to Hackney Wick- is this two journeys or one and where should I tap in/out please? Thank you!

    • Hi Sarah,

      At Tower Gateway/Hill it will recognise the journey as one if you don’t take too long between the stations. There are more details on the Interchanging Trains page. Stratford is all one station so there is no need to touch in or out, but to get the zone 2 only fare you need to touch on the pink reader on the platform where the Hackney Wick trains leave from.

  173. We will be using an Oyster Card to travel from Tottenham Court Rd to Stratford. At Stratford we will be traveling by rail to Southend Airport. Since the rail is not part of the Oyster system, I assume we need to touch out to mark the end of the Oyster-paid leg of our journey. (That is correct, yes?) Then at Stratford we purchase the rail ticket and enter back into the station to board the train to Southend.

    The problem we have is that this seems awkward, esp. since we’ll be towing luggage. Is there a smoother way to make the change from the underground to the rail (which we understand leaves at platform 10a, i.e., fairly close to where we come off the underground from central London)? Can we touch out other than at the station exit? And if we can do that, can we purchase the rail tickets other than outside the station exit?

    • Hi Keri,

      I believe there are some validators on the platform that the Central line trains arrive on which you can use to end your journey. You can buy rail tickets online, or at other stations, in advance. You may need to visit a national rail station to print the tickets out.

  174. I travel overground to Waterloo East and want to get out via the Southwark tube exit as the offices I’m visiting are 50 yards away (otherwise I have to walk up the Waterloo then walk back past Southwark).

    Will I get charged using my contactless for tapping in Waterloo east side then tapping out at the Southwark exit?

    • Hi Tony,

      Sorry for the delay. If you are using contactless to get to Waterloo East then you will be fine. If it’s a paper ticket to Waterloo East then the situation is a little less clear. Generally my experience of contactless says that if you enter and exit within 2 minutes you do not get charged. This is different to Oyster where you are charged a maximum fare.

  175. If I travel on Southern from Victoria to Gatwick Airport using my 60+ card, do I have to physically tap out at East Croydon and tap back in with a standard Oyster card to pay for the onward portion of the journey not covered by the 60+ card?
    If I bought a ticket from East Croydon to Gatwick Airport in advance in order to stay on the same train and not tap out/in would that create a problem with the 60+ card because there was no tap out at the end of its valid journey to East Croydon or Coulsdon South?

    • Hi Tom,

      You need to touch in at East Croydon if using normal PAYG for the last bit. There is no penalty for not touching out the 60+ card, so with a paper ticket you will be fine.

  176. Hello, here is one I can’t get my head around or the staff at Woolwich Arsenal, I have a contactless card

    I have been travelling this week on the following route

    Slade Green to Woolwich Arsenal
    then changing to DLR
    Woolwich Arsenal to Stratford or Stratford Intl (I’m using both stations either day)

    The first couple of days I was overcharged, I asked the Woolwich Arsenal staff what the procedure was for tapping in/out. They informed me I have to do the following

    Tap in At Slade Green (yellow reader)
    Tap out at Woolwich Arsenal (yellow reader)
    Tap in at Woolwich Arsenal (yellow reader 10 yards from 1st reader)
    Tap out at Stratford or Stratford Intl (yellow reader ie wherever I get off)

    I have been Overcharged every single day this week !!!! Any idea what is going wrong?

    • Hi Bertie,

      There’s no need to touch at Woolwich Arsenal at all. The two touches will both have been treated as an exit, then when you touched out in Stratford it will have been an incomplete journey. I’d contact the helpdesk and explain what you’ve been doing, they should arrange a refund of the overcharges.

  177. Hi Mike and thanks for all your comments above for the travelers which are very helpful and informative,pls I will be traveling from Heathrow Terminal 4 to go to Westfeild mall and the best route was using underground to Hammersmith station then change to wood lane station, when I checked the website it shows the fare is 2.8 peak time of 1.5 off peak, however I relised that I have to exit the Piccadilly line and touch in again for circle line which will charge me twice with two different rates. Is there any other I can use to get benefit of low fare. Thanks

  178. Hi Mike,

    First of all – kudos for a great website! A peculiar thing happened to me recently, maybe you can explain it. I took the tube from Liverpool St to Great Portland St and, more than an hour later, I came back the same way. Interestingly, TFL was nice enough to auto-complete my two journeys into one, which means that I was only charged £2.40 for the journey there and back. The “maximum journey times” and “same station exit” rules don’t seem to explain it. I’m wondering if I’m missing something, or if it was just an Oyster glitch.

    Here’s a screenshot with the details:

    • Hi Konrad,

      The most likely explanation is that there was some disruption in the Great Portland Street area and automatic resolution went a bit too far. It certainly can’t be explained by normal rules.

  179. Hi Mike,

    If I am walking to travel from Balham overground, to Clapham Junction, to then change trains and use a SE return ticket that I bought from Clapham Junction to Guildford, how do I ‘tap off’ for my journey from Balham to Clapham Junction without leaving the station?

    Thanks for any help!

  180. Hi Mike,

    this site is amazing! Well done in maintaining it.

    Do you know whether it is possible to split a journey between peak and off-peak? I am travelling between Canary Wharf and Dartford, changing at either Lewisham or Greenwich. I tried doing one part of the journey at peak times and the second off-peak. I.e. Canary Wharf to Lewisham before 7pm (should be 1.70£ peak) and Lewisham to Dartford after 7pm (should be 2.80£ off-peak). However, when I tapped out at Dartford, I realised it had charged me the full 6.50£ peak fare. Is that correct? Is there a certain amount of time that needs to elapse before I can start a second journey at the off-peak price?

    Thanks for your answer!

    • Hi Emily,

      Yes, Lewisham is an out-of-station interchange so as long as you touch back in within 20 minutes of touching out it will continue the journey. However, the situation is better at Greenwich because the station is all one. If you touch out on the validators in the subway, then wait 2 minutes before touching back in again it will start a new journey. If you’re using an Oyster card you can confirm it’s right because the second touch will say Entry rather than repeating the Exit display of the first. Once you’ve started a new journey you can even take the DLR to Lewisham if that’s quicker because there’s no cost to using the DLR on a journey from either Lewisham or Greenwich to Dartford.

  181. Hi Mike, wondering if you can please help me with a query. I have a zone 2-6 annual travelcard, however I need to make a change at Waterloo train station onto the bakerloo line to elephant and castle. I have found that when I try to make this change, I have to tap out at Waterloo when alighting the train and then tap back in to the same station to use the tube. I am wondering if my travel card will work in this situation as Waterloo is in zone 1? I am only in zone 1 for the purposes of changing from train to tube so I am unsure how it works with regard to payment and use of the travel card. Grateful for your help.

    • Hi Lucy,

      Your travelcard needs to cover all zones travelled through. If you change at Waterloo then it needs to include zone 1. There are two options from SWR stations to avoid zone 1. You can change at Clapham Junction, then Clapham High Street to Clapham North for the Northern line to Elephant & Castle, or depending on your origin you can change at Wimbledon for a Thameslink train to Elephant & Castle NR.

  182. Hi Mike

    Re: Standalone validators WITHOUT continuation exit
    (Sorry if you’ve covered this elsewhere – I couldn’t find it.)

    Using Contactless, I will be ending one journey and starting a new one at a station with standalone readers only and no gate lines (eg. most GOBLIN Overground stations). My question: Does the 15 mins waiting period also apply to these standalone readers? ie. Is it impossible to touch back in to these stations within 15 mins?

    (I’m taking advantage of the last few days of the “free” travel month (to 1/10/19) on the GOBLIN Overground – too good to miss! That’s why I’m not specific about start/end stations. AFIK the only GOBLIN stations with gate lines are Gospel Oak, Blackhorse Road and Barking.)

  183. Hi Mike,

    I travel Monday to Friday from North Harrow (zone 5) to Canary wharf (Zone 2).

    Can i just got a Monthly Travelcard from Zone 2 to 5?

    As i am not tapping out on Zone 1? Is that possible?

    • Hi Makash,

      Not if you go through zone 1, no. If you change at Finchley Road, walk to Finchley Road & Frognal, then change at Stratford touching the pink reader there before taking the Jubilee line to Canary Wharf then you can use a zone 2-5 travelcard.

  184. Hello! Thanks so much for this site!
    I have been travelling with my 8 year old child, using my Oyster, for journeys around London on TFL, and for journeys on Southwest Rail, mainly WAT-CLJ. Recently I was stopped when entering the gates at WAT, and told that my child needed to have a separate ticket, as an over-5. I don’t want to have to queue at the ticket machines and buy him paper each time we move through WAT. Your fare calculator above told me that with an Oyster Zip for 5-10 year olds, the fare WAT-CLJ is 0.00. Do I need to buy him this Zip card so that he doesn’t have to pay for the journey? That seems odd.

    • Hi Stephanie,

      Yes you do. When the National Rail TOCs agreed to extend free travel to under 11s they insisted that it would only be allowed with the 5-10 zip card. The good news is that the card lasts until his 11th birthday, and if he looks older as he gets towards 11 it will also help on buses where 11-15s need the next zip card to travel free.

  185. Mike

    When I tapped in at Blackfriars South and walked through the station, tapping out at Blackfriars North without making a journey immediately before or after, Oyster deducted £2.40 and did not add it back on exiting the station. Walking through the station used to be free. Has TfL’s policy changed or is this a mistake?

    • Hi Eoin,

      Have you personally used this route for free? I thought it was only free with a travelcard, or if you used the Underground at one end. Perhaps the helpdesk may be able to clarify the situation.

  186. Hi Mike

    just to let you know the continuation exit stand alone readers have been closed at Seven Sister and are being removed, you are still able to do an OSI through the gateline readers though

  187. Hi Mike

    I haven’t walked through Blackfriars using Oyster in the last couple of years. However, you mentioned it on 9 January 2019! As it turns out, the telephone helpline thought it looked strange and asked whether I’d tapped in at NR and out at the tube (I hadn’t), then said it would refund the same-station exit charge of £2.40 by bank credit (as it was a registered Oyster card).

    • Hi Eoin,

      I’ve done a little digging and I believe that the situation is like this. If you use an Oystercard which has capped, or will cap or contains a travelcard including zone 1 then you won’t be charged extra. If you use the Underground at the north side of the station then you won’t be charged for crossing the river either before or after. If you simply enter the NR station on one side and exit on the other then the normal same station exit rules apply. Unless you run this is likely to be the 2-30 minute scenario hence your £2.40 charge.

  188. Hi Mike,

    I was hoping for some advice. I get a NR train from Ipswich to London and then switch over to the DLR. Do I need to tap out and tap in again at Stratford to be charged correctly? Thanks in advance for ur help

    • Hi Tasha,

      If you’re heading for the DLR on platform 4 (via Pudding Mill Lane) then you can just touch in on the validators along the corridor. If it’s the DLR towards West Ham then you will have to exit with your ticket and come back in with your Oyster. Coming back to Stratford from West Ham there’s a validator on the other side of the Jubilee line concourse which may be easier.

  189. Hi
    Hoping for your advice on this journey.
    Falconwood NR to Lewisham then
    Lewisham DLR to Stratford and the reverse on the way home.
    Do I need to tap in and out of the DLR stations or is it sufficient to tap at start and end of journey.
    Added confusion to this is I need to tap at Lewisham NR as it has barriers. Hope that makes sense!

    • Hi Claire,

      If the gates are open at Lewisham NR then there’s no need to touch at either Lewisham station, the fare will be calculated the same. However, if you have to touch at one then you must touch at the other, so on the way home I’d touch both because you can’t tell what the gates will be until you get there.

  190. Hi Mike

    Travelled from Whetstone to Denmark Hill via Kentish Town. I tapped at Kentish Town as I saw a yellow reader and worried about issues if I didn’t tap. I do not remember seeing any clear signposting anywhere else from the underground platform TIL platform 3 st Kentish Town that required you to tap elsewhere . I thengot fined on my journey saying my Oyster card was not validated. Surely this should not be the case as technically I didn’t think you even needed to tap inbetweme stations if I was changing from the underground to overground (thameslink) within the same station and completing my journey at another . When I tapped out at Denmark hill is was slightly negative just as I tapped out but that’s never been an issue before as I was unaware of my fare price and was about 60 p over (ie 60 p negative )which i topped up immediately after tapping out at Denmark hill. I feel I was unfairly fined 20 quid as it was an honest mistake if one at all. I feel here was no clear reason why I was issued he ticket nor was I given the option to pay a fare by contactless or too up my oyster online (which I am able to)

    • Hi Roshni,

      OK, first a brief explanation of what has likely happened. The yellow reader at Kentish Town is there so people can end an Underground journey if they are going further away on National Rail and already have a ticket. You don’t need to touch it if you are making a journey wholly within the Oyster area. However, some people will instinctively tap readers that they encounter, so the Oyster system treats readers like that one at Kentish Town in a special way. Although the journey is marked as ended, if you continue and tap out again at a later station then the journey is extended. Sadly, as this page says, that sometimes causes problems with National Rail RPIs. I’ve sent you an email asking for some more info, but I’m inclined to believe that any penalty you’ve been charged is unfair. If you can reply to the email I’ll take this off-site while I try to help.

  191. Hi Mike,
    I recently started traveling from Walton-on-Thames to Waterloo (using Natinal Rail monthly ticket) and then from Waterloo underground to Bank (I use contactless to pay for this jouney).
    I recently discovered that I had 9 incompleted journeys, some for the journey from Unkmown to Waterloo (National Rail). What do I do wrong ? I presume I touch in a wrong reader at Waterloo so it’s treated as a National Rail journey from somewhere to Waterloo instead of from Waterloo underground to Bank where I touch out ?

    • Hi Maggy,

      This is the most misunderstood interchange in zone 1, especially if you’re switching from paper to Oyster/contactless. You need to use your paper ticket to exit the NR platforms, even if that exit is down the stairs from each set of platforms. You then need to touch in on the Waterloo & City line which is using validators at the top of the ramp. In the evening it’s the reverse.

      Take a look at the journey history page on this site so you can request a refund of the extra charges.

      Going forward you might be better off buying a Walton-on-Thames to zones 1-6 travelcard. The difference is £73.30 per month currently which means you’ll save if you make more than 30 single tube journeys in the month.

  192. An oddity I found on my journey history. I traveled from Paddington Tube to Queen’s Road, Peckham Rye (the last leg of this on the Overground, not NR), I was charged £4 instead of the off-peak single which on a Sunday night should have been £2.40. Is there a separate tap in-out here I have missed? I normally get off at Brockley which is also a mixed NR and TfL station but this never happens.

    • Hi Thomas,

      Yes, you needed to touch the pink reader at Canada Water or Whitechapel. If you check my fare finder (yellow box at top of every page) it explains this. For Brockley the default route is the one you took so there is no need to touch pink.

  193. Thanks for that. Very helpful

    But what is the basis/justification for these default fairs which are surely inconsistent (since in my case of Paddington to Peckham you don’t go through an NR station barrier till the end)?

    Are some stations designated as NR rather than TfL? So you have to touch the pink reader earlier than the final stop to prove you have used that route/service?

  194. Hi Thomas,

    I agree that they are inconsistent. It’s not the station being NR or not, but whether you are likely to have used an NR train. In this instance it’s a train between London Bridge and South Bermondsey.

    However, the advice is to always touch a pink reader if you pass one while changing trains. It won’t make any difference for Brockley, but will get the cheaper fare for Queens Road Peckham.

  195. (However, the advice is to always touch a pink reader if you pass one while changing trains.)

    Excellent advice! I have never really understood pink readers and it’s only since I have moved from an area where I could almost exclusively use the regular tube to get to work to one which I am constantly juggling routes to keep sane – too much chopping and changing on my present ones – that I’ve become aware of the glitches in PAYG.

  196. Hi Mike,

    I am looking to make a trip from Shepherd’s Bush to Westcombe Park. Using your fare finder, I notice that the trip is cheaper if I begin at the Shepherd’s Bush Overground station (£2.80), rather than the underground one (£4.30). If I tap into the Overground station, then tap out again and use the OSI to travel on the central line to Bond Street and beyond, will this count as one journey with the cheaper fare? Or instead will this ignore the tap in at the Overground station, and view me as tapping in at the Undeground Station? If it does count this as one journey beginning at the Overground station do I have to wait for 2 minutes, or can I tap out again immediately to take advantage of the cheaper fare?

    Many thanks for your help,

    • Hi Tom,

      The answer to your main question depends on how you get to Westcombe Park. If you change at any of the London Terminal stations listed in the alternative route section then you’ll be charged the same fare as from the Underground station. If the overground station has gates then you don’t have to wait, but if it’s validators then you do need to leave 2 minutes between touches.

      You probably ought to be aware that people doing exactly what you are proposing have been challenged at Shepherd’s Bush.

  197. Hi Mike,

    Really appreciate your help on here!
    I’m going to be commuting from Chafford Hundred to South Kensington.
    I thought I’d price check for days I have to break up my journey due to football and discovered that it’s 40p cheaper (Peak total completely on Oyster PAYG) if I go…
    South Kensington to West Ham + West Ham to Chafford Hundred (
    Rather than South Kensington to Chafford Hundred.

    Would the “continuation exit” tap at West Ham save me that 40p (which adds up over the year) or would I need to exit and re-enter the station?

  198. Hi Mike,

    In a similar question to Alexander, can I check whether there is ever a problem with tapping out and then tapping back in at the same station to split the fare into two journeys?

    The example I’m thinking of is Tottenham Hale to Surbiton, which is cheaper if you use the Overground to Clapham Junction (touching the pink reader at H+I) and tapping out, before tapping in to go onto Surbiton (since there is no option of not going via Zone 1 for a direct fare).

    • Hi William,

      As long as you use gates you shouldn’t encounter a problem. The only possible problem is if an emergency OSI is set at that station. This will join together an out and in within 30 minutes. If that happens then call the helpdesk and they should refund the overcharge. If you have to use validators then you need to wait two minutes between touches which isn’t so friendly.

  199. Hi Mike,

    I often make the journey to west brompton on the overground from clapham junction after getting a Southwest Railway train from southampton and the opposite return trip. I use the standalone validator when I arrive at clapham junction to go on the overground to west brompton, and when I go from west brompton to clapham junction I use the standalone validator it charges me anywhere from 5-9 pounds, and I am not sure why it is charging me so much and different amounts?

    I am using my contactless debit card. It charges me different amounts all the time, when I am only ever making the journey from west brompton to clapham.

    Do I use the validator when getting off at clapham junction from west brompton to change to the southwest rail service?


    • Hi Caroline,

      I’m assuming you mean the pink validator. This is designed to indicate changing trains. It will start a journey if you are not currently in the system, but it will NEVER end a journey. You need to go to the gates below the overground platforms. The exception is if you get the Southern service which goes into platform 17 at Clapham Junction because the validator on that platform is yellow and so will end the journey.

      The different amounts will depend on the time of day that you touched in at West Brompton.

  200. Hi Mike, ive two questions.

    Firstly i take the southern train from Watford Junction and tap in on Oyster. I change at West Brompton ( where they have pink oysters on platform). I get on the circle at South Ken and tap out there. Did i need to tap in on the pink too at West Brompton?

    The second, i went from Wat Junction to Hemel and back ( paper ticket). But when i got back to Wat Junction i was so used to the Oyster i tapped in on the yellow pad on platform, then i thought id better tap out at main gate. What I have done, did it charge me and should i claim a refund?

    • Hi Derek,

      South Kensington is in zone 1 so there is no need to touch the pink validator at West Brompton. You may have incurred a charge at Watford Junction, but if you call the helpdesk and explain what happened they will refund you. If it was today you’ll need to wait until tomorrow before calling them.

  201. Good morning Mike,

    May you please kindly advise me on a convenient route + tap in/out for a monthly commute from Hendon Thameslink (Zone 3) to Canary Wharf (Zone 2)?


    • Hi Paul,

      As is usual with these questions, it depends on whether speed or cost is more important. For speed, travel from Hendon to London Bridge on Thameslink (you may need to change at St Pancras) then take the Jubilee line to Canary Wharf. You’ll need a zones 1-3 travelcard. For cost, travel from Hendon to West Hampstead, change to the London Overground service to Stratford, touch on a pink reader on the platform you arrive on then take the Jubilee line from the other direction to Canary Wharf. For this journey you’ll only need a zones 2-3 travelcard. If you go for the cheaper option you can always take the fast route occasionally with the zone 1 single fare deducted from PAYG.

  202. I want to understand if I am correct…
    I have seen some people entering the gates at a station to realise that their friends are stuck behind. And then they are reluctant of getting back out through the gates to help the friends in the fear that they will be double charged when they go back to the platform with the friends .

    SO….Is it that if they used an Oyster card they will be double charged and if they used contactless they will not be?

    • Hi June,

      If someone enters a station using gates and exits again using gates within 2 minutes then they get a single incomplete journey charged to their Oyster card. If they re-enter the staion within a further 45 minutes then that charge is refunded and a new journey is started. So in the case you mention there will be no additional charge at the end unless they remain out of the station for more than 45 minutes.

      If they use contactless then no charge is made for the initial in and out.

  203. Hi Mike, I’d appreciate your advice on a particular situation. I travel through Clapham Junction from Peckham Rye regularly on the overground, and onto various national rail journeys (to Hayward’s heath, to Weymouth, Farnham). I have been using the validator on the platform at Clapham Junction but on one journey I was charged £5.70 by TFL in each direction (returning on a separate day). On another journey on a different day (return day trip) I was only charged the standard £1.70 each way. Why would this be?! And how can I avoid paying more than I need to to TFL when passing through Clapham Junction? Thanks! Becky

    • Hi Becky,

      The safest way to start or end journeys at Clapham Junction is to use the gatelines. One of them is underneath the platform used by trains from Peckham Rye. The pink validators on that platform will only start a journey, not end one. They are supposed to be used when interchanging between trains and using Oyster throughout. They will never end a journey. There is a yellow validator on the end platform furthest from the Overground trains, otherwise you need to use a gate to end your Oyster journey.

  204. I’m going to be changing trains at Stratford (regional) station. I’ll arrive on the London Overground (with Oyster) and continue by Greater Anglia (with a paper ticket).

    Is there a Oyster reader within Stratford station, so I can avoid exiting at the ticket barriers (touching out with Oyster) and then re-entering with paper ticket for onward journey?

    • Hi Shinkansen,

      There are some yellow readers at various points within Stratford, including the platforms served by both TfL Rail and the Central line. I don’t think any of them are that helpful when using Greater Anglia. On the way back you can use the pink validators on the Overground platforms (to Hackney) to start an Oyster journey.

  205. Hi Mike,

    I’m coming into Victoria tomorrow by train, and changing platforms there to get to Streatham Hill. Is it possible for me to touch out, grab something from Boots and touch back in without bring charged again? Do I have to wait at least 2 mins, or touch back in within 2 minutes. Apologies if you’ve already answered something similar before! Many thanks, Stéph

  206. There’s an out of station interchange (OSI) between the Southern and the Southeastern platforms at Victoria so as long as:
    1. You are transferring from the Southeastern gateline to the Southern gateline or vice versa (not out and back into the same gateline)
    2. Both your journey arriving into Victoria and your journey departing Victoria are on Oyster
    3. You don’t exceed the permitted duration for the OSI (30 minutes) or the maximum journey time for the zones you are travelling through
    …then you will not be charged extra as the journeys will be merged into one.

    I’d recommend having a look at the “Interchanging Trains” page on this site for more detailed info.

    Incidentally this question doesn’t really relate to Same Station Exits, as you are not proposing to enter and then leave a station. The only question is whether you would be charged for two separate journeys or one. The only exception (at the risk of over-complicating) is if point (1) above didn’t apply and you wished to re-enter the same gateline. This still isn’t a same station exit but there is a convoluted way to do this which involves a same station exit. This is to:
    A. Tap out of (eg) the Southern gateline
    B. Tap in to and then immediately tap out of the Southeastern gateline
    C. Finally tap into the Southern gateline again

    This creates two OSIs, one in each direction between the two gatelines. The same station exit in step (B) wouldn’t apply because OSIs always take precedence over same station exits in the Oyster system, although it would (and would be subject to a maximum fare) if you didn’t continue your journey per step (C). I did this almost daily at London Bridge NR actually.

    Nb – I’m sure Mike will correct if I’ve got anything wrong! 🙂

  207. Hi Chris,

    Many thanks, I’m coming from Welling, which is Southeasteen, so hopefully your first scenario is applicable, though I’m on contactless rather than Oyster – but not on a ticket or anything!

    Thanks for getting back to me!

    • Hi Steph,

      Yes, arriving into platforms 1-7 and leaving from platforms 8+ is fine on one journey as long as you don’t spend more than 30 minutes on the concourse.

      Chris: Thanks for the reply, even if it did go into a bit more detail than I would usually do without knowing the specifics of the journey. Also, I don’t tend to worry about questions on the wrong page.

  208. It was a bit long-winded! I don’t plan on replying to every post (before you start worrying), it’s just OSIs+SSEs+45-min rule are something I’ve done a fair bit of experimentation with (I have a sad spreadsheet of tests and outcomes for Oyster) and are one of the few aspects of the system I know very well from a user perspective.

  209. Hi everyone.

    I was wondering if anyone could answer this question please?

    When we were in London last year, we visited Kings Cross station (not the Underground one), I’ll explain the visit.
    My partner she is a Harry Potter fan. She found out that the Platform 9 3/4 scene in the film was filmed on the platforms of Kings Cross station between platforms 4&5.

    We found the signage that would have directed us to platforms 4&5. However, our way was blocked by ticket barriers (they looked the same type that are on London Underground).

    We were unsure what would have happened (with regards to charges). We thought that if we had tapped in (to let us through and down to platforms 4&5) and then later tapped out again at the same station, that we might have been charged a penalty fee (as we had tapped in and out at the same station).

    We also thought that we might not get charged as after all we hadn’t travelled anywhere, and also you have the scenario of people needing to get down to the platforms without going anywhere when they are meeting people off of the train. In the end, as we couldn’t see any station staff to ask this question to, we decided not to bother risking it.

    Anyways, I was wondering if someone could give me an answer to if we would be charged tapping in, going down to the mentioned platforms, and then later tapping back out a the the same station.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Talster,

      You’d be charged as indicated above, so it would depend on how long you spent on the platform. Whilst the filming might have taken place on platforms 4/5, there is a visitor facility elsewhere on the concourse, including a luggage trolley embedded in the wall for photo opportunities.

  210. I just noticed the updates to this page with Continuation Entries – very interesting. Blackfriars LU is notable to me and makes sense since the barriers at the northern NR end are perpetually open in my experience.

    I’d be tempted to use that one a lot to save on making two touches when going NR-LU, but I’m not sure where I would stand Oyster T&Cs wise. The Oyster Conditions of Use on National Rail Services say to touch out “at the end of your journey” (3.14) and “each time you leave a station whilst using pay as you go” (3.16) but I would not be at my [final] destination and I would not be leaving the [overall] Blackfriars station. What’s your view of where I’d stand?

    (I’m sure you’ll tell me to save myself the potential aggro and just touch twice! Though it’s not completely academic since I never touch the continuation exit validator at West Ham or Kentish Town when transferring, and I would struggle to articulate the difference).

    • Hi Chris,

      Blackfriars LU is the only one on that list where the other side is a fully gated station, so that speaks volumes as to the likelihood of finding the gates open.

      You’re right about my advice though. Unless you would normally put your card away between touching out and back in again you really aren’t saving much time or effort by ignoring the touch out. If NR revenue staff were between the gatelines then I’d question why the gates were open, so if they are open you’re unlikely to hit a problem.

      The difference between Blackfriars and Kentish Town is easy. At Blackfriars you will encounter another gateline before getting to the tube trains, while at Kentish Town there is no such further gateline before the Thameslink platforms. The validators there and at West Ham are really intended for people using paper tickets on National Rail.

  211. Hi Mike,

    Is it possible to enter and exit a station within 2 minutes (as described above) in order to break an OSI? Say I went from Green Park – Euston (LU) and then Euston – Watford Junction (NR). Normally the OSI would link the 2 journeys together, but if I wanted to split it, could I touch out at Euston LU, touch back in and then immediately touch back out before starting a new journey on NR?

    • Hi Jacob,

      It won’t have the effect you want. The second journey will be Euston LU to Watford Junction which will be more expensive than Euston NR.

  212. Hi Mike,

    I’ve finally been caught out by a Continuation Exit. This was doing the route E&C NR – Kentish Town – OSI to Kentish Town West – Gospel Oak – Barking – Upminster Bridge.

    This was charged as follows:

    13:12 – 13:44 Elephant & Castle [National Rail] to Kentish Town West £1.60
    13:12 Touch in, Elephant & Castle [National Rail] £3.75
    13:37 Touch out, Kentish Town +£2.15
    13:44 Touch out, Kentish Town West £0.00

    13:55 – 15:00 Gospel Oak to Upminster Bridge £1.00
    13:55 Touch in, Gospel Oak £3.75
    15:00 Touch out, Upminster Bridge +£2.75

    I used the validator and side exit at KTN – which a sign says is for out-of-hours use only, but I’ve never seen the gate closed – and walked to KTW. The touch “in” at GPO was actually a touch on a pink reader. All of which means I was travelling ticketless between KTW and GPO.

    I did think about ringing for a refund of the 55p but I didn’t fancy the awkward conversation with the TfL helpdesk who would probably be skeptical about my route and whether it was really one journey!

    However it did make me wonder whether others are being caught out in this way. The necessary circumstances are a station with a standalone validator set to Continuation Exit (where that isn’t followed up by passing through a gateline), and an OSI’d station with a standalone validator for entry. I’m not sure if there are any other station pairs in this situation – I don’t think so based on a skim of the list (but there may be some secret side exits I don’t know about!). Possibly Finsbury Park LU -> NR.

    Might be an interesting OSI one day for Continuation Exit touches at KTN followed by Exit touches at KTW within 20 minutes with no other touches in-between. That journey isn’t possible by rail within that timescale so it could potentially be handled by special logic at the KTW validators.

  213. Hi,

    “If using a contactless card or device then no charge is made if you exit within two minutes.”
    Is this still true as the tfl website says otherwise, and is it past 2min 1sec the minimum fare applies?

    Also is there a list of all the validators on the tfl network not just contuation exit and entry?


  214. Hi Jason,

    My experience of using a contactless card to enter and exit the same station within two minutes is that it doesn’t charge. I may check it out again next time I travel. The minimum fare will apply to 2 min 1 sec and later upto 30 minutes.

    I’m not aware of a network-wide list of validators.

  215. Hi – thank you for all the great work. I have a query for you!

    I travelled from Oakwood (Piccadilly Line) to Finsbury Park, and then from Finsbury Park to Gatwick (Thameslink) using a contactless card on a weekday. Touched in to Oakwood at 1848, then at Finsbury Park touched out and back in again at 1916 before finally touching out at Gatwick at 2017.

    In spite of touching my card at Finsbury Park to break the journey into separate elements, TFL have opted to merge these two journeys (on two separate and different lines and forms of transport) into one overall peak time journey. Seems this is because Finsbury Park in a Continuation Exit.

    I can understand Continuation Exits are generally a good thing and intended to help passengers but in this case it’s caused me (and my family) to pay a lot more (about £30 more altogether).

    Given the Continuation Exit status has resulted in us being charged a lot more do you think we could get the fare reduced retrospectively if we contacted TFL? If I had used a different card for the second journey the second journey would have been charged at off peak so I can’t see the logic for ‘penalising’ me for using the same card for both journeys.


  216. Hi Bill,

    Can you confirm how you touched out and back in again? Was it at one of the gatelines, or did you use the standalone readers in the subway?

    Either way, I don’t hold out much hope. You’re not the first person to suffer this recently. Despite the recent works to protect the whole station with gates it is still desirable to allow people to touch out of the National Rail gateline and touch back into the Underground gateline by the bus station. This is likely to be the reason why the journeys have been joined together. If you touched validators twice then it would be the continuation exit.

    There are two ways to avoid this in future. If you have time then wait 10 minutes between touching out at one gateline and touching in at the other. This will break the journey in two because to keep the same journey you must do this within 10 minutes at Finsbury Park. The other way is to touch on a bus in the bus station and get off again. This will cost £1.75 which is considerably less than the whole journey being peak.

    You could also use two cards, but I don’t recommend this usually because if further journeys are made you might miss out on a cap being applied.

  217. Hi – thanks for the prompt reply.

    We touched our cards on a card reader at the bottom of the stairs up to the mainline platforms. I’m aware there are some gates around too but as far as I recall the platform we went up to didn’t have them, or maybe they were open (can’t quite remember).

    It doesn’t seem quite right to me if we aren’t entitled to a refund of sorts. How can it be open to TFL to charge me the much higher A to C price, and not let me opt to pay for A to B, and B to C if this is cheaper and consistent with my route? Do I not have the right to structure the fare as I see fit so long as I am not evading?

    • Hi Bill,

      OK, so it will have been the continuation exit setting because you need to leave 15 minutes between touches at a validator with that setting before it will start a new journey.

      As to the fairness, I sympathise with your predicament. I have to be realistic and say that I don’t think TfL will budge on this. That doesn’t mean you can’t ask, but be prepared to be rejected.

      Most of the time the difference in fares is actually quite small, and if you touch in just before the peak you’ll get the whole journey at off-peak, even if it takes quite a time to complete. Having said that, with the continuing roll out of new stations to the contactless PAYG system there will likely be others who want to try and limit the costs. I don’t know what the answer is likely to be. A major re-write to the logic of PAYG charging is likely to need to be requested by the DfT.

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