After a recent trip to Wimbledon I have decided that the special circumstances that apply here warrant a page all to themselves.  Wimbledon is unique in that the tram stop is actually within a gated National Rail station which causes all kind of issues for Oyster PAYG users.  Some of the tram specific issues have already been covered on the Trams and Buses page, so here I will concentrate on interchanging between modes at Wimbledon.

Oyster Readers at Wimbledon

First though, a brief explanation of the different readers.  There are standard entry and exit readers on the gatelines at each end of the overbridge.  Then there are three ‘tram boarding’ readers on platforms 10a/b next to where the trams stop.  These can be identified by the large green label on the front explaining that you need to touch in before boarding the tram.  There are also three standard entry/exit validators facing platform 9.  The side of the validators facing the footbridge on platforms 9 and 10a now have extra signage making it clearer which is used for each mode of transport.  In the mini-concourse at the end of platforms 1-4 there are two pink route validators and at the beginning of each of platforms 1-4 are more entry/exit validators.  Click on the image to see a plan of the station with the locations of the various types of reader.

Interchange where both journeys use Oyster

Next I’ll cover what to do when using Oyster for both incoming and outgoing journeys.

Arriving by Tram, leaving by National Rail or Tube

When you arrive on a tram and intend to continue your journey by rail or tube you need to touch in before doing so.  This can be done at the three entry/exit validators facing platform 9.  You need to do this even if you are travelling by South Western Railway (platforms 5-8) as there are no validators on those platforms.  If you are leaving by the District Line (platforms 1-4) then note that the pink route validators on the mini concourse should not be used because they do not record entry.  You may use the yellow entry/exit validators on platforms 1-4 if you haven’t already used the ones on platform 9.

Arriving by National Rail or Tube, leaving by Tram

The tram boarding validators at Wimbledon are specially programmed to end any valid open rail journey before deducting the tram fare.  This means that you don’t need to touch on any other validators apart from the ones on platforms 10a/b.  Don’t worry if  you do touch out on either the entry/exit validators on platforms 1-4, or the ones on platform 9, because that will still work.  Before boarding the tram you must touch in on the tram validators facing the trams on platforms 10a/b.  As above, you should not use the pink validators on the mini concourse in front of platforms 1-4.

Arriving by National Rail, leaving by Tube, or vice-versa

In both these instances there is no need to touch in or out on any yellow validators.  What you should do is touch on the pink route validators in the mini concourse next to platforms 1-4.  This will ensure that you don’t get charged a higher fare if an alternative route would take you into zone 1.

Interchange where one journey uses paper tickets

Sometimes you may arrive at Wimbledon, or be intending to depart, using a paper ticket.  Usually this will mean that your travel takes you beyond the Oyster area using South Western Railway.  In effect you are either starting or finishing your Oyster journey at Wimbledon without using the gates to enter or exit (as long as you already have the paper ticket when intending to leave).  The following paragraphs describe how to start or end the Oyster journey and assume the opposite of arrival or departure is using paper tickets.

Departure by Tube or other National Rail

In both cases you need to touch in to start your Oyster journey.  This can be done using the yellow validators on platforms 1-4 (if using the tube) or on platform 9 (if using Thameslink).  Do not use either the pink validators in the concourse at the end of platforms 1-4 or the tram boarding validators on platforms 10a/b. If you are changing between two SWR services (platforms 5-8) then unfortunately you will need to use the overbridge and might as well exit and enter via the gateline.

Arrival by Tube or other National Rail

In both cases you need to touch out to end your Oyster journey.  This can be done using the yellow validators on platforms 1-4 (if using the tube) or platform 9 (if using Thameslink).  Do not use either the pink validators in the concourse at the end of platforms 1-4 or the tram boarding validators on platforms 10a/b. If you are changing between two SWR services (platforms 5-8) then unfortunately you will need to use the overbridge and might as well exit and enter via the gateline.

Departure by Tram

All you need to do is touch on the tram boarding validators on platforms 10a/b before getting on the tram.

Arrival by Tram

This is the easiest one of all.  You do not need to touch any Oyster readers.  Just make your way to the SWR platforms and go.

195 thoughts on “Wimbledon”

  1. I think I followed the advice above and still got shafted.

    I arrived by tram, having touched in at the start of my journey from Mitcham. I then touched the yellow card reader on platform 9 at Wimbo before changing onto a National Rail train to Kingston – arriving there I was charged the punitive maximum cash fare as an incomplete journey. I really don’t know what I did wrong!

  2. Hi James,

    It looks like you did it right. What I suggest is viewing your journey history to see what the system thinks you did. I’d guess that the touch in at Wimbledon platform 9 didn’t work. If you can’t view your history (if you haven’t topped up online) then call the helpline and ask them what it says. If you explain what you did and roughly what times then they will arrange for a refund of the difference.

    Please let us know how you get on.

  3. James they got me at this station too which resulted in me getting charged the maximum cash fare.May I suggest you do what I did and complain via https://custserv.tfl.gov.uk/icss_csip/init.do and metion a refund like I did because I got a full refund for the maximum cash fare and an apology for the wrong charge even tho it was probably technically my fault for not touching somewhere I should have

  4. Thanks James,

    From that journey statement I know exactly what went wrong. You touched on a tram reader on platform 10 rather than the entry/exit reader on platform 9. There was no charge made there because you were still within the 70 minutes after touching in at Mitcham Junction.

    The tram boarding validators are all facing the tram when it is parked in platform 10. The entry/exit readers are all facing towards the rest of the station. Looking at it another way, if you are standing in front of a tram boarding validator looking at the screen then the tram will be behind you.

    I hope that helps.


  5. A similar problem arises at Mitcham Junction as there are tram oyster validators and rail validators, both yellow. I wonder if using the national rail validators at mitcham junction and wimbledon to travel between the two would be cheaper than the tram?

    Maybe to avoid confusion the tram validators should be green?

    In retrospect my journey between mitcham junction and Kingston would have been cheaper if I had touched in the rail read at the beginning and end without touching on the platform at Wimbledon.

  6. Hi James,

    While the tram boarding validators are yellow (just like valiadtors on buses) they do have a large green label on them. They’re also only on tram platforms (apart from the two special cases of Elmers End and Wimbledon). The LCD display says that it’s for tram boarding rather than entry or exit which is what the standalone rail validators say.

    With hindsight though, maybe the bus and tram validators should be a different colour. Maybe one day they will be.

    Turning to your other points, the tram fare is £1.20 each way while the rail fare from Mitcham Junction to Wimbledon is £2.20 peak and £1.70 off peak. This is because the direct train takes you via Sutton in zone 5. Even if you were able to travel via Streatham and change the two zone fare would still be more than the tram at £1.80/£1.50. In reality you’d be mad to take the train between those two points as it would certainly be slower than the tram and more expensive.

    For your journey I agree that the off peak combination of £1.20+£2.00 is more expensive than the rail only fare of £2.20, BUT, if you did that and still used the tram then you would be liable for a penalty fare if stopped on the tram.

  7. I’m so glad to find this website, having e-mailed TfL to clarify use of the yellow reader on platform 9. They referred me to the SWT station manager, who implies that it should be used as a route validator when changing between First Capital Connect and SWT trains. Surely this can’t be right, unless one is starting or ending a Prepay rail journey? Mike, can I forward you my correspondence, as I would like to take action to ensure that all readers on station platforms have clear instructions? I don’t know where to turn.

  8. Hi David,

    I guess they mean someone switching between a long distance SWT train and an FCC train. In that instance they are correct, but it’s not the only use. It is a mess.

  9. What happens if you arrive at Wimbledon by National Rail (after having touched in at your starting station) and do NOT touch out on the yellow validators, and instead touch in on the Tram validator? I have been confused by this system for ages, and the staff at Wimbledon have told me that if I want to interchange at Wimbledon for the tram, I would need to leave the station at one of its normal exits, and then come back in again to be charged the correct fares.

    Not touching out on the yellow validators within the station doesn’t seem to charge the maximum fare though, hence why I have been just touching in when first getting on a SWT to Wimbledon, and then touching in when boarding the tram…

    • OK. You certainly do not have to leave the station. My understanding is that you need to touch out on the yellow validators on platform 9 before touching on the tram boarding validator on platform 10. However, the tram boarding validators at Wimbledon are programmed differently to other tram boarding validators because they cancel the entry charge made when you enter the station via the gateline. It is possible that they are also set to end any valid open rail journey as well.

      Do you have access to the journey history online? Can you send me a screen grab showing what it says after a trip through Wimbledon? Or can you request a journey statement via Oyster online? If I can see what they say I can hopefully work out what is happening. I’ll send you an email shortly so you have mine.

  10. Thanks again to Amy who has confirmed that the tram boarding validators at Wimbledon will indeed end an open rail journey before deducting the tram fare. According to the Oyster helpdesk this must be a recent change because they were not aware of it.

    All I need to do now is check out Elmers End to see if the same happens there.

  11. Hi Mike,
    Although you say don’t use them,several times in the past I’ve come into Wimbledon on the District line and swiped the pink reader,then the tram reader,without encountering any problems. This was months/more than a year ago,so well before the tram readers were altered so that they close an open rail journey.

    • Hi Phil,

      Maybe the programming on those readers is different, or that the tram readers have always ended a rail journey despite people saying otherwise. They must have to make the system as foolproof as possible. I’ll try some other combinations next time I go to Wimbledon. Any journey history scans which show how you have been treated would be interesting, if you can generate them.

  12. How about adding a page on changing at Waterloo, another station where there are umpteen possible combinations of modes and it is easy to make a mistake? There is the main line station, the Tube, the Waterloo & City Line, and Waterloo East station, each with their own signing in/signing out arrangements. Plus it is possible to arrive at the main line station (or Waterloo East) from outside the Travelcard area with a paper ticket and then switch to using Oyster.

    • Hi Alan,

      Thank you for your comments. Your suggestions may well be incorporated into new pages as and when I get a chance to research the content properly. I like the wider concept of the issues surrounding switching between paper tickets and Oyster at various locations.

  13. Glad someone has taken the time to do that diagram and write this website. I frequently travel from Worcester park (SWT zone 4) to purley way Croydon on the tram, via an change at Wimbledon, and never got the answer from any other source as to what I am supposed to do! And often I had found on the rtn journey back to worcester park, when touching out, I was charged the max fare as opposed to what it should be.

    This makes it clear for me. On the way, I only need to touch twice – once at Worctester park train station, and once on platform 10 to board the tram. I confirm this does work and end the train journey. On the way back, I touch to board the tram at Waddon Marsh, then touch a validator on platform 9, then touch out again at Worcester Park. I had tried a few things such as not touching at all at wimbledon on the rtn, and also touching the tram validator on plat 10 on way home, but bizarrely sometimes it seems to calulate correctly, and other times over charge. Odd.

    • Thanks for the feedback, Aaron. I’m not sure why touching the tram validator at the end of the tram journey at Wimbledon might sometimes work. I wouldn’t have thought that would be appropriate at all. They do try to make the system as foolproof as possible though. I might try and make further enquiries on that one when I get a chance.

  14. Wimbledon is just mega-confusing and I stumbled upon this very helpful website when googling for a solution to having being stung for touching the wrong reader when changing from tram to National Rail recently.

    I must say that it really isn’t obvious what the difference between the tram reader and entry/exit reader is on platforms 9/10. On closer examination you can see, but it really requires considerable thought and a more than basic understanding of the logic of the Oystercard system.

    What I think is needed is two BIG signs over the platform 9/10 readers. The one over the entry/exit reader should say, “Oyster users continuing their journeys by tube or train must touch here” and the one over the tram reader should say, “Oyster users continuing their journeys by tram must touch here” or something to that effect.

    I think platforms 5-8 could do with entry/exit readers to fully follow the Oyster logic through.

  15. What about changing from National Rail to National Rail. Such as arriving on platform 9 on First Capital Connect and leaving by South West Trains? I sometimes travel Haydons Road to Clapham Junction.

    • Hi Michael,

      If you are making both legs of the journey using Oyster then there is no need to touch at all. It is just the same as changing between two trains anywhere else where you don’t need to leave the station.

  16. Mike, thank you so much for your clarifications. My wife got charged an ‘incomplete’ for Wimbledon – St. James’s Park for a journey from Phipps Bridge (Morden Hall Park) where she touched in. It was evening rush hour at Wimbledon and she touched out at the only reader she could see. At St James’s Park, even though the jouney times corroborated her account, the ticket office simply couldn’t, wouldn’t explain what might have happened. Three e-mails to the Oyster Help centre later she got her refund. She works outside the UK and cannot call help lines M-F. Everytime we make a ‘multi-modal’ journey, particularly through Stratford we get the shivvers! But the most bizarre Oyster fare we’ve come across was on a journey we made from Willesden Junction to Queen’s Road Peckham £1.30!!!

    • That fare does seem a bit odd. The single fare finder lists it as £1.50/£1.90 which looks right as you need to change in zone 3. Perhaps the system thinks the South London link from Clapham Junction to Surrey Quays is already open.

  17. i came from college yesterday. and i got in wimbeldon station at 3:35 pm. when i tried to get through the gate, that time was a fire alarm test. so, the gates were open and the ticket inspector said it is ok, if you are touch in. but because i want to go by tram, he said when i get in platform just tab on tram platform. which i did. when i tab my oyster i saw it charge me. then i came upstairs and talked with the inspecter. he told me which platform did you tab your oyster, i said there were two platfroms, which both were same and close to each other, one was on the left and second was on the right. i tab the one on the left. he said that is why you got charged!
    it is ridiculous. and i do not know what to do, if ring tfl it is gonna cost me more than that. now i just wonder what to do?

    • Hi Javed,

      I don’t think that the call should last that long, but if you are kept waiting in the queue then ask for something towards the phone call. It is ridiculous that the signage on platforms 9/10 doesn’t make it clear the difference between the two sets of validators, but at least you now know.

  18. Hello Mike, thanks for the solution to the Wimbledon conundrum. Great explanation + diagram. Shame TFL can’t explain it as well as you. I echo all the comments here as we recced the Wimbledon to Kingston route last week, for my son who start Uni at Kingston next week. We traveled from from Ampere Way tram station. Of course, we failed the test! …hence me searching for an explanation and finding your pearls of wisdom.

    Now what about this one? I had to travel up to Heathrow Terminal 1, from Liverpool St last week. My Gold card is only zones 1-5, so I knew I’d have to pay to get into zone 6. But, it cost me a massive £8, for a 1 stop return, Hatton Cross to Heathrow T1. The pay booth chap told me if I had an Oyster season ticket, it would have been far cheaper. But, alas my Gold Card is just a card – aka cellulose! But, I’m not sure why possessing an Oyster season ticket should matter. After all, isn’t a season ticket a season ticket, plastic or paper? Any insight on this is gratefully received?

    • Hi Leo,

      Basically, if the season is on the Oyster card then it knows what you’ve got and only charges you for what you need, in this case a zone 6 single. If the season is on paper then the Oyster system doesn’t know what you’ve got. When you link a Gold Card to an Oyster card it just sets a switch; it doesn’t record what the season is and it could just be a point-to-point ticket which wouldn’t help with a London to Heathrow journey.

      I’m not sure whether it’s possible to exchange your paper ticket for the Oyster version but it might be worth asking. If it isn’t then make sure you get it on Oyster next time.

  19. Thanks for then reply Mike. Another question if I may. I wish to go to Kingston from Wallington via Clapham Jct. Wallington is zone 5, Kingston zone 6 but Clapham Jct zone 2. Will my Oyster be valid if I go to Kingston (zone 6) from Wall’ton (zone 5) via Clapham Jct. Would this journey be a normal part of a monthly season ticket or do I need to use a validater (pink) at Clapham Jct, when I change. Thanks!

    Oh, an addendum to that question: “my son is a student and has a student card. So, I expect he will get a small fare reduction.”

    • Hi Leo,

      The default route for Wallington to Kingston is via Sutton and Wimbledon, however, there is no alternative listed for via Clapham Junction so you can go that way without worrying about touching on pink validators. And the 16+ and 18+ student cards do not give any discount on national rail journeys, unfortunately.

  20. Is the above advice (under “Interchange where one journey uses paper tickets”)valid for Barking station? (I.e. to end the Oyster journey on the London Underground to Barking without having to go to the gateline, then leaving Barking on an already held paper ticket on the c2c service outside the Oyster validity area. As they have cross-platform interchange).

  21. I have just found this information after a frantic phone call from my daughter from Wimbledon station where she had arrived by tram from East Croydon and was going to Surbiton, she was totally baffled by the procedure of touching in, touching out, which way to go and where to put your Oyster. I told her to ask a member of staff, but she said she could not see one! I believe she touched her oyster on the board tram validator instead of the touch out one, but who can blame her? What a palaver, I think anyone travelling the route for the first time would need a degree to work it all out, therefore, they are probably raking in the cash at TFL, I shall write to Boris Ha Ha.

    • Hi Angela,

      Sorry to hear your tale. If you (your daughter) call the helpdesk tomorrow they will be able to see what has happened. If she did touch the tram validator at Wimbledon then it’s likely that she will have incurred an incomplete journey charge at Surbiton. The helpdesk will be able to correct this so that a credit is applied back to the card. You’ll need to nominate a station or tramstop to pick the credit up from.

  22. Unless it’s a matter of cost,it would be faster to go East Croydon-Clapham Junction-Surbiton on the train and forget the tram altogether,there are trains from Clapham where Surbiton is the first stop,journey time ten minutes.

  23. Thanks for this helpful website. I’m really unhappy with TFL for how they calculate my default route. Acton Town-Earl’s Court-Wimbledon-Sutton is charged as a Zone 1 journey (presuming a Victoria stopover) unless I swipe the pink reader. And yet the route I take, above, is actually quicker and more convenient than the default Zone 1 route.

    So basically on this particular journey, TFL makes a presumption that its customer is taking a longer, less efficient route… why, I wonder, do they make such an illogical presumption? Oh that’s right… because it allows them to swindle anyone who doesn’t bother doing their homework another £2.70 per journey. Which amounts to well over £1,000 per year. From one single customer.

    It makes you wonder how much money TFL makes per annum through other such cons…

    • Hi M,

      The default route where no direct services are available is a trade-off between average journey time, number of changes and frequency of trains on each leg. Whilst I agree that your route can be quicker, they are quite clear on the single fare finder that you must touch the pink reader at either Wimbledon or West Brompton to get the cheaper fare. Many people prefer to take as few trains as possible and they may well opt for the slightly longer journey via Victoria. Also, the signs at Wimbledon do encourage people to touch the pink reader if they are changing trains, so I think most people would get it right.

  24. I think you’re too forgiving of TFL! Consider this: Earl’s Court-Sutton (ie not including my first leg) has a default route via Zone 1. But the Wimbledon stopover comes out better than Victoria for every conceivable measure:

    – it is a shorter journey time
    – it involves connecting to a more frequent train (every 15 or 20 mins, rather than every 30 mins)
    – it involves a shorter walk between platforms at the connecting stop
    – and it has an identical number of changes (one, hence neither better nor worse)

    For this route the Wimbledon stopover would undoubtedly be preferable for most travellers, and yet TFL by default charges you *double* the fare.

    I’m sure TFL would come up with some excuse such as claiming the Picaddily frequency is preferable to District, but given that it’s 2mins Vs 4mins that’s a red herring. The reality is sneaky little tricks like this give TFL millions of pounds of extra revenue every year. Most tourists and even Londoners will simply be too lazy to claim their money back for one-off occasions. It’s unethical IMO

    • I think we’ll probably have to agree to disagree on this one. You’re entitled to your opinion and I haven’t censored it in any way, but my view is different. Looking at the regular off-peak times there are 6 trains an hour direct from Victoria to Sutton. They take 27, 32 or 43 minutes and the four fastest journey times leave Victoria roughly every 15 minutes. That to me is a good service. There are just two direct trains an hour between Wimbledon and Sutton taking 18 minutes. Other options include changing at Epsom (outside Oyster) or Mitcham Junction (involves tram and thus costs more). Add to that the fact that Earls Court to Victoria is both quicker and more frequent than Earls Court to Wimbledon and I think you’ll find that for any given minute past each hour it will be faster via Victoria more often than it is faster via Wimbledon.

      Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that Oyster is perfect and TfL are angels, but on this particular example I think you’ve got it wrong.

  25. Yes agree to disagree is correct I think. Ultimately during peak hours there are four trains from Wimbledon to Sutton (2 bound for Sutton, 2 bound for Luton via Sutton) and they are all quicker than the quickest 4 trains via Victoria: 18 mins versus 27 mins. So from my perspective it’s a no-brainer… TFL shouldn’t be charging people for a longer route that is less convenient by default. That’s just unfair!

    I understand TFL needs extra revenue, but it’s a dishonest way of collecting it. I’m half minded to submit an FOI request asking them to estimate how much money they make by presuming Zone 1 journeys on routes where there is a viable, shorter Zone 2 alternative. But of course it’s impossible to quantify – because they have no means of proving which route was taken (without the pink swipe).

    My last word (I promise) is that if TFL can’t prove that one of their customers has used an optional premium service, then they shouldn’t be charging for it by default. That’s like a hotel charging you for minibar usage by default, and only refunding you if you query it. It’s just unfair.

    • I can see where you’re coming from, but unfortunately the routeing decision has to be the same all the time. Outside the main peak hour most people would go via Victoria. They do recognise that some people will opt for the cheaper route and they make a very clear way of indicating that you’ve taken that route. The Oyster system is incredibly complicated and they need to keep the logic at touch time to the bare minimum to ensure that it happens during the nano-second that the card is held over the reader. There are also some routes where a less frequent and slower alternative is chosen by default because they can’t tell the difference. See Welling to East Croydon as an example: most people would go via London Bridge but the direct trains to Peckham Rye with connections to a slow train to Croydon mean that they have to charge the lower fare for that flow. If they were to put a pink validator at Peckham Rye then I would expect this situation to change.

      As a final thought, if they made the passenger tell them that they’ve taken the more expensive route, how many people do you think would bother? They have to protect their revenue, but they do make it possible (and indeed easy) to indicate that you want a cheaper fare.

  26. You make a good counter-argument. For my specific route, I just today realised one irrefutable reason why they shouldn’t be charging for Victoria by default – because *you have to touch in and out at Victoria* when crossing lines! TFL knows with 100% certainty whether I’ve travelled via Victoria, as I need to leave the underground station and then touch back in at the rail station barriers. So when I fail to do so, they know without doubt that I must have gone via Wimbledon (it’s the only other route for Sutton). And yet still they charge me for the Victoria route…

    For the broader situation, though, I see your argument. It would be cool if they could add “exceptions” for specific destinations like Sutton – for the above reason – but I guess that would only further complicate an already complex system. I suppose the pink validator isn’t the worst thing in the world. Thanks for explaining the other side to me

  27. Can you assist, my son is starting on Monday to travel from Worcester Park, changing at Wimbledon and on the district line tube to Wimbledon Park. Where & when does he touch in and out on both journeys to and from?
    I’ve found Wimbledon very confusing so goodness knows what will happen with my son with his first attempt!!

    • Hi John,

      The good news is that your journey is so simple you only need to touch in at the beginning and out at the end. Although there is no need to do it for this journey, you might want to touch the pink validators at Wimbledon, but they will have no effect here. There is certainly no need to touch any yellow validators at Wimbledon.

  28. Hello Mike
    I am here to complain, and I am not one of lifes complainers, but it seems TFL is bringing out the worst is me, I have had so much trouble over the past couple of years and I find the system so baffling and complex, I buy weekly travelcards zone 2 to 4, however, last week i went to Googde Street, before I embarked on my journey, I put £5 on my oyster, then later on went to Clapham Junction train station where my oyster was not accepted, the staff worker did not have a clue why, I had no money on me and needed to get to work, the staff worker wouldnt let me through and said it has nothing to do with him as he works for SW trains, I then had to walk home, over an hour in the pouring rain to get some money to go to work, as you can imagine I was furious, I took my oyster card to the tube station where a staff member informed me, that because my oyster did not register touching out on Goodge street, I most certainly did touch out of goodge street as there were barriers there, and this whole matter of if you dont touch out is just TFLs polite way of stealing money, there are many times where barriers are opened because of stations unmanagability, or the oyster cards dont register when they are touched in. There are no signs to inform commuters of this daylight robbery, what about when stations are undergoing works, and the oyster machine has been moved, people in their rush to get home forgot to touch in.
    what happens to the commuters who are out late, mothers with children etc, who encounter these problems, there is no one at the station to help, this is an absolute mess, there should be a staff member at every station to represent Oytser, as far as I am aware you can only go to Victoria to get your money back for TFLS poor service, I know many people who have experienced similar problems. Reading previous posts, I did not have a clue what validators were, where is the information, where are the staff, I cant talk to machines and I have not got a degree in Oyster awareness.

    • Hi Cat,

      I’ve got to say that I whole-heartedly agree that the level of Oyster service available at most NR stations is abysmal. You don’t have to go to Victoria though. If you’ve been overcharged then a call to the Oyster helpline can arrange a refund to be credited back to your card at any named station.

      As to the Goodge Street issue, it looks like you had managed to get a negative balance through not touching in or out somewhere where PAYG fares were being deducted. Have you looked at your journey history? Did you touch in and out at each end of your journey to and from Goodge Street? If the other end was in zone 2 and you didn’t either touch in at the start or out at the end then you would have been charged a reduced maximum fare by the gates at Goodge Street. If you can provide details from your journey history then I can assist working out where it went wrong.

  29. Hi, today I’ve travelled Belmont to New Malden on Oyster PAYG via Clapham Jn because I couldn’t work out if tram via Wimb would be dearer! I’ve paid £2.40 peak Oyster fare. There was no quick rail connection at Sutton via the loop, next option was change to Mitcham Jn to tram & back to NR at Wim, but unsure if this would be charged as 2 separate rail journeys plus 1 tram? Does anyone know the answer & if so what the correct touching sequence should be? Thanks

    • Hi Arran,

      Yes, travel via Tramlink would involve 3 journeys and would cost significantly more. Luckily for you the system can’t tell the difference between travel via Sutton and Wimbledon and travel via Clapham Junction so you get charged the cheapest single either way.

  30. Mike,

    I had a question on which I needed your advice. I was looking for a route from Wimbledon Chase to London Waterloo and then on to the underground. TFL seems to indicate that the easiest way is to walk/ bus to Raynes Park and then SWT to Waterloo. Wouldn’t it save on time to take a train to WIM and then change to SWT (from FCC) from there? TFL doesn’t show this route which set me thinking whether such an interchange was allowed or not? Also, would it be right to assume that a Zone 1-3 travel card/ oyster would work for all of the journey?
    many thanks for your response.


    • Hi Gaurav,

      The interchange is fine but the frequency of trains at Raynes Park compared to Wimbledon Chase probably tips the balance. They may also allow a disproportionately large time to change at Wimbledon compared to bus-train at Raynes Park. And zone 1-3 would be fine as well.

  31. I travel from Wallington (zone 5) to teddington (zone 6) via Wimbledon (zone 3.) I am currently using a 2-5 travelcard on my oyster and then paying the 5-6 part via pay as you go. When I change platform at Wimbledon, do I need to tap the reader on platform 9 or can I just change trains and finish my journey by tapping out at Teddington?

    • Hi Dawn,

      You don’t need to touch anything at Wimbledon. Why does your travelcard cover zone 2? A zones 3-6 version would cost the same and not require any PAYG.

  32. I am still confused. I have zone 2-3 travel card. have to travel from Wandle Park tram to Wimbledon via tram and then interchange from Wimbledon to Vauxhall on platform 5. I understand I have to touch in Oyster before boarding tram on Wandle Park. Do I need to touch out at Wimbledon for interchanging onto train at Wimbledon? There will be a final exit via barriers at Vauxhall. For completing this whole tram-train journey, how many touch in/outs I need.


  33. Hi.

    I’m moving to worcester park and will be using worcester park station travelling by south west rail to waterloo and then catching a tube to Westminster for my daily journey to and from work, at peak times.

    Would my zone 1-4 Oyster card cover me for both the rail and tube part of this journey?

    Thank you

  34. Hi Mike

    What if you are arriving by tram into wimbledon but not continuing a journey?

    Do you just touch out at the gates? or the platform validator and then the gates?

  35. Can I use my Oyster to travel Rail from St Pancras to Wimbledon (FCC) and return the same way? If so do I just use yellow readers at both stations and tap in and out in the usual way please?

  36. Hi Mike,

    Thank you for this website. I visited London earlier this year. I now see that I am not the only one to become confused in Wimbledon Station. Someone above suggested that large signs be put up within the station giving directions. Good idea. For people like myself who like to plan visits in detail ahead of time, may I suggest that someone make available a downloadable floor plan of the station labeled with walking routes and Oyster card procedures for various connections.

  37. Hi I am movin to Mitcham and will be using the tram. I found out that I get charged the full rate £1.45 each way is this correcut? I went to Croydon which is the same price yet 3 times as far. Can I get a cheaper rate for my shorter journey?

    • Hi Margaret,

      Both trams and buses work on a flat fare system in London. It’s the same price whether you travel one stop or from one end of the route to the other.

  38. Hi,

    I am starting a job in London and I get the train to Wimbledon from Southfields. I then need the tram to Morden Road.

    So do I touch in at Southfields then just touch in on the tram and it will work out what I’ve done or do I need to touch a validator on the platform to end the journey.

    Same vice versa when I get off the train at Wimbledon to go back to Southfields do I touch in at Morden Road then touch out Southfields or use the validators?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Danielle,

      You are right about the journey to Morden Road, touching the tram boarding validator will end the tube journey and register a tram board. On the way back you need to touch a validator by the entrance to the tube platforms to start your tube journey.

  39. Although this site is for Oyster cards,I am hoping you can help me or direct me to someone who can.I have in fact a Freedom Pass.Sometimes I make the journey using the tram from Waddon Marsh to Wimbledon then change over to the District Line to go to Fulham Broadway.Apart from touching in at WM and then touching out at FB,are there other places at Wimbledon that I should carry out any or either of these actions.

  40. Just to add a bit of complication:
    I have a zone 3-6 season on my Oystercard. If I travel from eg Teddington to Wimbledon, then on by tube, I always go out of the gateline at Wimbledon, then back in, rather than touching the pink reader. Why? It saves me a pound!
    My season covers me to Wimbledon, but if I then use PAYG on the tube portion via the pink reader, it charges the tube journey at National Rail extension rates, rather than at TFL rates, which is what happens if I break my journey into two!

    • Hi Burgess,

      That’s one of the annoying complications of the fragmented fare structure we have in London. The sooner the Mayor gets to set all fares within the zonal area the better.

  41. I found this page as I got caught out by the platform 9/10 reader issue as above. I wondered why it said ‘board tram’ when I interchanged, then said ‘enter’ when I existed my national rail destination!
    Luckily, as I have a season, it did not charge for my ‘incomplete’ journey. The annoying thing was I had missed my train trying to understand all the notices! And I still got it wrong!

  42. Hi,
    I go from Surbiton to South Kensington, inter changing at Wimbledon from train to tube, am I right in saying I should tap the pink card reader not the yellow on the platforms? My husband yesterday didn’t touch any of the readers at Wimbledon when interchanging and was charged £5.30 (on a Sunday!!) Which I means his journey was is classed as incomplete? Any help you can give would be appreciated!

    • Hi Beth,

      South Kensington is in zone 1 so there is no difference in fares. The incomplete journey charge (£5.20) is the same as a zone 1-6 NR plus TfL mixed journey which is what Surbiton to South Kensington is. There is one way to reduce the cost a little, but it will add some time to the journey. If you touch out and back in again at East Putney then the journey is split in two with Surbiton to East Putney costing £2.40 and East Putney to South Kensington costing £2.30. This only works because East Putney is on the border of zones 2 and 3 so you don’t pay for a zone twice. There is a similar saving if you change between NR and Underground at Vauxhall where the overall journey is £4.90, but you would have an extra Underground leg changing at Victoria.

  43. hi,
    if I m travelling from Gants Hill to Wimbledon (via tube to Waterloo and then via SWT from Waterloo to Wimbledon), is there any special instruction for Waterloo change between Tube and SWT. Do I touch Yellow or pink at the exit at Wimbledon? Again for the retune journey, I guess the same rule applies

  44. Thank you Mike. Will there be a difference in cost reaching Wimbledon via tube+SWT vs via tube (Central+district) only from Gants Hill??

  45. Hi Mike! Are all of the issues around taping in and out at Wimbledon somewhat eased if you have a monthly travel card rather than being pawg? I will be traming from Croydon the Wimbledon and the on the tube to Earls Court for work from next week.

    • Hi David,

      Yes, all you need is a zone 2-3 travelcard and then you only need to touch where there are gates that need to be opened in terms of that journey (so just Earls Court probably).

  46. Hi Mike,
    I’m looking to move shortly and Wimbledon is one of the areas I’m looking at. I’ll be commuting to Baker Street every day. It looks like it’s easiest for me to get the train from Wimbledon to Waterloo and then pick up the Jubilee there, rather than getting the District line up. Am I right in thinking a zone 1-3 travelcard would cover the train journey here? I’ve never had a travelcard and only ever travelled by tube, so I’m a bit confused about the trains! Many thanks

    • Hi Michelle,

      Yes, that would be fine. Travelcards are valid on all rail services within their zones apart from High Speed 1 and Heathrow Express/Connect trains at the Heathrow end.

  47. Usually when interchanging between the district line and the tram at Wimbledon I just touch the pink reader by platforms 1-4-I know you say don’t do this but in the past it has always recorded everything correctly. I recently used contactless on this journey for the first time: came off the tube, touched the pink reader and then the tram reader. The tube journey into Wimbledon has been auto-completed. This didn’t happen whenever I did the journey using Oyster.

    • Hi Phil,

      Now I’m confused. First you say that it always recorded everything correctly, then you say that the auto complete didn’t happen before. Ignoring the pink readers, if you have an open rail/tube journey and you touch the tram boarding validator then the rail/tube journey will be ended. I guess it’s just possible that a pink reader touch on Oyster might confuse the system so that it looks like the journey isn’t completed, but still charges correctly. Is that what happened? I’d certainly expect contactless to make a better job of filtering the touches to get the desired result.

  48. Hi Mike,

    I have a 60+ Oyster card and a senior railcard and wish to travel by tube from Gloucester Road to Wimbledon and then at Wimbledon switch to SWT and catch a train to Dorking. What’s the cheapest return journey as I wish to make the trip early evening weekday?
    I appreciate your help.

  49. Dear Mike,
    I have to travel daily from Wimbledon to Epsom, can I use oyster for that or I need to purchase return tickets.
    Also it there any rail pass as I will be traving daily on this route?

    • Hi Yunus,

      You can’t use Oyster yet, though the extension is on the list of ones to be added. There is a season ticket though you need to travel more than 4 days for a weekly to be cost effective. For a monthly you’d need to make more than 16 return trips.

  50. How come when I travel from Marylebone TO Wimbledon (tube + SW trains) I am charged £5, but on my evening return journey I am charged £2.60 Where am I going wrong?

    • Hi Caroline,

      You’re not going wrong at all. The anytime cap for zones 1-3 is £7.60. £5.00 is the peak single fare for your journey, but the return is capped. However, you can make the journey cheaper still. Have you tried taking the Bakerloo line to Paddington and then the District line to Wimbledon? This will charge £3.30 in the morning and £2.80 in the evening because journeys from outside zone 1 ending in zone 1 are charged off-peak in the evening peak. So a total of £6.10.

  51. Hi Mike, much appreciate your blog and helpful responses. I am in Australia and my daughter is in UK. She may need to travel to work in Wimbledon from New Malden each week day. It appears to cost using Oyster from New Malden (zone 4) to Wimbledon (zone 3) on train £3 single trip. A day travel card is £5.20. Can you buy travel cards for just zone 3 – 4 for weekly, monthly and yearly? Can you please send me a reply with a direct link on how much this would cost? Just trying to research best options rather than paying single trips on Oyster. Thanks.

    • Hi Sharon,

      The prices of £3.00 single and £5.20 return are for paper tickets. You can’t buy a day travelcard for just zones 3-4, the return only allows 1 return trip. Oyster single fares are £2.40 peak (0630-0930 and 1600-1900 M-F) and £2.00 off-peak.

      You can buy period travelcards for zones 3-4. They cost £24.30/week, £93.40/month or £972/year. If your daughter is only using South West Trains between the two stations, no Bus, Tram or Underground, then she can actually buy a paper season ticket just for SWT. They cost £16.50/week, £63.40/month or £660/year.

      As for links, the Fares Guide page on my site has links for single Oyster fares, caps and travelcards near the top. The SWT season ticket prices can be found on the National Rail Enquiries season ticket calculator.

  52. I was travelling on the tram to Wimbledon on Tues. (10th May). There was an announcement on the tram warning passengers who were finishing their journey at Wimbledon (which I was) to touch IN even though they were exiting the station altogether. What was I supposed to do? touch in on the Tram validator on platform 10 and touch out at the gateline?

    • Hi Clifford,

      That’s an interesting one. Maybe they have had complaints about people getting maximum rail fares because they hadn’t touched in on the tram before boarding, but I’m not sure how announcing that on the tram is really going to help. Perhaps touching the tram validator at Wimbledon before exiting the station would work, I’ll have to try that next time I’m there. Thanks for the heads up.

  53. Do you have to touch out and then in at yellow card readers if you interchange at Wimbledon from Tulsehill via Southern or Thameslink line to Southwest trains towards Guildford ?

    • Hi Gum,

      It depends on what your actual journey is. As it says above, if you are using Oyster to get from Tulse Hill and have a paper ticket to get to Guildford from Wimbledon then yes you do need to touch out (using the yellow readers on platform 9). If you are going towards Guildford, but not beyond Surbiton or Ewell West, then you can use Oyster the whole way.

  54. Dear Mike,

    Thank you for your advice and sorry for the late rely. I am planning to go from East Dulwich to Surbiton via Wimbledon by Oyster. I need to know whether I have to touch a pink reader at Wimbledon or no touch at all until Surbiton after touching in at East Dulwich.?
    Thank you

  55. Hello Mike,
    My wife is working in Richmond and she needs to travel everyday. She bought a travel plan for her oyster to reduce to cost. She picked a travel plan from the ticket machines at the front of the wimbledon station. a monthly travel plan between zone 3 – 4. She tried to use it for 15 days but she couldn’t manage it. at the end we applied for refund and now refunded by half of the payment and her oyster doesn’t operational. We lost 45 pounds because of that. We really want to understand what is the problem with the journey. We tried 3 different ways. traveled by train via vauxhall to richmond, by train again from wimbledon station to richmond and finally by tube via earls court. But didn’t work. In every journey her top up funds used and gates didn’t open a couple of times at the final stations.
    I wnat to ask:
    1- ) is it possible to travel with oyster between zones 3-4 by train with a travel plan? From wimbledon to richmond.
    2-) If it is, what should we do when we are travelling?
    3-) is it possible to refund our 45 pounds which we couldn’t use?


    • Hi Birtan,

      I’m assuming that by travel plan you mean a travelcard. The problem here is that you have been trying to travel between zones 3 and 4, but via stations in zone 2 (Vauxhall, Earls Court) or zone 6 (Kingston). In each case the system has tried to deduct the value of a zone 2 single, though that differs depending on which route you take. It can’t tell you’ve gone via Kingston so you’ll still have been charged a zone 2 single. Anyway, onto your questions:

      1) Yes.
      2) Take the District line from Wimbledon to East Putney, walk to Putney, then take SWT to Richmond. Because you leave the system at Putney it knows you haven’t gone into zone 2.
      3) No. You did actually use it because your PAYG balance was only used for zone 2 singles.

      It’s a shame that no-one at TfL could explain why you were being charged extra.

  56. Hi Mike,

    Sorry but I’m getting confused about this. Going from Surbiton changing from SW trains to Dictrict Line at Wimbledon should I tap my Oyster on the pink ticket m/c? And should I if I’m using contactless?

    • Hi Sam,

      Yes, you should touch the pink reader with either Oyster or contactless. It may not make any difference if you’re going to end up in zone 1 anyway, but it won’t cost you more.

  57. Hi Mike,

    Here’s a question for you: I often travel to university from Sutton to Kingston/Surbiton via Wimbledon, which I usually make uneventfully via Thameslink/South West Trains.

    Sometimes the journey planner suggests the following journey: Sutton – Mitcham Junction – Wimbledon – Kingston/Surbiton (either direction). The portion between Mitcham Junction and Wimbledon is by tram.

    Do I need to do anything special at the “second” transfer back onto National Rail? I understand that, say, if I was going from Sutton I’d need to tap the reader at Mitcham Jct to say I was getting on a tram, but do I need to somehow tap “back” into the national rail system so I can get out at the other end? (say at Kingston/Surbiton; if I understand right, tapping into a tram ends an open train journey?)

    Not actually made this hypothetical train-tram-train journey and been able to get any unambiguous answers so I’d appreciate your expert opinion before I attempt it! Hope that’s clear! Thanks!

    • Hi Richard,

      Don’t do it!

      It will cost about twice as much. If you do do it, or something similar, then you need to touch out at Mitcham Junction before touching on the tram reader. The stations are separate at Mitcham Junction. You then need to start a new rail journey at Wimbledon. If you make the whole journey by rail then you only pay once for a zone 3-6 journey. If you use the tram then it would be a zone 4-6 rail plus a tram plus a zone 3-6 rail.

  58. Mike, I changed from the tube to the tram at Wimbledon by only touching once for the tram, and on the way back I touched in on the tram at Mitcham Junction and at Wimbledon on the yellow reader on the tube platforms. Everything worked as you suggested except that the journey history shows a daily total of £9.75 yet the actual total and the amount deducted is the relevant daily cap of £7.25 so it seems there is a bug in the software.

    • Thanks Stuart,

      There have been bugs in the journey history code before so that is disappointing. Can you post a screen print, out of curiosity?

  59. Hello.

    Getting from Kingston (Z6) to South Kensington (Z1) costs 7.80 peak by the default route. What default route is that? Kingston to Wimbledon is 3.60 and Wimbledon to South Ken is 3.30.

    • Hi Jeff,

      The default route is anything not described by alternatives. Either Kingston – Wimbledon – South Ken or Kingston – Waterloo – South Ken would work. They possibly ought to consider adding a touch pink at Wimbledon option, but you can always force it by exiting and re-entering at the gateline.

  60. Hi,

    I have got the penalty fare notice saying that no pay as you go validation for the tram service.

    I have made a mistake by not swiping my Oyster card near to tram platform in Wimbledon. Inspector who caught me told that I need to swipe the card twice when entering into Wimbledon train station and in the tram platform inside the Wimbledon train station, because train, bus, tram are separate transportation systems.
    • Both Train and Trams are clubbed into the same station, leaving everyone to think that using tram is same as of train
    • Why there is no separate gate for tram platform, if there is a separate gate, everyone aware that we have to swipe the card twice,

    I just wanted to highlight my scenario,
    • This is first time I am using tram since I moved to UK from India 2 years ago
    • I swiped card in Wimbledon station, the door opened and then I used tram
    • I am using Wimbledon station for trains and was in impression that I can use tram as the same way as I am using Train.

    I have learnt the lesson in the hard way.

    But do you agree that there is no enough instructions in Wimbledon station for tram users as Wimbledon is unique in that the tram stop is actually within a gated National Rail station, which causes all kind of issues for Oyster PAYG users.

    And Can I appeal it saying the same? will it make some change?


    • Hi Priya,

      Sorry for the delay. It’s a while since I’ve been to Wimbledon and I can’t remember what signage there is. I know there are notices on other tram stops detailing the special arrangements at Wimbledon, but whether these would be prominent enough at Wimbledon itself is another matter. It may be worth appealing, but I wouldn’t like to say which way it would go.

      You should also find that your Oyster has an incomplete train journey as a result of the touch in on the gates. If you had touched on the tram reader then this would have been cancelled. If you haven’t already done so I suggest calling the helpdesk and asking them to refund you.

  61. Hi Mike,

    After touching in through the gates at Wimbledon, do you know how long you have to touch in on the tram validator?

    Also, if I travel from Croydon to Wimbledon starting at 1000 (arriving Wimbledon 1030), and I enter Wimbledon before 1110 to go back to Croydon, would it only charge me for a single journey? Do you think it is the time you touch the gates at Wimbledon or only the tram validator?

    • Hi John,

      I don’t know how long you have to touch the tram validator after entering the station. I would think it’s at least 15 minutes, and maybe much more. I’ve never heard anyone complaining that it didn’t work.

      At the moment the bus/tram hopper fare does not work if you exit from a tram at Wimbledon. You will get a refund automatically a day or so later. The time will be based on when you touch the tram boarding validator for your return tram, or the bus if you go onward from Wimbledon.

  62. Dear Mike,

    I have today got my first 60plus Oyster card. My journey takes
    me from Wimbledon Chase to Wimbledon then the District line
    to Hounslow. My question is can I use my Oysterplus before
    9am from Wimbledon Chase Rail stn to Wimbledon?

    • Hi Megan,

      Sadly not. You’ll need a separate PAYG Oyster for that leg. Touch out on the validators on platform 9 before crossing the bridge to the District.

  63. Hello Mike,
    Thanks for this interesting article.
    I do have a question regarding a journey by tram with the daily/weekly capping.

    My new daily commute is rail (zone 4 only) – tram to wimbledon – rail to kingston (zone 3 to 6).
    During peak, the cost of one journey should be: £2.1 + £1.5 + £3.5 = £7.1
    But the daily capping for Zone £3-6 is £12.5.

    My question is: would the tram be included in this daily capping?

    i might be wrong but i think i’ve noticed that a touch on a tram validator automatically ends any rail journey.
    Thanks again for this great article!!

    • Hi Fabman,

      Yes, the tram will end the rail journey, but yes, it is included in the daily cap. If you are using contactless then you should cap at the Monday to Sunday rate of £33.90. If using Oyster then you should consider buying a travelcard for zones 3-6.

  64. Hi Mike ,
    I have paper travelcard from redhill to zone 5-6,can i use it on the tram from Croydon to Wimbledon and how can i go through the barriers at the station.tnx

    • Hi Tiana,

      Yes, a travelcard with zones 5-6 is definitely valid on the trams. You may need to show your ticket to the barrier staff at Wimbledon but you won’t have any problems.

  65. I need to get to battersea Park children zoo in April, so from Wimbledon can I tap my Oyster card to get through the barriers or do I have to pay for a ticket? I don’t know about the zones. I was travelling to stains from Richmond the other day andy osyter didn’t work due to being outside London and not in the zone 1-6 something like that. Does anyone know if I can definitely use my card to travel?

  66. Hi

    I really confused about oyster usage as I have never used one before.

    I get on the tram at Beckenham Junction and tap on the reader. i get off the tram at Wimbledon and only tap out at the barrier to exit the station. This is fine.

    But on my return journey, I have to tap through the barriers at the station to enter and then I have been tapping in in the green tram reader on the platform.

    Is this correct or have I been being charged twice ?

    Many thanks

    • Hi Cassie,

      That’s the right thing to do. When you touch in at the Wimbledon gates the system assumes you are making a rail journey. When you then touch the tram boarding validator it cancels the rail journey and charges for the tram ride instead.

  67. This is a mess.

    They should make the tram readers green or something similar. that would stop people doing silly things with the system like thinking they started a rail journey when they actually started a new tram journey.

  68. Hi Mike,
    Great site. I recently travelled from Whitechapel (Zone 2) to Clapham Junction and then on to Wimbledon. I touched the link reader. Yet I was charged £3.30 (the zone 1-3 peak fare). I’ve checked TfL’s fare finder and it also has the journey at £3.30 while to Earlsfield is the expected zone 2-3 fare.

    • Hi Peter,

      Did you touch the pink reader at Clapham Junction (on the Overground platforms)? If you did then call the helpdesk and ask for a refund of the difference.

  69. Hi. I’m having issues been overcharged every time I go to Wimbledon. I travel via tram from wandle park to Wimbledon. I tap in at wandle park then out again with my oyster at Wimbledon station. I keep been been told different things & would be glad to finally figure out what I’m doing wrong. I’m been charged £8.60 every time. Any help would be appreciated. The guards don’t have a clue. Thanks

  70. P.S Just to add I also get the bus to & from Wandle park. Where and when should I be tapping in and out? It gets so confusing as everyone I ask tells me something different :/

    • Hi John,

      If you can copy your journey history for a day that would help confirm the issue, but I think you’re missing a touch at Wimbledon.

      You need to touch on the bus, then again at Wandle Park tramstop, then at the gates to exit Wimbledon. On the way back you need to touch to enter Wimbledon, touch again on the validators on platform 10 with the green stickers, then finally on the bus home. If you don’t touch the validator on platform 10 you’ll get a maximum rail fare which is £5.60 off-peak. Adding 2x £1.50 gives you the total of £8.60.

  71. Mike you’ve made more sense already than the Wimbledon staff combined. Thank you very much for your help. I think I may know where I’m going wrong. I’ll give it a try next time and any issues I shall report back. Best wishes

  72. Mike, how do I get a refund for a maximum fare charge for a journey started at a tram stop?

    After leaving work yesterday, I touched in at George Street tram stop to go towards Wimbledon. I touched out on the gates at Wimbledon. This morning I’ve looked at my Oyster account and found I’ve been charged a maximum fare. I tried to use the online refund system, but no tram stops are listed in the drop down menu. How does that make any sense? How are people who started their journeys at a tram stop supposed to get a refund?

    Incidentally, I think the readers at George Street tram stop are faulty. On certain days, after work, I visit the Whitgift shopping centre and then use the George Street stop rather than East Croydon stop to travel to Dundonald Road. That’s what I did last Thursday. Having checked my Oyster account this morning, I see that the George Street touch-in does not appear, which leads me to believe the George Street readers are faulty.

    • Hi Simon,

      Call the helpdesk and they will sort it out. You can also explain about the tram reader. One of the readers at Wimbledon was faulty last Saturday evening – it showed an orange light but nothing happened when a card was touched on it.

  73. Ah yes, Mike, phone them. I forgot about that. I probably won’t get a chance to do that before the weekend. But it’s daft that the online refund system doesn’t allow for tram stops.

    When I touched in yesterday and last Thursday at George Street, I’m positive I heard a beep and saw a green light, but I still think one of the readers at the stop is faulty, since my touch-ins weren’t registered by the system.

    • To be fair, tram stops are only an issue refund wise when travelling to Wimbledon. Leaving them off the system may therefore be a deliberate policy.

  74. Mike, TFL are a bunch of utter bloody crooks. I’ve just tried to use their “help”line to get a refund for my maximum fare I mentioned in my previous post. I followed all the options in their damn phone system (“contactless” card, registered – yes, refund – yes). At the end, they gave me advice on how to avoid maximum fares in future, then said, “Thank you for phoning TFL”, and then just hung up. At no point was there an option to speak to a real person.

    A day or two ago, I read something about TFL having a few hundred million pounds of unclaimed maximum fare refunds. I’m not surprised. They’re thieves who make it impossible to claim your refund on a maximum fare.

  75. This was about midday or 1 o’clock yesterday (Monday). How does one speak to a real human being on their “help”line? There seemed to be no option in their automated phone system to do so.

    • I tried earlier today and I was stumped. It is a while since I had a contactless issue to resolve, and even longer since I couldn’t do it online. I have two suggestions. There should be a “contact us about this journey” link if you click on the journey in the statement. That gives you a box to say whatever you want. I hope it’s there for incomplete ones too, but I’ve no way of knowing myself. The other suggestion is to call the helpdesk and select option 2, but rather than selecting 4 for contactless let it run through where I think there’s an option to speak to someone.

  76. In reply to 7 March 2019. Yes the card readers at George Street are DEFINITELY faulty. This month and February I have had quite a few maximum fare charges due to that station not registering. I got a refund of about four times and now it is still happening. In communication with TFL about this. They need to sort it out.

  77. Hello David. How did you get your refunds? I can only assume you’re touching in by Oyster rather than “contactless”. My attempts to contact TFL about this have proved fruitless. I was unable to speak to them by phone (as I mentioned in my posts on the 11th and 12th) and I tried their online “contact us about this journey” thing, but they’ve not replied.

    Last week I was charged a maximum fare for a “failed revenue inspection”. I touched in at George Street, and then a minute or two later, a ticket inspector on the tram read my debit card with his reader. As his reader didn’t alert him that I hadn’t touched in, I assumed the reader at the George Street stop was working again. But the next day, having checked my account, I found I’d received a “failed revenue inspection”.

    I just want to speak to a real person on their wretched phone line about this. Why do they make it so difficult to do that?

    • Hi Simon,

      I’ve escalated this to my contact at TfL. One of the advantages of contactless revenue inspections is that there is no conflict at the point of inspection. The reader cannot see any touch history because nothing can be written to the card.

  78. Hi there,

    I arrive by tube in the morning into Wimbledon from Parsons Green and change to national rail to go to Esher. Every morning I tab out after exiting the tube by using the machine outside of platform 1 & 2. When returning home and getting back onto the tube I tap back in using the same machine. However, I am being charged over £9.00 daily. Can you help?

    • Hi David,

      Yes. It looks like you’re using the pink interchange validators. They are only for changing in the middle of an Oyster journey. You need to use the yellow validators on platforms 1-2 or 3-4 before you get on the concourse. Take a look at the map on this page for more info.

  79. Sorry if someone has asked this already, I couldn’t see. If I have a paper ticket from Sutton to Wimbledon season ticket that says valid via all routes, can you tell me if this is valid on the tram? Example: Thameslink trains are only every 30mins but I could also get the tram to Mitcham junction and then train to Sutton (when I miss that train) but I’m not sure if this is actually allowed? From what I can read Tram is separate and so my ticket wouldn’t be valid even though i am still travelling from Wimbledon to Sutton??? Would appreciate any thoughts!

  80. Hi Mike, hope you can clear something up for me. I have a zones 3-6 Travelcard. Yesterday I took the SWT train Twickenham (5) to Wimbledon (3), then a Thameslink on to Streatham (3); as the SWT service goes the long way around the loop, it seems to assume I have travelled via Clapham Junction and encroached on zone 2. I’ve arranged my refund but the TFL lady was unsure on the specifics; if I take this journey again, and ensure I touch the pink reader at Wimbledon, would that avoid incurring the additional charge? I’m not certain, because going from Twickenham to Wimbledon is probably still faster via CLJ, and it may still assume I’d doing this. Many thanks for any clarification.

    • Hi Dorian,

      The pink reader at Wimbledon won’t make any difference, sadly. If you check the fares using my fare finder you’ll see that it is defined as a zone 2-5 journey. The only way to stop it charging for zone 2 is to touch out and back in again in zone 6, at say Kingston.

  81. Thanks Mike, really appreciate your response. I usually travel from Teddington to Wimbledon which is fine; I suppose I’ll have to contact TFL if I have to go from Twickenham again (I did explain the route I’d taken and they were very happy to issue a refund). I’ve looked at this site a number of times recently and it’s been very helpful, many thanks indeed.

  82. I am needing to travel from Morden by 93 bus at 07.30 to Wimbledon. I then travel by SWT via Clapham Junction to arrive at Denmark Hill around 09.00. i have freedom pass but will I also need to but 1 day travel card. I will be returning at 22.00

    • Hi Lynda,

      The freedom pass covers the bus, the train from Clapham Junction to Denmark Hill, and everything after 0930. You’ll need to use a normal Oyster (or contactless) for the SWR train. You can touch out at Denmark Hill without it costing any more, so no need to visit the gates at Clapham Junction. A one-day travelcard will be overkill just for the morning train.

  83. Thank you for confirming my thoughts. I have decided to use the underground from Morden to Oval and then bus to the venue which can all be done using freedom pass

  84. Hello
    I’m wondering what the scenarios could be where the pink route validator at Wimbledon is actually needed. Take the example of a journey from Raynes Park to Fulham Broadway. It would obviously be a rather strange decision to go via Waterloo or Vauxhall (i.e. Zone 1 tube) but not impossible. But in such a case an OSI is required which would, I assume, log it as via Zone 1 anyway (i.e. serve the opposite function to a pink validator). Do you know why that can’t be relied on? Is it to do with the technicalities or are there potential routes which I am missing?

    • Hi,

      The default route for Raynes Park to Fulham Broadway is via Wimbledon. Yes, an OSI would log the journey as going via zone 1. However, I have found a journey example where the validator is required. Acton Town to Herne Hill via Earls Court and Wimbledon. There are plenty more.

  85. Thanks for the reply and pointing out that example route. I’ve no doubt there are others of a similar type along that sort of corridor. However, my puzzle still remains. To go from Herne Hill to Acton Town via Zone 1 (the default route), I can’t see how a Zone 1 OSI is not inevitable (Blackfriars or Victoria). If that’s right then why can’t the default route just be via Wimbledon, since that’s the only viable option that doesn’t require a Zone 1 OSI?

    This question seems to arise elsewhere, such as Balham NR to Earl’s Court – via Zone 1 requires OSI at Victoria, so why is there a need to rely on the validator to prove the journey is via West Brompton?

    If the above is correct, then I guess the justification for forcing the use of the validators in such cases could be that both sets of gatelines in the Zone 1 OSI could be open? The more cynical interpretation might be that many people will fail to validate and be charged the higher fare…

    Just curious really.

    Incidentally, there do seem to be some cheaper via Wimbledon routes that this question doesn’t apply to, such as Raynes Park to Chiswick Park (where Zone 3-2 is marginally cheaper than looping out to Zone 6 on NR and then back to Zone 3 on via Richmond – pretty obscure!).

    • There are some cases where a zone 1 OSI would appear to make the default route obvious and I don’t know why they don’t change the default, but they must have their reasons. One point to remember is that Farringdon is a same station interchange between much of North and South London and the Underground network.

  86. I travel from Wimbledon Park to Norwood Junction, using the tube to wimbledon, tram to west croydon out and from east croydon return, and one stop train journey to and from Norwood Junction. I am paying over £10 a day, yet national rail enquiries suggests it should be around £6-7. What should I be doing re touching in and out?

    • Hi Susan,

      Assuming both directions are at peak times you should be paying £1.70+£1.50+£1.70+£2.30+£1.50+£1.70 = £10.40. Sadly trams are counted as buses and thus do not form part of a rail journey, so you are actually paying for 3 separate journeys each way. You can save 60p by taking the train back to West Croydon and then using two trams via East Croydon. Norwood Junction to West Croydon is charged at tube rates whereas to East Croydon is charged as National Rail.

      There are two sensible ways to make the journey entirely by rail which will be £3.10 each way, £6.20 total. First is Wimbledon Park – Wimbledon – Clapham Junction – Norwood Junction. Using Oyster you can if you wish travel via East Croydon to make use of the fast trains. The other way is Wimbledon Park – Wimbledon – Sutton – Norwood Juction. I don’t think either of those will be as quick as using the tram, so it’s up to you to decide cost over time.

  87. I got fined on the tram link travelling from Gatwick to Wimbledon I changed at east Croydon for the tram since they were running a bus service only from Clapham junction on Sunday. I had a any time rail ticket. I was stopped by inspectors and fined £80
    I’d never used this service before
    It seems unfair can they fine me for this?

    • Hi Richard,

      Sadly the trams are a separate service so you could only use them by paying the fare. My advice is to pay the penalty fare immediately so it is reduced to £40.

  88. Hi Mike,

    I often travel from Clapham Junction to Egham and back. The ticket is quite expensive (11.90 off peak, 29 minutes).

    From the next station Richmond, it is much cheaper (7.80, 23 minutes).

    Therefore, it seems to me that it would be cheaper to use
    Oyster from Clapham Junction to Richmond (1.50 each way, 3.00 total)
    SWR from Richmond to Egham (7.80)
    Total= 10.80

    Is there a way for me to do this that does not involve getting off at Richmond, tapping out of the station, tapping back into the station, and then getting back on the SWR train? In particular, this is annoying because I would not be able to get back on the same train.

    Thanks a lot,

    PS. Could I do this at Feltham, it is Zone 6, and the Feltham-Egham trip is a little cheaper (6.20, 13 minutes)

  89. Hi Mike,

    Another routing observation, the inverse of M’s above. The zonal coverage for E&C NR to Putney Br. is 1-2 @ TfL-LU, when one can route via WIM for a 2-3 @ NR1-T fare. I didn’t spot this when I did it in the off-peak as the fares for each of those are the same, £1.60 Oyster Railcard – which also means I don’t know my whether touching on the pink reader had an effect! But I don’t see it listed as an alternative route. The alternate route is offered from Loughborough Junction onward, where the fare difference is more dramatic due to NR1-T in either direction.

    With current fares it would only have an impact in the peak when the 1-2 route would charge 10p more.

    • I think the phrase “some journeys are charged via zone 1 regardless of the route taken” applies here. Looking at the map I’d definitely choose to go via Blackfriars rather than Wimbledon.

  90. That’s certainly a useful get-out clause! I won’t rehash the arguments others have made above, other than to observe that E&C NR to Wimbledon Park – where the Wimbledon route is unarguably quicker (29+2min via WIM vs 33+5min via BFR) – also shows the same issue with all routes including Z1.

    At the very least, it can be argued that LGJ to Putney Bridge via WIM (where precedent for a non-Z1 route exists) is as likely as EPH to Wimbedon Park via WIM.

    • Hi Chris,

      I don’t mean to be dismissive, and I will take these up in due course, but reduced staffing coupled with working from home means that nothing is going to get done at the moment. I do agree that there are plenty of anomalies involving Elephant & Castle and they ought to be reviewed at some point.

  91. No worries, and I equally didn’t mean to suggest it was particularly important or indeed to imply that you speak for TfL – I just find these anomalies quite interesting.

    Boundary zones seem to cause a lot of issues for Oyster. I used to live near Stockwell LU and things were a lot simpler!

    • Boundary zones don’t cause a problem on their own. The issue with Elephant & Castle is that you can spread east and west from both directions quite quickly. Vauxhall only has the barriered Waterloo in one direction.

  92. If the ticket gates at Wimbledon are in operation, then you have to tap in at the gate on entering the station and then also touch the tram validator, and likewise if you are ending a tram journey at Wimbledon and leaving the station you simply tap on the gate at the exit. But if the gates are left open, does it make any difference whether you tap your card on the ticket gate at the entrance or exit, or only on the tram validator (or don’t touch any validators if exiting the station)?

    • Hi Alan,

      If you’re definitely using the tram then you can ignore the gates if they are open. You must touch on the platform before boarding, of course.

  93. Hi Mike,

    I live virtually next to a Tram stop, and work near a stop on the District Line, so go through Wimbledon most days, Tram to tube or tube to tram, and have found the entire arrangement of different validators totally confusing. I think it confuses the staff too. I’ve only just found this site, so thanks for trying to make things clearer. It’s good to have it all written down in one place.

    I’ve had to do it by much trial and error, getting overcharged if I tap on too many validators and overcharged if I tap on too few, and sorting it out afterwards. Once I even got charged £1.60 for walking through the station, as I effectively tapped in twice, and it took the 2nd one as tapping out, and then had to be let out the barrier at my destination, to being overcharged again there.

    I’ve found that using the Pink (Onward Journey) validators does work in both directions, in fact I use them every day. I don’t know if something has changed since you last updated the page.

    Going Tram to Tube, I tap in at my stop, before boarding the Tram, then tap the Pink validator at Wimbledon, before getting on the tube, and then use the exit barriers at my destination tube station as usual, to end the journey.

    Going Tube to Tram, I go through the Entry barrier at starting tube station, at Wimbledon I tap the Pink validator to end the tube journey, and then tap on the tram validator on platform 10a/b before entering the tram.

    From your description, it appears I might not need to use the pink validator when going tube to tram, if the Tram validator terminates other journeys automatically. I might give this a go some time, but I’ve got in the habit of using them in both directions, and they do work. Rather that than risk a default fair, if I forget in the other direction.


  94. Hi Chelle,

    The tram validators at Wimbledon will close an open rail journey. The pink readers will not end a journey in any circumstances. In fact it is unwise to touch a pink reader immediately before ending the journey, although in your case it doesn’t have an undesirable effect.

    What pink readers will do is start a rail journey if you aren’t already in one. This is an unpublished feature which may get changed at some point, although I think that unlikely.

    My recommendation is to touch the yellow readers at the entrance to the tube platforms instead of the pink readers. Definitely do this before getting on the tube, it’s optional before touching the tram validator.

  95. It’s definitely a mess but I can’t think of a way of tidying it up other than wait for Crossrail 2 to kick the trams out of the station or introduce the London Trams network into the zones. I fear that I won’t be around by the time the first happens and the second just creates a whole boatload of problems everywhere else.

    I’ve sat on the tram listening to someone telling their son that they normally tap when they get off “because it’s easier”. As the tram was just departing Wimbledon at that point, the son did point out that they’d probably end up paying a tram fare and a maximum rail fare as a result. (I’ve never heard that tapping “in” at Wimbledon and “out” at Merton Park would sort things out and I’d be surprised if it did)

    I’ve seen the revenue squad out on trams twice recently too so there’s another pitfall to the “tap on exit” approach.

    I’ve wondered if tapping on the tram (like the bus) would help but we’ve got almost as many trams as tram stops and each one has 4 doors per side meaning a ton of new readers would be needed with all the costs of fitting etc.

    Elmers End seems simpler but it’s still less than ideal.

  96. Really interesting read, thank you! I soon need to start commuting from New Malden to Waterloo. But I need to break my journey in Wimbledon, get off the train for 15-20min and exit the station to walk the kids to school and then re-enter the station to continue my journey. And potentially do the same on the return leg. Please could you advise if there is any intelligent way of doing the journey without paying for individual fares. Planning to use contactless if that makes any difference. Many thanks in advance!

    • Assuming you’re not travelling often enough to justify a season ticket of any kind then using an SWR Touch card rather than contactless may be worth a shot.

      Given that (I think) a standard return fare allows you to break your journey it may be a way of tapping in and out as usual but only paying the normal SWR fare between New Malden and Waterloo.

      You likely won’t get Oyster rate for the full journey but it should be cheaper then the separate Oyster fares added together.

      Of course, if you’re then going onward by tube somewhere, or some other journey that could result in a cap being applied then this may not be the best solution.

      • Thanks for your thoughts, Feathers.

        As stated, Oyster/contactless won’t let you break your journey, but splitting it into 4 chunks will take it past the daily zone 1-4 cap which means the most you’d be charged is £11.70. The Anytime return from New Malden to Waterloo is £10.80 and will let you break your journey at Wimbledon. That should be what you are charged if you use a SWR Touch card, but you might want to check with them that this will work.

        If you do need to go on from Waterloo, either by bus or tube, then the contactless PAYG cap will still apply and will be much cheaper than the relevant day travelcard at £15.20.

        • Brilliant, thanks both for your answers. I didn’t even know a SWR Touch card existed. I will likely be doing the journey 3 x per week and needing to break the journey during school term time. Might be worth considering a season pass (if that allows the break in journey).

          So in summary:

          – season pass or SWR Touch (£10.80 per day) if just New Malden to Waterloo
          – use contactless PAYG (£15.20) if New Malden-Waterloo plus additional travel via bus/tube in town.

          I will also check with the staff at Wimbeldon station too. Thanks again!!

          • Hi Claire,

            I doubt a season ticket will be worthwhile for just 3 days of travel per week, but it will allow break of journey. With PAYG the cap for zones 1-4 is just £11.70 per day.

            I may try to convert this to a forum thread, because we’re nearly at the limit for nested replies.

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