Olympic Volunteer Oyster Cards

I’ve now managed to get some official information about the various cards being issued to volunteers at the Olympic and Paralympic games.

Firstly, it appears that the Mayor’s ambassadors will be getting normal blue Oyster cards with an amount of PAYG credit to cover their expected travel needs.  These cards should then function as any other adult Oyster afterwards.

The other volunteers called gamesmakers will be getting a special “2012 Ceremonies Volunteer” design.  These cards will come pre-loaded with either a travelcard or an amount of PAYG credit to cover required travel.  It will not be possible to add additional credit or travelcards to these special issue Oysters and they will be deactivated (hotlisted) once they are no longer required.  They are also only valid when used alongside an official accreditation pass explaining what role the holder is performing.  They are issued by LOCOG and any problems need to be reported back to LOCOG.

The type of card (PAYG or travelcard) should be detailed in the covering letter, although they can be interrogated at any Oyster enabled ticket machine.  If they have PAYG credit then the remaining balance will also be confirmed at touch out on each journey unless it is at very old gates at some Underground stations.  As with all PAYG Oyster cards, you must touch in and out at both ends of every rail journey. If coming from outside the Oyster area on a paper ticket you will need to change trains at the station where you switch from paper to Oyster.

If they have a travelcard stored on them then they can be used on through trains from outside the travelcard area as long as NRCoC 19 is satisfied.  This states that two or more tickets can be used for one journey providing that (a) the train calls at the stations where travel switches from one ticket to another, or (b) one ticket is a season (which the travelcard is) and the other(s) are not, or (c) both tickets are zonal.  The travelcard is zonal, so if a season is available to boundary zone 6 then both tickets are zonal and the fact that they are both seasons is immaterial.  Within the zones covered by your travelcard there is no penalty for not touching in or out, so there is no need to get off the train just to touch your Oyster.

Remember also that a travelcard gives you free travel on any TfL operated bus, even those that run outside the travelcard zones.

273 thoughts on “Olympic Volunteer Oyster Cards”

  1. If I am travelling from Chelmsford with a weekly ticket, can my oyster card (issued by LOCOG) be used from Romford! I have seen notices on the train that Oyster cards are valid to Romford but am not sure of the criteria.
    As a games maker this would definitely be a saving if it was the case!

    • Hi Christine,

      Yes it can be used, although how you do depends on what you have. If you have a zone 1-6 travelcard then you can stay on the same train as long as it calls at Romford. If you buy day tickets from Chelmsford then the train doesn’t even need to call at Romford. If the Oyster card has PAYG credit on it then you’ll have to get off at Romford to touch in on the way there and out on the way back.

      In fact the Oyster cards are valid to Harold Wood, but as fewer trains stop there it’s not so convenient.

  2. Thanks Mike. May have to work out whether it is worth catching a train that stops at Romford in monetary terms! I wouldn’t have to get off of the train though would I? The card is Zones 1-6.

  3. I have been given a Olympic volunteer Oyster card zone 1-6 I am travelling from Redhill to Heathrow. Zone six takes me to one station away from Redhill, will I have to buy a ticket for one station and how would I use the Oyster card for the zone 1-6
    Sorry never used Ouster cards and need info thanks

    • Hi Rose,

      Zone 6 is actually 2 stations north of Redhill, at Coulsdon South. You have 3 basic choices. If you buy a season ticket from Redhill to Coulsdon South then you can use that with the Oyster card as long as the train stops at Coulsdon South. You don’t need to get out to touch in there and there will be no problems touching out at Victoria because that is within your zones. For a little more you could buy a season to East Croydon. I’m pretty sure that all trains from Redhill to London call at East Croydon so this would improve your journey choices by making the fasts available. The third choice is to buy daily return tickets to Coulsdon South. Because you only have one season ticket (the travelcard on Oyster) the train no longer has to call anywhere specific.

      I trust you realise that you can only get to Heathrow on the Picadilly line, not using either Heathrow Express or Connect from Paddington.

      Hope this helps.

  4. HI Mike,
    Hope i also get what i am looking for.
    I usually buy weekly overground travel card from Hatfield (Hertfordshire) – London terminals. I wanted to know if my same travel card is valid if i start my journey from Hatfield to Highbury & Islington by over ground and then from Highbury & Islington to Canada water again via over ground

    • Hi Prince,

      You’ve mixed up your terminology which is making it difficult to advise. If your season ticket is £58.30/week then it is just between Hatfield and London terminals which means Kings Cross or Moorgate. If however it is £84.80/week then it is also a travelcard valid throughout zones 1-6. In that case it would be valid to Canada Water.

  5. Hi Mike,

    Do you know if the GM Oyster Card covers the SouthEastern High Speed (Javelin) service? It’s the only way I’ll get to/from Stratford International from St Pancras on time for early/late shifts!

    • Sorry Richard,

      I’ve no idea on that one. I’d guess that it won’t be covered because there are no Oyster readers at either Stratford International or St Pancras HS1 platforms. If you let me know where you’re coming from and what time of day I’ll see if I can see another way.

  6. Hi Mike,
    I am a little confused (as I see others are!). I have an Olympic Volunteer Oyster Card and intended to travel from Chelmsford to Stratford- although I could use some station nearby station or a C2C station. I think Oyster is valid from Shenfield or other stations on route. Can you spare some of your extensive knowledge to advise the best and cheapest route – I have 12 shifts during the Olympics and additional shifts during the Paralympics.

    Thanks John

    • Hi John,

      The extension to Shenfield is not operational on Oyster yet. If Chelmsford is your nearest station then I’d buy a ticket to Romford and use the Oyster from there. If you have a travelcard on the Oyster then you won’t need to get out at Romford, but if you are using PAYG then you will. Trains are quite frequent between Romford and Stratford anyway.

  7. Is it OK for me to buy a ticket from Brighton to Croydon and then use my Games Maker Oyster card to cover the Croydon to Stratford Piece, without actually changing trains? I’ll be getting a train from Brighton to London Bridge for most of my shifts.
    Cheers, Steve

    • If the Oyster has a travelcard on it then yes you can do that. If it is PAYG then you’ll need to get out and touch the Oyster in.

  8. Thanks for responding Mike. I’ll be travelling on a train from Brighton to London Bridge over ground and then on the underground jubilee line from London bridge around to Stratford’s tube station. So the question would be whether I have to ‘tap in’ at Croydon to start my journey which kind of makes it a no go.

    • Hi Steve,

      It purely depends whether you have a travelcard or will be using PAYG. If it’s a travelcard then you can stay on the same train, otherwise you would need to touch in.

  9. @Mike No reader, eh. Well that would be conclusive! I’ll be going to Stratford International next Weds so I’ll check.

  10. Richard; you cannot use Oyster cards on the South Eastern High Speed services; this is a fact. There are no readers at St. Pancras Intl (HS1 gates) or Stratford (Intl).

  11. I would hope that they would allow Oyster usage between St Pancras and Stratford during the Olympics and Paralympics. There’s no point in there being empty seats on that service if other services are packed (or even suspended)

    • Hi John,

      Unless Oyster readers are going to be installed at St Pancras HS platforms and Stratford International in the next week or so, I can’t see it being allowed.

  12. I am a games maker and have been given an oyster card for zones 1-6. I am staying in Sevenoaks. Can anyone advise what additional tickets I will need to buy for the two weeks I will be travelling in and out of London. I am not from the areas so have no idea about zones etc. Thanks

    • Hi Alec,

      What you buy depends on which trains you want to get. Knockholt is the nearest station in zone 6, so the minimum you will need is a return each day to Knockholt. If you have that then you can use any train from Sevenoaks providing it goes through Knockholt (which basically means not the Blackfriars trains calling first at Bat and Ball). You may decide to get a weekly season between Sevenoaks and Knockholt which will be cheaper than 5 peak returns, but then you have to take trains calling at Knockholt. Depending on where you are going to that may or may not be a problem.

      Hope that helps.

  13. I’m a NOC assitant and we have been advised (in writing) that our Oyster Travelcards ARE valid on the Javelin………..confused.com 🙁

    • Hi Brian,

      Interesting. In that they are allowing the Olympic Visitor travelcards on the Javelin I guess they could also allow travelcards on Oyster, BUT, there are no readers so they would have to be scanned by a hand held reader.

  14. Hi Mike,

    For some of my Olympic and Paralympic Shifts, I will need to travel into London from Watford Junction. If I use my PAYG Oyster to do the first part (Watford – Harrow and Wealdstone?), I presume I would need to get off and touch out and then touch my Olympic Oyster from there. Is this the most efficient way or are paper tickets just as cheap?

    • Hi Adam,

      Assuming that you have a travelcard on your games Oyster card you do not need to touch in once inside zone 6. You will have to touch your PAYG card out though. If you’re travelling in the peak periods then get a Watford Junction to Boundary zone 6 ticket and the train will not need to call at Harrow. Off peak you may find Oyster is cheaper.

  15. Re Volunteer Oyster cards and Javelin service, I asked the question to the gamesmaker Email and got the following response – last line is most relevant. Says not valid.

    Thank you for contacting London 2012 about Games Maker Travel cards.

    Games Makers will be entitled to travel on public transport in London (zones 1-6) for free in order to get to their shifts during the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

    This will include travel between London and the following venues: Eton Dorney, Lee Valley White Water Centre and Hadleigh Farm, Essex. We will also provide free transport for Games Makers with roles in Weymouth and Portland and the co-Host Cities (within defined boundaries) of the Football competition: Manchester, Coventry, Cardiff, Newcastle and Glasgow.

    To confirm, the Games Maker oyster card will not cover travel on the Javelin (high speed) service between St Pancras and Stratford International.

    Kind regards,

    Volunteering team
    London 2012

  16. I am a Games Maker travelling on Southern Rail from Horley and/or Redhill to London Victoria for 7 shifts during the games using the Oyster card zone 1-6. The first main station that I will pass through in zone 6 is East Croydon so therefore I only need to buy a ticket to cover the journey from Horley to East Croydon. I phoned Southern Rail and they confirmed and then re-confirmed again that I will have to get off the train at East Croydon and swipe the oyster card in. This seems ridiculous because obviously the train isn’t going to wait for me whilst I do this. Kind of makes the Oyster card largely wasteful. Are Southern Rail giving me correct info?

    • Hi Pixie,

      The answer depends on which sort of Oyster card you have. If it is a travelcard then you do not have to get off the train. If, however, it is a PAYG card with pre-loaded credit then you will need to get off the train. You can find out which card it is by touching it on any ticket machine with a yellow Oyster reader which will display the details of any tickets (travelcards) loaded on the card plus the value of the PAYG balance.

      Whilst East Croydon is the first main station, the Oyster actually becomes valid at either Coulsdon South or Purley. If you have a travelcard and buy daily tickets from Horley to Purley then it doesn’t matter whether the train calls at Purley or not. If you have a PAYG card then I’d suggest getting the slower trains that call at Coulsdon South because the Oyster readers appear to be near the bottom of the footbridge on the platforms. With suitable positioning you should be able to get off, touch in or out depending on direction, and get back on the same train. At both Purley and East Croydon the readers are quite a way from the platforms.

      Just one more thing to be aware of. If you have a travelcard on the Oyster and buy a season ticket from Horley to Purley then the train needs to call at Purley. In that situation it might be better to pay a little more and buy the ticket to East Croydon.

  17. Hi Mike,
    Thanks for setting up a fantastic resource. While I am not a volunteer but rather a working editorial tech (Media) I am being provided with an Oyster card for Zone 1-6.
    I have a few questions (I can’t seem to locate any answers anywhere!)
    a) Will I need to pay or top my oyster card at any point or will my accreditation allow me free travel between Zones 1-6?

    b) I will be travelling from Stratford to Basildon daily (early and late). With Basildon being outside the zones covered by the Oyster how should I go about ticketing for the 3 weeks? Ideally I’d like to avoid having to change trains etc for ticketing etc.
    Would it be worthwhile me getting a railcard from a Zone 6 station to Basildon to help save costs?

    Many thanks in advance.

    • Hi Cara,

      If your Oyster card contains a travelcard for zones 1-6 then yes, all travel within those zones is free for the duration of the travelcard. You can check what is on there at any ticket machine with an Oyster reader. As for the extra bit, the rules are quite simple: The train must stop at the station where the tickets changeover unless just one is a season ticket or they are both zonal. The travelcard on Oyster is both zonal and a season ticket, so if you buy a Basildon to Upminster season then it has to stop at Upminster. If you buy daily return tickets it doesn’t have to stop. I don’t think Basildon to Boundary zone 6 exists as a season, but if it did then the train wouldn’t need to stop because both tickets would be zonal.

      Hope that helps.

  18. I already have my oyster which is valid until aug 17th. Can I start using it now. I still have training sessions to attend in london and it will come in handy


    • Hi Jackie,

      I don’t know. If it has a travelcard on it then it will only be valid for the duration of the travelcard. If it has a PAYG balance then I think you might be able to use it, but I recommend contacting the issuers (LOCOG) to confirm.

  19. Hi Mike
    From reading comments I note that as a volunteer we cannot use the oyster card at Stratford International. Shame as it seems that would be the quickest route for me (perhaps not direct but quickest and more frequency of trains). Coming from St Albans – thought about getting off at St Pancras, st pancras to Stratford International and then Stratford International DLR to Woolwich Aresenal DLR. I wanted to steer clear of London Bridge! As volunteers can now use the nationalrailgamestravel website where tickets are at a discounted rate and indeed can use my network railcard in peak times, if I put St Albans to Woolwich Arsenal (for the games) would this ticket not allow me to use the HS1 train? If the ticket states “any permitted route” would that allow me to travel on HS1? When i prebook the tickets i do plan ensuring that I put “via route Stratford International”. Does seem a shame if we can’t use it. I dont want to pay for tickets up front to find out they are invalid. As someone said if seats are empty, especially very early starts. I note zone 6 on the thameslink line is elstree & borehamwood. A “normal” daily anytime return is £9.40 (give or take the pence), a 7 day season ticket is £41.80. Using the ‘nationalrailgametravel website’ to get daily tickets I can get a daily return for £5.80 – which would work out cheaper for me at my shifts are just for 6 days from St Albans to Woolwich Aresenal (for the games) but just need to know if it will be valid on the HS1 train.
    Any help really appreciated. I have e-mail both Southeastern and ATOS helpline but as yet no response.
    Also how would I know if my oyster card is a PAYG or Travelcard type?

    Thank you
    Any help appreciated

    • Hi Stacey,

      That’s a lot of questions!

      Taking the easy ones first. Oyster cannot be allowed on HS1 because there are no readers at either St Pancras International or Stratford International for the platforms that high speed trains use. They may have wanted to allow it, but without the infrastructure it is impossible. As for your Oyster card, take it to any station with a ticket machine with a yellow Oyster reader attached. Select the Oyster option and touch the card on the reader. The screen will show what is on the card.

      As for validity of a St Albans to Woolwich Arsenal ticket on HS1, I’m afraid I’m not sure. I don’t think it will be, unless someone like Southeastern say otherwise. You might find an alternative route to Stratford is changing at West Hampstead onto the North London Line. That would certainly avoid the Central London hotspots, although getting from the NLL to DLR at Stratford could be interesting.

      Hope that helps.

  20. I have just had my Games Maker role specific training and we have been told that the ‘volunteer’ oyster cards will be activated on 25 th June and you can then use your card to travel to further training or test events.

  21. Hello,

    I have just been given my Games Maker Olympic Oyster Card (at uniform collection), but at the time was not told if my Oyster Card contained either:
    a) Pay as You Go Credit or
    b) Travelcard Season ticket

    When I was handed the Oyster Card (at Uniform Collection) I was given an ‘ Transport for London’ – Conditions of Use -Olympic Volunteer Oyster Card sheet, which just confused me even more….

    I’m sure I can find that out by swiping my card over an Oyster Card Reader…….

    Can anyone help with information regarding travel between Ingatestone (Essex) and London Liverpool Street.

    I have been told that I just have to buy a ticket between Ingatestone and Harold Wood, because the Oyster card (if has appropriate credit on it ???) is then valid from Harold Wood to London Liverpool Street.

    My question is do I need to board a train that therefore stops at Harold Wood…because all the trains that go from Ingatestone stop at Shenfield (next stop), Stratford then London Liverpool Street…


    • Hi Amy,

      To find out whether you have a travelcard or PAYG credit you need to go to a ticket machine with a yellow reader on it. These are at National Rail and Underground stations within the Oyster area.

      If it’s got a travelcard then if you buy daily tickets from Ingatestone to Harold Wood the train does not need to stop. If you have PAYG credit then the train will need to stop to allow you to get off and touch the Oyster card in. Romford may be more convenient if that is the case.

      I’m about to send you an email as well about a further matter.

      Hope this helps.

    • Hi Stacey,

      Oh dear! I can see this being a nightmare. Someone else at Southeastern has confirmed that you definitely won’t be able to use GM Oyster cards on HS1. I think I’m going to need to exert some pressure to get a definitive answer. Bear in mind that if the GM card only has PAYG credit then there is no way of deducting the fare on HS1.

      Thanks for the post, nevertheless.

  22. Mike, please please please can you try and get us a definitive answer regarding the GM Oyster Cards on HS1, the mixed messages we are receiving makes it very difficult to plan our journeys for the late/early shifts. From the information available on the 2012 website it states that the spectators oyster cards are valid on Javelin. Would really like to find out about the gamesmakers though. Thanks so much. Great website by the way!

    • Hi Hannah,

      I’ve been speaking to someone at Southeastern customer relations this morning and I’m hoping to get copies of the relevant emails by tomorrow morning. The gist of the conversation suggests that GM Oyster cards with a travelcard will be directed to a side gate where their accreditation will be checked. It appears that ones with PAYG credit will not be accepted. The emails might also contain the answer to how to check what you’ve got without going to a ticket machine.

      Watch this space!

  23. Re the message from Hannah, I believe the spectators get a one day travel card (the cardboard type) not an oyster card.
    Hence the issue of oyster readers on HS1 does not arise.

    Looking forward to confirmation from Mike re Oyster cards

  24. The quoted email from Southeastern was sent to me.

    @Mike, I agree the situation is still muddy. If you can influence SE at all it would be great if they could put a definitive statement somewhere on their website, one way or another.

  25. Thank you Mike for your continued support and helping to advice us games makers but also spectators.
    Obviously customer relations staff at Southeastern are confused by it all as well!
    As a volunteer, if travel card oysters are allowed but PAYG not, that seems so unfair as we, the games makers, were not able to choose we were just handed an oyster card. If oyster cards are been manually checked and having to show accreditation, if they have no oyster card readers, then how would they know if its a travelcard or PAYG type? I’m off to City Thameslink for work so I’m going to take my oyster card with me and try and find out exactly what type of oyster card it is. I did buy my tickets from “nationalrailgamestravel” and put the destination of woolwich arsenal(for the games) – it came up ‘any permitted route’. I will try it for one journey and see how I go.
    As you say, I will watch this space.
    Thank you

    • Brief update … I’ve received the email but been too busy to do much with it. From what I can tell it doesn’t look like there is any way to tell the difference between PAYG cards and those with travelcards. I’m guessing, but perhaps the PAYG cards are being issued to people who are not volunteering for at least 7 consecutive days where a travelcard season would give too much validity. I’m still trying to get clarification on this, but if any people who know what they’ve got can assist by describing their dates and what they have on the card it would be helpful.

      Back to HS1, if there really is no way to tell the difference then I believe that all GM cards will be valid with accreditation because there is no checking of the Oyster card, just that it is a GM version and the accreditation is present as well.

      I’m hoping to add a new page shortly to the menu on the left with all I have gleaned.

  26. I am a gamesmaker and have the volunteer Oyster. I live in Newington, Kent and will be travelling to Lee Valley Centre in Waltham Cross. Can you advise me what tickets I need to buy. I think my nearest Zone 6 station is Crayford.

    • Hi Chris,

      You are leaving the zones at both ends. That might not be a problem at Waltham Cross if you are allowed to use the card there, just like the spectator travelcards will be valid there with an event ticket, but you ought to check. As to the other end, I would buy tickets to Boundary zone 6. This means you are not restricted to using the same route both ways. Crayford is one of the boundary stations, as are Slade Green, Barnehurst and St Mary Cray (on the line to Victoria). The boundary zone ticket is valid to all four stations.

      Hope that helps.

  27. Hi, very confused! I live near stansted airport and will have shifts at the aquatics centre during the paras – could you please advise my best way to travel. Some of my shifts start at 7.00am and some finished at 10.30 at night. I have never used an oyster card and can’t access london travel to find out – it keeps crashing – I was very happy to find this site – thank you in advance.

    • Hi Tracey,

      The best route is to take the train from Stansted to Tottenham Hale then change onto another service for Stratford. Assuming that you have a travelcard loaded onto your Oyster then you need to buy a ticket to Boundary zone 6 from Stansted. You don’t need to get off the train to touch the Oyster in. If you have PAYG credit on your Oyster then you do need to get off within zone 6.

      Hope this helps.

  28. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for your excellent advice. I have an ‘Olympic Volunteer’ Oyster card which contains a Zones 1-6 Travelcard and I will be travelling from Amersham which is Zone 9.

    From your previous advice it would appear that my best option is to buy daily paper return tickets between Amersham and Moor Park (the first station in Zone 6) in which case my train does not have to stop there. I have a personal PAYG Oyster card but I am wary of using it as I don’t trust the system to stop charging me at the boundary!

    My questions are; a) Amersham staff implied that I could save money by buying paper tickets from the ticket office but deducting the cost from my personal Oyster Card. Is this correct? b) can I buy a bunch of paper tickets at once to avoid the queues or are they only valid for the same day?

    Many thanks, Steve.

    • Hi Steve,

      I’m not really sure what Amersham were talking about to be honest. You could use your own Oyster card, but only if you’re prepared to get off at Moor Park and get the next train. At least Moor Park is dual zoned so you are not paying for a zone twice. I’ve never heard of buying paper tickets with your Oyster card.

  29. Thanks Mike, as I only use my car (very un-pc I know) I have no idea if it will have a travel card of the PAYG system. It will be a pain having to get off the training, just to swipe the card. Do you get an option of travel or the PAYG on the oyster card

    Thank you.

    • Hi Tracey,

      No, you don’t get the option. I think that what you get depends on what days you are working. If it is only a few days, or they are spaced apart, then you’ll probably have PAYG credit because a weekly travelcard would be overkill. If you are working in blocks of consecutive days then it should be a travelcard. I’m amazed that they don’t seem to be telling people what they’ve got, especially when it’s obvious that they’ll need additional transport to get to the London zonal area. I’m really worried that this is going to turn into a disaster, because some of the decisions seem to be being made last minute and on the hoof, so to speak.

  30. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for clearing up the whole volunteer Oyster card on HS1 issue – just a theory as to why people are getting conflicting information.

    Basically, the decision was only made at the beginning of the week before last (after a fair bit of pressure I believe) to allow volunteers to use ‘London Games’ tickets. I wonder whether the HS1 validity was added at the same time? (which is just a well, wouldve doubled my travel costs otherwise!)

    • It wouldn’t surprise me at all, Mike. I’m getting very concerned about several aspects of these volunteer cards.

  31. Mike, Thank you very much for your help – believe me I have tried to ask locog and not had any help at all. I have ten days and they are in blocks including weekends. I don’t have my card yet – so it will be a case of see what I get and how manage for my shifts.

    This is brilliant help, I wish I had found it sooner.

  32. Hi Mike (plus others reading this webpage). This is a response I got from Southeastern regarding travel on the High Speed train from St Pancras. I plan to use HS1 with my oyster card and print of a copy of this e-mail and take it with me … (next question but thats for London 2012 people is whether we can use the oyster cards for any further training dates!! again some say you can and some say you can’t)

    “I understand that you have been issued an Oyster for London 1-6 for the purposes of volunteering for the Olympics and want to know if there is a discounted fare for you to travel from London St Pancras to Stratford International.

    I can confirm that you will be permitted to travel through London St Pancras to Stratford International during the Olympic period and for the lead up to the games (from 25th June 2012) as well for the dates in between the Olympic and paralympic games. Thus it will not be necessary for you to purchase additional tickets.

    Please show your Oyster card to the barrier staff when travelling through the gates London St Pancras and Stratford International and please ensure you have the corresponding Accreditation card. If you try to pass through any of these stations without the Oyster 1- 6 and Accreditation card you will be refused entry”.

    Maybe this will put some people’s mind at rest?

  33. PS – I wonder whether all volunteer oyster cards are in fact travelcards? I’m due to work only 6 days in total. When having to go into London recently, I took my oyster card with me to get it checked out what type of card it was. No idea how to use the machine readers so took it up to the counter and ask the chap to find out for me. This was on the 21st June – he confirmed it was a travelcard and that it was active now and did not run out until the 15th (I think it was 15th) of August! I will only use it for Olympic business though and not take advantage. Surely LOCOG got a mega deal to purchase oysters for all 70,000 volunteers???

    • Hi Stacey,

      That email is similar to the one I have too. I’ve been short of time recently, but will set up a proper static page in the near future. There definitely are some cards being issued with PAYG credit, but I’ve no idea how they decide which to supply or how much credit to add. Maybe the credit ones are going to volunteers living nearer to venues who won’t need the full all-zone validity?

      I’d still be grateful to hear from anyone who has credit on their card (rather than a travelcard) so I can try to work out the criteria.

  34. Hi Mike
    I am a GM traveling from Canterbury in Kent, the easiest route will be to drive to Ebbesfleet Intn then onto Stratford intn, can you tell me if this will this be covered by the oyster card, no one at the station could tell me.
    Thanks for any help.

    • Hi Jude,

      Sorry, no you can’t. Ebbsfleet is well outside zone 6 and is not covered by either the spectator travelcard or GM Oyster card.

  35. I think I have solved the problem of extending the Olympic Volunteer Travelcard Zones 1-6 as far as Amersham (Zone 9).

    Taking advice from the local ticket office, I loaded the card with £10 PAYG credit. On a journey to a Games Maker training session in Zone 1 today, the card worked for the whole journey and only £1.50 was deducted from the credit for each of the two extra bits from the edge of Zone 6 (Moor Park) out to Amersham. For me this is a cheaper and more convenient option than any other as I just use the same card all day, and I don’t need to get off or even stop at Moor Park. I also benefit from Oyster card pricing. A paper ticket for my peak journey today would have been £8.60 vs £3 for the PAYG Oyster.

    Officially we are not supposed to put PAYG credit on the card but I guess that this is because the card will cease to be valid after the games (15th August for the Olympics, apparently). Obviously you must recover any surplus cash from the card before then. You can do this at a ticket office.

    A ticket machine with an Oyster Card reader will tell you if you can add credit and when the card expires.


    • Hi Steve,

      I must admit that is what I hoped would happen, but the notices I have read about not adding stuff to GM Oyster cards did make me wonder. If I was you I would be careful to only put what you need on the card. Some GM cards come with PAYG Credit reather than a travelcard and the instruction is that under no circumstances will credit be refunded from these cards, even if it has been put there by the volunteer. If you do over top it up, be prepared to either lose the excess or have a real battle to get it back.

  36. Hi Mike

    Thanks for your reply/help a couple of weeks ago. I’m just backing up what another user (Stacey) has done and took my Oyster card to a station with a card reader within the 1-6 zone and it confirmed that I have a Travelcard which is valid from 25/6 to 15/8 and I’m doing 7 shifts at the games. This part of the Games Maker process does seem to have been very poorly communicated by LOCOG. Even when you call or email they haven’t got a clue either. If it wasn’t for your really helpful forum, I would have been left none the wiser. So many thanks and keep up the good work. Hope my update helps to build on the bigger picture.

  37. Today I collected my uniform and even had a short chat to Jonathan Edwards (he had to collect his accreditation too!)

    The information supplied with the Olympic Oyster card made no mention of the high speed link specifically. It did say that your Oyster is only valid if you have your accreditation with you (I’m copying this and carrying it with me at all times). This means that you can use it when you are not on shift (which of course couldn’t be verified). Since us volunteers aren’t even asking for a £500 bonus, it seems quite fare (chortle chortle) to me.

    I was told that the card isn’t valid until 9th July, although I was allowed to travel for free from Stratford International to St Pancras with my accreditation (it seems some of the staff haven’t seen these yet, so it’s good training for them).

    There are what I would call “standard readers” at both stations that can read Oysters (ie the same readers used at other railway terminals in the Oyster area).

    There seems to be no reason to my mind not to allow Oysters and travelcards on that service other than an attempt to make money by the TOC. The train I took at 15:30 had hardly anyone on it.

    It says the card will only be replaced in exceptional circumstances, presumably because it is only valid with valid accreditation which would be very hard to fake.

  38. Hi, I will be travelling from Didcot station to the North Greenwich Arena for my shifts during the Olympics. Any advise whow this can be done to keep the costs down and make the full use out of my Games Maker Oyster Card?

    • Hi Ian,

      Sorry to have to keep saying this, but until I know what sort of Oyster card it is I have to be careful.

      If it has a travelcard then get a ticket to boundary zone 6. You can then use a fast train to Paddington and travel onwards from there to North Greenwich using the Bakerloo then Jubilee lines. If it has a PAYG balance (and I hope it doesn’t) you’ll need to weigh up where to change to touch in versus cost to get there from Didcot. West Drayton is the first station on the way into Paddington.

      Hope that helps.

  39. John Airey/Mike – so have you used your Oyster card already or meant that what staff have said to you? I know you can use it but just wondering when from. Wondering if I would be stopped if I use it on 7th July to go to further training?

    Surely LOCOG must realise all these calls to the telephone support line /emails etc. You’d think an updated directive could either be emailed to us all and something posted on the games maker login zone.

  40. Hi,
    I am a games maker based at the athletes village! i will be traveling from thorpe bay (southend, essex). will i need to buy a ticket on the C2C line, or can i use my travel card i was issued for the whole journey from thorpe bay to athletes village? if that makes sense?
    ta 🙂

    • Hi Kyle,

      No, the travelcard is not valid at Thorpe Bay. You will need to pay to Upminster on the line from Southend. If you do have a travelcard then there is no need to change trains to touch in, but if it is loaded with PAYG credit then you will have to.

  41. No problem Mike. Apparently Gamesmakers aren’t allowed on the cable car for free though, which is a disappointment.

    I need to be able to use the High Speed line because I’m working late at the Olympic Stadium for the Paralympics and I would have no chance of getting out of there otherwise.

    However, I am intending to make a fuss about the St Pancras – Stratford link I really do not see the point in a service being underused. It’s the only rail service in the Oyster card area that’s holding out.

    • Hi John,

      Heathrow Express and Heathrow Connect between the airport and Hayes & Harlington are also not available to Oyster or travelcard users. But I do agree, it is madness that the headline link from Central London to Stratford is not useable with a travelcard.

  42. Just replying to John A’s comment about being able to use are GM oyster card when not on a shift. At training we have been told that LOCOG and tfl will be monitoring this and checking if it is being used out of shift patterns. However I ask myself with all the confusion arising from the ‘GM oyster card fiasco’ whether checks like this will be rigorous.

  43. This section has now been posted on Southeastern rail website:

    ‘Games Family and Games Volunteers can use their Games Travelcards to travel on our High speed services between St Pancras and Stratford International, both in the run up to the Olympic Games and in the period between the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This is only valid if the Accreditation card is presented with the Games Travelcard.

    Please note no other Oystercards are accepted on High Speed services.’

  44. Hi Mike
    Just received my GM Last Mile Operations Team (I know its a mouthful) Newsletter and they quote the following:

    How do I get my Oyster Card, and when can I use it?
    You can collect your Oyster Card at the same time that you collection your London 2012 uniform and accreditation at UDAC. Please note that Paralympic Volunteers will be invited to collect your uniform, accreditation and Oyster Card during the period between the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Please note some important points for the use of your Oyster Card.
     Your Olympic Volunteer Oyster card is for your use only. It is not transferable. Any improper use of the Olympic Volunteer Oyster card or any misconduct whilst travelling may result in its withdrawal and those involved may liable to a penalty fare or prosecution and you may not be given a replacement.
     Your Olympic Volunteer Oyster card is only valid for travel when accompanied by your valid 2012 Games accreditation.
     You must keep your Olympic Volunteer Oyster card separate from any other Oyster card that you may hold.
     If you do not carry your Olympic Volunteer Oyster card with you when travelling on LOCOG business, you
    must buy an appropriate ticket for the journey you are making. No refunds will be given on any such tickets
     The use of your Olympic Volunteer Oyster card may be monitored and TfL may provide LOCOG with
    information relating to where and when the card has been used. TfL will not associate this data with any
    personal information about you.
     You must not register or protect your Olympic Volunteer Oyster card online.
     Your Olympic Volunteer Oyster card will stop working at the end of the last day of your Volunteer duties.
     Please ensure that you enjoy the benefit of your Oyster Card, but do not abuse it.
    I hope this helps

    • Hi Sue,

      Thanks for all the information. Whilst TfL can undoubtedly supply LOCOG with useage data for their range of cards, which LOCOG will probably be able to tie up with individual volunteers, I doubt that anyone at LOCOG will be able to make sense of the data they get in some cases. This whole transport solution has been ill-thought-through, and I can see lots of issues occuring thoughout the games.

  45. Hi,
    i have a travel card zone 1-6, is it possible to use this when i am not working or will i be penalized for misusing it.

  46. Hi Mike
    I am Gamesmaker and will be travelling daily from Egham to the Olympic Park and have a Olympic Oyster Card Zone 1-6.
    I plan to go on the southern rail from Egham to Waterloo and then tube to Stratford. I know that I can get discounted National Rail travel with my accreditation, booked online, can I buy a weekly ticket up to Waterloo or do I have to buy lots of day returns? (I am aware that I can go to Richmond and then Overground to Stratford but it takes a long while although it could be cheaper)

    • Hi Ann,

      As long as it is a travelcard on your Oyster then all you need to buy is a paper ticket to Feltham. Your travelcard takes over from there. Note that if it has PAYG credit on it then you’ll need to touch in at Feltham on the way through.

  47. Hi, Mike and all who are reading this.
    I live in zone 3 and volunteered for 4 weeks with 6 shifts a week (24 shifts). I was given a PAYG card with £90 on it. I accidentally touched in with my other Oyster card (put it in the same wallet). They charged me £6.90 for that and it is almost impossible to get it back.
    Also, as I normally manage my Oyster card online, I added this card as a new card. I was told off my the customer service people at tfl for doing that. Apparently we are not allowed to ‘register’ these card. I cannot un-register now.
    Also, they were not able to help me with my question about running out of credit during olympics. Anyways, I will not be using this card until my first shift. Maybe you are right, people leaving within zones 6 (?) get PAYG and those outside, travelcard?

    • Hi Alex,

      Thank you very much for letting us know what you’ve got. It does appear that those who live near to their venue are being given credit rather than a Londonwide travelcard. I guess it makes sense, but I just wish they’d make it clearer what people have.

      As you your incomplete journey charge, have you contacted the helpdesk? I usually find that if you have a good reason for creating an incomplete journey charge then they will arrange a refund to be picked up at a station of your choice. They won’t do it for the Gamesmaker card, but if you stress that it is your own personal card then they should sort it out.

      As to not allowing you to register or top-up the cards, but still allowing you to actually do the actions, this is madness. I really can’t see what the problem with registering the card is, unless it interferes with the cancelling of the cards, or maybe with providing information to LOCOG. In any case, if it is such a problem then the system shouldn’t let you do it.

      Finally, you need to direct any questions about running out of credit or any other issues to LOCOG. Neither TfL nor the Oyster Helpdesk can answer such questions because it is all being handled by LOCOG.

  48. When do we receive these travel cards?

    I am a gamesmaker volunteering for Event Services at Excel as a team leader, but have not been informed about such travel cards at all.

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.


    • Hi Laura,

      I believe that they are given out with the uniform, but I’m not a volunteer so I don’t actually know. If you haven’t got one and think you should have then I suggest that you call LOCOG.

  49. Hi Mike/ Alex
    Re: registering and protecting your oyster card on line – LOCOG have clearly stated that you must not do this (refer to my previous post on 30th June @ 12.36.
    As regards using the oyster card on the javelin, I am attending more training; this time at the Olympic park this weekend, so will be able to test the water and see if rail staff are any the wiser.

    • Thanks Sue, look forward to seeing your update.

      As to the registering, I know it is clearly stated, I just don’t understand why it mustn’t be done and/or why they couldn’t prevent it from being done accidentally. It’s similar to adding topup. Again, it’s not allowed, but if you live in zones 7-9 it is the most cost effective and convenient way to pay for the extra bit. And it works according to another visitor. I understand that they want to make processes as simple as possible for these cards and they don’t want to have to process refunds as it’s not the user paying for the credit in the majority of cases, but they really are making life very difficult for the people who are supposed to be helping them produce a games to remember.

  50. I’m too attending at training session this weekend (but not a the olympic park) – although i will attempt to use oyster from St P to Stratford Int (esp if no card reader and S/e clearly state it is accepted). I dont feel I want to chance it though for the majority of the use from just outside of London zone 6 into London and also on the DLR so will just fork out the £7.90. Also I email the GM support line who clearly stated cards should only be for shifts! As by all accounts my card is a travelcard type then surely any monies have already been paid up front. Anyway, as with Sue, I’ll let you know my experiences…(and fellow readers of this webpage).

  51. I have been issued with a volunteer oyster card and need to travel from St Albans to Wimbledon. If I buy a return ticket from St Albans to Elstree and Borehamwood (Where the oyster zones start) do I need to get off to tap in my oyster card? If I am on a fast train its first stop will be West Hampstead, which is beyond Elstree.

    • Hi Elaine,

      As long as your Oyster has a travelcard season and you buy day return tickets from St Albans to Elstree & Borehamwood you are fine to travel on a fast train which doesn’t stop at Elstree.

  52. Hi,

    Can the oyster cards issued by LOCOG be used at anytime during the olympic period, whether I’m working or not? The cover sheet I recieved said that it can be used anytime but the lady who gave it to me said only on work days.

    • Hi Mishka,

      This is one of the things that LOCOG have not been very clear about. I suggest you email them and if they say it’s ok then take a copy of the email with your accreditation (which must be carried to validate the Oyster) in case anyone else queries it.

  53. Hi Mike

    I am a Lead Service Co-ordinator with ECT during the Olympics, I have training in Twickenham and was wondering can I use my PAYG oyster out there…thank you so much.


    • Hi Ruth,

      Twickenham is within the Oyster zones, so yes, you can use the card to get there.

  54. Hi mike

    I will be travelling from either beaconsfield or high Wycombe to wembley for my first two shifts and then traveling from Orpington or st Mary’s cray for the rest of the shifts! I have an oyster travel card! Can I have some help with some options as to what I can do.


    • Hi Steven,

      You’ll need a ticket from High Wycombe (or Beaconsfield) to boundary zone 6. Because the travelcard on your Oyster is a season, the train does not need to call at the boundary station. You also don’t need to touch in there as there is no penalty for not touching in or out within the zones of your travelcard. Orpington and St Mary Cray are both within the Oyster area so there are no problems from there.

  55. Stacey here again. I emailed my staffing manager regarding whether Oyster cards can be used for venue training (and not just for jollies as that is not its intended use). This is the response. “Your Oyster card is valid but the rule is that you should be wearing your uniform in order to use it. Having said that Games Makers are being told not to wear their uniform for Venue Specific Training so it’s not actually possible to comply with that rule. In reality we’ve had to validate the cards now because they are not individual to each Games Maker and some people have already started their Olympic shifts so the short answer is that you should be fine to use your Oyster card”.

    Hope this is helpful to anyone reading.

    Keep up with the excellent good work this site is Mike.

  56. Mike

    Thank you so much, do you actually know the nearest tube station for Twickenham? I have no clue, thank you so much

    Ruth x

    • Hi Ruth,

      Twickenham station is served by SWT services from Waterloo and Clapham Junction. Hope that helps.

  57. Thanks for the information Stacey, as I suspected they can’t actually track any abuse anyway. I’ve been using mine to help tourists around the underground.

  58. Hi not sure if anyone can help us my daughter is doing 3weeks catering for Olympics through smart is she entitled to get one of these oyster cards if so how? Shehas already got been and collected her security pass and was not given any information regarding this or anything else, during time there she will be staying in hounslow ??? Thanks in advanced for any help Zoe

    • Hi Zoe,

      It sounds like your daughter is working through a company rather than being hired by LOCOG. I imagine that this means she isn’t entitled to the free travel. She should check with her employer to make sure.

  59. Hi Mike,

    I am a performing in the opening and closing ceremonies travelling from Rochester (KENT) to Stratford int. I have an Olympic volunteer oyster card ( i must clarify if it is PAYG or travel card). Do you know where my oyster card will be valid to and where i must purchase a paper ticket to.

    Many thanks

    • Hi Rebecca,

      Assuming that it is a travelcard then the best ticket to get would be to boundary zone 6. That way you don’t have to worry about using a different line on each journey. Otherwise the boundary stations are Slade Green, Barnehurst, Crayford and St Mary Cray.

  60. Slightly off-topic but closely related – the Olympics tickets now being sent out are accompanied by special paper “Games Day Travelcards” (I got mine this week). These are explained quite clearly on this TFL web page http://www.tfl.gov.uk/tickets/24165.aspx. There appears to be only one class of ticket, ie. no adult/child distinction – presumably because they don’t know who will use them (as for the Olympics tickets).

    Interesting to note that Games Day Travelcard validity includes (I haven’t listed everything):
    – “on Javelin® services between St. Pancras and Stratford International stations” >>> so spectators, as well as volunteers, can use the HS1 high speed trains. That’s good – I look forward to testing the Javelin on my journey from Oakwood to the Olympic Park!
    – “to and from Watford Junction” (WFJ) which is beyond zone 9 and always a bit of an anomoly, even though the Travelcards don’t indicate this (I think zonal tickets to WFJ usually have “W” or “+W” after the zones). it appears they’re not valid to the other “special case”, Grays, however.

  61. Mike, I did duly use my volunteer toyster travelcard on HS1 yesterday – no problems at all so clearly all staff are away to accept them.
    My question is (as someone that has never used oyster) as already established my card if definitely a travelcard type…when I walked over the road to get on Stratford International DLR there is no barrier (although an oyster reader at the top of the stairs) and going I did not bother to swipe the reader. When I arrived at Woolwich Arsensal there are barriers – used my oyster with and yeh the barriers opened. Coming back again I tapped the reader at Woolwich, all ok. When arriving at Stratford International DLR although no barriers and its all open I did still tap the reader – I got 2 beeps – I just ignored it and later reading I note that 2 beeps means it has recognised it? As it is a travelcard type I suppose it doesn’t really matter does it or would some kind of penalty charge be applied to it? Also, can you clarify, even if no barriers, or they are open, as I have the travelcard type do I actually have to bother swiping the oyster travelcard?
    Many thanks

    • Hi Stacey,

      2 beeps usually means there is a problem. If you have a travelcard and are travelling entirely within the zones covered then there is no penalty for not touching in or out.

      Hope that helps.

  62. Hi Mike,

    No problems using my volunteer Oyster card today on HS1 – was let through the manual gate at both ends. Was also told by the helpful lady at Stratford that signs will be going up at both ends before the Games start to direct volunteers to the manual gates – at the end of training today I saw at least 2 or 3 volunteers trying to touch on the (disabled) ITSO readers at Stratford Int’l!

    Just as an aside, there’s still work to be done on signage from Stratford station to the Park however – there are some stands up which I think signs will be going onto, so hopefully this will be sorted.

  63. Hii mike ,
    I have picked up my Olympic volunteer oyster card. I have my G4s training during this week, will i be able to use the volunteer oyster card for journeys to the training location.

    Hope to hear from you soon.

    • Hi Mohit,

      The advice from LOCOG is not very clear on this. However, most people seem to agree that if you have your accreditation with you then it is reasonable to use the card for training sessions.

  64. This is the text of the FAQ referred to above on the Southeastern website:

    “Games Family and Games Volunteers can use their special pink Oystercards to travel on our High Speed services between St Pancras and Stratford International, both in the run up to the Olympic Games and in the period between the Olympic and Paralympic Games. This is only valid if the Accreditation card is presented with the Games Travelcard.

    Please note no other Oystercards are accepted on High Speed services.”
    Note that it only refers to the pre- and inter-Games periods – NOT the during the period of either Games!
    If this is correct, it must be to avoid adding to the intense pressure expected from Games ticketholders (“expect to wait up to an hour either way”).
    So it may not be resolved satisfactorily……yet!

  65. Good news! I attended my venue specific training on Sunday and was able to use my oyster card with my GM accreditation on the javelin high speed at St Pancras. I was told to go through the ‘disable’ barrier and at the other end at Stratford International I was let through the disable barrier again. However, I met another Games Maker and she had been told that she could not use her GM oyster card on the javelin and had to buy a one day travel card, but at the Stratford International end the member of staffwho let us through the ‘disable’ barrier said that that should not have happened and she was refunded her one day travel card. Prior to that I had phoned the southeastern rail information and was told that the GM oyster card could be used on the javelin as long as the accreditation was produced with it. She also said that there had been lots of confusion (we know!) concerning the use of the GM oyster card and after discussions with LOCOG, southeastern rail and tfl, she confirmed the use of it before and during the Games. The quote from the website that I posted on 30th June and that John posted again on 9th July is actually misleading. The other thing, my GM Team Leaders were not aware of the above, but I have now been told by several southeastern staff otherwise. Mike, I said I would give you an update, so I hope I’ve helped.

  66. Hi

    Sorry if this is a really stupid question, but I’m not 100% familiar with how Oyster works. I live in Andover (Hampshire), and will be getting a train in each day of my Olympic shifts. Is there a list anywhere of the National Rail stations that accept Oyster cards? My plan is to buy the cheapest rail ticket into the London area that accepts Oyster, and then use my LOCOG Oyster card for the rest. Andover to Chertsey is looking my cheapest option, but I don’t know if I can use my Oyster card at Chertsey?

    In a nutshell, Andover to Clapham Junction will cost me £50 for my early midweek shifts, which I really can’t afford. SO I’m trying to find a cheaper alternative. I do have a Railcard, but it’s not eligible before 10am departures.

    I did email National Rail Enquiries last week, but no response as-yet…and my first shift is on Monday.

    Many thanks

    Confused by this System
    Lynsey Wilson

    • Hi Lynsey,

      No, it’s not a stupid question. I wish LOCOG had provided more detail on how to use these free Oyster cards, especially to the people coming from far and wide.

      Anyway, on the South West mainline you need to get to Surbiton. Chertsey is too far out I’m afraid. However, I’m sure I’ve read somewhere in my research on the web that gamesmakers can use the special site designed for games visitors to get their tickets and that this includes relaxation of the railcard rules. I can’t now find it unfortunately, but it may be worth trying the site out to see what it will sell you. It’s http://www.nationalrailgamestravel.co.uk/. There might be a problem with stuff before the games start because there is a strict window of availability of the special tickets.

  67. My wife used it without any trouble Monday evening, and I’ve emailed southeastern rail for a clarification of the wording on their website FAQ. I’ll post their response when received.

  68. Hi Mike,
    I have picked up my Olympic volunteer oyster card last month,is it possible to get top up by LOCOG when it runs out? Thanks!

    • Hi Caroline,

      If you have a card with PAYG credit loaded then my understanding is that you have what you will need. If the card runs out then you’d need to contact LOCOG. They might want to investigate what the card has been used for. Although it says that you can’t top the card up yourself, I believe that that is to avoid issues where people want their own money refunded. No refunds will be issued on the special oyster cards, but if you try to add topup at a machine it will work.

      Hope that helps.

  69. Hi

    Earlier you mentioned like that travel was free from hadleigh to zones 1-6. I’m a gamesmaker and my local station is benfleet. Hadleigh itself doesn’t have a station, which station would I receive free travel from? Or is it only at upminster?

    • Hi Jason,

      I think you can travel to the nearest station to Hadleigh Farm if you are working there. If you are working elsewhere then the free travel starts at zone 6 which is Upminster. I have to say that that is only my understanding though.

  70. Can I use my pink oyster card along with my accreditation on the HS1 between Gillingham (Kent) and Stratford International?

    • Hi Paul,

      Sorry, no you can’t. Only St Pancras to Stratford is within zones 1-6 so that is the only section that they have relaxed the rules on. You will need a ticket from Gillingham to boundary zone 6, then take any train to Lewisham and the DLR from there.

  71. Mike/Paul211b
    Yes that is exactly what the southeastern rail staff told me when I phoned the information line – zones 1-6 only, that is St P to Stratford.

  72. Thanks for the reply. I already have an annual season ticket from Gillingham to London “not valid on HS1” so ill just have to pay the high speed upgrade to stratford that is £3.30.
    What’s the odds on this price going up for the Olympics?

  73. Hi Mike,

    I live in Cobham.
    1.Which is the best way to use my Gamesmaker Oyster card to go olympic park? Is Surbiton the nearest station for me in zone 6? Do I need to out the station and touch in my oyster card in Surbiton if I buy a train ticket from Cobham to Surbiton?
    2. Is the Oyster card ready to use or do I need to top-up first?
    3. I also got a basketball event ticket wich attached a travel card with the ticket. The travel card is ok for zone 1-9. Is Cobham in these areas?

    Many thanks!

    • Hi Zack,

      Sorry for the delay replying. Yes, Surbiton is the nearest station in zone 6 and no, Cobham isn’t in a zone. Zones 7-9 only exist to the north west of London. The Oyster card is ready to use. If it has a travelcard on it then you don’t need to get off at Surbiton. If it has PAYG credit then you will need to. Take the card to any ticket machine with a yellow Oyster reader and it can tell you what you have.

  74. Hi, I will be staying in Dartford from this friday until i finish volunteering at the games. Is the olympic volunteer oyster card valid on southeastern trains? and as i think dartford is out of the zones that the oyster card covers, do i have to finance the remainder of the journey myself??

    • Hi Simon,

      Yes you can use Southeastern trains. Yes you would have to finance the extra (Dartford to boundary zone 6) yourself. You may decide to use either the 96, 428 or 492 buses between Dartford and Crayford as they are included on the travelcard. The 428 also goes to Slade Green and the 492 goes within 5 minutes walk of Barnehurst station. If you do use the train then boundary zone 6 costs the same as either Barnehurst, Crayford or Slade Green but allows you to use any of the three lines.

  75. I will be travelling in from Amersham with a GM Oyster card with Travelcard. I have been told by someone who has tried it that it is possible to put some PAYG credit on the card as well (although LOCOG say you’re not supposed to!) and use this to travel to the zones 1-6 boundary, with no need to get off the train and touch out. The system is clever enough to work out that you have paid for zones 9-6 and have a Travelcard for zones 1-6, so all hunky dory. This also has the benefit that you do not need to buy a more expensive paper ticket for the first bit. Downside is that you lose any unused credit when your card expires. Amy thoughts?

    • Hi Steve,

      Yes, you can put credit on the Oystercard. Try not to add too much at once because you can’t get it back. TfL and LOCOG decided that no money would be refundable from these Oystercards because the potential for fraud with the PAYG versions is too great. I’d top up each day unless you are happy to potentially lose some of the money. It’s not ideal, but I can see why they’ve done it like that.

  76. How do you get the high speed upgrade to stratford as mentioned by Paul? I was told be a member of south eastern at ebbsfleet that I may be able to do it from there but he was not sure how?? I have the Olympic oyster card.

    • Hi Phil,

      Sorry for the delay replying. The high speed upgrade is only available to pasengers who already have a valid ticket from either Gravesend or Ashford or further out into Kent. Paul already has a season from Gillingham to London. The Olympic Oyster card is only a travelcard from zone 6 so the upgrade is not applicable.

  77. I am an ambassador at Kings Cross coming from Welwyn Garden City. My understanding of the above is that I cannot purchase a Zone 1-6 Travelcard with my Ambassador Oyster card as they are PAYG. I will therefore have to get the slow rather than fast train from WGC in order to alight at Hadley Wood to touch in my card and then wait ?half an hour for the next train that stops there. This will be 1 hour 20 minutes each way rather than the 25 minutes each way using the fast trains. Is this correct please?

    • Hi Margaret,

      If your card has PAYG credit then yes, you will have to get out and touch in/out at Hadley Wood.

  78. Hello Mike, lot’s of great info on here, thanks.

    My son has been given a Zone 1-6 Oystercard, we live at Grays which although is on the Oyster network, is outside zone 6. I called C2C to ask whether they would extend their generosity to student volunteers and allow the oystercard to be used out as far as Grays – but no.

    Anyway I think that from reading an entry from Steve above (11 June 6.15pm and your reply at 9.17) he would be able to add credit to the oystercard and after touching in at Stratford then touching out at Grays, the system would only deduct an amount from the zone 6 boundary (Rainham or Upminster) to Grays automatically without him having to get on or off the same train (which all call at either Rainham or Upminster anyway) . Is that correct?

    • Yes Terry, that is how it should work. Do not put much more than is needed on a day to day basis on the card because there will be no way to get a refund at the end.

  79. Hi Mike,

    I’m staying in Shenfield for the games, which seems to be one stop outside of Zone 6.

    From previous posts it suggests I just need to buy a ticket to Romford, but am I correct in thinking that I’d need to get the train that stops at Romford?

    There are two trains to stratford from Shenfield, one that’s direct and takes 14 minutes, and the other that stops on the way and takes 40 minutes. If I have to take the latter for Oyster Card purposes that adds an hour to my travel each day.

    Please can you advise how best to do this.



    • Hi Richard,

      If the Oyster card contains a travelcard and you buy daily tickets to get to the boundary, then the train does not need to stop. In that case I would buy tickets to Harold Wood as someone else found out that they might be slightly cheaper. If you bought another season ticket for Shenfield to Romford then the train would have to stop at the changeover station. If the Oyster card has credit rather than a travelcard then not only will the train have to stop but you’ll have to get out to touch in the Oyster card. I’m fairly hopeful that you won’t have credit though – I believe that is people living nearer the venues.

  80. Further to my posting of 10 July, southeastern has now responded to confirm that Gamesmaker pink Oystercards CAN be used between St Pancras and Stratford International on the HS1 Javelin service throughout the Games (as well as before and between), and they have changed the wording in their FAQ to make that clear. RESULT!

  81. Hi
    I am a paid member of last mile team and will be working from 22 July onwards. We have not been given any form of travel expenses and so I will be buying a one month travel card zones 1-4 as I live in Mill Hill. I would like to know whether my paid one month travelcard (loaded on to my oyster) is valid on the Javelin (St.Pancras to Stratford) or will I have to buy a seperate ticket for this.

    • Hi Rihana,

      Unfortunately that is not included in the standard travelcard, only the special ones with either event tickets or staff accreditation.

  82. Hi,

    I have received my GM Oyster Card and i’m not sure if i will be able to use it from waterloo to Feltham as this is where im living during the games? Also, how do you know if its a PAYG or a travelcard season ticket as it says the olympic volunteer oyster card with be either, does it make any difference?


    • Hi Lisa,

      Yes, you can use the Oyster between Waterloo and Feltham, but no further on the rails. To check what sort of card you have just touch it on the yellow reader at a ticket machine in the Oyster area and it will describe what is on the card. It won’t actually make any difference to you as you are not combining the Oyster card with a paper ticket from further out.

  83. Help just got my oyster card I will be traveling from Chertsey in Surrey to Stratford inter never used an oyster card unsure if I have to get on and off the train or can I just buy another ticket and stay on help totally lost with all the advice friends are giving me

    • Hi Bea,

      First thing to do is check which sort of card you have. Take it to a ticket machine in the Oyster area and touch on the yellow reader. This should display what is on the card.

      If it’s a travelcard then buy a return to either Surbiton or Feltham (or for a little more buy to boundary zone 6 and you can use either route). You do not need to get off the train at the boundary.

      If you have PAYG credit (which I doubt you will have) then you would need to get off at your chosen boundary station to touch in the Oyster card. You’ll also have to specify the station you will use as boundary tickets are only valid with a travelcard.

      Hope that helps.

  84. Hi Mike
    After several calls to them and verbal confirmations from staff, I am also glad that southeastern rail have now corrected the wording on their website regarding the use of the volunteer oyster cards. It implies then that all volunteer oyster cards are acceptable whether they are PAYG or travel card, bearing in mind that we don’t need to or can’t swipe as access is through the ‘disable’ barrier anyway. I do know that at the VST the other Sunday Games Makers were able to use both pink and the red coloured oyster cards without any problems.

  85. I am travelling fom east Sussex nearest station wadhurst. How do you suggest I travel? Hastings line, drive to Tonbridge or even to ashford for high speed service? Price is a consideration as my shifts are mainly 4 to 12 in main press office. If I use high speed where does oyster card kick in? Thanks

    • Hi Rosie,

      If price is a serious concern then I wouldn’t go to Ashford. For the volunteers the GM Oyster card is only useable between Stratford amd St Pancras on HS1 so you would get no benefit. You’re probably best travelling to London Bridge then taking the Jubilee line, although I would check what time the last trains are at night. You might find driving to Tonbridge gives you a later departure from London. Assuming that your Oyster card has a travelcard on it you’ll need return tickets to Knockholt each day and the train doesn’t have to stop there.

  86. Hi Mike.

    Travelling from hatfield(herts) to Lords with a GM oyster travelcard. I also have a disabled person railcard.

    I have checked prices Hatfield to Hadley Wood – the first station inside Z6. This is £3.10 single, £3.30 return with the railcard discount.

    Just working out if I would be better with a Z6 boundary ticket instead.
    Is there such a thing as a Hatfield to Z6 boundary return?
    If so is the return price that of 2 singles, or cheaper?
    Will I get railcard discounts on the Z6 boundary ticket?

    and the last question

    If I buy a hatfiels to hadley wood ticket instead do I have to get a stopping train at hadley wood?


    • Hi Martin,

      Prices from Hatfield to Hadley Wood are the same as to Boundary zone 6. As long as your Hatfield tickets are just returns (not a season), then with a travelcard on Oyster the train does not need to call.

  87. Hi

    I’m really glad I found your site but just wanted to check I was understanding it correctly.

    I’m not certain if I have an Oyster travelcard or PAYG so I need to check that.

    I am travelling from High Wycome to Wembley Stadium Station, if I have the Oyster travelcard can I get a weekly return to West Ruislip to get me to Zone 6 and use the Oyster travelcard to cover me for the rest of the journey to Wembley even if the train doesn’t stop at West Ruislip and I wouldn’t need to swipe the card at any stage?

    High Wycombe doesn’t use Oyster Cards, do you know if they would have any other method of checking at the station what sort of Oyster Card I have or will I need to go to a station that has them?

    I understand that I would have to get off the train and need to touch in and out at West Ruislip if I have the PAYG card.


    • Hi Amy,

      If you have a travelcard on the Oyster and you buy a weekly ticket to West Ruislip then the train DOES need to stop. To use a fast train you will need to buy daily return tickets to West Ruislip. The nearest station with Oyster facilities is probably Amersham. In fact, if you do have PAYG credit then maybe Amersham to Wembley Park would be cheaper and not require a change.

  88. Thanks that’s more or less what I had found out! Just a bit concerned about how busy the tube will be, however the later shifts may work to my advantage although I was rather horrified at first. Just hope no one gives me a hard time whilst travelling in uniform for any delays etc. looking forward to being a part of this great Olympic experience (whatever the press may say).

    • Hi Rosie,

      The other alternative might be to take a FCC train to St Pancras from London Bridge and then use HS1 from there.

  89. Hi Mike, I have a pink and green Olympic Oyster card with National Rail and Transport for London symbols on it, with no mention of any tube zones or what sort of card it is. Can I use it to travel from Flitwick on First Capital Connect to West Hampstead and catch the Jubilee Line from there?

    • Hi Chris,

      None of the cards tell you what they are, which is utterly ridiculous of course. It is likely to be a travelcard which means that you can use it from Elstree & Borehamwood. You will need to buy daily tickets from Flitwick to Elstree. You can then use fast trains which don’t stop at Elstree. You might find it quicker to travel to St Pancras and use HS1 to Stratford. You just need to show your GM Oyster card and Olympic accreditation at the disabled gates on HS1 and you will be let through.

  90. Hi

    I have a pink olympic oyster card and wanted to know if i could travel from grays (c2c) to newbury park (zone 4) for free? Do I have to pay for a C2C ticket?

    • Hi Dave,

      The Grays stations are outside zone 6 so will not be covered by the travelcard. You will either need to buy a ticket to Upminster or add some PAYG credit to the Oyster to cover the extra bit. LOCOG say you are not allowed to add credit, but that is because they won’t refund anything on Olympic cards, even credit added by the passenger. You can in fact add credit and use it outside zones 1-6 as some people in NW London have already verified.

  91. hello Mike.
    im working for G4s in olympics 2012 london.
    the locog had given me a pink oyester card but i lost it somewhere so now what i need to do.?

  92. Hi Mike,
    I see the amazing work you’re doing here!
    Good work mate!
    I too like the others have a question! 🙂
    I shall be working at the Olympics obvously, and I shall be issued with a travel card- I assume it to cover all 6 zones.
    But, I live in Rochester, Kent. Thus, I need to take the south eastern high speed. I know it is not valid on them as the readers are not provided at these stations.
    Thus, I ask you for any alternative route or a change that I could make so that I could get into the oyster zone and change and get on a DLR instead of taking a Highspeed or a south eastern. I don’t mind anything, as long as it saves me some money as a normal ticket from Rochester to Stratford International costs around £30, It’s not at all feasible.
    I do not mind many changes.

    • Hi Sid,

      You need a Rochester to boundary zone 6 return (£14.60 anytime, £8.40 off-peak), then take any train to Lewisham or Woolwich Arsenal for the DLR.

  93. Mike

    How will I know if my LOCOG Oyster card is PAYG or a travelcard? Will it be written on the card?

    • Hi Tony,

      You need to take it to a station with a ticket machine and touch it on the yellow reader on the ticket machine. It should then describe what is on the card.

  94. Hi,
    Is there a search engine that will enable me to search excluding the Southeastern High Speed.
    I am travelling from WGC to Stratford for the Olympic \Park, but all the searches are taking me via the High speed. Otherwise I can’t get there for 6:30 – can you advise. Thanks

    • Hi Liz,

      If you use National Rail Enquiries and select the other options link then specify via London Liverpool Street it should work.

  95. Hi – I too have a Gamesmaker Oyster Travelcard Zones 1-6. I shall be getting the Met line/Jubilee line into North Greenwich from Croxley, which is one stop outside Zone 6. Should I buy a return to Moor Park each time I travel to a shift (12 in total) and then do I have to get off at Moor Park to activate the Oyster?

    • Hi Julia,

      No and No. Although LOCOG say you mustn’t add your own credit to the Oyster, you still can. You won’t be able to get a refund, so only put on what you need, but all it will do is deduct a zone 7 single fare each time you travel. Make sure you touch in and out at each end of the journey so it knows what you’ve done.

      Hope that helps.

  96. It really does – thank you!! However, when trying to add credit the Oyster Card as you suggest, it obviously has already been registered, so I don’t have the required security/pin!! Any ideas?

    • Yes, you’ll need to do it at a ticket machine, ticket stop (shop) or Underground ticket office.

  97. Hi Mike , I am also one of the many Games Maker Volunteers. I will be staying in Rochester and my shifts will be at Olympic Park so getting off at Staford International. How far will my Oyster Volunteer Card get me with out paying and from where will I have to pay for my ticket. Thank yoo Niamh

    • Hi Niamh,

      Rochester seems to be a popular starting point which is really frustrating as the obvious route to Stratford is not covered by the GM Oyster card at all. What you need to get is a return to boundary zone 6. You can then take any train to either Lewisham or Woolwich Arsenal and change onto the DLR to Stratford.

  98. I’ll be based in Watford and commuting to Earl’s Court. Everything and everybody has said that it’s zones 1-6 but aren’t there different zones if you use the oyster card for national rail services? I think I have a travelcard so will I be able to get trains from Watford Junction into Euston or should I get the overground? In the back of a small booklet all GMs have been given there’s an underground map which shows the area covered by our cards and Watford is included.


    • Hi Charlie,

      First off, no there aren’t different zones for National Rail, all rail services use the same zones. My understanding is that the Olympic travelcard only covers zones 1-6. Watford Junction is a special zone outside the ‘extra’ zones 7-9 for the ends of the Metropolitan line. You can use Oyster on any train between Watford Junction and Euston except Virgin.

      Contrary to the map you talk about, stations beyond zone 6 are not covered. You need to add some PAYG credit so that the system can charge an extension fare. I know LOCOG say you can’t do this, but that’s mainly because they are not allowing any refunds on Olympic Oyster cards. So only top up with what you need every day or two so you don’t end up with lost money.

  99. Mike,
    – Just found this site – great work!!
    – I’m a Gamesmaker and worked my first shift as a driver today. I’m based at the Fleet Depot (Olympic Park) so, although I live in Westcliff, I drove into Southend, parked at a friend’s and caught the train from Southend Victoria to Stratford.
    – I don’t know what type of Oyster Card I have (I will use the method you have suggested to find out), but the ticket office staff (3 different people) have all said that I only need to buy tickets to/from Harold Wood and then just touch in/out at Stratford.
    – It worked OK today, but I didn’t meet any “ticket inspectors”; I’ll let you know what happens if/when I do!

    • Hi John,

      It sounds like you have the travelcard version, so the staff are right. Just buy a return ticket to Harold Wood and stay on the train. Oysters with travelcards do not have to be touched at both ends of the journey as long as they are both covered by the zones of the travelcard.

  100. Hello
    I’m a Gamesmaker coming from Italy, next week i will arrive at Gatwick by flight.
    Oyster Olympic card is working also on Gatwick Express ?


    • Hi Giulio,

      Unfortunately not. The Oyster area doesn’t stretch that far down. You will need to buy a ticket to Purley, which will work in combination with your travelcard.

    • The special games travelcards and the GM Oyster cards are not on their own valid on Gatwick Express. My belief is that TfL/Locog say that they are not valid on Gatwick express to stop people thinking that they cover the whole route to/from the airport. However, a travelcard season (which the GM Oyster is) is valid in conjunction with a paper day ticket on fast services as long as the two tickets cover the whole journey. I have suggested Purley for the Gatwick Express because not all Gatwick Express trains pass through Coulsdon South. To use a games travelcard on Gatwick Express would require a ticket to boundary zone 6 so that both tickets are considered zonal.

  101. Hi Mike –

    Thanks for your help a couple of days ago. All systems go – have put some money on the Oyster travelcard supplied by LOCOG with no difficulty, and will wait to see how it pans out!! Will my fares be cheaper this way – and when I have to top up, will I still have to go to the Underground station to do this as the card is registered to LOCOG, not me?

    So glad I found your site!!


    • Hi Julia,

      The cash single fare from Croxley to Moor Park is £4.30. With your Oyster card it will charge £1.50 in the peak and £1.40 at other times. Unfortunately you do have to top up manually, but this can be done at any ticket machine within the Oyster area as long as it has a yellow pad, as well as Underground ticket offices and shops displaying the ticket stop logo.

  102. Hi

    I am going to be travelling from Chesham (or Chalfont and Latimer) to Excel.

    I spoke to the ticket officer at Chalfont and Latimer yesterday when I went to my training and he said that they have a policy that if you show your accreditation pass to the ticket office, they will let you through the barriers without having to scan your oyster card. So basically you don’t need to get off at Moor Park – you can just travel straight through to your venue.

    This worked perfectly for me yesterday, I showed my pass and he let me through the barriers on the way there and a different ticket officer let me out again on my way home.

    Steve B – I wonder if Amersham are going to let you do the same thing. I am going to ask at the Chesham ticket office in the week, but I assume they will have the same policy as at Chalfont.

    Hope this helps!

    • Thanks Jacqui,

      Part of me is very pleased to hear this, though most of me screams “why didn’t someone make this crystal clear right at the start?” At least one site visitor was told to put credit on his card by a member of Underground staff, hence why I have been suggesting the same to everyone.

  103. Hi, I checked my card like u said by checking the balance on the machine. I noted I have a season ticket valid till 15 aug, for 1mth 12 days (if I read it correctly). At my venue training, they said we can now use it and we should use it even before our shift start to make sure it’s working as long as I have my accreditation with me. I thought my card will only work on the days I’m have a shift? Anyway, I tried using it but it beeps and I can’t use it. Did anyone tried or have the same problem? Is it the card having problem or am I right that it will only work on my shift days? Thanks.

    • I don’t think they are restricted just to your shift days because that is beyond the capabilities of the Oyster system. If your card genuinely isn’t working then you’ll need to contact LOCOG.

  104. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for lots of excellent info. I’m also a gamesmaker and have a pink oyster card, no idea if it’s a travelcard or PAYG. I’ll be travelling from Maidstone to Stratford. My plan was to drive to Orpington or Bexley and try and park there, then get the train to Lewisham from there. Alternatively I was thinking of going from Maidstone West on the High Speed service. Which route do you think is better money and time wise? Also, is it worth me topping up my oyster card too and parking and getting the train from zone 9? Many thanks Mike!

    • Hi Sheena,

      Easy answer first, there is no zone 9 other than to the north west of London.

      As to the other question, the two options are completely opposite. The high speed service from Maidstone West will be the fastest way of getting there, but your Oyster card will be no use so it will be the most expensive. Driving to a zone 6 station will be slow, but you are completely covered by your Oyster card so it’ll just be the petrol/parking charges.

  105. Hi Mike
    I am a Gamesmaker for the Paralympics and want to travel from Bletchley to Stratford International. Is my best (cheapest) ticket option to get a weekly peak return (covering early shifts) to Harrow and Wealdstone? I am assuming that when I get my Oyster card it will be loaded with a travelcard zones 1-6 so as long as the train stops at Harrow I will be able to stay on the train to Euston. Then tube to St Pancras and HS train to Stratford International.
    Thanks Mike and a very helpful website.

    • Hi Gary,

      That would seem a good option. I might walk from Euston to St Pancras as it takes about as long as you spend on the tube once you’ve gone down to the platform, waited for a train and got back up to the main station again. You are correct that with two seasons the train will need to call at the changeover station.

  106. Tried to buy return shenfield to Harold wood but the rail employee there said that I didn’t need to as they have had an email today saying that they accept games maker oyster from shenfield for duration of games!!

    • That’s great Allan,

      I just wish they’d publicise this extra validity so people like me could advise properly.

  107. My daughter is an Olympic volunteer and will travelling up from Farnborough into Waterloo. She has an Oyster card from LOCOG. I have been looking at the National Rail website and it seems as though she can buy discounted tickets from them as a volunteer but your destination has to be an actual Olympic venue and not a rail station!!! Also it looks like you have to buy tickets each day and not one to cover the whole volunteering time.Can you advise of the cheapest way she can travek? Thanks

    • Hi Sue,

      All she needs is Farnborough to Surbiton, or boundary zone 6. If these are cheaper than the games tickets to the venue then I’d buy them at full price. If the extra ticket is a season then the train will need to call at Surbiton, but if you buy day returns then it doesn’t need to stop.

  108. Got the Javelin service from St Pancras to Stratford International yesterday for Opening Ceremony rehearsal, lots of people going through the barriers showing Oyster Card and Accreditation pass. No problems.

  109. Mike,
    Further to my post at 10:13pm on 19th July (and your reply later that evening), I can confirm that I do have a Travelcard Oyster.
    Still not met a “ticket inspector” though!
    Thanks for your help.

    • Hi Trish,

      Is that just one end of the card is blue, or the whole card is blue. If it’s one end (with the other end pink) then it’s a card for the paralympic games. If it’s all blue then it sounds like a normal Oyster card and perhaps you should query it with LOCOG.

  110. Hi Mike,
    You sound like a God and hopefully these are easy.
    Does Surbiton have an Oyster Card Swipe in and out location?
    How do I know whether i have got a Travelcard or PAYG card?

    • Hi Helen,

      Yes, Surbiton is the outermost station on the south west mainline in zone 6. To check what you have just take the card to any ticket machine in the area with a yellow reader, or a tube station ticket office. From the main menu screen you should just be able to touch the card to pull up it’s details.

  111. Hi, I am getting conflicting advice…can you clarify please:
    Travelling from Folkestone West as a Games Maker to London Excel. Driver from that depot.
    I am currently using the fast train direct to Stratford Internatonal the travel on Oyster to Excel Depot. My Senior Rail Card reduces return cost to £17.30 per day. Having purchased a Railcard especially for this duty… the final cost to me is over £200. Plus postage at £1.50 a time. No option to buy at Station or on the train!!!
    Is there a cheaper way to use the Railway? I have heard
    that the Olympic Volunteer Card is valid from Sevenoaks.
    It may well take over 2 hours each way and will mean not being able to work full shifts. Thanks for any guidance. Unfortunately, not a lot of advice from Olympic Volunteers Office. Dave

    • Hi Dave,

      The use of the volunteer oyster cards outside zones 1-6 is not very well published, and may in fact be changing on the hoof as people complain. I have also heard that it may be valid from Sevenoaks, and it is cerainly valid from Knockholt. If the Oyster is a travelcard (yours should be) and you buy daily tickets then the train doesn’t need to stop. I’d call Southeastern and get them to verify where you need to buy to. They might even end up allowing them from Ebbsfleet, though that is in no way confirmed or even hinted as possible at this stage.

      As for the tickets, I assume you’re buying online. Why not select to pick up at a station TVM? If there isn’t one at Folkestone West then there certainly are at Ashford and Lewisham. Even though you specify a station in the ordering process you can pick up from any TOD enabled station any time after two hours after placing the order.

  112. Mike
    I have a volunteer oyster card but would like to drive to ebbsfleet and take the high speed train to Stratford. What would be my cheapest way of doing this as I have already realised from earlier comments that I cannot use the card.
    look forward to your reply

    • Hi John,

      I’m not sure that there is currently a cheap way of doing this. Ebbsfleet car parks charge a fortune (IMO) and the train fare isn’t cheap either; but it’s only one stop so there’s no way to cut the cost by splitting.

  113. I just got an email from a fellow GM saying:

    “The train companies yesterday notified stations that they would let Games Makers with a Volunteer Oyster cards travel from further out than zone 6 without an extension ticket.

    South Eastern are definitely doing this so do check at your local station. It could save you a few pounds!”

    I need to travel from Ashford International on HS1…it’s my only option. What do you think? Is there now a chance that a GM Oyster will be usable in place of a ticket?

    With thanks

    • Hi Michelle,

      Someone else did suggest this was possible a few days ago, but I couldn’t get anyone at Southeastern to confirm it. I’ve just called them again and still the message is that they are only valid within zones 1-6 plus the high speed route between St Pancras and Stratford. The best advice would be to ask at the station because they are the ones who will have to allow or refuse it.

  114. hey guys,

    any update on the train company announcement?? how far out are we looking at?? I’m hoping to travel from watford junction, is this going to be allowed?

    • I’ve not seen anything in writing. If the staff at Watford Junction are going to let you travel for free then they’ll have to let you through the barriers because the Oyster card won’t be valid from there ordinarily.

  115. I have got Olympic pass to work for wembly stadium but i dnt know from where to collect free oyster card let me know ASAP.

    • You’ll need to contact the people who provided your uniform/training, Jubel.

  116. Hi Mike. This may have been answered before… can you use the Oyster card from Ebbsfleet to Stratford now (presumably on the HS1). I was wondering, because I’m travelling from Canada, and would need to get discounted train tickets ahead of time, if not…

    • Not as far as I know, Loveleen. Someone did suggest it was allowed, but Southeastern have not confirmed this to me.

  117. I know people might have answered this already, but I was wondering if I could get some clarification In my case, I am working at the O2 Arena but will be getting on the underground at Chalfont and Latimer, which is zone 8, will this mean I will need to get a ticket for zones 7 and 8, and wuickly swipe my card at the first zone 6 station or can I go straight from Chalfont to the O2 arena as the destination station is within the zones.

    If not whats my best/ cheapest option,

    • Hi Michael,

      My understanding is that staff at zone 7-9 stations will let you in if you show your volunteer Oyster card and games accreditation. If that isn’t the case then you can put credit on the card to cover the extra travel. Just only add what you need for Chalfont to Moor Park each day as you cannot get refunds. You certainly don’t need to get off at Moor Park to touch in.

  118. Michael

    Just to confirm that Chalfont and Latimer let you in free of charge if you show your accreditation pass. I have done this for all 8 of my shifts so far and it’s been absolutely fine. So you just need to touch out at wembley park.

  119. Hello, I am working at North Greenwich arena and at the moment I am going into Startford Int then using my oyster card to go to NGA. What station, closest to me in Kent, is the station where I can begin to use my Oyster card???

    • Hi Ian,

      You don’t say where in Kent you are, but the boundary stations are: Slade Green, Barnehurst, Crayford, St Mary Cray and Knockholt.

  120. Hi. I was a performer at the Opening Ceremony, and my oyster card I was given is still working around London. Does this mean I could keep it and just top it up? I’d quite like to keep it as a momento.

    • Hi Adam,

      If you haven’t been asked to return the card then you could keep it as a momento, but all the special Oyster cards will be hotlisted once the games are over. In addition they will not be allowing refunds on any special cards (because some of them came with PAYG credit), so it is not advisable to add your own topup as you may lose it.

  121. I have been given my volunteer Oyster card today for the Paralympics. I have to travel from Colchester station to Woolwich Arsenal for 7 shifts. I also have a student rail card which can get me discount off rail fares. What would be the cheapest and fastest way of travelling? Can I only use my Oyster cad from Shenfield?

    • Hi Jack,

      The current limit on the Oyster card on that line is Harold Wood, although Greater Anglia may be allowing use from Shenfield for Olympic volunteers. I haven’t heard that one yet though, so do check before buying your tickets. You will need a day ticket to Harold Wood which can then be combined with the travelcard on Oyster such that the train does not need to stop at Harold Wood. The other alternative is to visit the 2012 Games Tickets site on National Rail Enquiries and try to get a ticket from Colchester to London Games. These are priced on the basis that a travelcard is held and you can also use railcards at times when they wouldn’t normally be available or they might be restricted to a minimum fare. You can only use London Games tickets with either an event ticket or a games family accreditation.

  122. Im a Paralympic volunteer & have a Paralympic oyster card. Do you know when this card will start working?

  123. Hi Mike!
    Having taken your most helpful advice and put money on my Games Maker Oyster Travelcard, I find I have just a small balance left on it. Is it still possible to use that up (my last shift was yesterday, 12 August), or do I ‘lose’ it?
    Thanks again for your help –

  124. Loella : it will probably work now.

    Julia : not sure when the card will be hotlisted but you can use it till then with your accreditation.

    Brief replies as on mobile.

  125. Hi Mike
    Please help me, if you know. Will my original pink oyster card work tomorrow – 14th Aug for me to use to travel to Star Lane to collect my Paralympic accreditation? It will save me about £20 if it does. I believe I have to pick up a new one while I am there, to cover my Paralympic shifts. Thanks, in advance

    • Hi Amanda,

      I don’t know for certain, but I believe there is a chance it will. There is also a chance that you won’t get a separate new card, but again I don’t know. Take your Olympic accreditation with you and I would be surprised if you had a problem. If you have to touch in at the start of the journey then you’ll know if it’s going to work. If you are buying a ticket from further away then you can still use the special games ticket site at http://tickets.nationalrailgamestravel.co.uk/2012/en/JourneyPlanning/MixingDeck for travel tomorrow.

      Hope that helps.

  126. Hi Mike, I am a Paralympic volunteer & have a Paralympic oyster card. Do you know if I can use it when I go for volunteer training this Saturday?

    • Hi ria,

      Many of the Olympic volunteers were able to use their cards for training, so I can only assume that the same applies to paralympic volunteers as well.

  127. Hi Mike
    Yet another confused volunteer. I have been given a Zone 1-6 Oyster Card though I will be working at Eton Dorney. I live in Farnborough, Hampshire and need to go into Betnal Green for training. What is the best way to use my card please. I don’t see that it will be much use for the Windsor journeys?

    • Hi Scott,

      I agree that the card may not be much use between Farnborough and Windsor. For all your travel I suggest using http://www.nationalrailgamestravel.co.uk/ as this will give you the best prices and takes into account your Oyster travelcard. For Bethnal Green you simply need to buy to London Games and use the Oyster once you get to Central London.

  128. Hi Mike,

    I am also a Paralympic volunteer, my question is will my games maker oyster work on the bus which will take me to my first station (the 298 from Potters Bar to Cockfosters) ? It does accept oyster cards, even though Potters Bar is beyond the Oyster zone.

    • Hi Laura,

      Yes, the Oyster is accepted on all TfL operated buses, even those which run beyond the zones.

  129. Hi Mike,
    Can i use my Paralympic Oyster card from Cambridge train station to get to Stratford ?

    Please advise . many thanks

    • Hi Dannie,

      Not from Cambridge, no. Take a look at the national rail games travel site and they’ll give you the best fares to use in conjunction with your Oyster.

  130. Hi – does anyone now if Olympic Volunteer Oyster cards can be re-used once they have expired at the end of your duites??? There’s something about them being “deactivated” but does that mean that they can’t be used as a PAYG card for future purposes?? I come to London at times and have never used an Oyster card before but I found it so much easier during the Olympics so I’d like to be able to reuse my card as a PAYG for the future if possible.

    • Hi Dick,

      I’m pleased to hear you found the Oyster easier to use. The Olympic volunteer cards will be deactivated because the cards do not have a deposit on them. You can order a new card for yourself on the TfL website and have it delivered before you next go to London. You’ll need a £5 deposit which is refundable if/when you surrender the card.

  131. HI,
    I lost my paralympic oyster card.who do I need to contact?
    Please advise,#Thanks

  132. Hi I have a Volunteer oyster from the Olympics and I am also involved in the paralympics – my pink card expired on the 15th August will it reactivate when the paralympics starts or do I need to get a new card?

    • Hi Alison,

      I think it’s unlikely that the card will be activated again. I suggest that you call LOCOG and ask them what you are supposed to do.

  133. Hi Mike

    I had my purse stolen with my paralympic oyster card inside! Do you know how and if it is possible to get a replacement?

    • Hi Katie,

      You need to contact LOCOG with all issues regarding lost or damaged Oyster cards.

  134. Alison,
    If you are volunttering for paralympics I would expect you should have been to the UDAC (Uniform Distribution Accreditation) for a second time to get new accreditiation and bits of uniform. You would then have got a new Oyster card.

  135. hi. I have pay as you go card with credit still on.can i transfer credit i have put on to my own oyster or can i continue to use pink card till the money i put on it runs out?

    • Hi Rachel,

      The information I have is that credit on an Olympic Gamesmaker Oyster card is not refundable (which includes transfering it to another card). You can still use the card until it is hotlisted shortly after the games finish.

  136. I had top up my oister card after the olimpics games for a weakly season and I couldn´t used it because since today it seems that they are not working any more. Can I refund the money back. Or there is a telephone number where I can call to explain the problem? Thanks

    • Hi Alfredo,

      The official answer is that you shouldn’t have added anything to the GM Oyster. You can try contacting either LOCOG or the Oyster helpline, but I’m not confident that anything can be done now. You need to get yourself a normal adult Oyster card before adding another travelcard.

  137. Hi, I am desperate to get hold of a London 2012 Olympic limited edition Oyster card. Where can I get hold of one? Thanks.

    • Hi Vanessa,

      I’m sorry, I can’t help. I would imagine that they’ve all been sold, but all you can try is contacting the helpdesk and see if they know of anywhere that stil has some. I wouldn’t hold my breath though.

  138. Hi,

    @Vanessa, I am an oyster card collector and currently have 7-8 different oyster cards.

    I also missed out on the London 2012 Olympic limited edition Oyster card, as well as the british museum limited edition visitor oyster card.

    I am trying to find one, but there are some listed on amazon, which are being sold for £20.

    Please let me know, if you find them somewhere or if anyone on here wants to get rid of their oyster or dont mind changing their oyster for a new one.

    Many Thanks,

  139. As a transport ticket collector I would like to obtain an Oyster Card issued to ‘Paralympic Volunteer’ with orange flash at the right.
    I will pay a good price for a mint example.



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