Elizabeth line split fare

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    I need to travel from Maidenhead to Canary Wharf in peak time. Starting from Maidenhead to Canary Wharf at about 07:30, and coming back at about 17:30. Let’s assume I will use the Elizebeth line only (i.e., not GWR).

    The direct price is quite pricy at 16.90 for a single ticket, which is 33.80 for retrun. There is also a daily cap of 35.00 by contactless.

    I notice that if I split fare at West Drayton, it is much cheaper. Single (peak time) ticket from Maidenhead to West Drayton is 6.20, and from West Drayton to Canary Wharf is 5.60. So the total cost would 2 * (6.20 + 5.60) = 23.60. If I need to travel to more destinations in London, 2 singles of Maidenhead to/from West Drayton plus the daily zone 1-6 cap is only 2 * 6.20 + 14.90 = 27.30. Still much cheaper than a pair of tickets from Maidenhead to Canary Wharf direct. So it is a no-brainer that split at West Drayton would save me (non-trival amount of) money.

    The question is do I need to touch out and touch in at West Drayton? Or would the contactless fare calculation software automatically recognise this split fare?

    Secondly, if I do need to touch out and touch in at West Drayton, do I need to use two different bank cards for the two journeys?

    Thank you.

    Alan (28481k)

    One of the major purpose of out-of-zones Contactless ticket payment is to protect revenue for train operating companies outside TfL (and this is basically the ticketing requirements when Elizabeth line extends West) so I’m afraid you can only split your fares by touching in and out at West Drayton no matter you hold a paper ticket or not between Maidenhead and West Drayton.

    However, I don’t think you need two bank cards to split your journey at West Drayton unless you need to tap back in within 2 minute time out time.


    Hi Alan, thanks a lot for your help.

    According to your reply, I understand I need to touch out and then touch in at West Drayton.

    I would certain prefer to stick to one bank card.

    But I do not quite understand the significance of the 2 minutes time out time. Can you please kindly clarify? Thank you very much.

    Mike (admin)

    Hi Robert,

    The two minutes was thought to apply when using validators at a station, but it turns out it’s ok, unless the validator has continuation exit applied (West Drayton doesn’t). If you use the same validator then you need to wait 30 seconds between touches, but if there are two validators you can use a different one to touch back in immediately.

    As Alan alluded to, PAYG fares beyond zone 6 are designed as a convenience and to match the paper ticket pricing for anytime and off-peak return tickets. There are some big savings to be made if you step back a train at West Drayton, but the pain is that you have to use the slow trains.


    Hi Mike, many thanks for your help.

    Quite glad that I do not need to wait for 2 minutes bwtween touch out and touch in.

    Indeed not being to take the direct train is a pain. At least I now have a choice between time and money.

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