Is it possible to buy a Boundary Zone ticket from a LU TVM?

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    Michael Tsang

    I have a Zones 1-2 Travelcard loaded into my railcard-discounted Oyster and plan to do a through journey tomorrow to Maidenhead, which is outside the Oyster zone, so I will need to buy a ticket for my journey. My planned route is Willesden Green – Bond Street – Maidenhead, but unfortunately I can’t collect online-bought tickets at Bond Street, as the ticket machines there are London Underground machines.

    I will need to buy a return ticket from Boundary Zone 2. Is it possible to buy one from a London Underground ticket vending machine, such as at Willesden Green, Bond Street or Chancery Lane?


    Hi Michael,

    Yes, I believe that is possible. I’ve not done it myself, but I’ve seen mention of National Rail tickets available and the ability to buy extension tickets for an Oyster card with a travelcard loaded on it.

    I’d be interested to know how it works if you do use that. I’d go for Bond Street personally as that has direct trains to Maidenhead.

    Michael Tsang

    Thanks. I will take some photos and publish them to my blog if I can do that. A Google Image Search has produced picture procedures for c2c (from the official c2c website) and South Western Railway machines (from a hiking group website).

    Colin Newman

    Interesting. I can’t advise, but some thoughts:

    One can use contactless at Maidenhead, which I presume is cheaper than paper tickets. No idea how you would (elegantly) obtain a contactless extension, though.

    If you swiped out with contactless having swiped in with Oyster then it seems likely you’d be charged a maximum fare and would be entitled to a refund, but it seems plausible you’d technically be travelling without a ticket once you got to zone 3. I wonder what fares would be used to calculate the refund.

    The TfL journey planner suggests GWR from Paddington for the quickest journey.


    Hi Colin,

    Outside the zones PAYG fares are not generally cheaper than paper tickets. They are also much more expensive if you have a Railcard because you can’t add a discount to a contactless card.

    You also can’t use contactless in conjunction with a travelcard, so please don’t try what you suggest. You must use the same card or device at both ends of a PAYG journey.

    Michael Tsang

    The GWR from Paddington only runs every half an hour with an additional change, which means it is unlikely the extra change will be worthwhile compared to a through journey running every 15 minutes on the through Elizabeth line train when the expected waiting time is taken into account.


    Popped into Bond Street just now. Yes it’s possible.

    Select travelcard extensions on home screen.
    Touch Oyster card.
    Enter station name (just an M will offer Maidenhead).
    Add Railcard selection.
    Select single or return and pay.


    That’s amazing, I never knew that option existed!

    Two quick follow up questions:

    – it is only available on LU machines from boundary to certain stations – i.e. is it just Lizzie Line, or also places like Gatwick, and up and down Thameslink

    – is it available in reverse? Can you buy from Gatwick to Z2 boundary with or without railcard from a Gatwick machine, or do you need to do that awkward “buy a ticket to Clapham Junction because that’s the only station you can think of in Zone 2” thing?


    The extension facility is available to most NR stations in the South East. Not all stations will sell to all destinations, but if there are direct services then you’ve a much better chance. I’d expect Gatwick to be available widely.

    In reverse you need to buy a ticket to boundary of zone X. These are available at ticket offices, many ticket machines and some online retailers.

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