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On most airline tickets, missing the first leg of your flight, means that rest of your journey is automatically cancelled, including the return flight on a future date. However, does the same also take place on "Advance Single" train tickets in the UK?

According to the National Rail website, "If you miss the first train on which you are booked for any reason, a new ticket must be purchased." Therefore, if my journey took me from Oxford to Reading, and then changing on to a train to London Paddington at Reading, missing the first train from Oxford means I can't take my connecting train to London.

My question deals with a return journey consisting of two Advance Single tickets booked under the same reference number. For instance, if I've booked two separate Advance Single tickets from Oxford to Paddington and back for trains at specific times, will I be able to still collect my tickets at the train station and able to travel back to Oxford, if I've missed my outbound train?

  • In my experience, Single tickets are exactly that - one way journeys, unconnected even if booked together. If you have a separate booking reference for each, you will be able to collect the tickets for the second journey. Booking Single tickets can be a good way to cut costs moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-train-tickets – Traveller May 27 '18 at 9:16
  • Just to make this clear, in the UK, all advance tickets are singles. There is no such thing as an advance return. – skifans May 27 '18 at 10:13
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If you have two Single tickets, then they are two separate journeys, and therefore independent of each other.

So yes you can still collect the second journey's ticket even if you miss the first journey.

  • Is it possible to collect them even if they have the same reference number? – crayarikar May 27 '18 at 9:37
  • I've never tried your exact situation, so I cannot say exactly. But if a reference number includes tickets that are still valid, I would assume the machine will still dispense those tickets. – Craig Meulen May 29 '18 at 7:07

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