I just bought a train ticket from Chester to Edinburgh via the Transport for Wales site for 2 adults. (Train changes in Warrington Bank Quay; first leg is on a TFW train, second on a Avanti West.) I chose to use the mobile delivery, and installed the TFW app. I can see my ticket, so that's good.

However, I'm not sure how to actually use it. According to the TFW website's "Mobile Train Tickets and m-Tickets" page, I need to activate the ticket on the day of travel, and then scan the barcode at the station to be allowed through the automatic gates. How does this work with a multi-person ticket? (eg. am I expected to scan the ticket, let my companion through, scan it again, and go through myself? or something else?)

  • The scan two times (or two different tickets on one phone) is how we do it in the Netherlands.
    – Willeke
    Jun 25, 2023 at 5:55
  • 3
    My experience of using other British rail apps is that, if you have a single ticket for multiple passengers it's better to explain and show it to a member of gateline staff who should be able to visually validate it and let you through Jun 25, 2023 at 8:48
  • Is there an option to transfer the ticket to another person's device? Would that be practical?
    – Stuart F
    Jun 26, 2023 at 8:54
  • That would be practical, but there's no such option. Right now, the reservation appears as a single ticket for 2 persons; there's no individual 'tickets' for each person. (Of course, that might change once I activate it on day of travel.) Jun 26, 2023 at 13:15

1 Answer 1


From the TFW page you linked to:

If our gates don’t have a barcode scanner, just show your ticket to a member of our gateline team.

Now that isn't directly relevant to your situation, but the thing to note is that there should always be a member of staff on the automatic gateline. Usually they'll be manning a wider gate, to help passengers with wheelchairs, buggys, luggage etc. You can show your e-ticket to them and they will let you and your travelling companions through.

If there isn't a member of staff available (late at night for example), all the gates will be left open and you can just walk through. Bear in mind there still might be a member of staff checking tickets on the train itself.

  • 1
    It's also my experience (as a daily rail commuter through mainline stations in England and Wales), that if they don't have enough people to staff the gateline, they lock the gates open, and you can just walk through. This can happen even quite early in the evening Jul 28, 2023 at 12:09

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