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Over £1m recovered from ticketless rail travellers in the past year

Press release   •   Apr 16, 2019 08:38 BST

Over £1m of revenue has been recovered from ticketless rail travellers using London Northwestern Railway and West Midlands Railway services over the past 12 months.

Revenue protection managers at the train operators recovered a total of £1,284,746 of unpaid fares during the financial year to April 2019.

  • £876,483 was recovered from passengers on London Northwestern Railway services
  • £408,463 was recovered from passengers on West Midlands Railway services

These figures cover both Penalty Fare Notices and tickets sold to passengers at stations, attempting to board trains without paying.

The train operators issued a total of 19,579 penalty fares during this period. Penalty fares are issued to anyone found travelling without a ticket, where they started their journey from a station where ticket purchasing facilities were available. These can be issued by teams stationed at ticket barriers, but also by revenue protection managers on trains across the rail network. These cost passengers either £20 or twice the walk up single ticket cost, whichever is greater.

95% of these Penalty Fares were enforced last year, with just 5% being successfully appealed.

The train operators are continuing to tackle ticketless travel across the rail network, and during March 2019 alone, revenue protection teams spent 2,506 hours at stations and on trains.

Across the London Northwestern Railway network, of a total of 1,163 hours:

  • 705 hours were spent on trains
  • 458 hours we spent at stations

Across the West Midlands Railway network, of a total of 1,343 hours:

  • 487 hours were spent on trains
  • 856 hours were spent at stations

For repeat offenders, unpaid Penalty Fare Notices and where there is sufficient evidence that someone has been deliberately travelling fraudulently, court cases can be brought. 3,038 such court cases were heard over the past year, with £462,292.95 recovered in costs and revenue.

Sean McBroom, head of on board experience for London Northwestern Railway, said: “We know that our fare paying passengers find ticketless travel a real issue, and we are committed to tackling this as best we can. We have been trialling a new route-based approach to help inform our revenue protection activity, so passengers will see our teams out at stations and on trains more frequently.

“We always advise passengers to purchase a ticket before travelling – either from station staff, ticket vending machines, online, or via the London Northwestern Railway or West Midlands Railway apps. Anyone found travelling without a ticket will be liable to a penalty fare if they are found travelling on our services.”


About West Midlands Trains

For further information on this release, call our press office on 03300 955150 or email

West Midlands Trains operates both West Midlands Railway and London Northwestern Railway services.

  • London Northwestern Railway services operate between Liverpool and Birmingham, and on the West Coast mainline to and from London Euston.
  • West Midlands Railway services operate to destinations across the West Midlands via Birmingham New Street.

For more information on these services visit or

The West Midlands Trains franchise started on 10 December 2017 and will run until 2025/26.

West Midlands Trains operates 1,300 services a day, manages 150 stations and provides over 70 million passenger journeys a year. Over the course of the franchise, West Midlands Trains will be investing £1 billion into the rail network to deliver new trains, improved routes and station upgrades. This will include 400 new train carriages across the network and space for an extra 85,000 passengers into Birmingham and London at peak times.

The franchise is a joint venture between Abellio (70.1% share) and East Japan Railway Company / Mitsui & Co., Ltd (29.9% share in a 50:50 split). Abellio is the international passenger transport subsidiary of the Dutch national railway company, Nederlandse Spoorwegen. In the UK, Abelllio operates ScotRail and Greater Anglia train services, Merseyrail services in a joint venture with Serco and buses through Abellio London. For more information visit

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