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FAQs - Travelling with Grand Central during COVID-19

Last updated - 17/07/2021

Before you travel

Advance tickets purchased for travel between November 7 and December 2 2020 , or between January 9 and March 26 2021 can be refunded without a fee. All customers can change their travel dates without any extra fee if they have bought their ticket on our website or app. Please contact the Booking Support Team on 0345 603 4852 (option 3, then option 2). Lines are open 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week.

If your journey is disrupted or cancelled prior to travel, you may be entitled to a full refund - please contact the Booking Support Team on the above number.

If you have purchased your ticket from another retailer, you will need to contact them in order to change your ticket.

Please see our page on latest seat availability for colour-coded information on which services we expect to be busier and those we expect to be quiet.

The 25% student discount is now once again running.

The 20% loyalty discount has been suspended.

16-25 Railcard holders can still get 33% off our cheapest tickets.

If you have a refundable ticket you can claim a full refund. Advance Purchase tickets are non-refundable however you can change your booking to an alternative date without any admin fee by contacting our customer service team on 0345 603 4852 (option 3, then option 2, 8am – 10pm, 7 days per week).

 

Any National Rail Travel Voucher that has an expiry date between 20 October 2020 and 30 June 2021, may be accepted for a maximum of 6 months after the original expiry date, for example a National Rail Travel Voucher that expires on 30 June 2021, may continue to be used up to and including 30 December 2021.

Please contact the Customer Relations Team on 0345 603 4852 (option 3, then option 1). Lines are open 9am to 5pm, Monday - Friday. Alternatively you can contact us on social media via Facebook and Twitter.

You will not be permitted to board the train without a seat reservation.

If you make a seat reservation you will be allocated a specific seat and you should sit in your assigned seat. Please check that you have a seat reservation when you buy your ticket or contact us to add one to your booking. You will not be permitted to board the train without a seat reservation.

For all our services from Monday 19th July, if you purchased your tickets before this date, your reserved seats will have been allocated based on social distancing which means you may be seated separately. Once on-board, you may be able to change seats to sit closer together if the train is not busy. Please speak to a member of staff who will try to assist depending on seat availability.

If you purchased your tickets after Monday 19th July,  you will have been allocated seats together, subject to availability" 

We advise customers to book direct via our website or app, which will allow you to make your reservation during your purchase. You can also book seats via our Customer Relations team, on 0345 603 4852 (option 3, then option 1).

Seat reservations and train-specific Advance tickets are available for trains which are confirmed to run. Trains which are not yet confirmed will remain closed for reservations. If you have purchased a flexible ticket or have a Carnet ticket without a seat reservation, you must make a reservation on any Grand Central service you intend to travel on. You can do this by contacting our Customer Relations team on 0345 603 4852.

During your journey

Are customers required to wear a face covering?

When travelling on a Grand Central train, we ask that customers please wear a face covering out of respect for others, unless exempt.

  • For specific government advice on face coverings and the latest updates on travelling during Covid, please see gov.uk advice.
  • For more information on how we are providing assistance in line with Government advice, please see the government website.

Please be aware that if you are travelling into London and will be using public transport inside London, the guidance on wearing face coverings is different. Face coverings must be worn for the full duration of journeys on the TfL network, including inside stations and bus stations. More information is available via the Transport for London website.

 

We recommend you bring your own face covering and you may also wish to bring hand sanitiser for your own use.

We have hand sanitiser dispensers located in the vestibules on our trains and each of our trains has multiple toilets with soap, running water and hand dryers so customers can travel safely and wash their hands on the go..

Yes. Cycle reservations should be made in advance giving at least 24 hours’ notice. You can reserve space by e-mailing Customer Relations or contacting us on Twitter or Facebook.

Under no circumstances should you be travelling if you are self-isolating.

The Safer Travel Guidance for Travellers, as provided by the Government, contains useful further information.

Please do NOT travel if you have symptoms of Coronavirus. If you feel unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature – you should avoid travelling and self-isolate for 14 days.

The Safer Travel Guidance for Travellers, as provided by the Government, contains useful further information.

It is your responsibility to evaluate whether or not you should be travelling.

Yes. If you do not have one you will be prevented from boarding the train. To make a seat reservation if your ticket does not include one, please contact the Customer Relations team on 0345 603 4852 (option 3, then option 1). Lines are open 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday. Alternatively you can contact us on social media via Facebook and Twitter.

We prefer passengers to pay for services by card.

Journey Central is Grand Central's on-board Wi-Fi platform, relaunched for 2021 with all-new features including:

  • At-seat food ordering and paying
  • Live journey and train information
  • All the same great content you've come to enjoy
  • Absolutely no apps, downloaded software or complicated passwords

You must have a a seat reservation prior to boarding your Grand Central train.

We advise customers to book direct via our website or app and provide contact details, in order to ensure they receive the very latest updates and information about their journey.

Journey Central is Grand Central's on-board Wi-Fi platform, relaunched for 2021 with all-new features including:

  • At-seat food ordering and paying
  • Live journey and train information
  • All the same great content you've come to enjoy
  • Absolutely no apps, downloaded software or complicated passwords

Find out more on the Journey Central webpage.

Customers cannot select a specific seat at the point of booking. Seats are allocated by our booking systems according to availability and in line with Government advice - from Monday 19th July Government guidance on social distancing is changed and  as a result you may be seated next to another passenger. 

We are asking all customers to make a seat reservation which means we can manage the number of people on board. We will publish information on our website and on Twitter which shows which trains are expected to be busier and which will be quieter.

Seat reservations are required, and passengers should hold a seat reservation to travel on a Grand Central train. This is for ALL journeys, no matter how short.


 

Face coverings must be worn for the full duration of journeys on the TfL network, including inside stations and bus stations. To find out more, please visit the Transport for London website.

Yes we will do our best, please speak to a member of the on-train team who will try to find an alternative seat provided it is not reserved or in use by other passengers.

If the train is full, you can elect not to travel and seek a refund if you hold a refundable ticket. Advance purchase tickets are non-refundable in these circumstances.

Yes we will do our best, please speak to a member of the on-train team who will help you to find alternative seats provided they are not reserved or in use by other passengers.

 

We have taken every measure possible to provide you with a comfortable journey, including a seat reservation (and the requirement that all passengers have a reservation prior to travel), and information on which services are expected to be busier.

If your train is too full to safely travel, we will communicate a course of action regarding onward travel on a case-by-case basis - please speak to a member of staff at the affected station.

Face coverings are no longer mandatory so we cannot enforce this, however our on-train team can try to find an alternative seat in a quieter part of the train provided it is not reserved or in use by other passengers.

Alternatively, you customer can elect not to travel and seek a refund if you hold a refundable ticket. Advance purchase tickets are non-refundable in these circumstances unfortunately.

Yes, please contact the point of purchase where you bought the tickets and they will be able to amend your seat reservations (subject to availability).

If you purchased your tickets directly from Grand Central, then please contact our Customer Relations team on 0345 603 4852 (option 3, then 1, Mon-Fri 9am - 5pm) to amend your reservation (subject to availability).

Please be aware that we can only change reservations that were made directly via the Grand Central website. If you purchased your ticket elsewhere, you will need to contact the seller directly.

Customers can change the date of travel if their plans change, without any additional fee, if they have bought their ticket on our website or app. Please contact the Booking Support Team on 0345 603 4852 (option 3, then option 2). Lines are open 8am to 10pm, 7 days a week.

If you have purchased your ticket from another retailer, you will need to get in contact with them to discuss this.

When travelling on a Grand Central train, we ask that customers please wear a face covering out of respect for others. We know that for some customers this isn't possible, which is why we we recognise the Sunflower Lanyard scheme for hidden disabilities and customers..

Please see the latest government advice on face coverings here.

To help our customers Travel with Confidence, the rail industry is:

  • Ventilating trains to refresh air.
  • Extensively cleaning trains and stations.
  • Improving information about journeys and trains.
  • We will follow best practice to ensure customers and staff can feel confident to travel. By requiring all passengers to reserve their seats, we are able to ensure there is no crowding on board our services.

Yes, you may bring your own refreshments. Journey Central is also available to all Grand Central customers, offering you the option to order at seat refreshments - without having to leave your seat! More information about Journey Central is available.

Assisted travel

Yes, when you're booking your train ticket on our website there is a link in the 'Need assistance' section on the Travel options page. Just click on the link and you'll be able to request what help you need and we'll be in touch.

Alternatively you can call:

To book travel assistance for an existing journey, please see our dedicated page on travel assistance.

Yes, in order to reserve a companion seat please call our Passenger Assist team on 0345 603 4852 (option 4, open 08:00 - 22:00)

Please pre-book assistance for your journey.or call our Passenger Assistance booking team on 0345 603 4852 (option 4). Pre-booked assistance can be provided at staffed stations on our routes and we will provide options for you if you are joining or departing our train at an unstaffed location.