It’s All Change For Off-Peak Rail Ticketholders From London

As previously advised, from 15 December, there is a major overall of rail operations between Paddington and Reading, when TfL take over approximately half of local services on the main lines.

Local rail user community group, Henley Trains have worked with Great Western Railway to ensure that all peak commuter services remain broadly as before, with fast GWR-to-GWR connecting services.

However, local users are warned that most returning fast evening peak GWR services will NOT be available to those on off-peak tickets.  Off-peak ticket holders will need to take the slower TfL services, which will not be timed for optimum connections at Twyford, and journey times are likely to be extended.

GWR have made a table below of where off peak tickets are valid and related journey times.   Note that tickets are valid again on fast trains from 1849 onwards.


Please note that there are fare benefits for those with under 12s taking only TfL trains between Twyford and London.  5-11s will still need tickets on the Henley branch.

This is a complex topic and Henley Trains will be happy to help with questions or to share GWR’s explanation.  They can be contacted at or on Twitter @Henleytrains.


    • Henley Trains says:

      David, yes. Senior Railcards can’t be used in the morning peak but you could choose to buy an off-peak ticket up and a peak ticket back with your railcard. This wouldn’t help with a Travelcard. A suggestion has been made that as an off-peak day return is little more than an offpeak single, you could buy an off-peak day return with travelcard, and an additional peak ticket back. This will cost in the region of £15 with your railcard to use the fast train back, or double the cost.

      • David Dickie says:

        Is there a chart like the one above for going up in the morning?
        Need this to see the benefit of buying 2 tickets, one to London and one home.
        BTW is this just a GWR thing?

        • Henley Trains says:

          David – morning trains are easy. Anything arriving before 10am requires a peak ticket. Most people want a travelcard to travel in London as well. It has been suggested that if one travels up off peak then to get an ‘off peak travelcard’ ticket, which is the off peak return plus all London travel. To then use the peak train one could buy a single ticket from Paddington to Twyford (which is about £15 I think, plus any related railcard discount – which IS available in the evening peak). For a senior railcard holder it’s an extra £10 to save half an hour of journey time or more, and the efficiency of planned connections.

  1. The Lazy Politician says:

    This whole peak/off peak thing…. I understand, but do not agree with, GWRs desire to manage loads by restricting faster services to those who pay peak/season tickets. But thats all it is – user-pays load management – rather than acknowledging demand by providing enough services. If i travel into london for an afternoon business meeting, i am automatically sold an offpeak return, and forced to take a slow train home. Or pay a lot more for two single tickets so i can get a peak train home. Its nuts.

    • Henley Trains says:

      This is just a matter of peak or off-peak ticket acceptance, rather than any railcards. We imagine that IF Disabled Railcards have an override to allow off-peak ticket usage in the morning peak then the same would apply in the evening peak, but better to check how they work.


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