Travelling on regional trains in the UK

At a glance

  • Regional train
  • UK

Regional trains in Britain cover a wide range of services. They may include rail services from London to destinations in the Home Counties (e.g. Southampton, Brighton or Cambridge), cross-country routes like Nottingham to Cardiff and longer rural journeys anywhere in Britain. Regional trains included in those first two categories offer First and Standard Class, whereas trains in the last category tend to be Standard Class only.

Generally, regional trains serve smaller communities, but there are some regional trains that dash between cities, for example the non-stop service between London and Cambridge. Many passengers on regional trains are making relatively short journeys, so these trains are sometimes a bit tight for space when it comes to large suitcases. An increasing number of regional trains are air-conditioned. This applies particularly to those serving longer routes. Generally, however, regional trains are practical rather than luxurious. Although there are occasional express services, regional trains tend to stop frequently.

Regional trains in the United Kingdom are operated by a number of companies, including Arriva Trains Wales, Scotrail, Northern, Great Western Railway and South West Trains. Some services have wifi facilities. Most regional trains operated by CrossCountry include a trolley service for all or part of the journey. But don’t bank on it. It is possible to reserve a seat in advance on many regional train journeys.

Featured journeys with this train

Seating and sleeping on Regional Trains UK

Standard Class

Seating in Standard Class on a regional train in the UK is arranged in airline-style unidirectional seats that come in pairs, arranged across a central aisle. A small number of seats are arranged in seats of four around a table.

Food and drink on Regional Trains UK

Trolley Service

There is an at-seat trolley service in both First and Standard Class on some regional trains, for example on regional services offered by CrossCountry or South West Trains. Expect snacks, sandwiches and hot and cold drinks. During the week, some items of this food and drink service are complimentary in First Class.

Child and youth passengers

The definition of "Child" and "Youth" varies by country and operator. This is why we ask for the age of young passengers.

Sometimes children below a certain age can travel without a seat for free. If you want to guarantee a seat for child passengers, enter '6' as the age of the child.

Read more about child and youth passenger ages. See also youth discounts and railcards.