Coronavirus travel information

Help keep our services safe for those who need them most – only travel by train if it’s really necessary.

We want to provide the best service we can for those who have to travel by train for work and aren’t able to work from home. Help us keep the railway clear by only taking the train only if your journey is necessary. Please consider if there is another way you could travel – by bike or on foot for instance and continue to follow government advice

If you do have to travel by train or public transport please continue to follow these guidelines to protect yourself and others:

Travel Safe: 

  • You must wear a face covering when travelling with us (unless you are exempt). Although face coverings are not mandatory in and around our stations, we’d strongly suggest wearing one to protect yourself and others. Information on what type of face covering is appropriate has been provided by Public Health England here
  • Wash your hands before and after your journey
  • Carry hand sanitiser
  • Do not travel if you have any Covid-19 symptoms. Please check the NHS website for information.​
  • If you’re a disabled rail passenger our Passenger Assist service is available for necessary journeys. You can find full information on how to use Passenger Assist at this time here.

Travel Smart:  

  • Use Contactless payment or Oyster cards (if travelling solely in the London Oyster Zones)
  • Use a c2c Smartcard if your journey includes stations outside the London Oyster zones so you can reduce contact with others
  • Buy online or through the new c2c Train Travel app as ticket office openings will be limited.

Keep Apart:

  • Maintain 2 metres distance from others where you can in and around the stations
  • Sit as far away from others as possible onboard trains, and avoid facing each other
  • Avoid peak travel – currently the earliest services between 5:00 – 7:00 are the busiest, so it is better to delay your journey if you must travel.

Travel Safe Pledge 

If you do need to take the train, to ensure that you can do so safely and with confidence we have signed up to National Rail’s UK-wide ‘Travel Safe Pledge’. With more businesses reopening, the health and wellbeing of our passengers and staff is our top priority. See our full pledge here.

3.1.18 Travelling Safely By Train Web Header 1200x400

We are running our standard timetable

We’ve been maximising space by running our standard weekday timetable since May. You may have seen that other train companies around the UK have also made changes to increase their services. However, social distancing means that capacity on our trains is limited. The government’s instruction remains to avoid using public transport if possible.

Avoid our busiest services:

Use these traffic lights as guides to help you avoid our busiest travel times in the mornings and evenings so that you can find quieter trains so you can social distance more easily.

Busy times in the morning peak:

Traveltimes Toandfrom New 02

Busy times in the evening peak:

Traveltimes Toandfrom New 01

Our Top 10 busiest services all run early in the morning. If you can, avoid these trains to help other people maintain social distancing, and if you must travel on these trains please use the back carriages if possible as these typically have more space.

There may be occasions over the coming months when boarding your normal train may not be possible in busier times. If a train you want to catch looks too full, please don’t travel if you don’t feel comfortable, don’t board if it looks too full, and wait for another service.

If you’re planning on visiting the shops, please stay local, consider if your journey is necessary, wear a face covering and avoid peak travel times by travelling between 11:00-14:00.

For the most up to date travel information please check our timetable and service alteration calendar page:

Timetable and Service Alterations

Coronavirus travel FAQs

  1. Regarding face coverings, how will this be enforced and who is exempt? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    We are confident that the vast majority of people are going to want to do the right thing and help protect others by bringing a face covering and wearing it on trains and as much as possible around stations. If someone isn’t wearing a face covering, they will be reminded of the rules and told where they can get one. We also have lots of reminders up around stations and elsewhere to ensure everyone is aware they must wear a face covering. Face coverings are not surgical masks and are easy to get hold of or make yourself. There’s lots of advice from Public Health England here.

    People with specific conditions that mean they cannot wear a face covering will not have to do so. We are confident that the vast majority of people will want to do the right thing, help keep others safe and wear a face covering and act responsibly.

    Those exempt from this rule, include:

    • Young children
    • People with breathing difficulties
    • People living with a disability

    You can find more FAQs on face coverings here.

  2. What c2c ticket offices are open and when? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    As of Monday 08 June all of our ticket offices have re-opened. However, there are different operating times to usual. You can see Ticket Office Opening times and shifts here.

  3. Is the Passenger Assist service for disabled rail passengers still being provided? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    Yes, however during this unprecedented time, please only travel if your journey is necessary. If your journey is necessary and you require assistance, please provide as much notice as possible prior to travelling. This is to ensure that we are able to arrange for staff to assist you at the station.

    If you book assisted travel you must wear a face covering when travelling for assistance to be provided on your journey (unless you are exempt).

    Customers using a wheelchair are requested to face forward. Our staff will wipe the handles on your chair before and after touching them and also position you at least 2m away whilst we set up the train access ramp. If you need to use the lift our team will not accompany you in the lift (unless you specifically request it), we will use the stairs and meet you at the top or bottom so that we maintain social distancing in what are usually confined spaces.

    You can find out more information on our Passenger Assist page.

  4. What happens if the train I want is full? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    If a train you want to catch looks too full, please don’t travel if you don’t feel comfortable, don’t board if it looks too full, and wait for another service.

  5. What happens if the last train of the day is full? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    In the unlikely event that you are unable to board the last service of the day due to social distancing requirements, please speak to a member of our team at the station. If you cannot find a member of staff please use the customer help points situated in the station for assistance. Our social media team are also available @c2c_rail.

  6. Is cash still accepted at ticket offices and ticket machines? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    Yes, however we’d strongly advise you use contactless or card payment where possible. For contactless card payments, the new limit is now £45. Booking offices and ticket vending machines do accept cash, but this option is not preferred.

  7. Are you doing any extra cleaning, or anything else to keep customers safe? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    We have an enhanced cleaning regime that has been in place and maintained since March. This includes an upgraded Covid-killing disinfectant and extra cleaning of customer and staff touch points across stations and trains.

    Where we have supply, we are now providing hand sanitiser for public use at Fenchurch Street, Barking and other busy stations so that everyone can sanitise before and after travel. We do not provide hand sanitiser onboard our trains.

    Our major stations have floor markings and other signs to outline a safe distance of two metres, while some station facilities such as waiting rooms are closed. We have advice onboard our trains to help customers maintain social distancing when boarding and alighting, and maintaining the two metres once on board.

  8. What is classified as a necessary journey? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    If you have to travel for work or for an emergency and have no other means of getting to your destination (ie by foot, bike or in a car) then this will be considered a necessary journey. Please do not travel for leisure.

    Other necessary travel includes:

    – Travel to buy food

    – Going to the pharmacy

    – Travelling to look after vulnerable or elderly people

    Help us to keep our railway clear for key workers such as NHS staff, emergency workers and carers so that our staff, and those who have to travel, are able to keep a safe physical distance from each other.

  9. Do you offer seat reservations? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    On-train seating is provided on a first come, first served basis. Seating is not guaranteed for your journey. We do not offer seat reservations on c2c services.

Ticket refunds

We understand that many of you are not using the train tickets you previously purchased. We are working hard to make sure everyone entitled to a refund gets one. Bear with us as we are processing an unprecedented number of cases, while our team are working in challenging circumstances. Don’t forget that if you bought your ticket from someone else, even if you use it to travel on c2c, you have to apply to the original retailer.

To help us get through the cases as quickly as possible, we’re only answering the latest incoming queries if they’re urgent. If your query is asking where your refund is, we won’t be replying to you yet as it delays us from processing someone else’s refund, and processing yours. We will get to your case, and we will get you the money you’re owed. 

We truly appreciate your patience. Please see our FAQs below to help answer your questions about the refund process. 

Refunds FAQs

  1. How do I apply for a refund? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    Whether you’re on a paper ticket, or a c2c Smartcard, please find all the information on how to claim a refund if you are not using your ticket here.

    Don’t forget that if you bought your ticket from another retailer, even if you use it to travel on c2c, you have to approach the original retailer for your refund.

  2. How much refund would I get? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    Due to current demand we cannot calculate the likely refund amount in advance for you. However we have put together this guide to help you estimate your refund based on your ticket type.

    You can also use this season ticket refund calculator on the National Rail website to get an estimate of how much you’ll receive for an Annual or Custom length (longer than one month) season ticket.

  3. Have you changed your approach to who can get annual season refunds? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    We have changed our advice on who is eligible for a refund when you have held your annual season ticket for a long time. We now advise you can apply for a refund up to 45 weeks after your annual ticket first started, rather than 40 weeks.
    This is because the advice on when to apply for a refund in our Passenger Charter has not been aligned with the refund calculations under the National Rail Conditions for Travel. We will be amending our Passenger Charter accordingly.
    This does not change your refund amount or the calculation we use to work out your refund. It only changes our advice on whether you are likely to be eligible for a refund.
    If this new guidance changes your decision on whether to apply for a refund, your claim can still be backdated to when you last traveled (17 March at the earliest) provided you apply for your refund by 31 May.
    Please use this calculator to calculate the refund for your specific ticket.
  4. Can I backdate my refund to the last time I was able to use my ticket? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    You can apply for your refund to be backdated by telling us the last day you used the ticket. For Smartcard users, this will be verified by the tap data on your card. 

    The maximum we will backdate your claim to, for both Smart and paper tickets, is 56 days from when you submitted your claim. 

    You can only apply for a refund backdated before this date if you were unwell and have a letter from the NHS and from your employer, in line with our Passenger Charter. Working from home because of the Government’s instructions, or self-isolating because someone in your household has suspected Coronavirus, does not count. This is in line with the Department for Transport’s instructions to all train operators.

  5. Can I wait until I go back to work and then apply for the time I didn't use my season ticket? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    You have 56 days from when you last used your ticket to apply for a refund, but you cannot suspend your season ticket. If you choose to resume using your season ticket, you will not be eligible for any refund for the period when you did not travel.

  6. How long will it take to get my refund? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    The team are currently dealing with a high level of refunds which they are processing as quickly as possible. We will ensure everyone gets the refund they are entitled to. 

    The Government has extended the standard timeframe for train operators to process refunds to up to 56 days, but we will do our best to process your refund more quickly than this – our typical processing time is currently between 5 – 7 weeks.

    We’re processing refunds in the order we’ve received them – but the process is quicker for online refund forms because we have the exact info in a digital format. Therefore people who submitted online claims are tending to be paid quicker.

    Station refunds require an additional step as we have to digitise the paper forms, so that we can process them from our remote working locations. 

    We’re only answering latest incoming queries if urgent. If your query is asking where your refund is, we won’t be replying to you yet as it delays us from processing someone else’s refund, and processing yours. We will get to your case, and we will get you the money you’re owed.

  7. Can I get my refund at the ticket office? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    At this time we’re asking everyone that is claiming for a refund to not visit a ticket office as we support efforts to tackle the spread of Coronavirus. We ask that for your safety and the safety of our staff that you apply for the refund process online and bear with us in the process as it could take up to 56 days.

  8. I submitted my refund request online but have not received a confirmation email? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    When you submit the online form to request a refund, you will receive a ‘thank you’ confirmation on the webpage. This means your request has been sent and we have received it. You will not receive additional email confirmation at this stage.

  9. If I paid with a company cheque does the cheque come to me or the company? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    If you paid for your ticket with a company cheque, we will email you once your refund has been processed. This email will include an encrypted link for you to enter the account details that the refund should be paid back to.

  10. How is the refunds policy decided? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    The refunds policy for all National Rail journeys is set out in the Conditions of Travel. All train operators are applying the same policies with regards to Coronavirus, which have been set by the Department for Transport.

  11. Can I get a refund for my PlusBus season ticket? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    Yes you can, and it can be backdated 56 days if it hasn’t been used. Please see information on how to claim your along with your season ticket here.

  12. Car parking - how do I get a refund for parking? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    If you have purchased parking for a c2c car park please contact NCP customer service team directly on 0345-0507080 for any refund requests. You can also use the NCP online contact us link: ncp.co.uk/help-centre/contact-us. If you have not used your car parking ticket, your refund can be backdated up to 56 days.


  13. What should I do if I have a National Rail Travel Voucher that expired since 17 March or is nearing its expiry date? products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    If you were unable to use a National Rail Travel Voucher that expired after 17th March, please post the voucher to our Customer Relations team who will be able to reissue the voucher for you.

    c2c Customer Relations
    Freepost ADM 3968
    SS1 1ZS

  14. I have a Railcard which I have been unable to use during the travel restrictions, will there be any changes to the duration of my Railcard so I get the full 12 months usage?  products-faq-angle-arrow.svg products-faq-angle-arrow-purple.svg

    The rail industry is currently considering how best to manage Railcards that customers have been unable to use during travel restrictions. We will publish guidance to customers on Railcards soon.

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