We can't take away the cost of the travel - but we can remove the hassle', says Clare Morrissey, head of account management at thetrainline.com.


The popular employee benefit of season ticket loans is more complex than you might imagine. The conventional process has always been long winded: the employee goes to the station to find out the cost of the season ticket, and then returns to work to get a form from the HR team. Having filled the form out, it must be returned to HR for sign-off, who will then send a cheque to the employee. The employee must then go back to the train station to claim their ticket. It’s time consuming and inconvenient for all involved.

In addition to this, stations also do not accept business cheques unless they have an embossed company logo on them – so if your company has plain cheques, they will also have to write an accompanying note on headed paper. It’s a slow process, and it has an invisible cost attached to it.

thetrainline.com season ticket service takes away all this hassle and the admin – we can’t take way the cost of the travel, but we can make it considerably easier for employees.

Instead of having to go to a station to find out the cost of a ticket, our website does that for you – when you’ve selected the right ticket, you then fill out the form, which also includes you agreeing to the terms and conditions of the employer. After only a couple more ticks, to sign up to the loan scheme and to agree to the terms of National Rail, it’s all ordered, and ready for HR and payroll to authorise.

The process is streamlined for the employer as well as employees – particularly for large company who may have been writing a lot of cheques! An internal time and motion study at thetrainline.com showed that raising a cheque costs around £30.

We simply send one invoice to employers and they pay our weekly invoices rather than signing all those cheques – as well as removing the invisible cost, it also takes away the hassle for HR and for accounts, and most of all it takes away the hassle for the employee and company.

Instead of a complicated procedure within a couple of days of ordering the ticket, it arrives on the employee’s desk, a few days before travel is due to start.


A lot of large companies across all sectors, including of banking, law, media and other professional services, have taken advantage of our scheme.

As well as the immediacy of the benefit, there is also a cost saving benefit for the employee, which makes it very worthwhile. An annual ticket offers you 12 months of travel for the price of ten, and through our scheme it’s paid off in instalments rather than a lump sum that can be unaffordable for many employees.

We all need to commute to work, so supporting to your employees in the cheapest, most hassle-free way, makes it a tangible benefit, and a huge perk.

thetrainline.com has been running this scheme for almost ten years, so it’s a tried and tested solution – that increasing numbers of companies are turning to us to save money, time and hassle.

It’s a great employee benefit and serves the employer well too – it’s all about taking away a layer of admin and hassle for the HR teams, and it helps the employee at the same time. A true win-win solution for all parties involved.

About thetrainline.com

thetrainline.com is the leading online provider of rail tickets for travel in Great Britain by value of tickets sold, with a mission to help rail passengers save money, time and hassle. Customers booking in advance with thetrainline.com can save an average of 43% versus booking on the day. Since it was established in 1997, thetrainline.com has developed a robust and scalable platform with a strong focus on customer-driven innovation. The Company’s consumer website and mobile apps received on average over 18 million visits per month in 2014,  and the mobile apps, with over 6.5 million downloads to date, are ranked number one in both the “travel” category on iTunes and the “transport” category on Google Play. In addition to its consumer offering, the Group also provides rail booking solutions for large corporate entities, SMEs and Travel Management Companies, and supports the online sales platforms of a number of train operating companies.