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‘No battery, no excuse’: East Midlands Railway warns fare dodgers of £100 fines


East Midlands Railway has issued a warning to passengers that they may face a £100 fine if they cannot produce an e-ticket due to their phone running out of power.

The warning comes as the rail operator says it has no way of distinguishing those who genuinely had a ticket and those who try to fare-dodge by using a dead phone battery as an excuse.

In such circumstances, EMR staff will have no option but to issue the national penalty fare, which has recently increased to £100.

East Midlands Regional

The majority of EMR trains do provide phone charging access for customers if needed, and gateline staff often have access to phone chargers – though this can lead to an “unnecessary delay”.

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Neil Grabham, Customer Services Director at East Midlands Railway, said: “Customers not only have a duty to buy a ticket before they board one of our trains – but also they must be able to present it for inspection.

“Some fraudulent travellers think they can avoid paying for an e-ticket by pretending they bought one and then informing EMR staff that their phone has no charge when challenged. This excuse won’t work and if the phone cannot be charged, EMR enforcement officers will issue penalty fares.

“The majority of our trains provide customers the opportunity to charge their phones, while many of our gatelines have chargers available as needed.

“For the railway to successfully operate, improve, and secure investment, fares need to be paid for and if you choose to deliberately avoid paying for a ticket you should expect to receive a £100 penalty fare. Don’t risk it, buy a ticket!”

Fare evaders are prosecuted under the provisions of the Regulation of Railways Act 1889 and the Railway Byelaws made pursuant to the Transport Act 2000.

Customers should buy their ticket online, from a ticket machine or from a ticket office. If they are using pay as you go or a smartcard ticket, they should ensure they touch in to start their journey as required.

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Join the discussion


  1. Card tickets remain the best option; they can be purchased online and collected from a machine at the station. No more worrying about phone batteries…..

  2. Maybe they should spend less time sending warnings to their fed up customers and more time improving their service punctuality/ reliability and frankly, filthy trains.

    • If they haven’t got a ticket, they aren’t a customer. Perhaps a direct complaint to EMR about cleaning standards and timekeeping would be more appropriate than a general moan to no-one in particular.


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