How do I sell rail tickets Applying for a license Marketing plan Bonds Rail Industry Commission FAQs Forms Ticket Issuing Systems


A1. REGISTERED NAME & ADDRESS - This is the formal legal name & address under which your company is recorded at Companies house.

REGISTRATION NUMBER - This is the legal number under which your company is registered at Companies House.

TRADING NAME - This is the name that your company is using as its “brand name” on shop signs, letter heads, brochures etc. A copy of your letter headed paper will help here.

CONTACT NAME - who is the person in your company with whom ATOC’s
Travel Trade Administrator should deal?

CONTACT POSITION - What is the Job Title or Job Role of the person, whom
you have designated as the Contact Name.

OFFICE HOURS - If your office is open just Mondays to Fridays or Mondays to Saturdays, then tick the box to the right of the appropriate days. Please show the hours e.g. 09-00 to 13.00/14.00 to 18.00 when your office is open.

A2 If you have ATOC rail licenses at other branches of your business, this will help to support this application, so please list the Licence Numbers. If you currently sell for other rail companies such as Eurostar, then indicate the name of the Rail Company and the appropriate account number.

A3. Agency organisations can differ, so please list the principal directors of your
organisation, who would be responsible for the rail business.

A4 If you are an IATA (International Air Transport Association) approved agent this will help with your application to become an ATOC licensed travel agent. Please provide details of your IATA number and also the name and address of the Bankers who will be processing the business payments for the agency, for which you are applying for a licence.

Please include all of the details including your Bank’s postcode and the sort code.
The sort code is normally shown in the top right hand corner of your cheques.

A5 All Agencies must have suitable security arrangements, which should include a safe and burglar alarms.

A6 The rail qualification certificate is a mandatory element of criteria for obtaining your ATOC licence. Agents must have a minimum of two staff or 20% of the staff engaged in selling rail products, whichever is the greater with rail qualification certificates. Details on the training course can be found on the ATOC travel agents website


Access to an automated Ticket Issuing System (TIS) is mandatory, please give details of the system you will be using if your application is successful.


There is an initial non-refundable set up fee which is currently £300 plus VAT.
This fee should be paid before the licence is approved.


The information you give in this Section will be important in supporting your application.


Enter the date that you began business as a travel agent at the location for which you are applying for an ATOC licence and enter your Gross company turnover for the last five years as annual figures

If you currently acquire rail tickets for your customers show if you get these from a rail station or another agency.

Enter NO to both if you DO NOT currently supply rail tickets to your customers.

Enter the approximate annual value of the rail tickets that you anticipate supplying to your customers based on current demand or the acquisition of a new customer.

In the Section headed Significant Business Developments including future plans, show events such as: Acquisition of new business account worth £2m etc.


You have potentially two markets to target: one for business travel and one for leisure. Many of your potential customers may fall into both categories. The total of both Business and Leisure should be shown as a percentage split of your total potential rail business.


As a guide for ATOC you must show that you will produce a significant amount of new rail business to support your application as a sales agent. An annual rail revenue of £50,000 would equate to £1,500 in commission calculated on a base rate commission of 3%.
You then need to indicate how you expect this to grow in the second year of your sales operation.


This section is very important and you may want to produce separate documentation. You may already have prepared a business plan and can simply attach it to your application. You need to indicate what business actions such as Promotional events, advertising in the media, television, joint promotions with tour operators etc. at which you will be able to promote the rail business for which you are now seeking a licence.


Travel Agents are required to submit accounts on a 4 weekly basis.

The Agent will receive an Invoice at the end of each four weekly period

Payment is by Direct Debit. Your account will be debited by the amount due 19 days after the period end. Further details will be sent to you upon the licence being granted.


Applying for an ATOC agency should be seen as a mutually viable business activity. You will be entering into a legal contract with ATOC on behalf of the Train Operating Companies. As well as the benefits that this will bring, it is important to remember that any breach of clauses in the legal agreement will incur financial penalties.

Late payment will incur a penalty of 4.5% above the current bank base rate per day and may be subject to additional administration charges.


Agents are supplied with product brochures by the individual train operating companies directly on request.

Requirements for these documents, which are in excess of the initial supply, will be subject to additional charges to the agent.


1.0 Train Operating Companies

2.0 Rail Distribution Systems



1. Abellio East Anglia Limited
2. Abellio ScotRail Limited
3. Arriva Rail London Ltd
4. Arriva Rail North Limited
5. Arriva Trains Wales/Trenau Arriva Cymru Limited
6. East Midlands Trains Limited
7. First Greater Western Limited
8. First MTR South Western Trains Limited
9. First TransPennine Express Limited
10. Govia Thameslink Railway Limited
11. Grand Central Railway Company Limited
12. Heathrow Express Operating Company Limited
13. Hull Trains Company Limited
14. London & South Eastern Railway Limited
15. London North Eastern Railway Limited
16. Merseyrail Electrics 2002 Limited
17. MTR Corporation (Crossrail) Limited
18. Serco Caledonian Sleepers Limited
19. The Chiltern Railway Company Limited
20. Trenitalia c2c Limited
21. West Coast Trains Limited
22. West Midlands Trains Limited
23. XC Trains Limited

November 2018