Calling all amateur photographers!

August 1, 2013

If you’ve visited one of the station pages on the website you may have noticed that next to the station address we have a photograph.


Our intention is that this picture will be a photograph from the station you’re browsing and to do this I need your help.

I’d like to invite all the budding photographers out there to take a picture of your local station or stations and submit them through to us. You can find out how to do that and the terms & conditions through this page.

We’ll pick the best picture for each station and upload it to the page with a credit showing who took it. We’ll also showcase our favourite entries on our Facebook page & Pinterest gallery.

Updates to the Season Ticket Calculator

We’ve recently made a change to our Season Ticket Calculator to make it more user friendly.

London Terminals is the term used by the railway when a ticket is valid for travel into more than one station in London. But customers have told us that it’s confusing when the season ticket results say “London Terminals” because they’re not sure whether the London station they want to travel to is valid or not.

If the station you’ve chosen as your London station is included within the “London Terminals” group for that journey then our season ticket calculator will show it alongside the other London stations you can travel to in the results page:

London Terminals in Season Ticket Calculator

If your station isn’t a valid London Terminal then we’ll return the relevant zonal Travelcard fare instead.

You can find out more about London Terminals tickets via our website.


  1. Ooooh, I think you should go much, much further than this.

    As you point out, there’s really no point in paying a qualified professional photographer to do the job. With a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs around (who have no concept of the value of a photographic image) National Rail can save a lot of money, which presumably will mean that they can pay you a bonus. Yippee!

    But why not get rid of train drivers too? I mean it can’t really be that hard to drive a train can it? It only goes in two directions. Just like photographers, train drivers just push a few buttons to make it all happen. It’s not like they’re professionals or anything, is it?

    In fact, if we cast around a bit further I’m sure we could find someone who could have a go at doing your job too, maybe not for free exactly, but I bet we could still save NRE a fair bit on the budget front.

    Of course you’ll recoil from this because the job that you do is like, important, right? It needs a proper professional to do it.

    A bit like creating well crafted, professional commercial photographic imagery.

    A company like yours, part of an industry that makes a reasonably large profit should not be deliberately undermining people who work as photographers by asking enthusiastic amateurs to give you their images for free.

    Your behaviour is frankly utterly shameful and your embarrassment should be in direct proportion to your very large salary, which is, incidentally, way in excess of what most professional photographers earn.

    • Hello “Professional Photographer”,

      We are looking for amateurs as it’s something we’re doing for fun, as part of involving passengers in our activities, the same as we do via Twitter/Facebook/ focus groups etc.

      The pictures on the station pages are very small and partially obscured by the station address, therefore we don’t see it as the best use of railway funding to source images from professional photographers.

      • Don’t you? I guess getting stuff for free is clearly how you see the way forward. Only it’s not is it? People like you are never employed in this basis, but you feel that it’s perfectly okay to undermine the employment of others with your money saving gimmicks.

        Like I said above, your behaviour is frankly utterly shameful and your embarrassment should be in direct proportion to your very large salary, which is, I’m sure, way in excess of what most professional photographers earn.

        What’s more, Since you mentioned railway funding, I’m not sure your fat executive salary is a good use of this pot of money either. Shall we ask the passengers? Take a vote?

        Overpaid executive who wants to undermine people’s jobs.
        Working person, normal salary, trying to earn a living like most of us.

        Who do think they’d vote for Chris?

        • Hello again, if you’d like to discuss further please send an email to ceo[at]nationalrail.co.uk and Chris will respond.

          • Actually, how about responding here? In public. Rather than attempting to get me to shuffle off into a private conversation where Chris can basically, politely tell me to sod off.

            The only reason that I’m writing these comments anonymously is because I have no wish to be blacklistedby National Rail, or other companies who might share information with them.

            For what it’s worth, I am a professional photographer, a member of the National Union of Journalists and someone who works bloody hard at creating professional photography.

            It is deeply, deeply offensive when an executive (paid vastly more than me) undermines my profession by seeking to get the work done for free by amateurs.

            It’s a s simple as that.

            • Our objective is to engage with the people who use our website – the vehicle we’re choosing to use for this happens to be pictures of stations.

              I’m sorry that you’re offended, but we’re not going to change our plans, we already have hundreds of submissions from those that do want to share their pictures with us.

              That’s not to say that we wouldn’t licence pictures or commission photographers at a future date for a future project.

              • please continue this conversation in public… it is making this individual look very very silly and i find it amusing …. cant be a very busy pro photographer if they have enough time to moan about a great community project!


    • Hi Ryan

      We are looking for amateurs as it’s something we’re doing for fun, as part of involving passengers in our activities, the same as we do via Twitter/Facebook/ focus groups etc.

      The pictures on the station pages are very small and partially obscured by the station address, therefore we don’t see it as the best use of railway funding to source images from professional photographers.

  3. Chris,
    Why do you think it’s OK to ask amateur photographers to donate photos for your marketing and information / web presence for free?

    • Hi Robert,

      We’re doing this as a fun activity to engage customers whilst they’re travelling out and about on the railway. So far we’ve had hundreds of submissions from passengers, however we may choose to offer prizes at a later date if we think it would stimulate further submissions.

      • For ‘fun activity’ read: ‘as a way of not having to actually pay people to work for us.’

  4. So you think that taking advantage of the amateur, for that’s what it is, with out any recompense at all and deliberately helping to undermine the professional by taking away his/her opportunity to bid for the work is fine? Just because the images are partially obscured! Really?! Well I don’t think so.

    As several other have commented on it’s insulting to all of us amateur and professional alike. It’s even insulting to the “user” of the web site, we’re clearly not worthy of well though out quality content.

    I can’t stress the distain that this kind of activity produces. Things like this story regarding a similar initiative by UKTi http://photothisandthat.co.uk/2013/08/08/not-so-great-for-photographers/ really undermine the whole industry.

    • Hello Robert, the work would never have been commissioned.

      If we have no response from our customers then the pictures would stay as they are – the same picture for every station.

      As an amateur or a professional, if you’re not happy submitting your picture for free then please don’t submit it.

      • The point is ‘Your Journey’ if you need good photos you should be prepared to pay a professional to get them. Not paying people (and I suspect the PR person who wrote this definitely does get paid) just directly undermines the employment of photographers. It’s not sustainable and it kills jobs.

  5. So, are you offering something in return for not having to pay for having all your stations photographed? How about a return ticket to somewhere from the station that the picture is of?

  6. bloody hell NRE are trying to engage the public and they get comments like above!! People like me would have no idea how to get photos paid for but would love their photo (if good enough) to be seen by thousands who use the website.
    I will be entering FOR FREE as just getting my work put in the view of many (again if good enough) would be amazing.
    and as for comments of train drivers why don’t you try it you think its easy. I’m a driver and it is actually NOT easy. Don’t comment on something you have no experience in please.

    • Actually, I was making the point that driving a train isn’t that easy. As a professional photographer I’d have no idea as to how to do this and I wouldn’t like to pass judgement.

      Which of course brings us neatly onto your last point, “Don’t comment on something you have no experience in please.” I couldn’t agree with you more. The idea that amateurs should criticise professional photographers for getting outraged that overpaid executives are asking people to work for free (and thus directly undermine their employment) that’s something you’d never do, right?

  7. yes i am going by train

  8. hi there, you are more than welcome to use any of my photographs free of charge…. how is this one for crediton? http://www.flickr.com/photos/relex109/9338127572/ i have loads of others

  9. When does the competition end? Theres quite a few stations i’d like to visit. Can we submit more than one photo for a station? Would NR prefer a picture of the actual exterior of the station? the inside of the station or the platform? :D

  10. This seems to be a good idea to me. I’ve been taking railway photos for more than 50 years usually with good relationships with the staff. I like the idea of passenger, enthusiast and staff engagement and co-operation. It would be nice to see my photos being used to enhance the customer experience!

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