You can access the new service by planning your train journey through the National Rail Inquiries website and clicking the “Keep up to date with WhatsApp” link. The WhatsApp service is free and you don’t need to book tickets through National Rail to qualify. You don’t need to give National Rail your phone number either – it will be synced to your WhatsApp when you log in.
The updates include information about which services are busy and alternative travel routes for those who want to choose a quieter service. It will follow the launch of National Rail’s live updates via Facebook Messenger in 2018. This service will continue to be available alongside the new WhatsApp version, and National Rail’s existing SMS version will also continue.
For more information on how to find hidden fares and shared tickets, see our guide to cheap train tickets. If your train is delayed or canceled, you can also read our guide on train delays to request a refund.
Here’s how to get a free coffee, newspaper, or snack when you sign up for notifications
Anyone who signs up by the end of this month (30. This is part of a pilot project that will run through the end of the month and aims to get people back to using trains.
However, there is no guarantee that you will receive an e-voucher as a giveaway just for traveling to and from participating train stations (see the full list below). National Rail says these rewards are sent at random.
If you are lucky, you will receive an e-voucher via a QR code that gives you up to an hour to redeem a free drink, snack or newspaper at one of the participating retailers, including Camden Food Co, Upper Crust , Whistlestop and WHSmith. All you have to do is show the QR code at the checkout.
You can receive a freebie a maximum of every six hours, but which freebie you receive – whether drink, snack or newspaper – differs depending on the retailer and station. You will receive a WhatsApp message describing what the freebie is and where to get it.
The program takes place at the following 14 train stations:
- Birmingham New Street
- Glasgow center
- London Bridge
- London Euston
- London Liverpool Street
- London Paddington
- London Victoria
- London Waterloo
- Manchester Piccadilly
- Wigan northwest