“Tickets, Please, Tickets”: Train Anxiety


Train Anxiety is part of Punxsutawney TPOL Trip Report.

The train is my favorite method of transport. Here are some examples of why that is:

I also have great anxiety when riding them because I never know if I purchased the right ticket. I am always worried about being fined by the ticket checker because I booked the wrong fare or worse for not having a ticket at all (see Scammed or Stupid? A Big Fine in Palermo).

On this trip, in Copenhagen, I was worried because I only had one ticket for two passengers. Before boarding the train, I asked the information desk if this covered both people. It did. Sure enough, I was stopped by the inspector who double-checked that my single ticket was for two people. 1/1.

From both Manchester airport to the Hyatt Manchester and from Manchester to Conwy, the conductor announced that this train was only for a certain type of ticket. Again, I was anxious when the ticket man came around. He scanned the ticket and moved along. I was 3/3.

Look on his face says it all.

In Milan, I exited the airport train at the wrong station. I boarded the next train marked for the airport and was worried when the inspector came and stared at my tickets. He then started speaking Italian and writing something on my ticket. With the credit card machine in his hand, I was sure that I had done something wrong. He gave me back my tickets and walked away. 4/4.


Train anxiety is real. And so are the fines if something goes wrong. Beware.


  1. I traveled all over Europe (western and Eastern), the United Kingdom (England and Scotland), Ireland and even Canada over the years (on and off for a period of about 40 years and never had any issues with regular tickets, the newer ones that are scanned or whatever. I just made sure I had the right type of ticket to ride the express trains, had the reserved seats when required, etc. Really, it’s not that hard. One can look up everything online and it tells you what you have to have.

  2. My biggest problem is understanding ticket validation, when it is necessary and where to get it. Trains are awesome in Europe but also very scary 😉

  3. Yep, I’ve been there multiple times. The last time I traveled by train was in Madrid and I’m 99% sure we had the wrong tickets but nobody checked them so we made it through. You can plan ahead but things are not always very clear.
    I’m glad to know we’re not the only ones!

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