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Let’s start by saying we’re not talking about baked goods here, but feel free to eat a cookie while you learn about a completely different type of cookie…



Cookies are what we call the tiny crumbs of personal data that we automatically collect whenever you visit our website or our app. Our Cookies Policy, that’s the document you’re reading now, covers all technologies that act in the same way that cookies do. That’s things like web pixels, tags. SDKs, gifs and beacons.   

 We use cookies to –

  • Understand how you use our site, to see if we can make your experience even better.
  • Securely remember what you like and don’t like, so you don’t have to retype and repeat things each time you use our website or app, saving you precious time.

We go into more detail about this below.  For example, let’s say you visited our website, and changed your settings to pay in euros instead of pounds. When you returned to our website in a couple of days, the cookie that you dropped when you logged in before would remember that you preferred to pay in euros and would show you prices in euros again. Pretty neat, right?

Cookies help us to know you better, but we know where to draw the line. Cookies aren’t used to know things like your personality, your opinions, or your shoe size.

Many of the great features on our website and app rely on cookies, things like your language preferences and favourite train stations.

When you use our website or app for the first time, you’ll be told about cookies and be given the option to find out more information about how to manage them. We’ve put instructions below on how to turn off some cookies, should you decide you don’t want them.  However, please note that cookies generally make our site work so if you do decide to turn these off or use an app or website blocker, this may result in our website and app not working properly.  If you only turn off third party cookies, you will still be able to use our website and app, but some of our content will not be as relevant to you. 


We’ve split the types of cookies we use into categories to make it easier to understand what we’re doing with them.


  • These cookies are essential. They’re the ones that make it possible for you to use our services.
  • Every time you visit our website or app, things called “system cookies” are created. They’re normally deleted when you close your browser, or soon afterwards.
  • Among other things, system cookies let us remember the choices you make as you use our services. We do the legwork for you, using system cookies, so we can do things like:
    • Keep track of which tickets you’d like to buy
    • Charge you the correct amount for your tickets
    • Pass your details to the relevant train, coach or bus operators, so you can travel with them
    • Offer you different ways to get your tickets (like our Mobile Ticket option)
    • Check there’s no suspicious activity going on with your account or payments
    • Keep your information secure
    • Make sure we don’t show you the same notifications more than once – we know that’d be annoying
    • Save your preferences, such as whether you like paying in Euros or Pounds.


  • Our Identification cookies help us remember what choices you have selected in the past when using our website or app. Think of it like when the server in your local coffee shop sees you walk in for your daily caffeine fix and says, “One mocha light frappuccino coming right up, Susie.” without you needing to say anything. It makes you feel cared about and it saves you time.
  • This type of cookie lets us show you your favourite journey, before you log in, because we remember the searches you made earlier. You’ll probably most appreciate it when you’re rushing to check live times for your train home and we auto-fill your departure and arrival station, making your search even quicker.
  • You can control these cookies in your browser settings but if you do decide to turn this off, some parts of our website and app will not work properly.


  • We love testing new features or updates on our website and app, to make sure they’re the best they can be before we roll it out to the world.
  • These cookies help us by picking one group of our customers to see our website or app one way, and a different group to see them another way. From this, we can decide the best way to present our content.
  • You can control these cookies in your browser settings.


  • Analytics cookies help us understand our customers’ behaviour in general, in order to constantly improve things.
  • These cookies tell us how you arrived on our website, which pages on our channels have already been visited, how long is spent on those pages, and whether you click on any links while you’re on those pages.
  • The analytics ID cookies we set, collect data about our users generally and this data is typically analysed at an aggregate level – we are not trying to identify you personally – we are trying to make sure our website and apps are working well.  
  • They also flag up any problems, so our clever tech teams can fix them quickly.
  • We work with service providers including Google, Adobe, Facebook & Branch to provide tools to analyse info at an aggregate level about use of our websites and app. 
  • If you don’t want Google Analytics to be used in your browser, you can install the Google Analytics browser add-on. Learn more about Google Analytics and privacy.  If you want to opt out on App: please contact us using the details below. 
  • If you don't want Facebook analytics, please click here.
  • If you don’t want Adobe analytics you can click here.  If you want to opt out on app: please contact us using the details below. 
  • We additionally use Branch to connect user interactions across a wide range of applications including web browsers, social platforms, native applications and others so that we can better understand the steps that a user took to ultimately complete a transaction or use our services. This information is used to better inform subsequent marketing and product decisions as well as to provide improved user experiences.
  • If you want to opt out of Branch, please click here.



  • We collect data about your browsing activity on our website and app, and elsewhere on the internet. We do this, so we can –
    • Show you relevant content, like special offers and deals, on our website, our app, and in our marketing emails.
    • Show you relevant adverts when you browse other websites, for example, when you visit another site we may show you an advert for a journey you often search for.
  • We call this type of cookie that we set “online behavioural advertising cookies” – that’s a bit of a mouthful, so we’ll shorten it to “Advertising cookies” in this section.
  • Our Advertising cookies can measure how effective the adverts we show you on our website and app are, so our Marketing teams can learn if they’re talking to you about our services in the right way. They’ll also tell us if you’ve visited our website or app via one of our affiliates – again, that’s to help our Affiliates teams know that everything’s working well there.
  • Everywhere you go on the internet these days, you’ll see adverts. Our aim by using cookies and similar technologies is to make sure that when you see adverts, they’re relevant to you and can help make your travels easier. For example, if you’ve searched for train journeys between London and Manchester a few times on our website, you may see an advert with offers for that particular journey, to help you get the best deal. To do that, we share some of the data we collect from our Advertising cookies with selected third parties, so we can advertise on their websites and they can advertise on ours. All that means is you may see an advert of ours somewhere else on the web. Or alternatively, you’ll be on our website and see an advert from a third party.


  • We also let some trusted third parties set cookies and similar technologies on our website and app, which they use to understand you better, based on your search activity. We have outlined who these third parties are below. The cookies they set help them to provide you with relevant adverts and to see how helpful you’ve found those adverts. Let’s say you’ve searched for a trip like London to Manchester, you may see a third-party advert offering you a deal for a hotel in Manchester perhaps. We call these cookies “third-party online behavioural advertising cookies” (or, 3P Advertising cookies for short). These third parties may share some of the info they collect with us and other third parties too.
  • The 3P Advertising cookies on our website and app include –

Travel Audience

More info can be found here and you can opt out here.


More info can be found here and you can opt out here.


When you visit Trainline, Microsoft sets cookies based on your visits and searches you make on Bing in order to show you relevant adverts on Bing and MSN.  These Cookies are called ‘MUID’ and ‘MR’ and are stored for between 6 months and two years.

There is lots of very helpful info directly provided by Microsoft about how they use cookies, for more info, please see here.

You can opt out here.   


Facebook uses cookies and receives information when you visit Trainline, including device info and information about your activity. This occurs whether or not you have a Facebook account or are logged in.  These are stored under the Facebook domain. 

There is lots of very helpful info directly provided by Facebook about how they use cookies, pixels and similar technologies. For more info please see here.   

You can opt out here if you have a Facebook account or adjust your browser settings if you don’t have an account.  


When you visit Trainline, Google sets cookies to remember your preferences, that’s things like your language and your latest searches.  Google also uses cookies to help customise ads on Google and for advertising served across the web, including on Trainline channels.

Cookies are also set for Google Adwords – that’s the platform that powers the text adverts you see in your Google search results.  There is lots of very helpful info directly provided by Google about how they use cookies, for more info, please see here.

For more information about why you are seeing a particular advert, please see here

You can use Ads Settings to manage the Google ads you see and opt out of Ads Personalisation. Even if you opt out of Ads Personalisation, you may still see ads based on factors such as your general location derived from your IP address, your browser type, and your search terms. 


  • We use Custom and Lookalike Audiences at Trainline in order to advertise to existing and potential customers via social media platforms. 
  • A Custom Audience is type of audience created made up of existing customers. We target ads to the audience we have created across common social media channels, outlined below.
    We also work with carefully selected partners to create Lookalike Audiences: which are lists of people to target with advertising who are similar to (or 'look like') people currently engaging with us.  
  • For both types of activity (custom audiences and lookalike audiences) we aim to target people based on aggregate customer behaviour: for example people who have recently taken a journey from Manchester.
  • The partners we work with include: 

Facebook: for more info or to opt out

Instagram: for more info or to opt out

Linkedin: for more info or to opt out.

Twitter: for more info or to opt out.

Snapchat: for more info or to opt out.

Pinterest: for more info or to opt out. 


We work with the following Ad Exchanges listed below (and Google’s Ad Exchange: AdX) to show you adverts that are relevant to you, across Trainline channels.  We work with Ad Exchanges that enable publishers, advertisers, and advertising networks to efficiently market, buy and sell digital and mobile advertising and ad inventory. These Exchanges use data collected through cookies and advertising IDs, such as your IP address and unique device number to deliver targeted advertising, based on interests that may be inferred from information about your visit – for example, your location or which station you are travelling to.  We also use and share geolocation data for these targeted advertisements; when you have enabled us to, through your device settings.       

These Ad exchanges all set cookies or use advertising IDs, which may be combined with data collected from other sources to provide publishers, advertisers and ad networks with information to improve the relevance of advertising presented to users on Trainline channels and elsewhere on the web.  

Ad Exchanges also facilitate retargeting at a campaign level; which is the process of serving an ad from a particular advertiser to a user, based on the fact that the user has previously visited a website. 

Advertising Partners we work with

The Ad exchanges we work with are described below and contain a link to their privacy policy setting out further information.   For each of the advertising exchanges, we have provided a specific route to opt out. You can opt out of personalisation from all the ad exchanges below by clicking this single link and following the instructions for your device. 

If you want to opt out of personalisation whilst using our App, please follow the instructions here.



Ignition One


Index Exchange




Integral Ad Science













Conversant CJ

Open X







Delta Projects

RTB House

Dentsu Aegis Network


DoubleVerify Inc.









The trade desk



  • If it all feels a bit too much, you can always choose not to allow these cookies by taking the action outlined above, or by changing your browser settings – it’s your data, your choice. Follow our instructions below or use the links above. Bear in mind though, turning off third-party cookies doesn’t mean you’ll never see an advert on our website or app, or elsewhere on the internet, it just means that these adverts won’t be personalised to you.
  • Your Online Choices is a website that’ll help you turn off third-party cookies. There’s a whole bunch of info on there about online behavioural advertising if you fancy a read.


  • Some pages on our website, for example ones offering hotels, theatre, car hire, insurance and some international rail, are brought to you by third parties. We show you this sort of thing to help you plan your trip.
  • If you use these pages, the relevant third party may use cookies to collect data. They’ll use your data in line with their own privacy policy and cookies policy, which differ from ours, so make sure you give it a read.
  • If you log in to your Trainline account using Facebook or Google+ sign in, the privacy and cookie policies of Facebook and Google respectively will apply to your log in.


  • You’ll still be able to use our services just the same if you turn off Advertising cookies, but you may just see a general advert, instead of one showing you deals for trains from London to Manchester (if that’s what you’ve searched for). We think it’s more helpful to show you personalised adverts, but as always, it’s your choice.
  • If you turn off all cookies or use app or web blocking software, our website and app may not work properly. Imagine you searched for train tickets from London to Manchester and you added these tickets to your basket but accidentally closed our website before booking. If you’ve turned off cookies, when you return, your basket won’t be saved, so you’ll have to search for those tickets all over again. Cookies make things a bit easier.
  • Turning off cookies is something you have to do for each device you use. That means, if you turn off cookies on your desktop it won’t affect the cookies on your mobile. To turn off cookies on every device, you’ll have to follow the steps on each of your devices.
  • Just so you know, turning off cookies doesn’t delete cookies from your browser. You’ll need to do this from your browser’s settings.



  • If you’re going on a digital diet and don’t want anything to do with cookies, you’ll find some helpful tools on your internet browser to filter cookies. Here are links to the cookie-filtering tools on commonly used browsers –
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Explorer
  • Safari
  • If your browser’s not in the list above, head to the “Help”, “Tools” or “Edit” sections on your browser and follow instructions for disabling cookies.
  • Or, you can install an extension directly in your browser, for example Ghostery or Privacy Badger, these tools block the majority of third-party cookies.



If you have any questions about this Cookies policy or privacy matters generally, please refer to our Privacy Policy or see the Contact Us section of our Website.

v1.15 31 March 2020