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Is there a minimum age for a child travelling alone on a train?

(29 Posts)
PuppyMonkey Tue 05-Jul-11 08:41:58

DD1 (who is 14) may have to get via train from Derby to Berwick on Tweed later this month (thinks it's East Coast line, have to check it all out etc). It's all for complicated if quite boring reasons, we're just thinking about it at the moment.

Grandma is going to put her on the right train at Derby.
She will have to change once at York.
Me and DP will meet her at Berwick on Tweed.

She is very bright and quite sensible, not particularly streetwise, but she gets bus and stuff on her own at home. She is confident she'd be able to find the right platform when she has to do the change at York.

I just had a thought last night when I had insomnia that this is a really terrible thing for her to do on her own and now I'm not so sure about letting her do it!!!!???? confused shock

And anyway, is there a minimum age for kids travelling alone on a train?


bruxeur Tue 05-Jul-11 08:44:31

Good god. She'll be fine. Unclench and unwrap.

PuppyMonkey Tue 05-Jul-11 08:57:00


mummytime Tue 05-Jul-11 08:57:35

No mimimium age. I travelled at 14 from east London to Richmond, N. Yorks on my own. A group of us travelled from London to Bath and back (nearly let the train go with our luggage but not us, but thats giggly girls for you).
Is she going in the middle of the day? No problem! Tell her if she feels worried to find the guard, or a friendly old lady/man. She will be fine!

MayorNaze Tue 05-Jul-11 09:12:53

she will be absolutely fine

and it will be a good learning experience for both of you smile

PuppyMonkey Tue 05-Jul-11 09:13:43

She'll have her phone with her, so we'll be ringing and texting all day. Thanks for assurances...

you know when you start worrying about something in the middle of the night and you think it's all going to end in disaster? That.

ShatnersBassoon Tue 05-Jul-11 09:23:09

She'll be absolutely fine, as long as she's confident enough to approach station staff if she's unsure of anything. Stock her up with plenty of drinks, snacks and reading material and she'll have a great day.

PuppyMonkey Tue 05-Jul-11 10:12:17

I think she's rather looking forward to the adventure. smile

Ephiny Tue 05-Jul-11 10:19:41

I'm sure she'll be absolutely fine. Don't know about a minimum age but would think secondary school age would be OK - lots of children get the train to school after all (though admittedly not quite that distance!).

Sounds like it would be Cross-country trains not East Coast (or maybe a combination of both?)

seeker Tue 05-Jul-11 10:23:30

DON"T ring and text all day - let her do the ringing and texting, or you'll spoil the adventure.

My dd regularly goes on the train from deepest Kent to London to meet her dad at work - she did it first when she was 11.

She'll be fine.

malinois Tue 05-Jul-11 10:28:00

14?????? Children here travel unaccompanied on the train to school from 6-7 onwards! She'll be fine.

PuppyMonkey Tue 05-Jul-11 10:28:25

Well, no I didn't actually mean all day - just regularly texting etc. That would be annoying grin

seeker Tue 05-Jul-11 10:30:34

Not even that puppymonkey - let her do the contacting!

PuppyMonkey Tue 05-Jul-11 13:16:20

What not even a teensy weensy call on the hour every hour seeker??/ wink Ok, I promise not to ring....

Ephiny Tue 05-Jul-11 13:27:19

Maybe you could ask her to text/ring you when she's on the second train - ostensibly so you know for sure which train to meet, but also so you're reassured by a bit of contact and you're not worrying whether she made it onto the train or not smile

Otherwise let her get on with it, she knows she can contact you if she needs/wants to!

MollysChamber Tue 05-Jul-11 13:31:54

I have no idea if there is a minimum age but I'm pretty sure it would be much younger than 14. smile

exoticfruits Tue 05-Jul-11 13:36:05

Fine-if there is it has to be much younger than 14. DCs definitely do it alone for school at 11yrs.

ragged Tue 05-Jul-11 13:37:59

Put the cotton wool away, PuppyMonkey wink.
Surprised PM's teen hasn't devoured all the cotton wool with big fangs showing, and the apron strings, too

LawrieMarlow Tue 05-Jul-11 13:51:55

York is a lovely station smile. Has quite a few platforms but nice and easy to change. Would you like me to go and spy keep an eye on her for you?

Will probably be platform 5 she needs to get the train from and might even be that platform her train comes into.

umf Tue 05-Jul-11 14:05:01

Red-taped though this country is, happily no-one has yet decided they know better than parents on this particular point.

(She's 14! Of course she can do it! But does she have a mobile? I'd feel better about it if she did.)

PuppyMonkey Tue 05-Jul-11 15:13:49

Very kind offer Lawrie wink, but I'm now 150% sure she'll be fine on her own. I knew MN would see me right today. grin

TrillianAstra Tue 05-Jul-11 15:15:15

14?! I thought it would be an 8 year old.

Of course a 14 year old can travel by public transport.

TrillianAstra Tue 05-Jul-11 15:16:22

That said my mum is quite a lot older than 14 and wouldn't use the tube on her own.

LaWeasel Tue 05-Jul-11 15:27:45

Where are used to live hundreds of kids still commute to school on the train alone from 11, or with older sibs from 7 or so...

Hope she enjoys!

(I used to love getting the train to school)

PuppyMonkey Tue 05-Jul-11 15:29:08

It's the train thing you see, it might sound odd but we don't use trains much where I live at all. It's not like that there London. But dont worry, i have been convinced by MN that social services will not come to call if I let her do this. grin

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