Train fare dodgers are being fined heavily for not buying tickets. Individual penalties last month were as high as £654.
Oxfordshire magistrates are fining passengers £440 plus costs and compensation for unpaid seats costing as little as £2.70.
In this case a 46-year-old man was fined £440, with £2.70 compensation to Chiltern Railways, a victim surcharge of £44 and court costs of £100 - a total of £586.70.
A 20-year-old who failed to pay £3.30 for a ticket was left with a bill of £587.30 while a 23-year-old who tried to travel without a £70.50 ticket had to pay up £654.50 in fine, compensation, victim surcharge and court costs.
Alan Riley of Chiltern Railways, which runs services from Banbury to London said: “We want to reassure our customers that we are doing all we can to make sure everyone has the correct ticket when travelling on Chiltern Railways trains.
“We will take action against people who travel without a ticket and will prosecute people who have boarded our trains with no intention of paying for a ticket.
“We issues penalty fares and prosecute those who do not have the correct ticket for the journey being made. Fines for those travelling without a ticket are decided by a judge and vary from court to court.
“It’s easy to buy a ticket either from a Chiltern Railways ticket office, ticket machine, online or via our app, so there is no excuse for travelling without a ticket. For every £1 spent on rail fares, 98p is invested in the railway.
“Fare evasion means there’s less money available for investment to improve the railway for everyone.”
Mr Riley said Chiltern Railways does all it canto ensure everyone has the correct ticket before travelling.
“It’s easy to buy a ticket either from a Chiltern Railways ticket office, ticket machine, online or via our app, so there is no excuse for travelling without a ticket.
“For every £1 spent on rail fares, 98p is invested in the railway. Fare evasion means there’s less money available for investment to improve the railway for everyone,” he said.