Commuters have the chance to win free train travel as part of a rail operator's launch on TikTok.

Responding to an increase in people finding new places via the social media platform, Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), has launched new TikTok accounts for two of its brands - Southern and Thameslink.

To mark the occasion, GTR is inviting TikTok users to take part in a virtual race across their rail network, named ‘Destination Dash’, with a variety of prizes up for grabs.

The event will be live from Monday, February 19 for four days, inviting participants to back either ‘Team Southern’ or ‘Team Thameslink’.

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Challenges will begin from Luton and St Albans, and go all the way down to Littlehampton and Brighton, involving employees from both companies.

The competition is made all the more dramatic with popular TikTok influencers enlisted.

JG & Phee, boasting over 160,000 followers, will join Team Southern while content creator, Vaguely Mundane, known for his transport-themed posts, will be part of Team Thameslink.

The teams will undergo tasks across the GTR network, including baking, water sports, art, and a penalty shootout against Luton FC’s Academy players.

People can watch the action through Southern Rail and Thameslink TikTok pages.

With 93 per cent of UK TikTok users planning to travel domestically this year, 'Destination Dash' will showcase the range of locations and activities on offer throughout GTR’s 800-mile network.

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Mark Pavlides, Interim Chief Customer Officer for GTR, said: "Leisure travel continues to be the driving force of rail travel and thanks to this demand, more people are enjoying getting out and discovering new destinations in the UK.

"Rail travel is a fantastic way to explore the country, and with customers using different platforms and channels to engage with us, launching our brands on TikTok will help us to reach new audiences and entice people to discover Britain by train.

"To be in with the chance of winning this fantastic prize, it couldn’t be easier to back a team.

"Don’t miss out!"

The prize includes a trip to St Albans Cathedral’s Clock Tower, tickets to a Luton Town FC game, a visit to Tate Modern’s paid exhibit, a £50 gift voucher for The Beach restaurant in Littlehampton, and a flight on Brighton i360 - all with free train travel.

To be in with a chance of winning, all TikTok users need to do is back a team, commenting either #TeamThameslink or #TeamSouthern.

Posts will be pinned on top of each brand’s TikTok pages, @tlrailuk and @southernrailuk, and the winner will be announced on Friday, February 23.