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Cheap Train Fares guide discussion
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# 1
MSE Jenny
Old 05-10-2010, 10:09 AM
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Default Cheap Train Fares guide discussion




Hi, we've written a Cheap Trains guide to help you play the train ticket system with hidden tricks. You can also check out the latest travel offers, vouchers and discounts on our Cheap Train & Coach Deals page.

If you've tried the techniques mentioned in the guide, were you successful? How much did you save? Is there anything you'd add?

Thanks for your help

MSE Jenny

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# 2
50Twuncle
Old 12-10-2010, 10:26 AM
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I forked over £100 on two rail tickets to London on Thursday - booked with Trainline.com on line - I ticked the reserve seats box as I am disabled and couldn't stand for 5 minutes let alone the 2 1/2 hours that the journey takes.....
I suddenly realised this morning that the tickets had no seat number or anything else on them and emailed the Trainline to ask where the seats were located (carriage number at least) and received back a response :

"Our seat reservation system reserves seats independently for each booking. The seat reservations are subject to availability. We have contacted our back office team the seats for this journey are not available."

I assume that as Trainline have broken the terms of the contract and if no seats are free in second class - I am free to sit in any available seat in first class ?
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# 3
Simon11
Old 12-10-2010, 11:31 AM
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Can you provide more information about your journey and the ticket type.

If you have purchased an advance ticket, you should be able to make a reservation on a ticket. If you purchased an anytime or Off Peak ticket, its unlikly you would have reserved a ticket.

With regards to sit in an free First Class, this would only be last the option if there were no seats avaiable atall and the Train Manager was having a nice day.

Also using Trainline is expensive! Its cheaper to book online directly with the company you will be travelling with!
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# 4
Jeff Bridges hair
Old 12-10-2010, 1:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 21Twinkle View Post
I forked over £100 on two rail tickets to London on Thursday - booked with Trainline.com on line - I ticked the reserve seats box as I am disabled and couldn't stand for 5 minutes let alone the 2 1/2 hours that the journey takes.....
I suddenly realised this morning that the tickets had no seat number or anything else on them and emailed the Trainline to ask where the seats were located (carriage number at least) and received back a response :

"Our seat reservation system reserves seats independently for each booking. The seat reservations are subject to availability. We have contacted our back office team the seats for this journey are not available."

I assume that as Trainline have broken the terms of the contract and if no seats are free in second class - I am free to sit in any available seat in first class ?

Im guessing it was just a normal off peak ticket you bought as Advance tickets always come with a reservation as it is mandatory for them.

First class is at the guards discretion and that's going to be a no unless he is sympathetic. Ring up the train company concerned and ask them about booking a seat. And never user the trainline again to buy tickets.
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# 5
Livingthedream
Old 12-10-2010, 1:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Bridges hair View Post
as Advance tickets always come with a reservation as it is mandatory for them.
That depends on the carrier; London Midland, Southern, SW Trains and Arriva trains Wales now operate a quota control advance ticket, which means that you have reserved a place on a specific service but not a seat. You still get a mandatory reservation coupon but it only states time of train and has a '*' for carriage and '**' for seat number.
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# 6
BeenieCat
Old 12-10-2010, 1:53 PM
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Just wondered if any train experts could help. Just reserving two tickets and it's come up with seat 16A and 18A. Would these not be next to each other?

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# 7
Livingthedream
Old 12-10-2010, 2:19 PM
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Originally Posted by BeenieCat View Post
Just wondered if any train experts could help. Just reserving two tickets and it's come up with seat 16A and 18A. Would these not be next to each other?
BeenieCat, is this for your Darlington to Edinburgh trip, if it is have a look at this Link
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# 8
MSE Jenny
Old 14-10-2010, 12:33 PM
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Another new train booking site, Quno, launched today.

It charges booking fees (£1 booking, 50p debit, £2.50 credit), so obviously it's better to book through a free site like EastCoast

Just posting in case the interface is useful for locating the cheap tickets.
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# 9
Jeff Bridges hair
Old 14-10-2010, 1:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSE Jenny View Post
Another new train booking site, Quno, launched today.

It charges booking fees (£1 booking, 50p debit, £2.50 credit), so obviously it's better to book through a free site like EastCoast

Just posting in case the interface is useful for locating the cheap tickets.
i dont know why they have let another one start up!!

Anyway its not that good at all. tried a single from Ramsgate in kent to Birmingham and it only offered Virgin as the connecting service from London. Rubbish.
And it was telling me to change at Faversham for the HS1 when i could have gone on it from Ramsgate anyway. No option to use the not very much slower train and thus anyone who wanted that journey ends up paying 93 one way!!


Not a very good site.
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# 10
Sephi
Old 15-10-2010, 11:58 AM
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I just travelled from Yeovil to Exeter. I got the 8.40 train down from London - when I bought my ticket I was told that I was 'Too early' for a return ticket for returning on a different day. Unfortunately I don't have my ticket as it was taken as I left the station..

Is this right? The last time I came down I got the 8.40 and had no issue getting a return for a different day..and if it wasn't right then what can I do about it? I can't find a receipt..and I'm not sure if the guy at the ticket office even gave me one..

It just seems a bit weird for me to have to fork out for two singles (12 quid each..) rather than the 15 quid for one...

Last edited by Sephi; 15-10-2010 at 12:03 PM.
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# 11
wealdroam
Old 15-10-2010, 12:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sephi View Post
I just travelled from Yeovil to Exeter. I got the 8.40 train down from London - when I bought my ticket I was told that I was 'Too early' for a return ticket for returning on a different day. Unfortunately I don't have my ticket as it was taken as I left the station..

Is this right? The last time I came down I got the 8.40 and had no issue getting a return for a different day..and if it wasn't right then what can I do about it? I can't find a receipt..and I'm not sure if the guy at the ticket office even gave me one..

It just seems a bit weird for me to have to fork out for two singles (12 quid each..) rather than the 15 quid for one...
The only return ticket available between Yeovil Junction and Exeter Central or St Davids is an Off Peak Return at £22.50 (£14.85 with railcard).
The first train that that can be used on is the 09:40 departure.
So the man at the station was right... just not very good at explaining it.

It seems that you have a 16-25 railcard.
There is a minimum fare of £12 before 10am with that, which explains the price you paid.
If you come back after 10am, the single fare will be £10.10.

Easy isn't it?

p.s. the guy at the ticket office will only give you a receipt if you ask for one.

Last edited by wealdroam; 15-10-2010 at 12:24 PM.
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# 12
Sephi
Old 15-10-2010, 1:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wealdroam View Post
The only return ticket available between Yeovil Junction and Exeter Central or St Davids is an Off Peak Return at £22.50 (£14.85 with railcard).
The first train that that can be used on is the 09:40 departure.
So the man at the station was right... just not very good at explaining it.

It seems that you have a 16-25 railcard.
There is a minimum fare of £12 before 10am with that, which explains the price you paid.
If you come back after 10am, the single fare will be £10.10.

Easy isn't it?

p.s. the guy at the ticket office will only give you a receipt if you ask for one.
OK, thanks =) It just really really confused me cos last time I got that train I had to buy the ticket on the train, and the train guard gave me the return...Looks like I'm gonna have to get more organised and actually prebook my tickets...
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# 13
wealdroam
Old 15-10-2010, 2:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Sephi View Post
Looks like I'm gonna have to get more organised and actually prebook my tickets...
There are no bargains for that trip.

Booking in advance will not help.

The only way to save is to depart on the 09:40 train or later when a return will be £14.85 with railcard.
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# 14
BeenieCat
Old 16-10-2010, 2:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Livingthedream View Post
BeenieCat, is this for your Darlington to Edinburgh trip, if it is have a look at this Link
Hi sorry i didn't realise i had a reply

Thanks for that link! I've finally bought the tickets but very annoyed with myself because now i've had to pay £41 instead of the £27 you found for me Serves me right for leaving it so long

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# 15
Lou1202
Old 26-10-2010, 8:18 AM
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Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone else would have any luck finding me some cheap tickets? I've tried, but am only saving about £2!

For a return journey for 2 from Liverpool to Hayle starting around 2pm on 23/12 and the return journey starting around 10am on 28/12 it costs £268.40. So I'm after a bit of saving on that

Thanks in advance for looking.
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# 16
wealdroam
Old 26-10-2010, 12:14 PM
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Originally Posted by Lou1202 View Post
Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone else would have any luck finding me some cheap tickets? I've tried, but am only saving about £2!

For a return journey for 2 from Liverpool to Hayle starting around 2pm on 23/12 and the return journey starting around 10am on 28/12 it costs £268.40. So I'm after a bit of saving on that

Thanks in advance for looking.
With very little effort I can see how you can save £62.40.

23Dec, dep Liverpool LS 09:04, arr Hayle 16:55. Advance Single = £51.50 each.
28Dec, dep Hayle 13:05, arr Liverpool LS 20:53. Advance Single = £51.50 each.

Info from East Coast Trains.
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# 17
p00hsticks
Old 26-10-2010, 12:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lou1202 View Post
Hi all,

Just wondering if anyone else would have any luck finding me some cheap tickets? I've tried, but am only saving about £2!

For a return journey for 2 from Liverpool to Hayle starting around 2pm on 23/12 and the return journey starting around 10am on 28/12 it costs £268.40. So I'm after a bit of saving on that

Thanks in advance for looking.

how flexible are you prepared to be in terms of departure dates / times ?
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# 18
Owain Moneysaver
Old 26-10-2010, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 21Twinkle View Post
I forked over £100 on two rail tickets to London on Thursday - booked with Trainline.com on line - I ticked the reserve seats box as I am disabled and couldn't stand for 5 minutes let alone the 2 1/2 hours that the journey takes.....
Book your tickets through one of the train company websites then contact the Assisted Travel service of the departure train company and they can help with changing seat reservations to a more accessible seat near the luggage racks or toilet if this would be helpful. They can also arrange for you to be met and helped with luggage at any intermediate stations.
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# 19
Lou1202
Old 26-10-2010, 2:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wealdroam View Post
With very little effort I can see how you can save £62.40.

23Dec, dep Liverpool LS 09:04, arr Hayle 16:55. Advance Single = £51.50 each.
28Dec, dep Hayle 13:05, arr Liverpool LS 20:53. Advance Single = £51.50 each.
Thanks for that, that's one site I didn't try. And I didn't think of straight singles either. I've tried splitting the journey at Birmingham and Plymouth, so ending up with 6 singles, but there was always 1 part of the journey that was silly price.

Quote:
Originally Posted by p00hsticks
how flexible are you prepared to be in terms of departure dates / times ?
We are both off work from the 23rd Dec til the 28th, but time wise we're pretty flexible. (I actually made an error, I meant to put 22/12 at about 2pm - because we could take another half day on that day, so I was hoping to save a full days travel. But if it saves us a bit of money I don't mind too much!
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# 20
wealdroam
Old 26-10-2010, 3:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Lou1202 View Post
Thanks for that, that's one site I didn't try. And I didn't think of straight singles either. I've tried splitting the journey at Birmingham and Plymouth, so ending up with 6 singles, but there was always 1 part of the journey that was silly price.
All the train companies' websites should sell those tickets... even at your local station.

Book them soon as cheap travel around Christmas will sell out quickly.
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