Rail Travel: Tips on Cheap Tickets

edited 7 March 2014 at 4:31PM in Public Transport & Cycling
4.6K replies 683.2K views
IangraysonIangrayson Forumite
12 Posts
edited 7 March 2014 at 4:31PM in Public Transport & Cycling
Official MSE Insert:

If you've arrived from Google, our fully researched Cheap Train Tickets guide may be helpful.

Back to the original post...

Has anyone been able to actual get any of these tickets? I am trying to arrange for 2 adults and 3 children to travel to London for a couple of days in July. Received the special offer flyer today from school and yet the site seems to show no availability for any of the trains that I am trying to get. Anybody know of tricks or a search technique? ???


  • SystemSystem Forumite
    177.9K Posts
    10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    I commute from Sheffield to Wakefield to work each day and by buying a South Yorkshire TravelMaster ticket together with a season ticket between Moorthorpe and Wakefield is costing me £107.95 per month instead of the full season ticket price of £133.50 between Sheffield and Wakefield. This combination of ticket is valid on a through train which does not call at Moorthorpe station (e.g. 0712 Virgin Train) as permitted under Condition 17(c) of the National Rail Conditions of Carriage, which says:

    17. A combination of tickets
    You may use two or more tickets to travel on one train journey as long as together they cover the entire journey and one of the following applies:

    (a) they are zonal tickets;
    (b) the train you are on calls at the station where you change from one ticket to another; or
    (c) one of the tickets is a season ticket, which for this purpose does not include season tickets or travel passes issued on behalf of a passenger transport executive or local authority, and the other ticket(s) is/are not. You must comply with any restriction of use to a particular Train Company's trains shown on the tickets (see Condition 10).

    I have met a number of other regular passengers travelling from Sheffield (or Dronfield and Chesterfield) to Leeds each day and I would strongly advise them to do the same.

    South Yorkshire Zone TravelMaster ticket: £63.50 per month;
    One Month season ticket between Moorthorpe and Leeds: £72.20 per month;
    Making it £135.70 per month altogether.

    One full season ticket between Sheffield and Leeds: £151.00 per month.

    By buying a combination of tickets as above, a saving of £15.30 per month can be made, plus the cost of all public transport to and from Sheffield station as the TravelMaster ticket is valid on all buses and trams as well whilst the season ticket between Sheffield and Leeds is valid on trains only, and the cost of a FirstMonth ticket on the bus will cost an additional £39 per month.

    This combination of tickets satisfy condition 17(c) because the Moorthorpe to Leeds season ticket is the season ticket required and the South Yorkshire TravelMaster ticket is the 'other' ticket when the condition says clearly that it is not to be regarded as a season ticket for this purpose.

    My other favourite ticket is the Derbyshire Wayfarer ticket when it can be used in conjuction with a Cheap Day Return ticket from Burton on Trent for travel to Birmingham.

    Derbyshire Wayfarer - valid between Sheffield and Burton on Trent: £7.50 (includes a free child place!)

    Cheap Day Return from Burton on Trent to Birmingham: £5.90 - making it £13.40 in total.

    A full saver return between Sheffield and Birmingham costs a wapping £27.30 - plus half fare for a child if you are taking one.

    By buying a combination of ticket as above, a saving of at least £13.90 can be made just for one day out! However, in this case, the trains that you travel must call at Burton on Trent station as neither ticket is a season ticket and so condition 17(b) applies.
  • woodkittenwoodkitten Forumite
    133 Posts
    hi i am looking to book a return apex train ticket from cardiff to gatwick anyone got any help on how to get in there first when they are released, as i keep tel, and they keep telling me to check again next friday etc, this been going on for weeks ??? ??? last year i did it like this and missed them at the end :o
  • check out this website


    It's easy to check train times and book tickets. Key in a journey and it will show whether Apex tickets are available.

    I have used this excellent service quite a few times to buy both Apex and non- Apex tickets - they arrive next day.
  • woodkittenwoodkitten Forumite
    133 Posts
    Thanks for the help i have ordered my tickets now but had to keep checking daily to see if the APEX returns had come on offer. What i do not understand is how when i telephoned the great western ticket line they told me they were not available yet, for the return part of my trip the 2nd october and to try again in a few weeks :o later that day i tried again with ticket line and there they were so booked straight away ;D £30 return Cardiff- gatwick. SO THANKS AGAIN FOR THE HELP
    CHEERS woodkitten ;)
  • SystemSystem Forumite
    177.9K Posts
    10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    Hello there - I suggested the Trainline link but not sure how I came to have name of MMM whatever - must have leant on the keyboard!

    I am delighted you got your apex tickets from Trainline - as I said I have used them a couple of times with excellent results. I find it's much quicker to buy on-line.

    I'm pleased you saved money!
  • If you travel by train and regularly buy a season (weekly/ monthly) ticket, you could be wasting money. Season tickets include weekends, so if you are only travelling on weekdays you could be paying for eight journeys a month that you don't use. Consider buying a return ticket each day- the hassle is worth it: I saved £100 a month from Guildford to Basingstoke by spurning the season tickets.
    stay lucky!
  • APAP Forumite
    412 Posts
    100 Posts
    You might be right if you only travel during off-peak hours, i.e. with the outward journey on a train scheduled to depart after 9.30am when you will be able to get a Cheap Day Return instead of a Standard Day Return ticket.

    A 7-Day season ticket is usually priced at 4 times the price of a Standard Day Return ticket, so you will still save money even if you only travel Monday to Friday.

    A one-month season ticket is priced at 3.84 times the price of a 7-Day season ticket with an annual (12-Month) season ticket priced at 40 times the 7-Day ticket which give even bigger discounts.

    As long as the duration of the season ticket is at least one month, you can actually have it for 1 Month and 1 Day, 1 Month and 2 Days, ... , or even 1 Month and 9 Days, etc., with each additional day calculated at 1/29.5 of the price of the one-month season ticket. I always make use of these extra days on top of my one-month season ticket so that it finishes on a Friday and I don't have to start another one until the Monday after.

    For long distance journeys or where a journey crosses the boundary of two counties, consider buying the tickets separately for the journey of each county. The cost of the tickets together may add up to less than the price of one through ticket. You are allowed to travel on through trains which does not stop at the station where you change from one ticket to another as long as one of the tickets is a season ticket and the other is not. This is specifically permitted under Condition 17(c) of the National Rail Conditions of Carriage.
  • pinpin Forumite
    4.3K Posts
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    BTW a yearly season ticket in London (well for me anyway) you pay for 11 months and one month is free, also most train operators are offering a 5% discount on renewals.
    "An eye for an eye leaves the whole world blind" - Mahatma Gandhi
  • Remember also if you are going to have time off to schedule any tickets to include this - I used to have a card when at college and offest higher weekly prices against holidays taken - most people I knew just paid for month at a time or yearly not thinking they would not be using it for about on third of the time

    Good idea about buying extra days
    Always on the lookout
  • APAP Forumite
    412 Posts
    100 Posts
    The fact that an annual season ticket is priced at 40 times a 7-Day one already takes into account people have to go on holidays some time during the year, plus all the bank holidays, sick leave, etc. You can also pay by monthly direct debit if you wish.

    Most people will just buy one-month at the time when I find that the extra days you can add on for it to end on a Friday and doesn't have to start again until the Tuesday after a bank holiday extremely valuable.
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