Best time to buy rail tickets
in Public transport & cycling
6 replies 168 views
OH has just started to have to travel into London by train semi regularly. Can you please advise if it's only ever the case that ticket prices go up the closer you get to the date of travel and after the cheaper tickets have run out? Do ticket prices ever go down as you get closer to travel dates? We managed to get a return for £20 on one date, a later date the same journey is £47 less split ticket discount.
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Thanks, it's OH traveling on his own for work using Greater Anglia.
Some other train companies also have an "Over 50" or a "regional railcard", but that's not relevant here; and these operator specific railcards may only work for ticket purchase on the operator's own website.
Always worth checking other railcards that you might be eligible for, to see if there is a better one for your needs. In some rare cases there is the "Gold card" hack where you buy an annual season ticket between two cheapest out of London rail stations in the Network Railcard discount area (or two that overlap your regular journey for some split ticketing action); this card has slightly better rules than Network Railcard AND you can apply to have the discount added to an Oyster card for 30% off London tube/train travel offpeak as well; but you will have to use the trains etc. a lot (and be canny about the stations selected) to break even for the higher price. So research this one in detail and plan carefully.
(To get the Gold card discount for TfL: take the Oyster card to a Tube ticket office or gate line staff, show the Gold card season ticket, and they can add the necessary discount flag to the Oyster for the same dates of validity. You have to have the gold card with your for ticket inspections to validate the discount.).
If you are on the line beyond Manningtree, then look up my other recent post about "beyond and back" splitting as that may be relevant to your OH too as my example is on the Great Eastern Main Line (Sudbury). It is in this thread https://forums.moneysavingexpert.com/discussion/6324524/split-ticketing-official-mse-discussion/p2