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    • sandraroffey
    • By sandraroffey 11th Jun 08, 6:17 AM
    • 1,345 Posts
    • 1,518 Thanks
    • #2
    • 11th Jun 08, 6:17 AM
    • #2
    • 11th Jun 08, 6:17 AM
    i have been travelling on weekly basis from bognor regis to canterbury for some years now. and until someone at the station (nice kind man) told me i was paying too much, i was paying what was then a five day return of quite a large amount. now i have a network card (cost 20 and lasts for a year), travel off peak or on a sunday and get a monthly saver return for just 12.60. absolute bargain!!! a few years ago when i lived in canterbury, my son was often paying 35 for a return to bognor which i thought was extortionate!! why dont people tell about the cheapest option as a matter of course?? mmm stupid question really. just wish the train times/length of time travelling on a sunday was as good as the fares. weekdays travel time normally 3.5 hours. sunday travel times could be anything up to 6.5 hours and never less than 4.5 hours. outrageous!!!
    • sandraroffey
    • By sandraroffey 11th Jun 08, 6:19 AM
    • 1,345 Posts
    • 1,518 Thanks
    • #3
    • 11th Jun 08, 6:19 AM
    • #3
    • 11th Jun 08, 6:19 AM
    it may also be worth remembering that if you can take your journey NOT via london it can knock a huge amount off the fare. for me, going to canterbury via London would add approx 10 to the fare!!
  • misterjohn
    • #4
    • 11th Jun 08, 10:45 AM
    • #4
    • 11th Jun 08, 10:45 AM
    I would endorse the suggestion of the National Express website, for the reasons given by WashingMan, and because it has the best search engine for journeys, giving all the price options for each possibility. I did a First Class return from Tiverton to Sheffield for 62, for example, on Cross Country. Hardly more than the cheapest second class, sorry Standard Class.
    First Great Western are also a better bet then the ones mentioned, as they also don't charge a fee for booking.
  • whashisface
    • #5
    • 11th Jun 08, 1:06 PM
    • #5
    • 11th Jun 08, 1:06 PM
    The national Express East Coast site is by far the best and cheapest. I used to use trainline but have now switched for the reasons above. It also seems to be easier to find cheap deals for some reason.

    The site should definitely be added to the article!
  • Bryony48
    • #6
    • 11th Jun 08, 1:20 PM
    National Express East Coast
    • #6
    • 11th Jun 08, 1:20 PM
    I also endorse this website for journey planning and ticket finding. It's the most user friendly one I've found, once you've got used to the radically different layout, and their customer services were also friendly and helpful when I had to ring with a specific query about bike reservations.
  • Restricted
    • #7
    • 11th Jun 08, 2:25 PM
    • #7
    • 11th Jun 08, 2:25 PM
    The article mentions 'travelling short' is not valid on Saver tickets, but doesn't point out that it is allowed on unrestricted tickets. Savings can be made on season tickets in particular using this method depending on the routes involved.

    Also, as well as 2 singles being cheaper than a return, sometimes a return is slightly cheaper than 1 single so it may be worth checking return fares even if you only require a single.
    Last edited by Restricted; 11-06-2008 at 9:32 PM.
    • dzug1
    • By dzug1 11th Jun 08, 3:33 PM
    • 13,359 Posts
    • 6,125 Thanks
    • #8
    • 11th Jun 08, 3:33 PM
    • #8
    • 11th Jun 08, 3:33 PM
    I really can't believe that thetrainline and raileasy are mentioned at all (other than to steer people away from them). They are the only ones to charge booking fees and I can't see ANY point in using them.

    There's also some slipshod terminology - eg the use of 'saver' fares in trick one to mean advance purchase singles rather than actual 'saver' fares. 'Saver' singles are quite commonly available - usually for a pound or so less than a saver return. Eg London Liverpool £61.60 saver single, £62.60 saver return. Advance singles which are the ones that give the real saving start at £13.

    And it perpetuates the 'exactly 12 weeks' myth which causes many posters here to panic if tickets aren't instantly available then.

    Oh the savers from North Wales via Chester trick can't be done any more - the validity times of the tickets from North Wales have been changed to match those from Chester.

    But in general - good advice.
    • philkenning
    • By philkenning 11th Jun 08, 6:44 PM
    • 20 Posts
    • 14 Thanks
    • #9
    • 11th Jun 08, 6:44 PM
    first great western site has no booking fee
    • #9
    • 11th Jun 08, 6:44 PM
    I am surprised no one has mentioned this but if you use you dont pay a booking fee nor a credit card surcharge and the insurance isn't automatically offered. The site is identical as the trainline site so its as easy to use as that one and has all the same features.
  • woobrad
    travelling to swansea
    I regularly take my 8 year old daughter down to see her grandparents in Swansea and usually use the train from Chorley. The fare is getting more and more expensive all the time. Does anyone know any split tickets or money saving tips for the journey? It's costing at least 100 quid each which I think is extortionate....
    I've looked on the websites but it won't give me any other fares apart from the standard ticket.
    • TimothyEBaldwin
    • By TimothyEBaldwin 12th Jun 08, 10:36 AM
    • 441 Posts
    • 127 Thanks
    I regularly take my 8 year old daughter down to see her grandparents in Swansea and usually use the train from Chorley.
    Originally posted by woobrad
    Get a Family & Friends Railcard.

    Try splitting tickets where you change trains.
    • A.Jones
    • By A.Jones 12th Jun 08, 1:49 PM
    • 506 Posts
    • 441 Thanks
    I'm surprised the National Express East Coast website isn't mentioned (unless I've missed it) for ticket sales. There is no charge for credit cards and no postage fee. I'm pretty sure they sell tickets for all trains (I've certainly got Arriva Cross-Country tickets from this site) and they offer a 10% on-line discount for all NEEC tickets.
    Originally posted by WashingMan
    Me too. I often buy tickets for the East Coast line and always go through them for three reasons.

    1) They are cheaper than thetrainline as they give 10% discount on the tickets.
    2) They allow you to select your price first, and then select the train, rather than selecting the train then the price.
    3) No credit card surcharge.

    The MSE team obviously need to do a little more research (on their own site) and update the article.
    • yorkie2
    • By yorkie2 12th Jun 08, 5:43 PM
    • 1,409 Posts
    • 543 Thanks
    The article mentions 'travelling short' is not valid on Saver tickets, but doesn't point out that it is allowed on unrestricted tickets. Savings can be made on season tickets in particular using this method depending on the routes involved..
    Originally posted by Restricted
    It is a matter of some debate (on both and uk.railway newsgroup) whether or not savers are valid for starting or finishing short. At the end of the day it boils down to how you interpret the unclear wording of the NCoC, and of course how the ticket inspector interprets it...!!!!
  • greyjaybee
    Ok to Travel 'Short'.......
    Having read on this forum how to travel from a stop further on from the start point on the ticket and getting off earlier than the destination shown, on the return journey, I purchased 2 single advance E tickets for 7 each from Bath to a station in West Sussex, got on at Bradford on Avon (the next stop along), having asked the ticket seller if this was in order, and been told perfectly ok. On the train the guard clipped my ticket without comment and the same on the return journey although that one didnt know obviously my intention to get off before Bath.
    So it seems that is is indeed ok to travel short after all and I for one will be doing so again ! I saved exactly half of what I had previously paid for the same journey.
    I'm not exactly trying to encourage others to do this but it did work for me......
    • caliston
    • By caliston 12th Jun 08, 7:14 PM
    • 171 Posts
    • 60 Thanks
    I think this article is misleading. The biggest savings are made by reducing your flexibility.

    Turn up at the BA desk at Heathrow and ask for a return on the next flight to Paris and you'll pay a lot more than if you bought a ticket months in advance. But also that advance ticket might be non-refundable and valid for that flight only. A flexible ticket is available at a much increased cost.

    Take the London-Plymouth-Penzance example. A fully flexible any-train-any-operator-no-prebooking ticket (a Standard Open Return) is 257. If you split at Plymouth and buy four Standard Open Singles with the same conditions it's a total of 117.50+117.50+13+13=261. No saving.

    Where you do save is by compromising on flexibility. The headline example of 48 can only be with Advance Purchase tickets. That means you have to decide in advance the day and train you'll travel on. If you change your mind you have to pay a change fee and the difference in fare. If you miss the train you have to buy a whole new flexible ticket.

    If you're prepared to do this, you can save. But we're not comparing like with like. It's not specified precisely how far in advance and on which trains the 48 was booked, but it's unlikely you'd be able to get that price on peak-time trains when booking a few days before travel. Looking at trains for Monday, AP tickets aren't available until the 0906 out of Paddington, so if you need to be in Penzance before 2pm you're out of luck.

    If you don't need to use peak trains the flexible ticket is a Saver Return, a rather different proposition at 75. This is valid on the 0906 from Paddington, so that's what you have to compare for the AP tickets.

    Other than that the article is generally good advice. I disagree though that the railway can know all the things like:
    I've got an important meeting so I must be up early and get there with plenty of time to spare. It might end late so I might need to get a later train. So I could book the later train and hang around if necessary. Or I could just stay with Auntie Doris and come back the next day. Or it might be postponed until next week. I could either stay the weekend or go on Monday
    Only you know your situation, what flexibility you have and how to work this best to your advantage. Ticket websites and booking clerks can't do this.

    One other thing to understand is that trains, like flights, have seat quotas. If I ask Expedia to give me a flight between London and Athens, it might want to send me via Zurich, Rome or Budapest as cheaper than a direct flight. This is because fewer people want to go to Zurich or Budapest, or the mayor of Budapest subsidises flights, or any number of reasons. It's the same with trains, only trains stop more than once so it happens on the same train.
  • lizbath
    Bristol to Preston
    Hi do this journey frquently with and without family railcard has anyone any ideas the best split?
  • SussexMan
    Have rail fares gone up?
    Is it just me or has the change in the ticket structure (having just three types of tickets) made prices go up? In the past when I wanted to do a journey - usually from the south coast up north - I bought in advance and travelled really early or in the evening. I was given lots of options for prices with some really low ones. For example I went from Crawley to Sandwell for 14 just before the changes. If I look on websites now booking well in advance, those cheap ones have all gone and the cheapest one for the same train is 72.50!
    • Crabman
    • By Crabman 13th Jun 08, 10:40 AM
    • 9,739 Posts
    • 7,171 Thanks
    Hi do this journey frquently with and without family railcard has anyone any ideas the best split?
    Originally posted by lizbath
    Hi lizbath, welcome to the forums

    You have a response here on the split ticketing thread
    I'm a Board Guide on the Savings & Investments, ISAs & Tax-free Savings, Public Transport & Cycling, Motoring and Parking Fines, Tickets & Parking Boards. I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. Board Guides are not moderators & don't read every post. If you spot a contentious or illegal post then please report it to (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Views are mine and not the official line of

    • caliston
    • By caliston 13th Jun 08, 8:49 PM
    • 171 Posts
    • 60 Thanks
    Is it just me or has the change in the ticket structure (having just three types of tickets) made prices go up? ... For example I went from Crawley to Sandwell for 14 just before the changes. If I look on websites now booking well in advance, those cheap ones have all gone and the cheapest one for the same train is 72.50!
    Originally posted by SussexMan
    Some fares have been 'simplified' upwards, though ATOC claims that there haven't been increases across the board. However Arriva took over the CrossCountry franchise (who operate Gatwick-Birmingham direct trains) from Virgin in December, so these fares revisions have been their first opportunity to change things. They've banned Cheap Day Returns on peak trains, so it wouldn't surprise me if they've also reduced the quota of cheap tickets. Reducing quota is a price rise by stealth, but the quotas are never published so it's hard to find out.

    If you look at the 'Booking Horizons' link on:
    it tells you the latest booking date for CrossCountry is currently 21st August. If I search for 14th August I find plenty of 14 fares.

    72.50 is the Standard Open Single - ie fully flexible, use at any time of day. If I look into September - past the current booking horizons - it does only offer me the flexible tickets. If you want to book then, keep an eye on the horizons page to see when the tickets are released.
  • Dave2012
    Why does the re-written article still promote Raileasy and The Trainline?!

    "There are two main train booking websites: The Trainline and RailEasy, which tend to be quite powerful."

    But you can book using any of the Train Operating Companies websites! Most of them use The Trainline anyway but don't charge you for the privelege of booking tickets and receiving them by post!

    "Unlike The Trainline, Raileasy lists single fares on the first results screen, so to compare fares, click The Trainline’s “two singles may be cheaper” button"

    As you can do with any of the websites, it's really not that difficult. But I save the worst part for last:

    "Overall this means of the two, the Trainline is cheapest for debit card bookings or credit card payments over £60, whereas Raileasy wins for credit card bookings under £60."


    I realise you make a passing mention that the TOC websites don't charge but then you go on to discuss the use of Trainline/RailEasy anyway :confused:

    Neither site should be promoted in an article that purports to save money on railfares, other than to completely avoid them. This point has been raised several times in several threads on this site, and I would like an honest explanation as to why you continue to promote them at all. They are no more user-friendly/better designed than the TOC's websites, and through their use, waste your money
    Last edited by Dave2012; 14-06-2008 at 9:17 AM.
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