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  • FIRST POST
    • MSE Jenny
    • By MSE Jenny 5th Oct 10, 10:09 AM
    • 1,243Posts
    • 3,577Thanks
    MSE Jenny
    Cheap Train Fares guide discussion
    • #1
    • 5th Oct 10, 10:09 AM
    Cheap Train Fares guide discussion 5th Oct 10 at 10:09 AM



    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
    Last edited by Former MSE Debs; 08-03-2013 at 2:11 PM.
Page 2
  • Sarcasticus
    Hi. I literally just registered after looking at this site for a good couple of years. I'd massively appreciate if any of you guys and/or gals could help me.

    Next friday (Nov 5th) my younger brother is coming home from his uni in Cardiff for a week (his first year so he misses us all badly and really wants to come home for a bit when he can).

    The difference here is I want to go see him for the day just for a day out and then come back with him late that night.

    The journey is: 1) Hemel Hempstead - Cardiff Central (Fri Nov 5th - depart Hemel after 10am)
    2) Cardiff Central - Hemel Hempstead (Same day - Arrive back in Hemel before 00.30)

    I need the very cheapest tickets possible. I did find 13.50 tickets a week or two ago when just browsing but can't find them anymore. I'd be perfectly happy spending 13.50 each way, but can't find a way of doing it now. I've tried all the train sites Martin suggests.

    So yeah, if any of you are able to find anything that i can't with your special powers i'd be eternally grateful. Thanks in advance to anyone who uses their time trying to help
    • dzug1
    • By dzug1 31st Oct 10, 11:21 AM
    • 13,359 Posts
    • 6,125 Thanks
    dzug1
    Hi. I literally just registered after looking at this site for a good couple of years. I'd massively appreciate if any of you guys and/or gals could help me.

    Next friday (Nov 5th) my younger brother is coming home from his uni in Cardiff for a week (his first year so he misses us all badly and really wants to come home for a bit when he can).

    The difference here is I want to go see him for the day just for a day out and then come back with him late that night.

    The journey is: 1) Hemel Hempstead - Cardiff Central (Fri Nov 5th - depart Hemel after 10am)
    2) Cardiff Central - Hemel Hempstead (Same day - Arrive back in Hemel before 00.30)

    I need the very cheapest tickets possible. I did find 13.50 tickets a week or two ago when just browsing but can't find them anymore. I'd be perfectly happy spending 13.50 each way, but can't find a way of doing it now. I've tried all the train sites Martin suggests.

    So yeah, if any of you are able to find anything that i can't with your special powers i'd be eternally grateful. Thanks in advance to anyone who uses their time trying to help
    Originally posted by Sarcasticus
    No special powers - just foresight. Those 13.50 tickets will still be available - but not for your date. They've sold out.

    Has he a young person's railcard? That will reduce the cost of most of his journeys.

    You could try split ticketing - Didcot is the most likely place, maybe Swindon. Just make sure the train stops there. Possibly London as well if it's a day return.
    • ceebeeby
    • By ceebeeby 31st Oct 10, 8:01 PM
    • 4,237 Posts
    • 10,773 Thanks
    ceebeeby
    Hi All,

    I could do with your expert help in finding "cheap" rail-tickets from Glasgow to London Waterloo. It has been MANY MANY years since we last travelled by train, and cannot believe how expensive it now is!! Best I've got return is about 260 (from home station which is close to Glasgow).

    Our dates of travel are Friday 11th February returning on Tuesday 15th February. Can travel at anytime really, but preferably very early on the Friday and mid afternoon / early evening on the 15th if it's an option.

    We don't have a railcard, but presumably could buy one if it makes a massive difference (do you buy these things?)

    There are 2 adults, 1 x 17 and 1 x 13 year old.

    Very much welcome and appreciate any assistance.
    • dzug1
    • By dzug1 31st Oct 10, 8:07 PM
    • 13,359 Posts
    • 6,125 Thanks
    dzug1
    Hi All,

    I could do with your expert help in finding "cheap" rail-tickets from Glasgow to London Waterloo. It has been MANY MANY years since we last travelled by train, and cannot believe how expensive it now is!! Best I've got return is about 260 (from home station which is close to Glasgow).

    Our dates of travel are Friday 11th February returning on Tuesday 15th February. Can travel at anytime really, but preferably very early on the Friday and mid afternoon / early evening on the 15th if it's an option.

    We don't have a railcard, but presumably could buy one if it makes a massive difference (do you buy these things?)

    There are 2 adults, 1 x 17 and 1 x 13 year old.

    Very much welcome and appreciate any assistance.
    Originally posted by ceebeeby
    You are trying to book TOO EARLY. (I wish I had a fiver for every time I've written that)

    http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/booking_horizons.html will be useful to you.

    And a Family and Friends railcard is probably going to save you money on this journey. Check it out while you are waiting for the cheaper fares to come out.
    • ceebeeby
    • By ceebeeby 31st Oct 10, 8:10 PM
    • 4,237 Posts
    • 10,773 Thanks
    ceebeeby
    Thanks dzug! I've not booked a train for years and years, so didn't know what timescales were like! When should I ideally be looking? Have read through this short thread and doesn't seem to recommend best times. Thanks again, am grateful for advice.
    • wealdroam
    • By wealdroam 31st Oct 10, 9:31 PM
    • 18,662 Posts
    • 15,598 Thanks
    wealdroam
    When should I ideally be looking? Have read through this short thread and doesn't seem to recommend best times.
    Originally posted by ceebeeby
    Ceebeeby, this thread was apparently created to discuss the Cheap Train Tickets Article.

    Have you read that article?

    One of the early paragraphs explains this very topic.
    • dzug1
    • By dzug1 31st Oct 10, 11:25 PM
    • 13,359 Posts
    • 6,125 Thanks
    dzug1
    Thanks dzug! I've not booked a train for years and years, so didn't know what timescales were like! When should I ideally be looking? Have read through this short thread and doesn't seem to recommend best times. Thanks again, am grateful for advice.
    Originally posted by ceebeeby
    If you check the link I gave about once a week starting about 12 weeks ahead you'll get enough notice to buy cheap tickets - they rarely sell out immediately on release, particularly if you are flexible on ti,es.
    • ceebeeby
    • By ceebeeby 1st Nov 10, 8:46 AM
    • 4,237 Posts
    • 10,773 Thanks
    ceebeeby
    Thanks guys, have read all the articles, have set the prompt in my calendar for 13 weeks, 12.5 weeks and 12 weeks (just in case they come early) - have a whole new dictionary of knowledge re: split tickets, peak times etc. and am about to apply for a F&F railcard for 21 days time! Thanks for the help!
    • dzug1
    • By dzug1 1st Nov 10, 10:16 AM
    • 13,359 Posts
    • 6,125 Thanks
    dzug1
    Thanks guys, have read all the articles, have set the prompt in my calendar for 13 weeks, 12.5 weeks and 12 weeks (just in case they come early) - have a whole new dictionary of knowledge re: split tickets, peak times etc. and am about to apply for a F&F railcard for 21 days time! Thanks for the help!
    Originally posted by ceebeeby
    You don't need the railcard when you book online - just when you travel.
    • yorkie2
    • By yorkie2 2nd Nov 10, 12:02 AM
    • 1,404 Posts
    • 542 Thanks
    yorkie2
    We don't have a railcard, but presumably could buy one if it makes a massive difference (do you buy these things?)

    There are 2 adults, 1 x 17 and 1 x 13 year old.
    Originally posted by ceebeeby
    It will make a difference. That is 3 adults and 1 child.

    The child will get 60% off, and the adults 34% off tickets. This is less than the 26 cost of the annual card (but look out for special offers between now and February - they're sometimes half price (example - now closed)!) if you book online you won't need to buy the Railcard until the day you travel. But don't forget to buy a Railcard before you travel!

    If you want a fully-flexible ticket, an Off Peak return ticket with a Railcard is valid on ANY Virgin Train at any time. The price of this is 71.55 (adults) + 20.60 (child) total 235.25 return for the group.

    However you will get much lower fares (potentially around 70 return for the group!) if you can book a specific train at a less popular time, when Advance single fares become available (see booking horizon page linked to above). This option is very cheap providing your plans do not change and you adhere to the T&Cs. However if you do not get the train specified on your ticket, you will be charged for brand new tickets. If you forget to bring the railcard you would also be charged for brand new tickets. The cost of replacement tickets on board the train is up to 379.40 for a one-way journey for the group (or you could pay to the next stop and re-book en-route). Advance fares are a good deal but only if you do not want flexibility. And make sure you don't lose your railcard!!
    Last edited by yorkie2; 02-11-2010 at 12:04 AM.
    • yorkie2
    • By yorkie2 2nd Nov 10, 12:20 AM
    • 1,404 Posts
    • 542 Thanks
    yorkie2
    Hi. I literally just registered after looking at this site for a good couple of years. I'd massively appreciate if any of you guys and/or gals could help me.

    Next friday (Nov 5th) my younger brother is coming home from his uni in Cardiff for a week (his first year so he misses us all badly and really wants to come home for a bit when he can).

    The difference here is I want to go see him for the day just for a day out and then come back with him late that night.

    The journey is: 1) Hemel Hempstead - Cardiff Central (Fri Nov 5th - depart Hemel after 10am)
    2) Cardiff Central - Hemel Hempstead (Same day - Arrive back in Hemel before 00.30)

    I need the very cheapest tickets possible. I did find 13.50 tickets a week or two ago when just browsing but can't find them anymore. I'd be perfectly happy spending 13.50 each way, but can't find a way of doing it now. I've tried all the train sites Martin suggests.

    So yeah, if any of you are able to find anything that i can't with your special powers i'd be eternally grateful. Thanks in advance to anyone who uses their time trying to help
    Originally posted by Sarcasticus
    Assuming you have a railcard (?) then the through ticket costs 45.35 for a Super Off Peak Return, you can depart Paddington from 10:10 (first train to Cardiff (CDF) after that time is 10:15) and you can get any train from Hemel Hempsted (HML) to Euston + LU to Paddington, to connect.

    Looking at Advance tickets, there are 13.85 tickets back on the 20:25 from CDF to HML. But getting there is a little trickier. The only good price I can find is leaving HML at 0737 (is that too early?) which gets you on the 0915 from Paddington, arriving CDF 1123 for just over 18.
    • ceebeeby
    • By ceebeeby 2nd Nov 10, 8:47 AM
    • 4,237 Posts
    • 10,773 Thanks
    ceebeeby
    Okay - that's good news on the railcard - best I could find was 10% off, but happy to wait and see if any special offers come up.

    Am very happy to be limited to a specific train (bit like getting a plane) so not worried about that - even happier if could get group return for around 70!!!

    thanks so much again for keeping me right
    • MSE Jenny
    • By MSE Jenny 4th Nov 10, 11:55 AM
    • 1,243 Posts
    • 3,577 Thanks
    MSE Jenny
    Update: Actually that one was slightly out of date so we've updated it :-) http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-train-tickets#map
    Last edited by MSE Jenny; 09-11-2010 at 4:47 PM.
    • Flickering Ember
    • By Flickering Ember 10th Nov 10, 1:22 PM
    • 11,701 Posts
    • 128,902 Thanks
    Flickering Ember
    I love Megatrain because you end up on a Virgin pendolino train just at a much cheaper rate; I have done Liverpool-London 12 return only bought about a week in advance.
    Flickering Embers grow higher and higher...I need a break and I wanna be a paperback writer!
  • Glymbo
    Peterboro to London & back again on same day
    Hope someone can help me. I have tried looking on different links, but I must be doing it wrong. As title reads, I`m looking for cheap tickets from Peterborough to Kings Cross, London & back on the 12/11/10 I`ve never booked tickets before so please be gentle with me. Many thanks

    Glymm
    • yorkie2
    • By yorkie2 11th Nov 10, 9:14 PM
    • 1,404 Posts
    • 542 Thanks
    yorkie2
    Hope someone can help me. I have tried looking on different links, but I must be doing it wrong. As title reads, I`m looking for cheap tickets from Peterborough to Kings Cross, London & back on the 12/11/10 I`ve never booked tickets before so please be gentle with me. Many thanks

    Glymm
    Originally posted by Glymbo
    That's tomorrow! When you say "King's Cross, London" do you mean just King's Cross or travel around London?

    Assuming you'd like a Travelcard (unlimited travel around London on most buses, the Underground, most trains etc), the price is 29.50 (assuming no railcards) for an Off Peak Travelcard on East Coast, the restrictions are as follows:

    ODT - OFF-PEAK TCDSTD ECC
    00000 - ANY PERMITTED
    Non-standard discounts apply
    1 Adult @ 29.50 = 29.50

    OUTWARD TRAVEL
    By any train except those
    timed to depart London,
    Stevenage, Peterborough,
    Grantham, Leicester or Newark
    Mon-Fri before 0954 or from
    London Terminals or Stevenage
    between 1555 and 1901
    inclusive.

    RETURN TRAVEL
    By any train except those
    timed to depart Mondays to
    Fridays before 0954, or from
    London Terminals or Stevenage
    between 1555 and 1901
    inclusive.
    If you want to arrive a bit earlier you could get the FCC Only ticket.

    ODT - OFF-PEAK TCDSTD FCC
    00028 - FCC ONLY

    1 Adult @ 28.00 = 28.00


    OUTWARD TRAVEL
    Valid on the train shown and
    all later services:

    Peterborough 0845


    RETURN TRAVEL
    Not valid on any services
    which are scheduled to depart
    London Kings Cross, London St
    Pancras Intl, Moorgate or pass
    through London St Pancras Intl
    between 1630 and 1901 (inc),
    regardless of where you join
    or leave the service.

    The 0845 FCC service is the first train you can use on this ticket, this arrives into London at 10:02, about an hour earlier than you can arrive on East Coast. The first train you can use after the evening peak is 19:10 arriving 20:24, you can also use 19:22 arriving 20:40 and a fast train is available at 20:07 arriving 21:05.

    If you just want a Day Return to London King's Cross only, that is 23.00 with the FCC Only ticket, with the same restrictions above.

    The tickets can be bought on the station on the day of travel.
    Last edited by yorkie2; 11-11-2010 at 9:17 PM.
    • wealdroam
    • By wealdroam 11th Nov 10, 9:19 PM
    • 18,662 Posts
    • 15,598 Thanks
    wealdroam
    Hope someone can help me. I have tried looking on different links, but I must be doing it wrong. As title reads, I`m looking for cheap tickets from Peterborough to Kings Cross, London & back on the 12/11/10 I`ve never booked tickets before so please be gentle with me. Many thanks

    Glymm
    Originally posted by Glymbo
    12 November?
    Off Peak Return on FCC only = 23.00.

    11 December?
    Advance Singles from 7.00 each way depending on time of travel, when booked via East Coast trains website.
    Last edited by wealdroam; 11-11-2010 at 9:24 PM.
  • gmang
    I have booked a Virgin train from London to Birmingham using the Megabus / Megatrain website. Ticket was just 3 (+50p b/f)!! But the only confirmation/ticket I have is a print out, which actually reads more like a coach confirmation ("our coaches leave on time" etc). Is this all I need to get on the train at Euston? Will the ticket inspectors know about these megatrain confirmation emails? It's a bit weird because Virgin trains goes to great limits to protect their e-tickets with credit card numbers printed on them so you can't transfer them to other people. All I have is a print out from Megabus saying I am confirmed on the train.

    Has anyone used the megatrain on Virgin routes? What type of ticket did you have??

    Cheers.
    • wealdroam
    • By wealdroam 13th Nov 10, 8:14 PM
    • 18,662 Posts
    • 15,598 Thanks
    wealdroam
    I have booked a Virgin train from London to Birmingham using the Megabus / Megatrain website. Ticket was just 3 (+50p b/f)!! But the only confirmation/ticket I have is a print out, which actually reads more like a coach confirmation ("our coaches leave on time" etc). Is this all I need to get on the train at Euston? Will the ticket inspectors know about these megatrain confirmation emails? It's a bit weird because Virgin trains goes to great limits to protect their e-tickets with credit card numbers printed on them so you can't transfer them to other people. All I have is a print out from Megabus saying I am confirmed on the train.

    Has anyone used the megatrain on Virgin routes? What type of ticket did you have??

    Cheers.
    Originally posted by gmang
    With Megatrain, all you need is the booking reference number.

    From their FAQ webpages....
    How does megatrain work with the automatic barriers at stations?

    Barrier staff will have a copy of the megatrain passenger loading sheet and passenger reference numbers will be checked. As this process will obviously take a little longer than checking a ticket, we specify that megatrain passengers should be at the station 10 minutes prior to departure
    and...
    What do I give the Guard on the train?

    You will require your booking reference to travel, ensure you obtain this reference for each journey you book.
    Take your booking reference with you and present it to the Guard and any other railway staff who ask to see it. It entitles you to make the journey specified at time of booking.
    Lots more good stuff there.
  • chrscnvry
    Rugby to London Euston
    Hi,
    I am trying to calculate whether it is cheaper to get an annual season ticket vs a return ticket each day.

    I have looked on the National Rail Enquiries Season Ticket calculator and it shows that 6,656.00 (with underground) or 6,280.00 (without underground) using any network. (I only need to use Virgin Trains).

    I have a 16-25 railcard and I am unsure how much a return ticket is?? (Especially with offpeak etc)

    I will be commuting 5 days per week.

    From 7am in the morning until 6pm in the evening.

    As for the tube I will be getting the tube from Euston to Bond Street(3 stations) so is it cheaper to get an oyster card?

    Can anyone advise me?
    Thanks
    Chris
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