Train Tickets

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Rob C

Train Tickets

As this is a call for help, I guess this should go into the Can Anyone Help forum, but Coffee Break seems slightly better attended. And I am sorry this is nothing to do with cooking.

I am travelling to Swansea in a couple of days, by train, and am very confused over ticket prices etc. The cheapest I can get is a super off peak, but this says I will have restrictions over travel times. Except, it then doesnt tell me what restrictions.

I have hunted high and low on the train website, but cannot find an answer. I know I need to leave after 10am, but what it also says is there may be restrictions on when you arrive. I arrive at 1740. What I dont want is to be on the train and clobbered for more money.

Anyone got any advice, or any experienced train travellers out there?

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Anneline

Train tickets

I think if you buy and specify which times you will be travelling it should only offer you tickets appropriate for the times you specified. I've always gone on this assumption and haven't had problems.

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Noreen, Board Moderator

Train tickets

First thing Rob, is book asap as the nearer you get to the date the more expensive the tickets will be.

When you choose your trains your ticket will be valid for those times, and as long as you are on the right time trains you won't be chucked off.

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queen jean

trains

wish i could help you rob ,but im useless with trains ,last time i went on one i got off at wrong station dronfield and was stranded for hours in pouring rain .then ended up getting bus back home in the end.4 hours later walked in house ,they all thought it funny ,i was livid .an hours journey turned into about 5hrs in total .not been back on train since LoL

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Tompeters

Train Tickets

Try http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/planjourney/search

It only offers you tickets that are available at that time on the train you're looking at so you need to enter the actual date and time. You can order online if you have time or order ticket on departure. Works quite well.

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Rob C

thanks all

it really is quite a minefield isnt it?

I wouldnt usually worry, but the difference in price ranges from £88 to £296.

Wasnt there a time when train tickets were quite simple to understand? I seem to remember when I was a child, the expensive tickets were for commuters, and the cheaper tickets kicked in so long as you didnt get to London for example, prior to 9am...now we have peak, anytime, off peak, super off peak!!

I think I'll walk.

But thanks again all...you have put my mind at ease.

Now off for some shepherds pie...the only thing to eat in weather like this surely

:-)

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Tompeters

Train Tickets

Oddly enough what sounds like the cheapest tariff often doesn't yield the cheapest fare :( I think it's arrive London after 1030 for a cheap fare. That website does seem to offer the cheapest tickets but it doesn't explain the rules so it's fine if you know exactly what you want to do and when, but doesn't let you plan around a cheaper ticket, sadly, which is what we usually want to do.

I take it you have a 'Network Card' if eligible? You can buy just before departure provided you take your proof of ID or entitlement. Thomasina saves a lot that way.

Good luck and enjoy the sheps pie!

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SonyaK

Train Tickets

I'm planning a visit back to UK this year and have been looking at train tickets. The prices shocked me!!
It does seem crazy and the 'advance fares' are cheap but you have to know exactly which train you want to be on, and can't change it!! Bit hard to plan from over here!!

I've been looking at the 'Brit Rail' passes available, but not sure if we'll be doing enough train travel to make it worth while. Then there's the Seniors Card..........

Can you get off-peak tickets at the station just before the train leaves, or are they just booked in advance?

Like Rob C I find it a minefield!!

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Tompeters

Train Tickets

Sonya, It's probably just as easy to check these things down under as it is here, on the Internet. Minefield? The problem is that there are so many different promotional offers. AFAIK the National Rail system will always offer you the cheapest way **BUT** and it's a huge but, it won't tell you that if you left a couple of hours later you could do it half price, or if you took in a weekend it would be a third of the price, etc. That's the real problem facing all travellers, UK and overseas.

Not sure if you're entitled to a Senior's Card if non-resident? I don't know as you have to pay for them... They should tell you that on the website or google 'uk senior railcard' and see what you get.

Most of the trains Thomasina and I use are just turn up and buy the ticket but we avoid peak periods and check validity for railcards. An ordinary off-peak return, for example, is pretty flexible. As long as our train from Portsmouth to London arrives London before 1030 then you can board it off-peak and get off anywhere along the way. You can break the journey, too.

I have to agree that it is very expensive and not easy to get the best deal.

If you're in the SE www.travelinesoutheast.org.uk is the most brilliant website of all for public transport. Takes you address to address, postcode to postcode by bus, train, ferry,... I guess there are similar for other regions. No prices, tho' I'm afraid.

If anything else comes to mind I'll get back to you.

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SonyaK

Train Tickets

"AFAIK the National Rail system will always offer you the cheapest way **BUT** and it's a huge but, it won't tell you that if you left a couple of hours later you could do it half price, or if you took in a weekend it would be a third of the price, etc. That's the real problem facing all travellers, UK and overseas."

Yes, I agree. But also your definition of "off-peak" shows you know how the system works, which I don't!!
Off-peak here is starting a journey between 9am and 3pm!! I realise it's different everywhere, but finding the info. is hard.

"The travel restrictions for your Off-Peak ticket will depend on the journey you are making and will be advised when you buy your ticket."

That's the info. on National Rail website!!!

Thanks for the South East website - very useful!

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Tompeters

Train Tickets

I'm afraid it's worse than that....'off peak' does not have a single definition in England. It just happens that most train journeys I take are on the Portsmouth to London line where off peak into London means the train arrives at or after 1030. Elsewhere, there are different times for cheap day! There are also restrictions on when you may return; something like 1630 to 1900 is forbidden on the 'off peak' ticket out of London.

Even the staff don't know. I wanted to break a Waterloo to Portsmouth at Surbiton and was told by two staff that it's not permitted and one that it is. Finally they decided that it is permitted but I shouldn't put my ticket into the automated barrier at Surbiton because it would retain the ticket, so go to the manned exit!!

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Rob C

Oh Dr Beeching

It used to be simple didnt it?

The thing is, if I go the national rail, or the southeastern website, they both tell me that I can travel before 10am on a super off peak ticket, and I know this isnt the case.

As you said Tompeters, different providers seem to have different definitions.

I have found out, since posting, that my super off peak allows me to travel after 10am on southeastern, into London, but I have to get a train that leaves Paddington for Swansea before 1515. The 1041 from Deal to Charing X allows me to do that, as I can get to Paddington before 1515, but no website has actually said this... southeastern dont have any restrictions on when you arrive (only when you leave), but First Great Western do!

The mind boggles!

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SonyaK

Train Tickets

"It used to be simple didnt it?"

Well, I remember it as being simple, Rob!!

Now it sounds like a nightmare!! So many companies and each with it's own rules!

Maybe hiring a car would be a better option, but we don't really want to do that!

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Kilmory

Train tickets

..... and then it can be cheaper to buy 2 tickets for a single journey. E.g. Shrewsbury to Euston, buy one ticket to Birmingham NS and another from there to Euston, both can be bought at Shrewsbury.

Kilmory

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SonyaK

Train Tickets

Thanks for that, Kilmory!!
Don't know whether to laugh or cry - maybe just scream?!!

 
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