Look out for companies offering cheap rail travel like The Train Line who offer cheap single tickets between major stations across the UK. Prices start from as little as £6.50 but remember unless you live in a major city you will need to add on travel to and from your mainline city station.
Then there are the offers provided by the train companies themselves, Chiltern Railways offers a single ticket from Birmingham Moor Street to Marylebone Station in London for £5 per single ticket.
Other ways to save on rail travel
Did you know that you could get cheaper rail travel by breaking up the way you buy your ticket?
This doesn’t mean getting on and off the train but often rail companies have a number of cheaper seats available per rail journey and whilst the more popular routes get quickly snapped up, the more unusual are not always taken up.
For example – if you were planning to travel from Edinburgh to Birmingham it may prove more cost effective to book your tickets for the same journey in batches so you could book Edinburgh to Penrith > Penrith to Stafford > Stafford to Birmingham.
You would stay on the same train and yes this is perfectly legitimate.
The system works best when you are booking your rail travel three months ahead but there are still savings to be made if you are travelling within the next few days, it also helps if you can be flexible around what time of day you travel too. There is even a website to help you find the cheapest deals: SplitYourTicket.co.uk. Here are some examples of the types of savings you can make:
- Birmingham to Bristol Parkway
An any day, any route, any time return costs £94.
If you book your tickets from Birmingham to Cheltenham Spa and Cheltenham Spa to Bristol Parkway the same journey with the same conditions costs just £54.80 saving you £39.20.
You don’t have to get off the train; the only stipulation is that you must travel to the stations you buy tickets from. (Prices correct on 11/11/2012)
- London to Manchester.
A main any time return fare would cost £296.
If you broke that journey down and booked your tickets as follows:
London to Milton Keynes Central – £29.00
Milton Keynes Central to Rugby – £14.00
Rugby to Nuneaton – £7.70
Nuneaton to Stafford – £9.00
Stafford to Stoke-on-Trent – £6.00
Stoke-on-Trent to Manchester – £11.70
Saving of £218.60.
Booking tickets in this way must be done online, but you can pick your tickets up from the machine at the station having pre-booked them – if you try to do this as a foot passenger on the day you want to travel your ticket machine can only issue you with standard fare tickets. But in this age of mobile technology you can easily pre-book your tickets as you walk to the station and you may still make significant savings.
Go forth on your journey and save!
So the secret is to plan ahead and be as flexible as you can about travel times and let splityourticket do the hard work for you. You will be amazed at the savings. It’s also worth checking out the first class travel as well as often you can get first class seats for not much more that standard class when booking in this way. Again best example was Edinburgh to Birmingham was £26 return standard class and £46 return first class which for a long journey like that makes perfect sense as the seats are larger and there is more room to walk around – not to mention the free tea and coffee being served!
If you have any further tips you’d like to share feel free to get in touch and we’ll your tips here too.