Cheaper rail fares

Joined: 5:53 PM - Apr 02, 2017

6:12 PM - Oct 28, 2017 #1

PeterE wrote:
Sheffield Hatter wrote: The thing to do is to set a date sufficiently far in advance that the advance fares become affordable. As you suggested in the original post, January or February would do it.
Yes, if you set a date then I'll try to come along if I can manage to get the fare down below £50. I'm not averse to paying that kind of money once in a while, but after two trips in October I'm feeling a bit cleaned out at present 🙁

Even Stafford to Oxford is £53 😲
Using one of the split ticketing sites you can get a return to Oxford in early January for £45   https://raileasy.trainsplit.com/fares.a ... ctionRtn=1
And you can get 30% of that if you have a senior railcard, though I think you are to youthful to take advantage of that :-)
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Joined: 8:00 PM - Nov 05, 2016

6:29 PM - Oct 28, 2017 #2

dcbwhaley wrote: Using one of the split ticketing sites you can get a return to Oxford in early January for £45   https://raileasy.trainsplit.com/fares.a ... ctionRtn=1
And you can get 30% of that if you have a senior railcard, though I think you are to youthful to take advantage of that :-)
Ooh, that looks interesting - could also prove useful to Hardy coming from Wigan 👍

How do you actually take possession of the tickets?
"Raising taxes on alcohol to prevent problem drinking is akin to raising the price of gasoline to prevent people from speeding." (Edward Peter Stringham)
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Joined: 9:31 PM - Nov 05, 2016

6:48 PM - Oct 28, 2017 #3

PeterE wrote:
dcbwhaley wrote: Using one of the split ticketing sites you can get a return to Oxford in early January for £45   https://raileasy.trainsplit.com/fares.a ... ctionRtn=1
And you can get 30% of that if you have a senior railcard, though I think you are to youthful to take advantage of that :-)
Ooh, that looks interesting - could also prove useful to Hardy coming from Wigan 👍

How do you actually take possession of the tickets?
Just tried the site , Stockport to Oxford return on a random date of Saturday 6th of Jan, leaving at 08.36 and return train 20 .40 comes up at £35.66 , a relative bargain.
"Everybody's got to believe in something, I believe I'll have another beer." W.C.Fields.
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Joined: 8:52 PM - Oct 27, 2017

8:26 PM - Oct 28, 2017 #4

This is getting slightly off topic now, but I just beat trainsplit.com. It offered me £25.71 Sheffield to Oxford on 9th January, arriving at 12:41 and departing 18:39, or £29.36 if I want to arrive on the earlier train at 11:41.

I did it myself by splitting the journey at Derby and Leamington (but without having to get off the train) and arriving at 11:41 for £22.80.

(These are all with a senior railcard, so the equivalent full fare would be about £34.)

This crazy system! If the train companies can do the journey for that much, it should be possible to buy tickets for that price without all this jiggery-pokery.
Come on you Hatters!
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Joined: 8:52 PM - Oct 27, 2017

8:33 PM - Oct 28, 2017 #5

PeterE wrote: How do you actually take possession of the tickets?
Yes, I wondered that. I couldn't find anything on the site about how you get the tickets or whether they charge you for postage (they take a proportion of the "savings" as their profit, so I can't imagine they wouldn't). 
Come on you Hatters!
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Joined: 5:53 PM - Apr 02, 2017

10:40 PM - Oct 28, 2017 #6

Trainsplit take a commission of 10% of how much they save you, which seems fair enough.   You buy the tickets in the normal way paying by credit card on line and either having the them posted to you (£1extra) or collect them from the ticket machine at your local station.

One point to bear in mind is that with ticket split the entire journey is regarded as a single transaction.  So if you cancel you only pay one £10 cancellation fee.  But if you book each leg separately yourself, in order to avoid the commission, any cancellation costs you £10 for each leg.

i saved over a £100 on a first class trip to Plymouth, split into six legs,this summer.  But it don't half generate a lot of tickets

tickets.jpg
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Joined: 8:52 PM - Oct 27, 2017

11:58 AM - Oct 29, 2017 #7

dcbwhaley wrote:   But it don't half generate a lot of tickets

tickets.jpg
Eek!
Come on you Hatters!
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Joined: 8:00 PM - Nov 05, 2016

6:58 PM - Nov 05, 2017 #8

It's always been the case that Stockport - Nottingham was a relatively cheap fare considering the distance involved, so I thought I would price up my recent trip to Leicester going that way.

The standard "all permitted routes" ticket was a slightly eye-watering £48.10.

However...

Stockport - Nottingham: £19.60
Nottingham - Leicester: £11.00

So, for the sake of a slightly longer journey time, I could have saved £17.50, without any recourse to split ticketing.
"Raising taxes on alcohol to prevent problem drinking is akin to raising the price of gasoline to prevent people from speeding." (Edward Peter Stringham)
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Joined: 12:26 PM - Apr 05, 2017

9:46 PM - Nov 06, 2017 #9

PeterE wrote: It's always been the case that Stockport - Nottingham was a relatively cheap fare considering the distance involved, so I thought I would price up my recent trip to Leicester going that way.

The standard "all permitted routes" ticket was a slightly eye-watering £48.10.

However...

Stockport - Nottingham: £19.60
Nottingham - Leicester: £11.00

So, for the sake of a slightly longer journey time, I could have saved £17.50, without any recourse to split ticketing.
But that IS split ticketing ...
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Joined: 1:26 AM - Nov 06, 2016

1:14 AM - Nov 10, 2017 #10

The Lichfield, Tamworth and Sutton Coldfield Branch’s newsletter Last Orders has published some incredible reports of how much can be saved by split ticketing.  http://www.lstcamra.org.uk/newsarchive.htm
Some people will think how marvellous it is that so much can be knocked off the price of a day out but I have a curmudgeonly resentment to spending time doing such research.
For shorter trips I don’t always look into split ticketing but it’s daft not to for a more distant Proper Days Out.
For not far, such as Birmingham, Macclesfield or Stockport, I haven’t saved a couple of quid by booking in advance as I can’t realistically predict the hour at which I conclude that I’ve just about had enough beer for the day.
For longer trips though, such as Oxford or London, I do plan ahead.
So much has changed over the years. I remember when East Anglia meant across country having changed at Nuneaton as via London was prohibitably expensive but now, especially booked in advance, it’s far far cheaper into and out of London.
There are now many reasonably priced off peak tickets to and from London. With my railcard I, for example, could a month from now have London Midland tickets for £17.20 (£6.95+£10.25) giving me nine hours in the capital ( 9.37am to 6.49pm ) while it’d be nearly double at £32.85 (£19.45+£13.40) by Cross Country for a similar nine hours ( 9.41am to 6.39pm ) in Oxford which is only about two-thirds as far away.
The little known or publicised Rover tickets also offer excellent value for money. I had a great four days in Wales ( the boundary is Hereford, Shrewsbury, Crewe and Chester ) in April, before my knee failed, for just £65 which would have been £99 without a railcard.
And around the winter the “Club 55” ticket for us older travellers gives a return anywhere in Wales ( including for Birmingham or Manchester ) for £26 and there’s the same in Scotland ( northwards from Carlisle and Berwick ), which I used four years ago, for just £19 return.
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Joined: 2:16 PM - Apr 04, 2017

9:11 AM - Nov 10, 2017 #11

I`m like you Paul - I feel as though I shouldn`t have to "research" for a bleedin` rail ticket on the computer - you should be able to just walk into your nearest station, book a trip from A to B and say "I want the cheapest available ticket" either for that day or an advance - taking into account all the rail cards too, (you should be told about those as a matter of course, not have to ask about them)...Having to "split" your journey is a ridiculous way to go about things. The whole system is there to rip you off....When we go to Crewe I might just jump on a train using a Platform Ticket ! 😡
The Lancashire Luddite
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Joined: 8:00 PM - Nov 05, 2016

9:59 AM - Nov 10, 2017 #12

I've moved the last two posts into this topic where they fit more logically.

There are certainly a lot of anomalies in the fare structure. Even discounting any advance tickets, the price of a day return from Stockport to Wolverhampton (66 miles by road) is £32.60, while for Stockport to Nottingham (64 miles by road) it is only £19.60, both journeys I've done on several occasions. Shrewsbury (67 miles) is £23.20.

I have to say I've never really looked into advance tickets before as, like Paul, I've always valued the freedom to just turn up and go as I want. Very often, trips out by train are only planned a day or two in advance. However, the suggestion of longer-distance trips has certainly made me think about it, and it's a bit galling to learn I could have saved £17 on our trip to Birmingham using the exact same trains.
"Raising taxes on alcohol to prevent problem drinking is akin to raising the price of gasoline to prevent people from speeding." (Edward Peter Stringham)
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Joined: 8:00 PM - Nov 05, 2016

4:02 PM - Feb 22, 2018 #13

13 tickets and reservations for Saturday's trip to Oxford. But £41.90 against a fare on the day of £77.80 is a very worthwhile saving 😀
oxford_tickets.jpg
"Raising taxes on alcohol to prevent problem drinking is akin to raising the price of gasoline to prevent people from speeding." (Edward Peter Stringham)
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Joined: 1:29 PM - Nov 06, 2016

6:27 PM - Feb 26, 2018 #14

Hope you had a large wallet, Peter!
Nigel Rowe
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Joined: 8:00 PM - Nov 05, 2016

6:57 PM - Feb 26, 2018 #15

Moonraker wrote: Hope you had a large wallet, Peter!
Some might say it's always bulging because I'm so reluctant to open it! 😂
"Raising taxes on alcohol to prevent problem drinking is akin to raising the price of gasoline to prevent people from speeding." (Edward Peter Stringham)
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Joined: 8:00 PM - Nov 05, 2016

2:56 PM - Mar 14, 2018 #16

Something I've worked out from playing around with the options on the Trainsplit site is that it often makes sense to go for the "flexible tickets" option, which gives you more flexibility over journey times for, often, very little more expenditure.

For example, I've reduced the price of a day return from Stockport to Wolverhampton from £33.70 to £27.60 by splitting it into two returns from Stockport to Stafford and Stafford to Wolverhampton. This is no hardship as all the trains stop at Stafford anyway.

For Stockport to Northampton, I've cut the price from an eyewatering £75.20 to a mere £38.30 by splitting it into three returns from Stockport to Rugeley (Trent Valley), Rugeley to Rugby and Rugby to Northampton. This does mean I can't travel via Birmingham, but there's an hourly stopping service along the Trent Valley line from Rugby to Stafford, as Paul will be well aware.
"Raising taxes on alcohol to prevent problem drinking is akin to raising the price of gasoline to prevent people from speeding." (Edward Peter Stringham)
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Joined: 1:26 AM - Nov 06, 2016

1:26 AM - Mar 16, 2018 #17

Peter,
Yes, I’m well aware of the Trent Valley line which has been transformed by London Midland since November 2007. The stopping service between Stafford and Rugby must have been one of the quietest on the network but London Midland extended it between Stafford and Crewe, via Stoke on Trent, and between Rugby and Euston, initially via Northampton, offered cheap fares and the problem eventually was that the trains at some times of the day couldn’t stop at Stone, Kidsgrove and Alsager because eight, rather than four, carriages were needed. In their earlier years for a week each spring and autumn LW offered £10 ‘Great Escape’ day rover tickets for their entire network of the Midlands, including Hereford and Strattord, up to Liverpool and down to Euston including, as I used most on those tickets, the branch lines to Bedford and St Albans. Their £6 tickets have meant I’ve been to London far more often than I would otherwise have done and on trains that weren’t those dreadful Pendolinos.
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