Author Topic: Train ticket prices!  (Read 2329 times)

Train ticket prices!
« on: March 16, 2021, 08:45:52 am »
I've been investigating travel options for my daughter, son-in-law, baby and son. York to Inverness.

The only train tickets (with Friends and Family card) are full price. £840 return.

Read that again. £840 for 3 adults.


Seems that the train companies are not offering any 'discount' (aka sane) tickets, for any journey.
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Jaded

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Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2021, 08:52:04 am »
I tihnk it depends on when you go. Next Wednesday. Standard class price, followed by First Class, for one person.

13:55
20:04
Plat. 9 estimated

Price
£56.50
Only 4 left

Price
£87.50
Only 2 left
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Beardy

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Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #2 on: March 16, 2021, 09:43:41 am »
I’ve often found that when two or three adults are traveling together it’s cheaper to use the car but when traveling alone, the train costs in. If you’re prepared to commit to specific times AND you book in advance then two adults might cost in depending on the route
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Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #3 on: March 16, 2021, 09:59:06 am »
They don't seem to be making any advanced fares available. If I look more than one week ahead, only 'Flexible' (expensive) fares are available.
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Beardy

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Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2021, 11:03:34 am »
They don't seem to be making any advanced fares available. If I look more than one week ahead, only 'Flexible' (expensive) fares are available.
Assuming one of them is a a driver it would be worth having a look how much it would cost you to hire a car. With four of them traveling, especially if discounted tickets are not available, it’s likely to be cheaper, it will be more flexible and in those germ ridden times, possibly safer as well.
Sorting my life out, one shed at a time.

Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2021, 11:23:40 am »
Train companies are running a reduced timetable because of lockdown. The government haven’t decided how many trains will be running when, so the future timetable isn’t known, so they can’t sell fixed train tickets. Hence none available.

You might be able to find off peak tickets if you tweak your times slightly or have a play with one of the ticket splitting websites.

(All train companies are now more-or-less directly controlled by the government)

Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #6 on: March 16, 2021, 11:38:48 am »
Try one of the split ticketing booking websites.  I've just put that journey with some random midweek dates, into one and it comes to £371 return for three adults, plus £26 if you book through them, though if you can work out where the splits are you can save the fee.   That isn't close to Jaded's bargains, but it's half the original price.
EDIT - Also get a railcard of some description, a Family and Friends one for £30 will get you a third off most fares.  Might pay for itself in a single journey, then lasts the rest of the year.

Jaded

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Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #7 on: March 16, 2021, 12:17:38 pm »
Out of choice I'd always book Singles. Only Day Returns seem to be good value to me.
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Kim

  • Timelord
Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2021, 12:41:22 pm »
They don't seem to be making any advanced fares available. If I look more than one week ahead, only 'Flexible' (expensive) fares are available.
Assuming one of them is a a driver it would be worth having a look how much it would cost you to hire a car.

At those prices you could buy a car!
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2021, 07:29:29 pm »
I think the reason you’re getting these ridiculously expensive tickets as they are only offering the fully flexible refundable fare because as said above, the train companies have no idea what their timetables will be until a short time before. Last time I travelled by train (it was 9 months ago), I couldn’t buy a saver ticket until a day before I travelled. I couldn’t even buy the return leg until the day before I was due to return.
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Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2021, 07:39:22 pm »
They don't seem to be making any advanced fares available. If I look more than one week ahead, only 'Flexible' (expensive) fares are available.
Assuming one of them is a a driver it would be worth having a look how much it would cost you to hire a car.

At those prices you could buy a car!

Well yes, you could but at that price I doubt that it would be particularly good and would require VED, insurance and fuel for the journey at the very least.

Jaded

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Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2021, 08:20:24 pm »
And not helpful to the OP, but we are back at the environmental question - is the train too expensive, or the car (or plane ;) ) too cheap?
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rower40

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Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2021, 08:26:22 pm »
+1 for split tickets.  The tickets are valid if the train calls at the splitting location, so choose ones where all trains stop:
(Newcastle, Edinburgh, Perth) would be my first choice of locations.
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Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2021, 11:11:02 pm »
on environmental grounds a full car beats the train for CO2.

Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #14 on: March 17, 2021, 07:21:57 am »
And a bike beats them all if you can use it for your journey but that's besides the point rail ticket structure isn't realistic or fair. It's a mess that needs fixing.

Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2021, 08:09:30 am »
+1 for split tickets.  The tickets are valid if the train calls at the splitting location, so choose ones where all trains stop:
(Newcastle, Edinburgh, Perth) would be my first choice of locations.
This changed a couple of years ago (at least on GWR) so that split tickets are valid provided the train passes through the splitting location and doesn't have to stop there. So check the small print.

Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #16 on: March 17, 2021, 08:26:14 am »
How about ev car hire?  There is I understand a decent ev charging network in Scotland and a couple of breaks would be welcome anyway I would have thought.    Any arguments about CO2 are largely irrelevant too.

My Google fu is useless at finding ev hire but I am sure that it must exist by now.

Just a thought.

As for rail pricing:  it's all based upon walk on fares at the moment.  Even then it's probably running at a loss simply because of lack of passenger numbers. 

Having taken the train a few times between Inverness and the South I recall usually changing at Edinburgh.  On an open ticket lunching in the gardens outside Waverley station is lovely even though pidgeons seem to be in abundance and the drag up over Drumochter is very scenic.  We once B&B'd on a cycle tour in cottages next to the line at Drumochter.  Very few trains or vehicles on the A9 through the night.

Cudzoziemiec

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Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #17 on: March 17, 2021, 08:31:39 am »
+1 for split tickets.  The tickets are valid if the train calls at the splitting location, so choose ones where all trains stop:
(Newcastle, Edinburgh, Perth) would be my first choice of locations.
This changed a couple of years ago (at least on GWR) so that split tickets are valid provided the train passes through the splitting location and doesn't have to stop there. So check the small print.
Really? That's – potentially useful! – news to me.
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Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #18 on: March 17, 2021, 02:42:04 pm »
Cost and convenience are the primary drivers here. This is a group of relatively inexperienced drivers, making a very very long journey with a small baby.

I'm nervous of them driving up. I think it would be hell.
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Karla

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Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #19 on: March 17, 2021, 03:10:19 pm »
A crazy suggestion, but if they can get themselves to Preston for midnight, the Caledonian sleeper will take them to Inverness and back for £195 each way.  That's for two interconnecting double bunk rooms.  The trickier part is that they'd get back to Preston at 4:30am on the return!

Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #20 on: March 17, 2021, 10:28:43 pm »
Cost and convenience are the primary drivers here. This is a group of relatively inexperienced drivers, making a very very long journey with a small baby.

I'm nervous of them driving up. I think it would be hell.

What dates are you (well, they) looking at, and how much flexibility around those dates will they have?

As others have said, if you're booking too far out no advance (ie discounted) tickets are available, only open (ie flexible but full price) ones. The LNER site only has ticket availability until April 23 - timetables are fixed until then so advance tickets are available - but other sites may be offering (only) flexible bookings after that.

Right now, I could book tickets for two adults and a child to travel tomorrow and return next Thursday for £252 (which a £30 family railcard would reduce to £190).

The same prices are available for travel out on 15/04 and back on 22/04 on fixed tickets, but flexible fares look like £350 each way for Anytime Singles or £365 for an off-peak return (£211.40 each way/£220.40 return with a railcard). (The limited availability and lack of variation on Advance ticket prices makes me think there won't be much to be gained from flexibility in their travel dates - I guess it'll be the same price whenever they go.)

Those prices are for the party, not per person. The baby doesn't need a ticket; their son needs a child ticket if he's 5 or over.

A Family and Friends railcard costs £30 for a year, and gives 1-4 adults and 1-4 children travelling together 1/3 off the adult fares and 60% off the child fares (kids used to be a £1 flat fare, but that was a long time ago). It'll be worth it for this one journey: NB that the adults must be travelling with a fare-paying child, so it will almost certainly be worth buying a ticket for their son even if he's 3 or 4 and could otherwise travel free.

ETA: I've just re-read your post, and it's your son not theirs, so three adults and a baby rather than two adults, a baby and a child. You also mention the Family railcard but quote undiscounted prices, so I suspect you haven't included the child ticket which, while not needed by the baby, is necessary to trigger the discount.

Make the prices without a railcard (3 adults, one unticketed baby) £302.40 (Advance); £420 each way (Anytime Single); £438 (Offpeak return); £547.50 (Anytime return).

Alternatively, with a railcard (3 adults, one child ticket), it's £273.20 (Advance); £303.80 each way (Anytime Single); £316.75 (Offpeak return); £396 (Anytime return). That means that on Advance tickets, it would cost them an extra 80p to get a railcard valid for the next 12 months.




Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #21 on: March 18, 2021, 07:39:47 am »
For two adults a child (5yrs old) and a baby I get 145 one way with trainline on 9 April using their split ticket option.  That is one way but would do there and back for under 300

Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #22 on: March 18, 2021, 07:48:01 am »
They are travelling at the end of June

That's the real problem. Can't book very far ahead.

Thanks for all the suggestions, after some digging I found the same.

The more reasonable 430 return price just can't be booked ahead. Daft, since it is actually a fairly flexible ticket.
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arabella

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Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2021, 04:00:51 pm »
fwiw I've recently discovered that getting a ticket from the next station up the line (further away from my destination) is cheaper than from my station, because my station doesn't offer any advance tickets (afaict), but the next station up does. 
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Re: Train ticket prices!
« Reply #24 on: March 24, 2021, 09:08:34 pm »
fwiw I've recently discovered that getting a ticket from the next station up the line (further away from my destination) is cheaper than from my station, because my station doesn't offer any advance tickets (afaict), but the next station up does.

I live in Bradford & learnt sometime ago to always check the price from Leeds, last year I ws going to visit a friend in Edinburgh think there wasn't much change out of £100 booking from Bradford, but Leeds Edinburgh return was something like £40 return with advance tickets from Transpennine & singles to Leeds from Bradford after less than a fiver each way so the whole journey was under £50, & i travelled on exactly the same trains as I would have ad to change at Leeds anyway.

So if you live near to a big interchange statio always worth checking out of tickets from there plus the singles to connect