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Good websites for cheap train fares?

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Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
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    Hiya,
    was just wondering what websites people use to pre-book train fares?

    National Rail is a little bit steep, and in the past I've used East Midlands website. What others have you found that are good?
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    I normally just do it through National Rail to find the train times, and then the train company's website to book the tickets. I don't think there's anywhere that explicitly does cheap train tickets, but steer clear of the Trainline etc, as they charge a booking fee on top of your tickets.
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    (Original post by Ingenting)
    I normally just do it through National Rail to find the train times, and then the train company's website to book the tickets. I don't think there's anywhere that explicitly does cheap train tickets, but steer clear of the Trainline etc, as they charge a booking fee on top of your tickets.
    Thanks, it's a good job you told me that as I was just looking at them. I'll have a look at East Coast cheers
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    Every website lists the same prices (as far as I know)...beware of websites like the Trainline which charge a booking fee, so actually charge more despite what many people think. If you're looking to save more money there are other options
    (a) Buy a railcard if eligible
    (b) Buy off peak/advance tickets
    (c) Split your ticket (e.g. Travelling from Birmingham to Bristol, buy tickets from Bristol to Cheltenham Spa, and C.Spa to Birmingham rather than simply Bristol to B'ham). Make sure your train actually stops where you split the ticket though...
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    http://splitticket.moneysavingexpert.com/

    Good if you're travelling a distance.
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    (Original post by fuzzycloud)
    http://splitticket.moneysavingexpert.com/

    Good if you're travelling a distance.
    Shame it doesn't work on advance fares, but it's useful if travelling last minute. I can save about £6 on fares between London and Leeds by splitting.
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    (Original post by Ingenting)
    I normally just do it through National Rail to find the train times, and then the train company's website to book the tickets. I don't think there's anywhere that explicitly does cheap train tickets, but steer clear of the Trainline etc, as they charge a booking fee on top of your tickets.
    The booking fee is £1... :lolwut: hardly much!
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    (Original post by skotch)
    The booking fee is £1... :lolwut: hardly much!
    Yes, but why pay more for the same thing if you can get it cheaper elsewhere?
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    Redspottedhanky is a pretty good site. I don't think there are any booking fees either
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    the trainline are good.. sod the booking fee, but in return you can get open returns cheaply and they are a lot cheaper than national rail/greater anglia etc.

    some places are just dodgy so be careful
    also some charge to send the tickets, go and collect them
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    Open off-peak returns are so cheap on Trainline.

    I'd recommend RedSpottedHanky as well
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    (Original post by EssexDan86)
    Shame it doesn't work on advance fares, but it's useful if travelling last minute. I can save about £6 on fares between London and Leeds by splitting.
    Splitting on advances does work on some routes, I've used a combo of advances before.


    (Original post by skotch)
    The booking fee is £1... :lolwut: hardly much!
    Why pay a quid more when you don't have to.


    (Original post by littlemissmidget123)
    the trainline are good.. sod the booking fee, but in return you can get open returns cheaply and they are a lot cheaper than national rail/greater anglia etc.

    some places are just dodgy so be careful
    also some charge to send the tickets, go and collect them
    Absolute garbage. Trainline's tickets are EXACTLY THE SAME PRICE as everywhere else. You cannot get tickets any cheaper from the Trainline, they all come out of the same pricing/reservation system. E.g. If National Rail quotes you say £11.90 advance Manchester to London, that will be the same whether you go on Virgin trains website, same on the Trainline (with the added booking fee it makes it more!) and the same on booking through Northern.

    If you seriously give me any clear evidence the Trainline is cheaper (which you won't be able to) then I'll stop using trains for the rest of the year! :cool:

    Open Returns aka Anytime Returns are the same price bought in advance as they are on the day. Only advances are cheaper when bought in advance as they are quota controlled and steadily get more expensive as the cheaper bracketed fares are sold out.

    National Rail send you to another site to buy tickets, they do not sell them.
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    If you have a railcard, and are using Transpennine services, use the student section on tpexpress.co.uk, insanely cheap, I get Savings of around £15
    Alternatively, use national rails cheap fare finder. I've travelled from Warrington to London for £7.90, saving about £60!

    Biggest tip, BUY IN ADVANCE and be slightly flexible with your timings!
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    (Original post by VickyTink)
    If you have a railcard, and are using Transpennine services, use the student section on tpexpress.co.uk, insanely cheap, I get Savings of around £15
    Alternatively, use national rails cheap fare finder. I've travelled from Warrington to London for £7.90, saving about £60!

    Biggest tip, BUY IN ADVANCE and be slightly flexible with your timings!
    Cheap advances are golden. I travelled to London 1st Class for £13.20 with my railcard from my home station, its about 175 miles! Got back for £7.90 on a London to Manchester advance.

    TPEs student offer is brilliant as well, used that a few times, I always enjoy travelling with TPE. The trains aren't the biggest, blame the DfT for that though but you don't feel claustrophobic like you would on Virgin's Pendolinos. Travelled with TPE to Edinburgh, Newcastle and Glasgow this year from Manchester, never a problem.
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    (Original post by ChapelTom)



    Absolute garbage. Trainline's tickets are EXACTLY THE SAME PRICE as everywhere else. You cannot get tickets any cheaper from the Trainline, they all come out of the same pricing/reservation system. E.g. If National Rail quotes you say £11.90 advance Manchester to London, that will be the same whether you go on Virgin trains website, same on the Trainline (with the added booking fee it makes it more!) and the same on booking through Northern.

    If you seriously give me any clear evidence the Trainline is cheaper (which you won't be able to) then I'll stop using trains for the rest of the year! :cool:

    Open Returns aka Anytime Returns are the same price bought in advance as they are on the day. Only advances are cheaper when bought in advance as they are quota controlled and steadily get more expensive as the cheaper bracketed fares are sold out.

    National Rail send you to another site to buy tickets, they do not sell them.
    well my bro bought a cheaper ticket to london and an open return that it would have cost on greater anglia on tuesday, so there goes your theory -_-
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    (Original post by littlemissmidget123)
    well my bro bought a cheaper ticket to london and an open return that it would have cost on greater anglia on tuesday, so there goes your theory -_-
    My theory? Its fact! I know how the system works so don't try and pull the wool over my eyes,.

    I still don't believe that. You cannot possibly have bought a ticket from the trainline that would have been cheaper than had you bought it from another outlet, it all comes out the same system, did you not read that part? You have quite clearly been deceived by their 'clever' advertising.

    Still what's ironic is the sheep on the trainline adverts are actually the people who buy from them and believe their garbage.
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    (Original post by littlemissmidget123)
    well my bro bought a cheaper ticket to london and an open return that it would have cost on greater anglia on tuesday, so there goes your theory -_-
    As the person above said, no he didn't. Unless you can give the exact dates and stations involved, I refuse to believe thetrainline is any cheaper!

    I personally use Redspottedhanky because you get loyalty points for every purchase (and it's the same standard price as everywhere else with no booking fee) - though sometimes the relevant train operator is cheaper (Southern sometimes discount their own advance/off-peak tickets - I believe Eastcoast do the same and maybe a few others).
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    (Original post by ChapelTom)
    My theory? Its fact! I know how the system works so don't try and pull the wool over my eyes,.

    I still don't believe that. You cannot possibly have bought a ticket from the trainline that would have been cheaper than had you bought it from another outlet, it all comes out the same system, did you not read that part? You have quite clearly been deceived by their 'clever' advertising.

    Still what's ironic is the sheep on the trainline adverts are actually the people who buy from them and believe their garbage.

    (Original post by callum9999)
    As the person above said, no he didn't. Unless you can give the exact dates and stations involved, I refuse to believe thetrainline is any cheaper!

    I personally use Redspottedhanky because you get loyalty points for every purchase (and it's the same standard price as everywhere else with no booking fee) - though sometimes the relevant train operator is cheaper (Southern sometimes discount their own advance/off-peak tickets - I believe Eastcoast do the same and maybe a few others).
    well okay you want the details here they are

    from woodbridge to london (change at ipswich) (theres a bus replacement service thanks to work taking place)
    tomorrow - leaving at about 840.. cant remember the exact times.. and open return

    i cant remember the price figures, but the trainline was a few quid.. admittedly not much cheaper.. than greater anglia
    oh this is with a railcard too

    and by the way i dont believe the crap in adverts.. i rarely even watch them to be honest, i use the trainline because for me at least its cheaper. sure i could shop around all over the place.. but really thats just such an effort.. i dont even travel on trains much anyway as i drive most places
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    If you're travelling actually on the EastCoast line, they tend to do web-only discounts on some of their fares, which isn't a bad shout, plus you can get Reward Points if you spend at least £22 in a single transaction.

    I don't know if it's technically classed as split ticketing, but whenever I go up to Edinburgh/Armadale from Cardiff, I buy individual tickets for each stage of my journey, otherwise I'd never get an Advance ticket and would pay about £100 one way... This way even if I'm booking only a week in advance I can still manage it for around £40 one way.
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    (Original post by littlemissmidget123)
    well okay you want the details here they are

    from woodbridge to london (change at ipswich) (theres a bus replacement service thanks to work taking place)
    tomorrow - leaving at about 840.. cant remember the exact times.. and open return

    i cant remember the price figures, but the trainline was a few quid.. admittedly not much cheaper.. than greater anglia
    oh this is with a railcard too

    and by the way i dont believe the crap in adverts.. i rarely even watch them to be honest, i use the trainline because for me at least its cheaper. sure i could shop around all over the place.. but really thats just such an effort.. i dont even travel on trains much anyway as i drive most places
    I'm not gonna bother arguing anymore anyway. I'll be using both my car (when I get it sorted) and train. I'd rather be driving, train travel is a pain in the arse for convenience, unless I'm drinking when I'll be the only option!

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Updated: September 28, 2012
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