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Train tickets are so expensive!!! watch

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    I frequently travel Leeds-London, and it's an absolute joke how much the trains cost. Particularly considering East Coast is now meant to be a government-owned company.

    I know it's what everyone says, but if the government really wants to encourage people out of their cars and onto sustainable public transport they need to up their subsidies and run more services. At the moment I'm counting down the days until my next driving test where hopefully I'll pass and buy a car for these journeys instead.
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    (Original post by EssexDan86)
    I frequently travel Leeds-London, and it's an absolute joke how much the trains cost. Particularly considering East Coast is now meant to be a government-owned company.

    I know it's what everyone says, but if the government really wants to encourage people out of their cars and onto sustainable public transport they need to up their subsidies and run more services. At the moment I'm counting down the days until my next driving test where hopefully I'll pass and buy a car for these journeys instead.
    I recently drove York - Edinburgh, thinking how it'd be cheaper because it would've cost me £55 off-peak return. Oh, it was hideous. I so regretted driving rather than getting the train - it practically emptied my tank (each way cost about £33 in petrol, and I drive a fairly economical car), took almost five hours and was just a huge pain in the bum. If I book even about two to three weeks in advance, it can cost me about £18 return, and takes 2.5 hours.
    Similarly, it costs about the same to drive Oxford-York as it does to train it, and takes about the same length of time.

    Some journeys can be made considerably better by driving, but I haven't really found that there's a massive difference for the journeys I make (and instead I just get pissed off that I'm killing the planet and I can't even read a book while I'm doing it!)
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    (Original post by Doodahdoo)
    I recently drove York - Edinburgh, thinking how it'd be cheaper because it would've cost me £55 off-peak return. Oh, it was hideous. I so regretted driving rather than getting the train - it practically emptied my tank (each way cost about £33 in petrol, and I drive a fairly economical car), took almost five hours and was just a huge pain in the bum. If I book even about two to three weeks in advance, it can cost me about £18 return, and takes 2.5 hours.
    Similarly, it costs about the same to drive Oxford-York as it does to train it, and takes about the same length of time.

    Some journeys can be made considerably better by driving, but I haven't really found that there's a massive difference for the journeys I make (and instead I just get pissed off that I'm killing the planet and I can't even read a book while I'm doing it!)

    Hmm, don't get me wrong I don't think driving would save a great deal of money, but it would be a lot more convenient in that if I decided to go back to Essex for the weekend from Leeds I could decide on the day, rather than having to book a long way ahead. Return fares even booked a month in advance seem to be averaging £55 return, which is steep! I've been catching the trains for years, and there's definitely been a big increase in both the prices and the rate at which the cheaper fares get snapped up.
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    (Original post by PhoenixFortune)
    Returns are almost always more expensive than singles. Try buying two singles (one for the outward journey, one for coming back) and that should make it less expensive.

    It also depends on the company. The 16-25 railcard seems to work better with First Great Western than Cross Country or London Midlands, as the latter companies don't accept it on some routes.
    1 - singles will only usually work out cheaper if they are advance singles. For "normal" single tickets, a return will usually only be a few quid more.

    2 - that is just wrong. The railcard gives you 33% off all fares on any route. The only exception is if you are trying to use it before 10am on a weekday, where there is a £12 minimum charge (so essentially, to use the railcard, the fare would have to be more than £12).
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    (Original post by WelshBluebird)
    1 - singles will only usually work out cheaper if they are advance singles. For "normal" single tickets, a return will usually only be a few quid more.
    It still works out cheaper, even if it's only by a few pounds.

    (Original post by WelshBluebird)
    2 - that is just wrong. The railcard gives you 33% off all fares on any route. The only exception is if you are trying to use it before 10am on a weekday, where there is a £12 minimum charge (so essentially, to use the railcard, the fare would have to be more than £12).
    Actually, I once tried to book a journey from Bristol Temple Meads to Leicester (CrossCountry), and the normal price was exactly the same as the price when I used my Young Person's Railcard. That was a journey at 11:30am, but to be fair, they have since made it a railcard-applicable route.
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    (Original post by EssexDan86)
    Hmm, don't get me wrong I don't think driving would save a great deal of money, but it would be a lot more convenient in that if I decided to go back to Essex for the weekend from Leeds I could decide on the day, rather than having to book a long way ahead. Return fares even booked a month in advance seem to be averaging £55 return, which is steep! I've been catching the trains for years, and there's definitely been a big increase in both the prices and the rate at which the cheaper fares get snapped up.
    This is where competition in the free market fails. Because of logistical issues with transport, there is little way you can have true competition upon privatisation in the same way we think of supermarkets. It would cost me £100 to travel from Durham to Bracknell one way so I'm paying my brother petrol money to pick me up since it's cheaper and I can shove all my books in his boot. Apparently it will only cost £80 in petrol money. Partly why I live out during university, so I don't need to return home every time there's a holiday.
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    (Original post by PhoenixFortune)
    It still works out cheaper, even if it's only by a few pounds.

    Actually, I once tried to book a journey from Bristol Temple Meads to Leicester (CrossCountry), and the normal price was exactly the same as the price when I used my Young Person's Railcard. That was a journey at 11:30am, but to be fair, they have since made it a railcard-applicable route.
    1 - it does depend on times etc, but unless its an advance fare, very rarely do two singles make a journey cheaper. It costs me just over £15 for a normal return from home to uni. Buying two singles would cost over £20. The same for home to Cardiff (£3.70 is return, £2.30 ish single). There are probably a few exceptions, but I use trains an awful lot, and I have not seen a normal return be more expensive than two normal singles.

    2 - again, never ever seen anything like that. You can use a 16-25 railcard on every single route as far as I am aware. Some trains you have to buy the ticket in advance (rather than from the conductor on the train), but I have never seen or heard of one where you couldn't use it full stop. Perhaps it was a while ago?

    It wouldn't make sense for some operators to accept railcarsds and others not to, because usually you do not buy a ticket for a particular operator. If I go and buy a ticket to exeter, I can use it on any valid FGW or XC train. Or from Cardiff to Newport, you can use FGW, XC or Arriva.
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    (Original post by WelshBluebird)
    2 - again, never ever seen anything like that. You can use a 16-25 railcard on every single route as far as I am aware. Some trains you have to buy the ticket in advance (rather than from the conductor on the train), but I have never seen or heard of one where you couldn't use it full stop. Perhaps it was a while ago?
    This was October 2008, so they've probably updated the costs by now. The change at Birmingham might have confused the issue. Oh well. Maybe it was just a mistake by the website.
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    Advance book it, simples. The only downside with this is that you're tied to your trains. I've done Liverpool - Euston for £20 first class before now.
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    (Original post by Doodahdoo)
    I recently drove York - Edinburgh, thinking how it'd be cheaper because it would've cost me £55 off-peak return. Oh, it was hideous. I so regretted driving rather than getting the train - it practically emptied my tank (each way cost about £33 in petrol, and I drive a fairly economical car), took almost five hours and was just a huge pain in the bum. If I book even about two to three weeks in advance, it can cost me about £18 return, and takes 2.5 hours.
    Similarly, it costs about the same to drive Oxford-York as it does to train it, and takes about the same length of time.
    The other point is that many, many people compare the cost of petrol against the cost of a rail ticket. That's not a fair comparison (pardon the pun)!

    (Original post by Applefan)
    I hate the fact that to get a train ticket at a reasonable price I have to plan when I want to go home three months in advance...I don't want to do that! I mostly have to settle with paying for either an £86 or £145 on-the-day return ticket (London to Leeds) due to work commitments and the fact I want to travel when I want.
    We have a choice - pay more to travel whenever we want, or pay less and travel when it suits the TOC. (Similarly, when booking with one of those "cheapo" airlines, you have to travel when it's convenient for them - oh, and you're never going to get an open ticket!).

    It is worth pointing out that advance purchase tickets (which as others have said are vastly cheaper) are IN THEORY on sale up to 1800 the previous day. However, they are subject to quotas and so it's likely that some, especially the cheapest, will be sold out - you may, however, get a cheaper fare so always take a wee look before going for a normal ticket.

    Plus the usual stuff which others have covered - YP railcard, split ticketing, and don't not pay as it pushes the prices up!
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    (Original post by WelshBluebird)
    2 - again, never ever seen anything like that. You can use a 16-25 railcard on every single route as far as I am aware. Some trains you have to buy the ticket in advance (rather than from the conductor on the train), but I have never seen or heard of one where you couldn't use it full stop. Perhaps it was a while ago?

    It wouldn't make sense for some operators to accept railcarsds and others not to, because usually you do not buy a ticket for a particular operator. If I go and buy a ticket to exeter, I can use it on any valid FGW or XC train. Or from Cardiff to Newport, you can use FGW, XC or Arriva.
    May be an AP ticket prior to the changes a year or so ago, when a lot of AP tickets didn't have railcard discounts.

    As for buying the ticket before traveling I'll just point out that you should do this on every journey UNLESS the station where you board has no working ticket machine and open no ticket office. If the latter is the case the guard will have to sell you any ticket which would be sold at the ticket office - if you travel without a ticket when you could have bought one you'll most likely be charged full price no discounts (except some open access operators - Hull Trains & Grand Central - who are more liberal, and others e.g. London area who charge penalty fares).
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    Does anyone know how will I be able to get cheap tickets travelling from Manchester to Liverpool tomorrow?
    Have not booked in advance.
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    (Original post by sandettielightvessel)
    As for buying the ticket before traveling I'll just point out that you should do this on every journey UNLESS the station where you board has no working ticket machine and open no ticket office. If the latter is the case the guard will have to sell you any ticket which would be sold at the ticket office - if you travel without a ticket when you could have bought one you'll most likely be charged full price no discounts (except some open access operators - Hull Trains & Grand Central - who are more liberal, and others e.g. London area who charge penalty fares).
    Yeah, obviously. Though some conductors are fairly lenient and will let buy a normal ticket (and some will let you use a railcard). While others will make you pay the full anytime fee, and some will charge you the penalty fare. It all depends on the conductor on the day really.
    (for me, most of the time I do get on at a station without a ticket office or machine, so do end up buying from the conductor unless I have booked tickets in advance online).

    And if a late train means you don't have time to buy tickets at a station, you are allowed to just get on the train and buy the tickets from the conductor. This is specified by National Rail, so don't feel pressured by a conductor if they try to argue that one against you, as I have done before.
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    I've only just discovered the joys of booking in advance.

    Return trip to Edinburgh for around £15 (admittedly, with a railcard).

    I am not complaining...
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    I just checked how much it will be to get from Sunderland to Worthing when I come back from uni at Xmas, and the cheapest I can find is £9 on National Express coach.

    It may be about an eleven hour journey, but for that price I don't care! It was disgustingly priced on the trains, about £130!
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    (Original post by Vix)
    I just checked how much it will be to get from Sunderland to Worthing when I come back from uni at Xmas, and the cheapest I can find is £9 on National Express coach.

    It may be about an eleven hour journey, but for that price I don't care! It was disgustingly priced on the trains, about £130!
    But a single on Grand Central is about £30, and advance tickets between Victoria and Worthing are £2.45 with a railcard. Christmas tickets aren't out yet, but that's an indication.
 
 
 
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