Why are train fares sometimes set at extortionate prices? Watch

JaredzzC
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I have an interview at Loughborough Univeristy next month so it's a necessity to travel there. I also can't decide which uni I would like to firm so I want to go to 2 or 3 of the applicant's day to help me make a more informed decision, but the prices seem to make a joke of it all.

Compared with when I went in September to the Open Days, the prices have more than doubled for some journeys.

In September/October, I went to Loughborough (return) for 52, now it's 107.
In September/October, I went to Nottingham (return) for 41, now it's 104.

The Manchester route has stayed at pretty much the same price though, and I want to go to Sheffield as well, but it ranges from around 100-135 (return):afraid::shock:

Travelling from Bath.
Had a look at the price of 2 singles instead, which doesn't make much difference.
Those prices are also with a 16-25 railcard discount applied.
I've looked on Trainline, GWR, Virgin & CrossCountry and the prices don't really seem to change.
Booking my tickets 2-4 weeks in advance as well.

I'm travelling from Bath, so in order to take advantage of the Applicant Days, I need to catch one of the earliest trains as they take around 3-4hours for each destination so that does hike the price up in some situations (although I took the same train times last year in sept/oct and the price was the same throughout the day)

Are the prices set higher because the trains aren't as congested so they need to make more money per seat?

A possibility I've looked at is getting a late evening train the day before the applicant day, then getting a B&B because that may work out cheaper overall.
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claireestelle
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(Original post by JaredzzC)
I have an interview at Loughborough Univeristy next month so it's a necessity to travel there. I also can't decide which uni I would like to firm so I want to go to 2 or 3 of the applicant's day to help me make a more informed decision, but the prices seem to make a joke of it all.

Compared with when I went in September to the Open Days, the prices have more than doubled for some journeys.

In September/October, I went to Loughborough (return) for 52, now it's 107.
In September/October, I went to Nottingham (return) for 41, now it's 104.

The Manchester route has stayed at pretty much the same price though, and I want to go to Sheffield as well, but it ranges from around 100-135 (return):afraid::shock:

Travelling from Bath.
Had a look at the price of 2 singles instead, which doesn't make much difference.
Those prices are also with a 16-25 railcard discount applied.
I've looked on Trainline, GWR, Virgin & CrossCountry and the prices don't really seem to change.
Booking my tickets 2-4 weeks in advance as well.

I'm travelling from Bath, so in order to take advantage of the Applicant Days, I need to catch one of the earliest trains as they take around 3-4hours for each destination so that does hike the price up in some situations (although I took the same train times last year in sept/oct and the price was the same throughout the day)

Are the prices set at higher prices because they trains aren't as congested so they need to make more money per seat?

A possibility I've looked at is getting a late evening train the day before the applicant day, then getting a B&B because that may work out cheaper overall.
Have you looked into split ticketing the journey? (where you buy many tickets to cover the journey perfectly legal but it reduces the cost). It seems that they've decided to charge more at peak times this year.
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JaredzzC
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(Original post by claireestelle)
Have you looked into split ticketing the journey? (where you buy many tickets to cover the journey perfectly legal but it reduces the cost). It seems that they've decided to charge more at peak times this year.
Never thought of that : )
I had a look and on some journeys it works out at almost the exact same price, and on the Loughborough route I save £5-10 in the morning (every little helps I guess) but it's still near the £100 mark.

I think after having a quick look, my best option for some destinations is to take a cheaper evening train after sixth form and get a B&B. It still works out to be relatively expensive, but I don't think I have many other options left. Looked at coaches in my area, and it's more expensive, if not the same as a train, but they take around 8 hours, so I'd miss the applicant day, so it's not really an option :hmmmm2:
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Hjm08
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Sometimes splitting your journey works out cheaper. Have a look


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claireestelle
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(Original post by JaredzzC)
Never thought of that : )
I had a look and on some journeys it works out at almost the exact same price, and on the Loughborough route I save £5-10 in the morning (every little helps I guess) but it's still near the £100 mark.

I think after having a quick look, my best option for some destinations is to take a cheaper evening train after sixth form and get a B&B. It still works out to be relatively expensive, but I don't think I have many other options left. Looked at coaches in my area, and it's more expensive, if not the same as a train, but they take around 8 hours, so I'd miss the applicant day, so it's not really an option :hmmmm2:
have you checked that one of the stations just after or just before bath on that route isn't significantly cheaper to travel from? that can be the case sometimes weridly.
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Yaboi
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Because this is England
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Len Goodman
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It's all basic economics - due to the increasingly high demand for train tickets, it makes sense to increase the prices to avoid overcrowding on the trains. In fact I'd say that the current fares are not high enough.
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999tigger
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(Original post by JaredzzC)
I have an interview at Loughborough Univeristy next month so it's a necessity to travel there. I also can't decide which uni I would like to firm so I want to go to 2 or 3 of the applicant's day to help me make a more informed decision, but the prices seem to make a joke of it all.

Compared with when I went in September to the Open Days, the prices have more than doubled for some journeys.

In September/October, I went to Loughborough (return) for 52, now it's 107.
In September/October, I went to Nottingham (return) for 41, now it's 104.

The Manchester route has stayed at pretty much the same price though, and I want to go to Sheffield as well, but it ranges from around 100-135 (return):afraid::shock:

Travelling from Bath.
Had a look at the price of 2 singles instead, which doesn't make much difference.
Those prices are also with a 16-25 railcard discount applied.
I've looked on Trainline, GWR, Virgin & CrossCountry and the prices don't really seem to change.
Booking my tickets 2-4 weeks in advance as well.

I'm travelling from Bath, so in order to take advantage of the Applicant Days, I need to catch one of the earliest trains as they take around 3-4hours for each destination so that does hike the price up in some situations (although I took the same train times last year in sept/oct and the price was the same throughout the day)

Are the prices set higher because the trains aren't as congested so they need to make more money per seat?

A possibility I've looked at is getting a late evening train the day before the applicant day, then getting a B&B because that may work out cheaper overall.
Its very complicated, but boils down o the train companies trying to screw as much money as possible from you. Coach/coach card and if needed go the day before should work out better.

I forot to add that many of the prices are set by computer according to algorythms, so they can at times appear not to make much sense.
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Yaboi
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(Original post by Len Goodman)
It's all basic economics - due to the increasingly high demand for train tickets, it makes sense to increase the prices to avoid overcrowding on the trains. In fact I'd say that the current fares are not high enough.
So how do you expect people to travel anywhere if they can't afford it?
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JaredzzC
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(Original post by claireestelle)
have you checked that one of the stations just after or just before bath on that route isn't significantly cheaper to travel from? that can be the case sometimes weridly.
They seem to be the same price.
Even if they were slightly cheaper, I'd have to pay for travel to those places as they're not within walking distance so it could end up costing more overall.
Good suggestion though, thanks.
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claireestelle
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(Original post by JaredzzC)
They seem to be the same price.
Even if they were slightly cheaper, I'd have to pay for travel to those places as they're not within walking distance so it could end up costing more overall.
Good suggestion though, thanks.
I see, seems you've fallen into the unfortunate trap of them being on saturdays so they barely offer any cheap tickets to begin with
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Asolare
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I can't really offer much advice but honestly I feel you, the train prices are ridiculously extortionate unless you travel at ridiculous-o'clock in the morning and evening.
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999tigger
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(Original post by claireestelle)
I see, seems you've fallen into the unfortunate trap of them being on saturdays so they barely offer any cheap tickets to begin with
I thought weekends was some of the cheapest tickets?
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claireestelle
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(Original post by 999tigger)
I thought weekends was some of the cheapest tickets?
With the exception of first class upgrades being dirt cheap at weekends (although there's much less food then so there's some sense behind it), i've not experienced that for longer journeys, i do live up north if that makes a difference.
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shawn_o1
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Blame the spineless government for culling the railway infrastructure in the first place. They were just so short-sighted thinking that aggressive marketing of the automobile could not cause problems in the future. When you lose a railway you lose the engineers that maintain the railway, and now this cash - strapped government is short of those with the skills, and can't afford to train people up. Leading to their failure to deliver their ambitious electrification plans on time and on budget.
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JaredzzC
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(Original post by Inexorably)
I can't really offer much advice but honestly I feel you, the train prices are ridiculously extortionate unless you travel at ridiculous-o'clock in the morning and evening.
That's the irony, though.

I plan on travelling at ridiculous o'clock in the morning (around 05:00-06:00), and that's when its at the most expensive. If I take a train at mid-day then the ticket ends up costing half of what it does in the morning, but by doing that I miss the interview so not really an option for me lol.
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JaredzzC
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(Original post by claireestelle)
I see, seems you've fallen into the unfortunate trap of them being on saturdays so they barely offer any cheap tickets to begin with

It's on a Wednesday :P All the interviews and most applicant days for me are on a Wednesday unfortunately. It's more expensive in the weekday, apparently. If I were to go on the same week but on a Saturday instead, I'd save £35 on the same journey at the same times :/
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999tigger
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(Original post by JaredzzC)
That's the irony, though.

I plan on travelling at ridiculous o'clock in the morning (around 05:00-06:00), and that's when its at the most expensive. If I take a train at mid-day then the ticket ends up costing half of what it does in the morning, but by doing that I miss the interview so not really an option for me lol.
I would just go up the day before.
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Tiger Rag
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It depends how far in advance you book them.
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jelly1000
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(Original post by JaredzzC)
I have an interview at Loughborough Univeristy next month so it's a necessity to travel there. I also can't decide which uni I would like to firm so I want to go to 2 or 3 of the applicant's day to help me make a more informed decision, but the prices seem to make a joke of it all.

Compared with when I went in September to the Open Days, the prices have more than doubled for some journeys.

In September/October, I went to Loughborough (return) for 52, now it's 107.
In September/October, I went to Nottingham (return) for 41, now it's 104.

The Manchester route has stayed at pretty much the same price though, and I want to go to Sheffield as well, but it ranges from around 100-135 (return):afraid::shock:

Travelling from Bath.
Had a look at the price of 2 singles instead, which doesn't make much difference.
Those prices are also with a 16-25 railcard discount applied.
I've looked on Trainline, GWR, Virgin & CrossCountry and the prices don't really seem to change.
Booking my tickets 2-4 weeks in advance as well.

I'm travelling from Bath, so in order to take advantage of the Applicant Days, I need to catch one of the earliest trains as they take around 3-4hours for each destination so that does hike the price up in some situations (although I took the same train times last year in sept/oct and the price was the same throughout the day)

Are the prices set higher because the trains aren't as congested so they need to make more money per seat?

A possibility I've looked at is getting a late evening train the day before the applicant day, then getting a B&B because that may work out cheaper overall.
I've just had a look at the Bath to Loughborough journey. £52 is for an off peak return journey (typically for travel after 9:30, sometimes evening restrictions too), £107 is for an open return (no restrictions on when you can travel). So the prices haven't doubled, you are just looking at different tickets. Neither are advance tickets i.e. ones which tie you to a particular train, which are always cheaper. Having said that I can't see any advance tickets for this particular route even 2 weeks ahead, maybe because there are too many changes.

From Bath to Nottingham you can get advanced tickets for £41 at certain times, I put in Wed 15 February as an example and Cross Country has told me that leaving Bath at 7:08 and leaving Nottingham at 18:41 would = £41 fare. If the 7:08 train is too late then the way there is £50-52, even on an advanced ticket, however on the way back if you didn't mind waiting around a bit then 18:41 a return advanced ticket would be £25.40. So the total would be closer to £70.
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