Traveling from Manchester to London

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Cian.H
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I am debating to go to my family in London, So, if you have any experience as a kid of going on a train, please tell me, how yours went. Getting on time, people, Seats: anything you deem important. However I have some questions as well.

1. How intimidated (honestly) were you?
2. What time should you suggest being there?
3.how was luggage, how easy to move around.
4. How clear is it when it’s your stop.
5. When actually getting into the station (I’ve heard the reception are a bit nasty) how nice were your reception.
6. Apart from a go and return ticket, anything else I need?

Thanks a lot. I’m so used to busses for travel. I haven’t been on a train ever. Here’s some info if you want to try help a little more.
I’m 15
From here to London (3H, 15M)
I will only have a backpack.
I don’t know what the best and cheapest methods are (ext, online booking, passes)
Since it’s 3 hours, I’ve heard it’s super packed: is there anyway I can save a seat??
What’s the best way to keep a ticket (phone tickets or paper tickets)

Thank you for the responses! Even though you don’t see it you are actually going to give me a life long memory. Please please give accurate info. Last time, thank you
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marple
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(Original post by Cian.H)
I am debating to go to my family in London, So, if you have any experience as a kid of going on a train, please tell me, how yours went. Getting on time, people, Seats: anything you deem important. However I have some questions as well.

1. How intimidated (honestly) were you?
2. What time should you suggest being there?
3.how was luggage, how easy to move around.
4. How clear is it when it’s your stop.
5. When actually getting into the station (I’ve heard the reception are a bit nasty) how nice were your reception.
6. Apart from a go and return ticket, anything else I need?

Thanks a lot. I’m so used to busses for travel. I haven’t been on a train ever. Here’s some info if you want to try help a little more.
I’m 15
From here to London (3H, 15M)
I will only have a backpack.
I don’t know what the best and cheapest methods are (ext, online booking, passes)
Since it’s 3 hours, I’ve heard it’s super packed: is there anyway I can save a seat??
What’s the best way to keep a ticket (phone tickets or paper tickets)

Thank you for the responses! Even though you don’t see it you are actually going to give me a life long memory. Please please give accurate info. Last time, thank you
Hi

Traveling by train is very straight forward. You can get what is called an open return ticket which lets you travel on any train between Manchester and London and is so more flexible, but these are expensive. Its much cheaper to buy a ticket in advance and for specific trains. Look at Thetrainline.com, redspottedhanky.com, national rail and similar sites, they will show you ticket prices for different trains, select the train and they will automatically allocate you a seat (unless its an anytime/open ticket in which case they give you the option of reserving a seat. If you are able to travel at less popular times (after 10 am and before 3pm or later in the evenings) tickets are often much cheaper. You can get a young persons railcard for £30, which gives you 1/3 off the ticket price but if this is your only trip it might not be worth it. www.railcard.co.uk

If you use a railcard you will need to carry it with you and show it when your ticket is inspected.

Companies like thetrainline let you have a ticket on your phone, or you can collect it from a machine at the railway station. You can also have a paper ticket posted to you but that costs more.

At the end of each train carriage there is space for large items of luggage, and there are shelved over the seats running down the length of the carriage for smaller bags, coats etc. You can't put luggage in the aisles.

Make sure you arrive at the station in plenty of time - at least half a hour before your train if you've never used the station before. They will have big screens displaying train times and destinations and will show what platform your train goes from. At a lot of stations you need to scan your ticket to get access to the platforms, then just follow the signs to your platform. Stations don't have receptions as such - there is a ticket office and staff to help but most people buy tickets in advance.

Your train will terminate in London, but there will be a voice announcement before each stop telling passengers the next station.

There are also regular coach services between Manchester and London - Megabus is pretty cheap.

Enjoy your trip
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TootFlute
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(Original post by Cian.H)
I am debating to go to my family in London, So, if you have any experience as a kid of going on a train, please tell me, how yours went. Getting on time, people, Seats: anything you deem important. However I have some questions as well.

1. How intimidated (honestly) were you?
2. What time should you suggest being there?
3.how was luggage, how easy to move around.
4. How clear is it when it’s your stop.
5. When actually getting into the station (I’ve heard the reception are a bit nasty) how nice were your reception.
6. Apart from a go and return ticket, anything else I need?

Thanks a lot. I’m so used to busses for travel. I haven’t been on a train ever. Here’s some info if you want to try help a little more.
I’m 15
From here to London (3H, 15M)
I will only have a backpack.
I don’t know what the best and cheapest methods are (ext, online booking, passes)
Since it’s 3 hours, I’ve heard it’s super packed: is there anyway I can save a seat??
What’s the best way to keep a ticket (phone tickets or paper tickets)

Thank you for the responses! Even though you don’t see it you are actually going to give me a life long memory. Please please give accurate info. Last time, thank you
*oops took too long writing this and seen that someone else has replied with the same info! Gonna post and hope it's helpful anyway!*

Hi, I'm 18 and I've travelled to London a couple of times by train as a kid, with mixed experiences.
It's not too intimidating. The first couple of times I travelled, I was mostly worried about getting on and off the right train and at the right stations, but it is very hard to make a mistake.
I would suggest getting at the station about 20mins before, just so you know which platform you should be on ect., you should still have time to spare.
There's lots of places to put your luggage such as overhead shelves, for things like your backpack, and bigger storage shelves, for things like large suitcases.
Usually, London is the last stop, so it will be clear when everybody gets off. But if it isn't, there is usually an announcement stating what stop is next, and then when you get to the stop. Quite frequently, the announcement will also give a list of the stops so you can count down or work out what stops are before yours.
To be honest, there isn't much of a reception at all! Everyone gets off and leaves the platform. It's usually quite busy and crowded but everyone's moving in the same direction so it's not too bad. Every time I've travelled to London, I've never had my ticket checked when I've arrived which is odd. But they might check, so it wouldn't hurt to get your ticket out just in case.
It's a long train so some entertainment might be a good idea, or some snacks? Sometimes, some seat have access to a plug socket so to have a phone charger handy is useful.
Booking online is probably the best way. If you do it in advance it's usually cheaper. If you're 15 you can still buy and child's ticket but it might be cheaper to buy a 16-25 railcard (makes tickets 1/3 cheaper) and buy an adult's ticket. You'll have to do some research on this one though, I'm not sure which will be cheaper. And if you don't get trains often, a railcard isn't worth it.
When you book online, you can reserve a seat which is great.
Also, do some research on when there are significant football matches going on! I got a train to London packed with footy fans once. I had a reserved seat but there was no chance of me getting it! Fortunately, I was able to get my money back, but it was just an avoidably uncomfortable trip to London.
I think either method of keeping tickets is fine. Keeping a phone ticket is probably easier to keep track of.
I hope I've answered all your questions (and they make sense!)
If you have any more, I'm happy to answer.
Happy traveling!
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Cian.H
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Report Thread starter 3 months ago
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Thank you. I feel a lot calmer now. With some research Im worried about two things,
1) me being a ‘kid’ could be challenged. I have no id to prove I am a kid.
2) just the trains, what train is what. I mean, in the Trainline app, I get 2 trains. And both are different like brands.

Also if anyone can clear up what peak times are,
When the trainline shows available options it says “peak times” please just clear up if that means it can be used with peak time tickets, if it’s only peak times tickets. I’m just lost, thank you a lot though!
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TootFlute
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Perhaps you could bring a photocopy of a passport or birth certificate? That might work.The train brands don't make a significant difference other than what they look like. The train line app always gets the train times right and makes sure there is enough of a gap between them to travel from platforms, regardless of the train brand. And the term 'peak times' is a bit vague, here is what Train Line says:'Exact Super Off-Peak train times can vary across routes and train companies, but they're usually the least busy travel periods during the week. Super Off-Peak travel times are normally between around 10:00 to 15:30 and from 19:15 onwards Monday to Friday.'And weekends are described as being off-peak too I believe.
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Appirition
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(Original post by Cian.H)
Thank you. I feel a lot calmer now. With some research Im worried about two things,
1) me being a ‘kid’ could be challenged. I have no id to prove I am a kid.
2) just the trains, what train is what. I mean, in the Trainline app, I get 2 trains. And both are different like brands.

Also if anyone can clear up what peak times are,
When the trainline shows available options it says “peak times” please just clear up if that means it can be used with peak time tickets, if it’s only peak times tickets. I’m just lost, thank you a lot though!
1) At 15 you will need some form of ID if you get a child's ticket (which you are fully entitled to get), but anyone checking your ticket needs to know that you are 15, not 16, since 16 = adult for tickets.
As TootFlute said, a photocopy of your birth certificate or your passport if you have one, should do the job just fine.

2) My advice on this is to ignore the brand names, and just focus on where the trains are going to.
For each train, find out where its final destination is even if you're not going to that final destination, because announcements and destination boards always give the final destination first then they list the stations the train will be calling at (listed in journey order - next stop listed first, etc). Also, make sure you know the exact time that each of your trains are meant to depart.

'Peak Times' are the times that most people travel and generally go on people going to work, so arriving into the major cities such as Manchester, London, Birmingham, etc to get people to work for 9:00am, and then take people home in the evenings. There is no one fixed time for every train or station, but rough guides are:
Mon-Fri 7:00 - 9:30 & 16:00 - 19:00.
Cheapest times during the day to travel are usually late morning to early afternoon, and that's because they are often the quietest trains.
Sat & Sun there are no regular 'Peak Times', it all depends on which trains (if any) they expect to be very busy. Football matches, as someone else mentioned is a good example, so try to avoid those.

A couple of other points:
'TheTrainLine' charges more on most tickets than if you get your ticket directly from any train company's website.
I always use the National Rail website and App when journey planning and buying train tickets. You can buy tickets for any journey from any/every train company's website, you don't have to be travelling on their train.
https://www.nationalrail.co.uk On the App Store or Play Store, search for National Rail These will take you directly to one of the train companies websites or Apps to actually buy your tickets.

If you can get to Manchester Piccadilly, you can get direct trains from there to London Euston (no changes) that take 2 hours 5 mins - 2 hours 10 mins
This might be easier for you, especially as it's your first time travelling by train.
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TootFlute
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Perhaps you could bring a photocopy of a passport or birth certificate? That might work.The train brands don't make a significant difference other than what they look like. The train line app always gets the train times right and makes sure there is enough of a gap between them to travel from platforms, regardless of the train brand. And the term 'peak times' is a bit vague, here is what Train Line says:'Exact Super Off-Peak train times can vary across routes and train companies, but they're usually the least busy travel periods during the week. Super Off-Peak travel times are normally between around 10:00 to 15:30 and from 19:15 onwards Monday to Friday.'And weekends are described as being off-peak too I believe.
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