If you’re looking for cheap train tickets then are a few ways to save money.
Split tickets make the least sense, but can offer a saving of up to 50%. The best way to explain split tickets is like this if your train goes from A to c you know you need to go through B, so buy a return ticket for A to B and the same for B to C so your still going to get the same journey and more often than not the same train and seat.
Buying Advance tickets, if you buy tickets the night before, it is still classed as a advance booking and can often save you 30%/ 40%. If you buy tickets at the station just before your journey you will end up paying a higher premium.
I am currently arranging a trip to Bristol, somewhere I have never been before and have found a very useful site that cuts out the need to go through lots of different websites. Everything you need to book your break is on there on one site.
With City Visitor I have found you can search for either a specific hotel or any that there are in the area, then I can easily check availability and book my stay online.
Now I had booked my hotel I can look on map & directions to find out where it is located and where the nearest train station is, which is handy as I will be travelling there by train. I can get directions from the Station to my hotel.
I will now have to decide where to eat whilst I am there, I always like to book in advance to avoid disappointment. So I can search for restaurants in the area and use a great tool whilst looking at multimap which shows where they are. I can do this by using the Hotel & Restaurant drop down box, select toptable restaurants. This then brings up list of restaurants in the area, each point shows a useful description of what type of cuisine they serve. You do have the option to book online via toptable, however if that is unavailable the restaurant contact details are provided including address & opening hours.
With my most important things sorted out (accommodation & food) I’ve had a look around on multimap and looked on useful information and checked cash points this has brought up where all the cash points are in Bristol, very handy as you always spend time wandering around looking for a bank.
With only one full day there I also want to make sure I can see a lot in Bristol and have had a look under useful information and checked Wikipedia which has brought up all places of interest and a bit of information about them and just in case I have time I have searched my favorite shops so I know where they are.
Virgin trains run from Glasgow Central in Scotland right down to London Euston, and out to as far as Holyhead in the west of the UK. Many of the Virgin train routes are serviced by their state-of-the-art Pendolino trains, which can travel up to 20% faster than conventional trains as they have the ability to tilt as they travel around curves. They can travel at up to 125mph and provide a smooth, comfortable journey for the passengers on board.
If you are travelling at the weekend and fancy treating yourself to a more luxurious travel experience, you can upgrade to first class for just £15. For this price you can enjoy wider seats, lengthy legroom and, on selected services, a complimentary breakfast. This does not need to be booked in advance. Just seat yourself in first class and speak to the on board train manager to pay for your upgrade.
Virgin trains offer their first class customers the opportunity to relax in their many exclusive lounges, which can be found at Birmingham International, London Euston, Coventry, Manchester Piccadilly, Runcorn, Birmingham New Street, Stoke on Trent and Wolverhampton. Free refreshments are available as is wireless broadband connection.
For passengers who have a Virgin credit card, they can take advantage of 10% off advanced train bookings when they pay with their card. Advance tickets are non-refundable and non-exchangeable. These fares only apply on certain routes and are subject to availability.
A new initiative between Manchester and London Euston allows passengers to purchase a mobitix, which means that their ticket is sent as a text message to their phone. These fares are available from £8 for a single journey.
Virgin Trains provide train travel of a high standard.
The Royal Scotsman is the luxury cruise train operating throughout the Highlands of Scotland. Passengers can choose from tours lasting from two nights to seven nights. The same company that runs the Venice Simplon Orient Express service operates the Royal Scotsman. This should signal to customers the standard of food, service and accommodation that they should expect to receive on board. Only 36 passengers can experience the wonder of the Royal Scotsman at any time making the experience feel all the more exclusive. The train has nine coaches and a 3:1 staff ratio so you are sure to feel pampered throughout your stay.
Whilst being looked after to the highest standard, passengers can sit back and enjoy some of the most breathtaking scenery the country has to offer. Of course, an experience like this does not come cheap but it is certainly worthwhile as a once in a lifetime treat. A two night trip on the Royal Scotsman starts at around £1,840 per person.
All Royal Scotsman tours commence at Edinburgh Waverley station. The first class experience starts there with tea or coffee in the first class lounge before a piper leads the way to your carriage.
From May to October, you can choose from the two night Highland tour, the three night Western tour, which costs around £2,680 per person, or the four night Highland Classic tour, which is priced at £3,300 per person. These prices are inclusive of all drinks, meals, accommodation and any off-train tours or excursions and can include clay pigeon shooting or a whisky distillery tour.
Scotrail is the main provider of rail services throughout Scotland. Along with helping millions of people to get to and from work every day, Scotrail also services many of the main tourist routes in Scotland and is a great way to see this beautiful country. At the recent National Transport Awards in London, Scotrail was named Public Transport Operator of the Year. Scotrail report punctuality of their trains at 94.2% and their reliability is assessed as 90%.
The West and North Highlands can be accessed by Scotrail services. Travellers can access Oban, Fort William and Mallaig from Glasgow Central Station. Oban is a three hour journey, while a further thirty minutes will take you on to Fort William. Mallaig is a five hour journey from Glasgow but you can sit back and enjoy some beautiful sights from the comfort of the train during this time. An advance single journey to Oban from Glasgow is currently £8.60 and you can expect to pay £11.70 for an advance single to Fort William. A day return ticket to both of these destinations will cost you £23.70. An advance single ticket to Mallaig is priced at £13.80 and a day return costs £31.40.
All advanced fares are subject to availability and must be booked by 6pm the day prior to travelling.
From Inverness, the North Highlands can be explored. Services run from Inverness station to Kyle of Lochalsh and Wick/Thurso. An advance single ticket to the former currently costs £11 and a day return ticket for this destination is priced at £19.10. Wick/Thurso can be reached on an advance single ticket for £10.20 and a day return is £20.40.
Such beautiful scenery is only a train journey away.
The drive from London to Cornwall can last at least six hours, and even longer if the traffic is really bad. Train travel is a more effective way to make this journey. The ‘Night Riviera’ sleeper train makes the beautiful towns of Cornwall accessible to travellers in the most convenient and relaxing way possible. The trains depart at 22.30 from London Paddington on Sunday to Friday nights. Trains also run in the opposite direction, commencing in Penzance at 21.35 Monday to Friday and 21.15 on Sundays. These trains make numerous stops along the way and eventually reach their final destination nine hours later. If you are going all the way, you can have a full night’s sleep and arrive refreshed and energised.
The Night Riviera has private sleeper compartments. They can either sleep one or two passengers. A single sleeper compartment has a single bed while the two person cabin has bunk-beds. The compartments also have a wash basin. Passengers can watch on-demand television on the LCD screens mounted in each sleeper cabin. Each passenger is provided with complimentary toiletries and a bottle of mineral water. Included in the fare is breakfast with tea, coffee and fruit juice. Passengers can choose to purchase a standard seat, which has extra leg room to take account of the lengthy journey, but booking a compartment is recommended.
Passengers can purchase a ‘sleeper advance’ train ticket for their journey between London and Cornwall or they can purchase a standard ticket for that journey and pay the sleeper berth supplement. A sleeper advance ticket costs from £69 one-way in a single-berth compartment or £49 one-way on a twin compartment. Once the cheaper tickets have sold, the prices rise so passengers are advised to book around twelve weeks in advance. The sleeper berth supplement on a standard fare is £45 for a single berth compartment and £30 for a twin berth compartment.
Industrial action brought rail travel chaos to south eastern England as workers from National Express East Anglia went on strike for 48 hours. One of the main lines affected was the London to Norwich line that is used by over two million commuters every week. Services were also disrupted throughout Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex and Cambridgeshire. The route between Stansted Airport and central London was cut to one train per hour, throwing travel plans into disarray. There are three more strikes planned throughout August.
National Express East Anglia released a statement declaring the action unnecessary and unrealistic. Managing director, Andrew Chivers said: “We have offered salary increases above the rate of inflation, and remain available at any time for discussions to reach a sensible, affordable and fair agreement.”
The strike action involves the Rail and Maritime and Transport (RMT) and Aslef members. They responded to the National Express statement by claiming that the company puts their profits ahead of their workforce and passengers.
National Express have already quit their £1.4 billion East Coast services. They were also issued with a stark warning by the government that they face losing further franchises. National Express have stated that they will fight the decision in court if the government choose to punish them in this way
RMT general secretary, Bob Crow said: “National Express have already created chaos through the impending collapse of their franchise on the East Coast route and under the franchise rules they should be given notice to quit on East Anglia and C2C lines.”
First TransPennine rail services run from Glasgow Central and Edinburgh Waverley stations in the north, down to destinations including Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool, Newcastle and York.
As an example of train fares on these routes; a person could currently travel to Manchester from Leeds for as little as £6 single, although rates will vary depending on the day and time of travel. Blackpool to Manchester is priced from £5 single and York to Manchester costs from £6.50 for a single fare. Newcastle to Manchester is slightly more costly with fares starting at £13.50 to travel from one metropolitan northern city to another. Fares from Edinburgh to Manchester are very reasonably priced from £12 upwards.
All timetables are displayed on the First TransPennine website. Timetables for services between Manchester stations, Sheffield and Cleethorpes include trains calling at Harborough, Grimsby Town, Barnetby, Doncaster, Scunthorpe, Meadowhall, Dore and Totley, Stockport and Chinley.
Barrow-in-Furness and Windermere services also call at Kendal, Oxenholme, Lancaster, Chorley, Bolton, Preston, Manchester, Ulverston, Grange-over-Sands and Carnforth. Services for Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and the North-East call at many other stations including Newcastle, Durham, Chester-le-Street, Scarborough, Darlington, Middlesbrough, Stalybridge and Huddersfield.
The train lines between Blackpool/Preston and Manchester allow passengers access to all Manchester stations including Salford, Bolton, Horwich Parkway, Adlington, Leyland, Chorley, Kirkham & Wesham and Poulton-le-Fylde.
Vouchers are currently available for two children to travel free when accompanied by a paying adult during the school holidays. Many other vouchers are available to download from the FirstTransPennine website for cheaper entry into many attractions accessible by their train services including Blackpool Pleasure Beach and the Jorvik Viking Centre in York.
The Caledonian sleeper train is one of the most popular ways to travel from Scotland to London, or indeed vice versa. This is the most practical and time-effective solution for those commuting for work from Monday to Friday and returning home at the weekends. It is also the more eco-friendly option as trains produce fewer CO2 emissions than air or car travel.
These Caledonian sleeper services run between London and Scotland every night except Saturdays. The London bound trains leave from stations right across Scotland and enable passengers to have a sound night’s sleep in preparation for their morning meeting or romantic getaway.
These sleeper trains are not unlike mobile hotels and each passenger has their own private compartment, which is available in standard and first class. You can specify a time for breakfast, which is included in the price, and it will be served to you in your room.
These trains offer services similar to cruise trains. Passengers can relax in the luxury of leather sofas or, for those passengers who have purchased a standard seat for the journey; reclining seats to ensure you get some shut-eye.
Two trains leave London Euston for Scotland from Sunday to Friday evenings but only one train leaves Scotland stations for London each evening. A first class, one berth sleeper fare costs £118.50 one way between London and Edinburgh/Glasgow. The 2-bed berth costs £52 for an advance fare or £85.50 for an anytime fare. Reclining seat journeys cost £24 on an advance booking or £50 on an anytime ticket.