Prohibitive train fares

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
brianleach
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Location: Winchester, Hants

Prohibitive train fares

Postby brianleach » 24 Oct 2008, 5:50pm

I do not know if this is the right section for this but is it any wonder car usage is so high.

I need to get to Pembroke for the weekend next February and I thought why not take the bike on the train.

I look at the trainline site and would you believe that the fare is over £250 for an advance return. It is unlikely to be cheaper as two singles but I gave up when I found the outbound single fare was over £150.

In Athens during the summer I paid just 80 cents for a trip of about 10 stops on the metro. I didn't have my bike of course.

Brian

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braz
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Postby braz » 24 Oct 2008, 6:11pm

Hello, I wonder where you are coming from? (geographically, I mean).

It may be that the Advance (ie cheaper) fares have not been released yet - the trick is to try and find out when this will happen!

As the railways don't know themselves - I think it depends on their 'customer' levels at that time - try and befriend your local booking office clerk to help you.

Keep looking, and keep on trying - don't book a Friday or at peak times - and don't return on a Sunday.

I'm sure that something will turn up eventually!

regards to all, Braz.

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Cunobelin
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Postby Cunobelin » 24 Oct 2008, 6:23pm

Advance fares were a secret rise as they are only singles!

You cannot buy a return!

Wenow fly to Scotland as it is cheaper, quicker and easier - it is even easier to take bikes than on some rail companies!

PW
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Postby PW » 24 Oct 2008, 7:14pm

One way van hires. I know it's stupid, and not good environmentally either, but it's the only sane way to get a bike to the other end of the country without riding it. :(
If at first you don't succeed - cheat!!

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jan19
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Postby jan19 » 24 Oct 2008, 7:47pm

Try splitting the journey up - don't go for an "all the way" ticket. I have to go to Bristol on Tuesday (return fare £152) but by doing Orpington-London, Paddington-Bristol and the same back I've got it down to just over £40. I'm not paying as its work, but it shows what you can do.

Disadvantage is I'm on specified trains - but I can live with that.

Jan

Slowroad
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Postby Slowroad » 24 Oct 2008, 9:12pm

I've also found that splitting journeys drastically reduces fares. You might find more help on this website:
http://www.seat61.com/UKtravel.htm
Good luck! :)

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ferrit worrier
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Postby ferrit worrier » 24 Oct 2008, 9:20pm

check you wern't on an "Anytime" ticket. I've been pricing rail travel recently, I found Manchester to Penzance was 114.50 anytime so I altered the parameters by choosing an alternative tab, Wala £35 -- -- £45 depending on routing and TOC this was using fixed times.

Now as I see it and I may be wrong so if I am please correct me.

If you take your bike you have to book it on a particular train, one that suits you, providing space is available. if that is the case then there is no point in an anytime ticket. The other thing is make sure you read the cycle policy for each TOC you travel with, basicaly again as I see it and I'll stand correcting, I could travel Manchester to Birmingham bike space booked OK, Brimingham to Plymouth, bike space booked OK, Plymouth to Penzance first come first served. So if your planning a LeJog you could get allmost to your start point when "sorry trains full" So you've booked everything B&B Hostels trains etc but you can't travel because of that vital last link. For me it leaves to much to chance.
:roll:
Percussive maintainance, if it don't fit, hit it with the hammer.

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Cunobelin
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Postby Cunobelin » 24 Oct 2008, 9:31pm

Another con..... I bought a railcard to get a discount

I am now in aposition where my frequent journey is £5.40 without a railcard and £10 with - so I have now paid for the privilege of paying almost double the fare!

iaincullen
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Postby iaincullen » 24 Oct 2008, 11:29pm

I think you are a bit early for the Feb cheap fares.

This guide quotes 12 weeks ahead.

http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel ... in-tickets

brianleach
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Postby brianleach » 25 Oct 2008, 3:35pm

Thanks for the responses. I would be travelling from Winchester and sadly I have to go on Friday and come back Sunday.

Yes I did simplify rather. I tried to check February 2009 and as has been mentioned only three months ahead is possible so I used November 2008 which can't be very much different from February 2009 can it.

In fact I was looking at the anytime single first class price which is £169. The standard anytime is "only" £110.

I may look at splitting the tickets but sadly it's so much easier just to get in the car isn't it which was really my point. I shan't get any chance to use the bike over the weekend so I was really doing it as a low carbon option.

Brian

vernon
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Postby vernon » 26 Oct 2008, 6:03am

brianleach wrote:Thanks for the responses. I would be travelling from Winchester and sadly I have to go on Friday and come back Sunday.

Yes I did simplify rather. I tried to check February 2009 and as has been mentioned only three months ahead is possible so I used November 2008 which can't be very much different from February 2009 can it.

In fact I was looking at the anytime single first class price which is £169. The standard anytime is "only" £110.

I may look at splitting the tickets but sadly it's so much easier just to get in the car isn't it which was really my point. I shan't get any chance to use the bike over the weekend so I was really doing it as a low carbon option.

Brian


I did a quick check and found return fares in December were £79

Pricing is a lottery and they depend on many things including the proximity between departure day and booking day, remaining allocation of reduced fare tickets for particular trains and the day and date of the journey itself.

I'm quite impressed with the railways at the moment. Many of the rail journeys that I make with my bike are cheaper than if I drove. It's a different matter if I was wanting to travel with the rest of my family though.....

glueman
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Postby glueman » 26 Oct 2008, 7:13am

Pricing is ridiculous, which is to say it pays for huge infrastructure updates, mass stock replacement and aims to pay a dividend to shareholders while pretending to be a vital part of the transport and economic life of the country. Hence £200 Manc-London, etc, etc, etc.

The only people who travel intercity peak (not rush hour but whole swathes of the day) are being subbed by their employers so far as one can tell. And how is booking three months ahead a meaningful response to travel requirements? Ditto four tickets for one journey? I refuse to play internet poker to get from A to B.

Buy a car. At least until the railways are nationalised.

freedomfighter

Postby freedomfighter » 26 Oct 2008, 2:11pm

I use http://www.nationalrail.co.uk (note, different from .com) If you play around with splitting the journey (work around main stations) it can work out substantially cheaper.

For example, a 3 day return booked a month or so in advance, from Winchester to Pembroke, costs £79; as already said. However, if you get yourself a return to Southampton Central (about £5, I believe) and begin your journey to Pembroke from there, it'll cost just £27. Use nationalrail.co.uk to search for a return ticket from Southampton Central to Pembroke, and you'll see for yourself.

It's ridicuolous, isn't it.

I don't know if it has anything to do with if your journey involves using more than one different train operator, which stations you pass through, or whether or not you switch between the main-lines (here's a map (warning: PDF file)http://nationalrail.co.uk/tocs_maps/maps/trainoperators.pdf). I don't know. It shouldn't really have anything to do with either, but something's not right.

brianleach
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Location: Winchester, Hants

Postby brianleach » 26 Oct 2008, 3:25pm

Many thanks for taking the trouble to check this.

I have made a note and will check again in January next year.

Brian

Tonyf33
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Postby Tonyf33 » 27 Oct 2008, 10:04am

I think a lot of train journeys are good value if you can go at the right time. i book my son(adult fare) to go up to Hull from Letchworth garden city, if he goes on a Friday morning & comes back Monday at 7:30am it costs £25 (£10+£15) sometimes £35. If he goes for a week then we can sometimes get it for £20. Even driving like a snail in the diesel(@50mpg) costs me £35 plus the wear & tear.