Railing against the trains

Everyone likes a trip on a choo choo, don’t they? But those sky high charges for fares are a barrier to our enjoyment of rail travel.

But there are ways around the extortionate prices. Firstly, do your homework on where to buy your ticket from before buying. You can use the National Rail website, whcih holds information about advance fares and timetables. But before booking, make sure you’ve had a look at the promotions section of your rail service provider’s website. Thetrainline.com is a third part website that covers other commercial websites too, and where offers can often be found.

Booking in advance is the most reliable way of getting cheaper prices. Try to grab your tickets 12 weeks before travelling to grab the best deals. The best offers are always available online, and if you’re flexible with your travel days it may be a good idea to travel on a weekday.

Another cunning wheeze is to split your trip and buy various tickets to cover the same route. For example, if you’re travelling from Newcastle to London it may be better to buy a ticket to York and another from York to London. On certain routes you can save up to 60% this way – and it’s perfectly legal.

Finally, if your train is delayed by more than 30 minutes you may be able to reclaim some of the cost. Just keep your ticket stump and pick up a reclaim form from the station.

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