Split train fares

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by compo, 19 Aug 2012.

  1. compo

    compo Veteran

    I have just been wasting half an hour and following an item during the week on TV I decided to look at buying train tickets by splitting the journey.

    I used the National Rail Enquiries site and just accepted the default settings, so further filtering could affect the results.

    I looked at London to Norwich. The basic fare came out at £45 single, traveling today, Sunday. However, a single ticket between London and Colchester is £22, and a single between Colchester and Norwich is £16.50. Not an earth shattering saving, but a couple traveling could save enough to pay their taxi fare from Norwich station into the city centre.

    Buy online and print your own tickets and you don't even change trains. I am not sure how it works if you turn up at the booking office and request two tickets. Anyone any experience of such things?
  2. Red Light

    Red Light Guest

    No problem doing it at the booking office. Have done it many times for a split that saved me a third in the fare. There is a phone app TicketySplit that works out split fares but I've not found it that great. One of the big savings though can be on trains that depart at peak times and arrive off peak. Splitting at the first station after off-peak starts can save quite a bit.
  3. OP

    compo Veteran

    Same as I do with my bus pass which isn't valid (in Essex) until 0900. I catch a bus at 0850, so I pay the fare to a couple of stops down the road then show my pass for the remainder of the journey. Anyway good to know there is no hassle at the booking offices. I assume you need to know exactly what you want before asking for your tickets.
  4. Lee_M

    Lee_M Veteran

    I travel to norwich on a weekly basis, if you book a couple of days in advance you can get a first class for £33, and coming back you can get one for £12 if you change at Colchester, or £19 if you don't

    No sure therefore if splitting is even worth looking at
  5. Red Light

    Red Light Guest

    Yes, it's rare that ticket office staff will offer any help at all although when you ask for the tickets it sometimes starts a conversation about it, sometimes grumpy, sometimes friendly.
  6. OP

    compo Veteran

    I know there are cheaper ways to get tickets and I did say further filtering would probably affect the results I came up with. The results I had where for a non booked walk on service.

    The really crazy thing is that there are so many options available. Other than regular travelers I bet not many people actually travel as cheaply as they could. I know I don't. I just turn up and pay the demanded fare.
  7. annedonnelly

    annedonnelly Girl from the North Country

    I used to do it regularly on the Newcastle - Kings Cross trip - splitting the ticket at Peterborough. On a return ticket the saving was significant - over £50 I think. As you get reserved seats you sometimes have to change seats mid-journey. For some reason the homeward journey was often cheaper including a first class seat!
  8. Lee_M

    Lee_M Veteran

    Agreed I know that 2 singles booked a day in advance is way cheaper than a return, which in my mind is stupid. Returns used to be cheaper almost as a thank you for using the service but not any more
  9. ufkacbln

    ufkacbln Guest

    Also look at returns even for asingle journey.

    Especially during the Summer there are offers to encourage day trippers to tourist attractions.... often a subsidised day return like this is cheaper than a single for the same route!
  10. ufkacbln

    ufkacbln Guest

    I remember travelling from Durham to London on a first class ticket return ticket that was some £15 cheaper than the standard single!
  11. snorri

    snorri Legendary Member

    This site can be helpful, it shows cheaper options
    Actually there is no simple way of being sure of getting the best deal, but I am open to suggestions.:thumbsup:
  12. Arch

    Arch Married to Night Train

    Salford, UK

    The last time I went to book tickets to Winchester to visit my sister, I went armed with preferences of services, but a couple of queries (they seem to vary the services between my visits, and I had a more complex journey than normal required). The chap behind the counter actually offered to check if he could reduce the cost by splitting. Turned out there was no benefit, but he was happy to try even though I didn't ask him to!
  13. vernon

    vernon Harder than Ronnie Pickering

    Meanwood, Leeds
    Thanks for pointing this site out.

    It has the same user interface as East Coast trains and having used East Coast to book a Leeds - London return to take part in a FNRttC at £42, a reasonable price in my view, I now find that I could have got the same tickets for £28.50.

    I bet an on demand first class ticket would cost considerably more than a standard single.
  14. mcshroom

    mcshroom Bionic Subsonic

    Egremont, Cumbria
    My normal tactic is to put the whole journey into national rail, then look at all the changes on the through ticket separately to see if this can reduce the fare. It's amazing how often it does.

    A warning for people looking into splitting is that travelling short (getting off early) isn't allowed so if the station has inspectors/barriers you will be stuck*

    Also you cannot split a ticket at a station the train doesn't stop at, even if that train goes through that station.

    *There used to be a (not particularly legit) way round this at Reading by buying a single ticket from Reading West - Reading for the barrier, and the through ticket on the main train which worked out cheaper than buying a ticket to Reading.
  15. Red Light

    Red Light Guest

    Yes, stopping short is not allowed and they can ask you to buy a complete new ticket if you do. But you are entitled to break your journey at any stop and continue it later under the National Rail Conditions of Carriage. So if asked make clear that that is what you are doing ;-)
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