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Tips for saving money on rail travel

July 27, 2009

Rail travelers are feeling the pinch due to another wave of fare increases and can beat ‘trainflation’ by smarter online buying.

Some of the train operating companies are using the rail franchise system to rip off passengers by raising fares up to 10% above inflation on some routes – thetrainline.com is keen to help rail passengers get the right ticket at the best price. In the current climate, rail fare increases must be a bitter pill to swallow for passengers feeling the pinch. Statistics show, however, that in spite of year-on year price increases, thetrainline.com actually help people beat ‘trainflation’.

Top tips for saving money:

Be flexible
Find out when you need to travel for the cheapest tickets. It’s ideal for those whose travel date is flexible.

Stay alert
Ticket Alerts offer travellers email alerts of cheap fares on favourite routes as soon as Advance tickets go on sale.

Beat the clock
By specifying your time of travel, tickets requiring you to travel on specific trains (Advance and Off-Peak) tend to be cheaper than Anytime fares

Opt for off-peak
Avoid the more expensive, peak times. Peak times can vary between different train operators but as a rule of thumb off-peak is after 9am weekdays and after the evening rush hour, around 7pm

Stay single
Two single tickets are often cheaper than a return, so be sure to click on the ‘two singles could be cheaper’ banner during the fare selection process.

Carry a card
Having a railcard could save you 1/3 off rail fares.

Be alternative
Some routes are operated by several train companies and quite often the slower, longer journeys will be cheaper than the faster one

Try a different route
You may be able to get a cheaper ticket by going on a different route or using a different departure station. For instance people travelling from Birmingham to London can go from Birmingham New Street to Euston or Birmingham Moor Street to Marylebone using different train operators.



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