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The Masked Tulip

How To Use A Train In The Uk

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I have not been on a train in the UK for years and have no idea how the process works anymore.

Last time I got on a train I would buy a ticket and either be able to return anytime that day or anytime with 30 days.

Is this still the case?

I heard someone say that now - this is Arriva trains - that you have to book a ticket for a certain train departure and a certain train return. In other words, you can't buy a ticket and if you miss your train you simply get on the next one?

Anyone know anything about this? The bus seems a lot less hassle.

This is Swansea to Cardiff return next week sometime.

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you can still buy a ret ticket and return in 30 days (between certain hours depending on the type you buy), the other tickets are the cheaper ones where you choose dates and times. It all depends how much you want to pay?

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If you're lucky then by booking a specific train in advance you may be able to get a ticket that's merely expensive instead of hideously extortionate.

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Guest happy?

I have not been on a train in the UK for years and have no idea how the process works anymore.

Last time I got on a train I would buy a ticket and either be able to return anytime that day or anytime with 30 days.

Is this still the case?

I heard someone say that now - this is Arriva trains - that you have to book a ticket for a certain train departure and a certain train return. In other words, you can't buy a ticket and if you miss your train you simply get on the next one?

Anyone know anything about this? The bus seems a lot less hassle.

This is Swansea to Cardiff return next week sometime.

Is actually cheaper to buy a ticket to Swansea via Cowdenbeath than go direct. I still don't miss BR sandwiches - or warm tins of Red Barrel.

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Well I tried this the other day and was slightly confused by the process. If you want to immediately board a train you will pay a high price, it gets cheaper if you pay in advance.So I went to thetrainline.com to check out prices from Huddersfield to London (all stations) roughly a week in advance. The cheapest/quickest route seemed to be Huddersfield => Manchester => Euston which surprised my a little expecting Hudd => Wakefield Westage (or Leeds) to Kings X. Anyway the ticket options were presented in a confusing way with a series of check boxes and the allegedly cheaper options high lighted. In fact I think they wanted me to buy two single tickets. Not especially cheap ether. The outgoing ticket was over £30 and the return over £25. The cheapest "return" ticket was almost £80. This was for travel down one afternoon and return the following. An "open return" was really expensive and don't want to know the cost of "First Class" as it would be cheaper to fly to New York. I've decided to go by car instead.

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Guest Noodle

Well I tried this the other day and was slightly confused by the process. If you want to immediately board a train you will pay a high price, it gets cheaper if you pay in advance.So I went to thetrainline.com to check out prices from Huddersfield to London (all stations) roughly a week in advance. The cheapest/quickest route seemed to be Huddersfield => Manchester => Euston which surprised my a little expecting Hudd => Wakefield Westage (or Leeds) to Kings X. Anyway the ticket options were presented in a confusing way with a series of check boxes and the allegedly cheaper options high lighted. In fact I think they wanted me to buy two single tickets. Not especially cheap ether. The outgoing ticket was over £30 and the return over £25. The cheapest return was almost £80. This was for travel down one afternoon and return the following. An "open return" was really expensive and don't want to know the cost of "First Class" as it would be cheaper to fly to New York. I've decided to go by car instead.

It costs £1 to go from Bangkok to Aranyapraphet. That's about 250 miles.

Even with the vast difference in earnings . . . :angry:

. . . and for decades all governments have banged on about public transport.

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Guest X-QUORK

Maybe someone with right wing leanings could explain how privatisation has helped the consumer?

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You need to know the new names of the different tickets to suss it out. But it's only really the tickets you buy before hand that are tied to a specific train. Most (all?) of the ones you buy on the day are for any train and are good for return up to 30 days away.

Most important is 'Anytime' and 'Off-peak'. 'Anytime' is more expensive but you can travel at rush hour (usually weekdays before 9ish and from 4-7ish but each train line is different...). Off-peak is much cheaper, like ~1/3rd cheaper so worth it if it fits your plans.

Also, you have to buy your ticket before you get on - you used to be able to jump on at the last minute and buy a ticket from the conductor . That doesn't usually work any more because:

1) There usually isn't a conductor(!)

2) Train companies are putting more ticket barriers on the platforms so you can't even get to the train without a ticket :-(

So it's all a complete mess - got to love privatisation!

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Well I tried this the other day and was slightly confused by the process. If you want to immediately board a train you will pay a high price, it gets cheaper if you pay in advance.So I went to thetrainline.com to check out prices from Huddersfield to London (all stations) roughly a week in advance. The cheapest/quickest route seemed to be Huddersfield => Manchester => Euston which surprised my a little expecting Hudd => Wakefield Westage (or Leeds) to Kings X. Anyway the ticket options were presented in a confusing way with a series of check boxes and the allegedly cheaper options high lighted. In fact I think they wanted me to buy two single tickets. Not especially cheap ether. The outgoing ticket was over £30 and the return over £25. The cheapest "return" ticket was almost £80. This was for travel down one afternoon and return the following. An "open return" was really expensive and don't want to know the cost of "First Class" as it would be cheaper to fly to New York. I've decided to go by car instead.

I looked on some website last night and it appeared to be telling me that a single was £12.50 but a return was £6.50.

I picked up a friend from the train station a few months back and whilst waiting I had a look at the ticket machine and I recall it said it was £8 off-peak return... or that may have been a single... the ruddy bus is £6 return and I can catch any one I like leaving and returning so the train has lost it...

No wonder people don't use train.... I mean, it trains should be simple to use, you just get on and off.

Reminds me of my grandfather who worked for GWR - in the 30s my grandmum took my mum on an away day to Ilfracombe, they missed the train back and so my granddad organised a train to go and pick them up.... don't get that service nowadays I guess :huh:

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Oh, and don't use thetrainline.com. They are a third party and add on a credit/debit card charge if you use them.

Use nationalrail.co.uk for times, then buy the tickets direct from the train company instead.

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Maybe someone with right wing leanings could explain how privatisation has helped the consumer?

The only thing that's improved is you can get some bargain fares, and the stations are nicer.

Easybus had £1 train fares from London to B'ham.

I've gone form Stansted to 240 miles away for £11 whereas the London lega alone usually costs £19.

Since privatisation, even though passenger numbers have increased greatly and fares have near doubled, the subsidy from the government has quadrupled.

So much for the private sector does everything better.

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The only thing that's improved is you can get some bargain fares, and the stations are nicer.

Easybus had £1 train fares from London to B'ham.

I've gone form Stansted to 240 miles away for £11 whereas the London lega alone usually costs £19.

Since privatisation, even though passenger numbers have increased greatly and fares have near doubled, the subsidy from the government has quadrupled.

So much for the private sector does everything better.

The trains are great...it just a shame we cant afford to use them.

The cost of the tube in London relative to other major cities in Europe is a joke. Probably high so the exec get HUGE bonuses and some f**wit gets a whopping salary for pushing the accelerator forwards...and back.

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Guest Noodle

Maybe someone with right wing leanings could explain how privatisation has helped the consumer?

It hasn't because it wasn't. It was . . . but then it was subsidized so rather than become an efficient fit for purposes rail network it became a gravy train for the likes of Branson and buddies.

When they went on to privatise air traffic control, even my devoutly neo-con, card carrying member of the Republican party, somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun uncle said "Well how does that work, some stuff needs to stay in government?"

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The idea of privatisation was to grossly enrich the operators through public subsidy. The likes of Virgin and Stagecoach have got massively rich on this. Bit like the banks/city in other words.

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Maybe someone with right wing leanings could explain how privatisation has helped the consumer?

they're a fair bit less sh*te than they were under BR I'm afraid to say, in my personal experience, break down less, less dirty, less late. small mercies.

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they're a fair bit less sh*te than they were under BR I'm afraid to say, in my personal experience, break down less, less dirty, less late. small mercies.

What about cost? (Not a rhetorical question - I am too young to really remember the prices of pre-privatised trains)

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It actually is pretty easy

buy in advance on specified trains - cheapest

buy closer to day of travel on specified trains - bit more expensive

buy open ticket for travel on any train - most expensive

Buying a return is usually more cost efficient than buying 2 singles.

The direct way between 2 places isn't always the cheapest.

In essence the exact same as air travel.

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No wonder people don't use train.... I mean, it trains should be simple to use, you just get on and off.

It depends on what kind of train you're getting. For example, if I want to get a train from Edinburgh to somewhere fairly close like Glasgow or Stirling then I can just turn up, buy a ticket and get on any train I want (maybe with some restrictions at peak commuting times). It gets a lot more complicated when you want to use an intercity train to get to somewhere like Newcastle or London: then it's a lot cheaper if you buy in advance and tie yourself to trains at specific times (probably because that makes it easier for the train company to fill the trains up efficiently).

I don't know exactly what the situation is in your case, but I'm guessing that you'll be getting some kind of local train between Swansea and Cardiff and you can probably just turn up at the station and buy a ticket that you can use on any train. (Don't bet your mortgage on that though).

Edit: I just checked http://www.thetrainline.com and it says you can get an off-peak open day return today from Swansea to Cardiff for £6.50 and an "Anytime day return", which I assume allows you to use any train, for £7.50. There are similar tickets valid for 1 month for £11.10 and £15.10 respectively. Just go to the station and buy a ticket on the day.

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They make it so complicated to travel by train, they must not want you to....so I try to avoid it at all costs. ;)

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Guest Noodle

It depends on what kind of train you're getting. For example, if I want to get a train from Edinburgh to somewhere fairly close like Glasgow or Stirling then I can just turn up, buy a ticket and get on any train I want (maybe with some restrictions at peak commuting times). It gets a lot more complicated when you want to use an intercity train to get to somewhere like Newcastle or London: then it's a lot cheaper if you buy in advance and tie yourself to trains at specific times (probably because that makes it easier for the train company to fill the trains up efficiently).

I don't know exactly what the situation is in your case, but I'm guessing that you'll be getting some kind of local train between Swansea and Cardiff and you can probably just turn up at the station and buy a ticket that you can use on any train. (Don't bet your mortgage on that though).

680px-Prokudin-Gorskii-02.jpg

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They have automated ticket things in the stations that you stick your debit card in.

Not complicated, just prohibitively expensive.

Many people don't like the feeling of being ripped off. ;)

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  • 152 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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