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    Trains... where can I find the best rates/tickets etc?

    hello folks!

    does anyone know of a search facility for looking to book trains?

    I've been trying to use thetrainline.com, but is there any others, or are trains just that damn expensive now!? Cheapest ticket from my city to Blackpool is £99 return per person?! Jeez!

    14 Comments

    raileasy are good

    If you're trying to find advance fares, first of all check that you're not trying to book too far in advance (as in, before the advance tickets for the date you want have gone on sale)

    How far ahead you're allowed to book today is called the "booking horizon", and can be found by clicking "booking horizons" at the following link:

    ]http//ww…rg/

    (the url of the actual booking horizons page changes every time they update it, which is annoying as it prevents me from just bookmarking a specific page that'll always be up to date)

    If they are currently available, then I usually find its easiest to trawl through all the possible trains on a given day at ]http//ww…com - we may be annoyed with them at the moment for defaulting on the east coast franchise, but they have the best booking system I know of. They can sell tickets for anyone's trains, not just their own and if you're worried that they'll go bust or cause trouble you can book the tickets elsewhere after using their search engine to do the legwork and find the cheapest trains.

    If you're struggling to persuade any of the sites to sell you an advance fare for the whole journey, check what changes need to be made along the route and book advances for each individual train: - sometimes if a route uses a rubbish (ahem Northern rail) train that can't have reservations or advance tickets for even part of the journey it might not show up for the whole thing.

    So for example, if you wanted to go from Birmingham to Blackpool, book the Birmingham to Preston ticket as an advance, and get the rubbish Preston to Blackpool ticket thats full price, or even just buy it on the day.

    Hope this helps.

    As above.

    Also, where are you travelling from and what are your required dates?

    Original Poster

    andythebrave;5667020

    As above.Also, where are you travelling from and what are your required … As above.Also, where are you travelling from and what are your required dates?


    was just looking at haven / butlins hols for 1st week in October... however I live in Inverness, Scotland and dont drive, so was trying to find out how much it'd cost me and my son and perhaps my Dad too to get to/from places.

    Original Poster

    WeeWifie;5667556

    was just looking at haven / butlins hols for 1st week in October... … was just looking at haven / butlins hols for 1st week in October... however I live in Inverness, Scotland and dont drive, so was trying to find out how much it'd cost me and my son and perhaps my Dad too to get to/from places.


    think I'm just gonna be a lot cheaper to get a weeks AI holiday abroad flying from a Scottish airport!

    Original Poster

    thank you spheric, some lovely rep for you !

    spheric;5666556

    If you're trying to find advance fares, first of all check that you're … If you're trying to find advance fares, first of all check that you're not trying to book too far in advance (as in, before the advance tickets for the date you want have gone on sale)How far ahead you're allowed to book today is called the "booking horizon", and can be found by clicking "booking horizons" at the following link:]http://www.atoctravelagents.org/(the url of the actual booking horizons page changes every time they update it, which is annoying as it prevents me from just bookmarking a specific page that'll always be up to date)If they are currently available, then I usually find its easiest to trawl through all the possible trains on a given day at ]http://www.nationalexpresseastcoast.com - we may be annoyed with them at the moment for defaulting on the east coast franchise, but they have the best booking system I know of. They can sell tickets for anyone's trains, not just their own and if you're worried that they'll go bust or cause trouble you can book the tickets elsewhere after using their search engine to do the legwork and find the cheapest trains.If you're struggling to persuade any of the sites to sell you an advance fare for the whole journey, check what changes need to be made along the route and book advances for each individual train: - sometimes if a route uses a rubbish (ahem Northern rail) train that can't have reservations or advance tickets for even part of the journey it might not show up for the whole thing.So for example, if you wanted to go from Birmingham to Blackpool, book the Birmingham to Preston ticket as an advance, and get the rubbish Preston to Blackpool ticket thats full price, or even just buy it on the day.Hope this helps.



    +R = thanks for this info!

    Advance fares should be available for the 1st week of October within the next 2 weeks.

    If they're similar in availability to those for the 3rd week of September then you could reasonably expect to pay £66.40 in total for 2 adults and 1 child from Inverness to Blackpool and back provided you (wisely) acquire, and use, a Family & Friends railcard (I'm assuming that your son qualifies as a child). This is, surprisingly, less than you would expect to pay for, for example, Inverness to Edinburgh, Edinburgh to Preston and Preston to Blackpool tickets because the last one is extremely expensive with no discount/advance option.

    If you book at ]nationalexpresseastcoast.com it would be wise the click on 'more options' immediately underneath where you enter the departure and arrival stations and then click on where it says 'avoid', change it to 'via' and add 'Edinburgh Waverley' otherwise there's an excellent chance it will make you wait up to an hour at Haymarket which wouldn't be good. It won't cost any more to do that.

    so any suggestions for trains to/from Bolton please... Departing Newcastle Aug 15/16th .. its actually Horwich Parkway I need :thumbsup:

    Disco;5671518

    so any suggestions for trains to/from Bolton please... Departing … so any suggestions for trains to/from Bolton please... Departing Newcastle Aug 15/16th .. its actually Horwich Parkway I need :thumbsup:



    Best route I could come up with was to take a TPE service to manchester pic, and a northern service from manchester up to bolton or reebok.

    You can grab an advance ticket for the newcastle-manchester leg for about £24 (a bit less on one or two trains) and the manchester to horwich is about £3 even on the day, valid for any train.

    By the time thats all added up, it comes to £55, which only saves £7 over the normal return price.

    (all that's without any railcard discounts)

    Oh... and it looks like a few of the TPE services from newcastle to manchester have first class tickets going at £29 (instead of £24 for standard) which will get you a bigger seat, a table, free tea/coffee/water and some snacks (sometimes biscuits and crisps, sometimes cake).

    see also hotukdeals.com/for…748

    I assume this is the same request even though the requirements are slightly different.

    andythebrave;5676194

    see also … see also http://www.hotukdeals.com/forums/showthread.php?p=5671748#post5671748I assume this is the same request even though the requirements are slightly different.



    You beat me! I always figured fewer changes would work out better
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