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Way OT- Question re: Trains in England


mcgoo

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'Hoping one of you nice chaps on the other side of the pond can lend a hand to a confused Yank...

 

The Mrs & I are planning a trip to England & I was looking into train tickets for most of our traveling while we're there. Someone had recommended BritRail, and their flexi-tickets seem like a good idea except that we know where, when and what time we want to go. From that standpoint, the tickets through National Rail seem far less expensive.... BUT, they won't deliver advance sale tickets out of the country.

 

My question is, if I wait until I get there to buy tickets, do I run the risk of tickets being sold out? Are BritRail & National Rail Co the same or unrelated? Any tips from anyone that knows the train system there would be much appreciated!

 

thanks,

 

greg

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I always book my train tickets through https://www.thetrainline.com

 

You can pickup tickets from pretty much any station on the network via a ticket machine. All you need is booking reference and a credit/debit card. Would just check to make sure your American registered CC would work for collection but I can't see why not

 

Where are you looking to travel to/from?

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For many (but not all) routes, you can also do 'print at home' e-tickets

 

Tickets won't sell out, but you shouldn't wait to buy them, as prices go up a lot for on-the-day purchases. Also, many routes are more expensive in peak morning times.

 

If you really want to get into the complexities of the system, try here: http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-train-tickets

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Hi McGoo. I would recommend using the National Rail Enquiries site : http://m.nationalrail.co.uk/pj/home#. This has all journeys within the UK. You can plan your journey, check what discounts are available to get the best deal and then when you are ready to buy your tickets it will direct you to the site where you pay. Having paid, you will be given a code. On nearly all stations there will be a machine in which you can enter the code and it will then print out your tickets for you. It is a good system and one I always use.

 

Do buy tickets in advance if you can. It is often much much cheaper. (Especially if you choose the time of the train) If you book using this method then it will reserve seats for you as well. There are first class and second class carriages. First class (amazingly) can sometimes be cheaper than second class so be aware of that.

 

Trains are a wonderful way to travel in the U.K. I love them. Hope you have a great trip. :)

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Well that was too easy. Done, booked, thanks for the help!!!!

 

I didn't find a print at home option, so I opted for picking up the tickets at a ticket office. Do lines at those tend to be long? 'Just wondering if I need to plan to arrive to the station pretty early to make sure I get my tickets in time.

 

We're going to fly into London, stay a few days to see the sights & then head out to Dorset. I lived near Bournemouth as a kid back in the 70's, so we're going to go see my old stomping grounds. I'm even going to visit some old (!) friends that I haven't seen for 40+ years! That should be interesting to say the least!

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Depends on the station and time of day - every station nowadays has at least one machine where you can punch in the booking number and get your tickets in seconds. There's usually a queue at the ticket office to speak to a human as people only tend to do that if they're buying complex things like season tickets. I don't think I've ever had to wait more than 5-10 minutes to pick up tickets, even at the remotest, least-staffed stations.

 

Enjoy your trip, I think that line takes you through the New Forest, should be a nice ride.

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As a Londoner who routinely commutes into work in conditions that would be illegal for animal transportation, I have to say the notion of tickets being 'sold out' gave me a good laugh this morning!!

 

I guess it does happen on some longer routes though...

 

Have a great trip.

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As a Londoner who routinely commutes into work in conditions that would be illegal for animal transportation, I have to say the notion of tickets being 'sold out' gave me a good laugh this morning!!

 

I guess it does happen on some longer routes though...

 

Have a great trip.

 

The image made me laugh. As someone who spends a lot of time travelling in peak time between Manchester and London Euston on the beardy ones trains, and experiencing the joys of the Central and Northern lines you have my sympathy.

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