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Eurostar from London to Lille (Calais)

Travel Forums Europe Eurostar from London to Lille (Calais)

1. Posted by 4sails (Budding Member, 2 posts) 27 Jan '09 20:37

4sails has indicated that this thread is about France

Hi,
Travel with Eurostar from London to Lille, want to buy return ticket to Lille because it is cheaper. I want to get off in Calais, will I have any problems with the Eurostar folks? thanks

2. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru, 2398 posts) 28 Jan '09 02:22

I don't believe they'll mind, but why don't you ask them?

3. Posted by mpprh (Full Member, 109 posts) 28 Jan '09 03:30

There is a station in Calais, but last time I took it it wenr direct Ashford - Lille.

So, a bit of research needed !

Peter

4. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru, 2457 posts) 1 Feb '09 10:27

Couple of points:

I don't believe they'll mind

Of course they mind! Thats why the tickets are priced as such. If they wanted to let people get to Calais for the same price as Lille, they would price them as such. Having said that, Calais tickets are normally the same price as Lille anyway. A number of people in the UK have been prosecuted for buying tickets to stations around London and getting if earlier than their ticket (because tickets for the longer distance are cheaper). It is a crazy situation, but you do get into trouble for it. The details of why the tickets cost more are far to involved to be of interest/relevant here!

There is a station in Calais

Note that the station, though called Calais-Frethun, is in Frethun and not Calais. Central Calais is about 10km away. There are a few local trains that you can use to get from one to the other, but they don't connect well at all generally, so you may either have a long wait or an expensive taxi ride (unless you can get picked up)

I want to get off in Calais, will I have any problems with the Eurostar folks?

Erm.... Yes. Very few trains have ever stopped at Calais-Frethun, and currently there are NO trains from London that stop in both stations (i'm not sure there ever have been, although there are 1 or 2 which stop at both towards London). As they do ticket checks before you go up to the platform in London - after check-in, so even if there are trains to both leaving within an hour, you won't be able to cheat - Which means that you won't be allowed to board in London to begin with.

5. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru, 2398 posts) 1 Feb '09 11:20

Quoting Gelli

Couple of points:

A number of people in the UK have been prosecuted for buying tickets to stations around London and getting if earlier than their ticket (because tickets for the longer distance are cheaper). It is a crazy situation, but you do get into trouble for it. The details of why the tickets cost more are far to involved to be of interest/relevant here!

From the Dutch point of view, where ticket prices are reasonably transparent, this doesn't make sense... can you point me to the details behind this crazy policy, Gelli? Thanks!

6. Posted by monkeycat (Full Member, 109 posts) 1 Feb '09 15:35

I am a bit confused. Where do you want to go to and from exactly?

If you want to go London to Calais, why not just get a ferry if money is the problem. There are trains to Dover then get a ferry across as a foot passenger. Or get a direct bus with Eurolines that will take you all the way.

If what you want to do is London - Lille then Lille - Calais, I can't see any problem getting off.

If all you want to do is Lille - Calais, I very much doubt that a return ticket to London would be cheaper than simply buying the ticket at the station.

7. Posted by 4sails (Budding Member, 2 posts) 1 Feb '09 18:23

:)Hi fellow travellers,
thanks mpprh and Gelli for the suggestions. Did some more research. Ended up buying one way ticket London-Calais, was GBP 3.00 less than a return ticket London-Lille. Bizarre.To get off in Calais I have to take a different train. Looking forward to the trip.

8. Posted by Gelli (Travel Guru, 2457 posts) 2 Feb '09 03:18

Did some more research. Ended up buying one way ticket London-Calais, was GBP 3.00 less than a return ticket London-Lille. Bizarre.

To outsiders, yes, but not to Brits, sadly. Almost all British train tickets - especially turn up and go ones - are barely cheaper than returns.

Eurostar seem to take it to extremes. I must have made 200+ journeys on Eurostar, and since i stopped being a youth have ALWAYS bought a return ticket. Why? A single might cost you 220euros, where a return can cost you as little as 80euros. It is an extremely cunning idea, and slightly warped, and one customers can do absolutely nothing about except not use Eurostar.

4sails: Have a great trip!

Ok, as4sails seems to have solved his problem, I will answer this as it won't be hi-jacking his thread:

From the Dutch point of view, where ticket prices are reasonably transparent, this doesn't make sense... can you point me to the details behind this crazy policy, Gelli? Thanks!

It doesn't make sense to anybody, including Brits, but it's been that way in the UK for many, many years. Though things are changing slightly now, Uk train tickets have always been horribly complicated, and you need to be a real geek, have time and experience to know what to try or have a degree in mathematics in order to stand any chance of getting close to the best value tickets, which in 99% of the time are not what you would think they are...

Those in the know have come up with any number of scams and fiddles to try and beat the system. Two of my favourites include travelling, say, Plymouth to Birmingham. A 1way ticket will cost (for example) 100gbp. However, tickets Plymouth to Cheltenham and Cheltenham to Birmingham together would cost only 40gbp. And all trains stop in Cheltenham, so you don't even need to get off the train. Another is if you buy a season ticket for the shortest journey in the UK (Ryde St. John's to Ryde Esplanade, on the Isle of Wight) it costs you about 120gbp. BUT that gives you the right to an upgrade to first class on any train on the Uk for 5gbp. So if you travel frequently say, from, Edinburgh to London, you can get much nicer seats and allot of free food and booze for your 5gbp, whilst making a big saving on the ticket price...

The problems are (a) that there are lots of different train companies, who are all responsible for different sections of route and arranging the ticketing/prices, but yet all tickets - or almost all - must be valid for any train on that route regardless of operator (b) load factors, journey patterns and yearly point to point ticket sales are all taken into account in price setting and scheduling (c) that certain areas/routes are subsidised by local authorities (d) certain places have different prices for peak hour journeys (which can push the price up, despite the fact that the next station may be outside that peak area and so be cheaper). That is one of the reasons that so many stations are new getting electronic barriers: they won't let people out who have the wrong ticket. and (d) lots and lots of other things.

I can go into much more detail if you need, but it will start getting really technical.

This guy has some decent tips/covers much of the basics and is worth a read to get some understanding of the basic ticketing issues. Enjoy...

9. Posted by justinho (First Time Poster, 1 posts) 22 Oct '09 07:41

(Just digging around for articles on travel to Lille and happened upon this travel forum. Good job really, as I have a big interest in Caribbean too so will be checking out the other topics soon no doubt)
I was hoping to get over to Lille this football season to take in some French league football (seeing as UK club games close to me are always sold out) and follow up with a cultural exploration with a nice bit of grub and museum visit perhaps the next day. I found a deal with Short Breaks Eurostar to Lille from £115pp. That includes train from London plus 1 night hotel on bed and breakfast basis. So I will be researching on French restaurant guides/blogs now before planning the trip. Other deals are around the same price - variable depending upon the length of stay with official Eurostar site, last minute, Thomas Cook , Great Getaways. Who would be most recommended?

[ Edit: Edited on 22-Oct-2009, at 07:45 by justinho -removed link- ]