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UK Rail ticket pricing.... Just light years beyond potty.

Travel Forums Europe UK Rail ticket pricing.... Just light years beyond potty.

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1. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 6y

I'm really not sure whether this is best posted under 'Europe' or here, because really it's a warning to the whole world, although it's applicable theoretically - only in the UK. The powers that be, please choose.
Today, I needed to book a return trip from Wigan NW to London Euston. Simple as that. Straightforward? You'd think so, wouldn't you. Oh dear....
On the National Rail website, for the trains I needed to travel on (there and back 2 singles) - the price was £66:00 each way. Exactly the same two journeys, on the same trains on the same days at the same times on the Trainline website however, are £29:00 each way.
It gets even better.... If I show that I'm flexible with my dates (which I'm not - but was curious as to what's on offer), National Rail are offering singles from £8:00 on selected dates and times, whereas the Trainline (again for the same journey, day etc.) haven't got anything that's even close.
Who do I yell at?

2. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 6y

I thought you might move it to 'Europe.' Thanks for that, I wasn't really sure where to post it.

3. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 6y

Yeah, getting the best train prices in the UK can be fun! Thetrainline can be a good website for this - usually.

However you sometimes need to experiment with different options. For example, 2 singles can sometimes work out cheaper than a return - or breaking up the tickets for your journey can make it cheaper (e.g. Reading-Manchester may come out cheaper with something like 1 ticket Reading-Wolverhampton, another ticket Wolverhampton-Manchester but still on the same train).

4. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 6y

There are less and less returns available long distance on The UK Rail Network nowadays.
Yes, I know about splitting a ticket. It's a famous trick, yet so many people aren't that aware of it.
For instance Manchester to London - via - Sheffield is normally around £40 one way. However, it's possible to get a single to Sheffield, then another single from Sheffield to London (similar example to what you mentioned) for 1/2 the price.
The point I'm making is that I found the same journey, on the same day, on the same train at the same time - with two different websites and the price was, literally - 100% different. It should be outlawed.
Yes, I work in a small flight agency and the same happens on airlines too. It's possible to get the same flight cheaper elsewhere. However, alternative flight prices are offered. These two sites don't offer the other one's cheaper price. It's very naughty.

5. Posted by mojorob (Moderator 1047 posts) 6y

This is really an indication that the train services in the UK are a business rather than a public service. If you buy something (e.g. DVD) from one shop then it's possible to find the same item in a different shop for a different price. That's the retail world.

I'm not attempting to justify the situation on UK trains, as I certainly do believe they should first be looked at as a public service, and not there for shareholders.

6. Posted by flyingbob (Inactive 842 posts) 6y

You've used a phrase that the Trade Unions quoted here a few years ago when privatisation started listening to the shareholders more than the delayed passengers.... 'The UK Rail Network is now running a business, not a service.' I'm not saying things haven't improved, because it has. Trains are faster and generally more efficient. But the least the different companies can actually 'Offer' the fare paying customer as a good deal for them, it seems - the better.

7. Posted by bwiiian (Travel Guru 768 posts) 6y

The price of train travel in the UK is ridiculously high. Thats all I have to say.

8. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3720 posts) 6y

Quoting bwiiian

The price of train travel in the UK is ridiculously high. Thats all I have to say.

Absolutely. Recently I had to buy a ticket from London Euston to Manchester on the same day as I was travelling, as I had missed my connecting flight from Heathrow and it was the last flight of the day. It cost me £86!

[ Edit: Edited on 13-Jun-2010, at 01:47 by bex76 ]

9. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member 560 posts) 6y

"Who do I yell at?" - Flyingbob

The wall. ;)

10. Posted by fabyomama (Respected Member 560 posts) 6y

Quoting bwiiian

The price of train travel in the UK is ridiculously high. Thats all I have to say.

In many cases it's cheaper to hire a car, fill it with fuel and drive there. Time though.