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Advance Train Tickets for England - Buying By Phone from U.S.?

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Has anyone in the U.S. purchased train tickets for England by phone in advance? The English train system seems so byzantine after the relative simplicity of buying advance train tickets online for Italy (who knew??) Earlier forum participants have experienced problems and complexities buying on the English websites and/or actually picking up the tickets from machines in the station. Allegedly one can telephone a central number from the U.S., 011-44-20-7278-5240, and order the tickets and have them mailed from England to the U.S. (this information found in a widely used guide book whose author shall remain nameless but the initials are RS...) Before descending into Dante's fifth circle of hell and navigating telephone menus, I thought I would see if any wise Fodorites have used the telephone method of ticket-buying. Many thanks!

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