English train tickets in advance?

Feb 10th, 2004, 03:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 97
English train tickets in advance?

I've heard that there are price advantages to buying intercity English train tickets in advance, but I have questions:

1) How much of a price break is there?

2) If my plane is late, I'll then miss my train; are there penalties for just hopping on the next one?

3) Should I just relax and buy the ticket when I get there because there will be room? (I'm traveling London-Salisbury on a Sat. morning and returning on Friday mid-day.) Another argument for waiting is that the ticket delivery options given by trainline's web site didn't include "pickup at Heathrow" and didn't seem to take foreign ticket deliveries (I'm traveling from USA) into account.

Advice appreciated! Thanks in advance.
scottvan is offline  
Feb 10th, 2004, 06:46 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,675
1) It can be as much as a 90% saving, depending on the route. Or nothing at all, on shorter routes. But if you have already been to The Trainline, you must know the answer for your Salisbury journey, since it would have shown the open return fares as well as the savers, supersavers and apexes.

2) If you buy a restricted ticket and miss your train, you will have to buy a ticket a new ticket for a later train, at a day of travel rate.

3) I can't see anyway around this. The Trainline does not mail outside the UK; neither does qjump (which has just been acquired by The Trainline and will soon disappear, anyway).
ron is offline  
Feb 11th, 2004, 04:44 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 19,665
Havne't checked recently, but you used to be able to pick up tickets booked through Trainline at the terminus (presumably Waterloo in this case) - or was scottvan thinking of going via Feltham and Reading..?
PatrickLondon is offline  
Feb 11th, 2004, 07:16 AM
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Thanks to both of you for the helpful information. FYI, the route I had booked at trainline was a bus from Heathrow to Woking, then train to Salisbury. They did not list Heathrow as a pickup point for tickets. So I will most likely make my arrangements after arriving at Heathrow.

I will probably end up just getting a 1-way bus when I arrive (cheaper than the train or bus/train combo) and a 1-way train ticket back to Heathrow at the other end (costs more than the bus, but the times are more convenient, giving me an extra half-day on my trip).
scottvan is offline  
Feb 11th, 2004, 07:29 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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The trains to Salisbury are not Intercity trains (though both London and Salisbury are cities, of course). These trains are run by South West Trains and you can check schedules and fares via www.swtrains.co.uk. The best route from Heathrow is via Woking. There is a five-day return fare, but for your journey, two single tickets are probably the best option. These are valid on any train (though the fare is slightly cheaper after the morning rush hour). If you book in advance, you can reserve seats on a specific train, but the ticket is equally valid on other trains.
GeoffHamer is offline  

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