Rail Travel in the UK

May 15th, 2004, 06:41 AM
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Through up?? How does throw up sound. Sorry about that.
May 15th, 2004, 08:37 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
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Andrewmac please help - We are flying out of Guernsey to Exeter and from there taking a train to Par in Cornwall.Since reading all the advice about pre-booking seats I am wondering why the rail network(like Wessex trains) wouldn't take my request to book and kept coming back with the answer of "No need to reserve seat"??(This is on the internet).
We also aim to catch the train back from Par to Cardiff and eventually from there back to London but have got no seats reserved. We still have time as these journeys are for 12th June onwards. What do you say?
tod is offline  
May 15th, 2004, 08:51 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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JuanF, One thing to remember is on a lot of the rail service in Scotland and the lesser used local lines elsewhere only have standard class. So, even if you had a first class pass you would be going standard. This is not true of GNER or Virgin as they have first class cars. Lines that go from Carlisle to Newcastle, Glasgow to Oban, Fort William, to mention only a couple, have only standard coaches as I recall.
Roger is offline  
May 15th, 2004, 09:20 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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tod, if Wessex Trains say they do not do reservations on a specific service it means they don't do reservations. You have to appreciate that reservations are still a manual operation; someone has to go on the train at its starting point and put little tags on each reserved seat. Not worth doing if the trains never fill up or if it is a local service, with many stops.

You won't have a problem in mid-June.

If you want to reserve seats on the Cardiff to London service, you can do it in Cardiff when you arrive from Par.
ron is offline  
May 15th, 2004, 09:26 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 102
Hey Andrewmac,
Thanks for the heads up on National Express.

Gosh, $110?! Does that include a double bed and shower too? I mean, that's equivalent to a hotel stay.

Is that normal pricing for a 2 hour train ride? I can't believe that British families would be too happy with that kind of prices - holiday or no holiday.

Are there any other train companies running that route?
Tiger_Lily is offline  
May 15th, 2004, 09:50 AM
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Tiger Lily, the sad fact is that ticket prices on the UK's network are determined by service usage and when you can buy your ticket. Although GNER are one of 26 train-operating companies using the rail network, they are the only one that works the London-Leeds service.

Cheap tickets during peak periods are virtually inpossible to get unless you book well in advance, and even then only a few are available. And as has been said before, buying a ticket does not necessarily mean you will be able to sit down.

It is generally accepted that the privatisation and fragmentation of Britain's rail network has not produced a better service although paradoxically more people are using the trains.

New rolling stock is being introduced all over the network and yes, more money is being spent on upgrading the infrastructure, but the sad fact is we are still paying a top-rate fare for what is very much a second-class service. You are quite right, British families are none too happy with ticket prices - another reason why our roads are so busy.
May 15th, 2004, 09:53 AM
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Tod, Ron is spot on with his reply.
May 19th, 2004, 09:27 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 14
I have two questions regarding rail travel between Gatwick and Bath. We know we want to travel via rail and not bus.

We arrive in Gatwick and are spending our first night in Bath (Sunday). On the return trip we drop the car off in Bath, then spend two days in London.

1) Would it be easier (cheaper) to get RT Gatwick Express tickets to Victoria, tube to Paddington and RT from Paddington to Bath
Travel direct from Gatwick to Bath via Reading and then Bath-London-Gatwick?

We realize that it takes about 30 min on the Gatwick Express and 2.5 hours from Paddington to Bath. But also found out it takes approximately 3 hours to go the Gatwick-Redding-Bath route as well so the time factor is a wash.

2) How far in advance can you purchase tickets? We will be traveling in September and would like to book as far in advance as possible ... Apex? Super Apex?

Thank you in advance!
Antesfan is offline  
May 19th, 2004, 12:24 PM
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I think you will find it is not possible to buy tickets more than 3 months in advance and it should also be cheaper to buy tickets for a complete journey rather than break it up into segments.

I would go for the Gatwick, Reading (note the spelling, it's pronounced the same as red)Bath route with a Super Apex ticket if you can get one. For September you will need to book in June/July to stand the best chance of getting a cheap ticket.
May 23rd, 2004, 09:20 AM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 102
I've just had a change of plans and hope need some advise.

I'm intending to travel from London to Brighton. And then the next day from Brighton to Bangor station, North Wales.

What is the cheapest way and the time it takes?

Can I buy it outside UK?
Tiger_Lily is offline  
May 23rd, 2004, 10:58 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 499
Trains to Brighton run out of Victoria and take about an hour. Trains to Bangor depart from King's Cross and take about five hours. Whether you can take a direct train from Brighton to Bangor, I don't know. But I do know it's a lovely city and the food at the Eryl Mor hotel is excellent.
vcl is offline  
May 23rd, 2004, 11:03 AM
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Hello Tiger Lily. This is not a particularly easy journey as it involves several changes of trains, but here goes anyway.

Depart Brighton at 6.49am on a South Central service to London Victoria arriving at 7.41am.

Tube from London Victoria to London St. Pancras.

Depart St.Pancras at 8.25am on a Midland Mainline service to Derby arriving at 10.05am.

Depart Derby at 10.29am on a Central Trains service to Crewe arriving at 11.47am.

Depart Crewe at 12.30pm on an Arriva Trains Wales service to Bangor arriving at 1.52pm.

This assumes that all the services are running and are on time. Due to the complexity of the journey, I would recommend you buy your tickets in the UK. Not sure how much they will cost, but will find out and post back.
May 23rd, 2004, 11:15 AM
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Tiger Lily, it's me again.

Train fares from Brighton to Bangor are as follows:

Value 7-day advance single £21.00
Value 3-day advance single £26.00
Apex single £58
Saver single £73.20
Open single (no restrictions) £75.30

I checked for Saturday travel in June and the cheapest available ticket appeared to be the Saver single.

Hope the information is of help to you.
May 23rd, 2004, 11:50 AM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 17,135
Andrew and vcl:

What on earth are you talking about?

Virgin runs direct trains from Euston to Bangor. Tomorrow, for example, the 0833 from Euston gets into Bangor at 1223, and there are lots of others that involve changes at Crewe and nowhere else

Direct trains have been running to Bangor from Euston since Euston was first built, over 150 years ago. Kings Cross and St Pancras have practically never been (OK, St Pancras was a bit during WW2) termini for North Wales

Engineering works sometmes make complicated round-Britain journeys necessary, especially early on Sundays and especially on the West Coast line. But TigerLily has said nothing to imply she's going on a day trains aren't working properly.
flanneruk is offline  
May 23rd, 2004, 02:09 PM
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Flanneruk, point taken, but the route I quoted was taken verbatim from GNER's website.

Do they know something we don't?
May 23rd, 2004, 06:04 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 499

I was relying on memory from our trip to Bangor in 2002. Shows what Alzheimer's can do to you, even when you're only 29.

vcl is offline  
May 23rd, 2004, 07:24 PM
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 52
Four of us (all adults) will be traveling from London to Edinburgh by train on June 12. Will we find seats if we do not reserve? We already have our standard class tickets.
We will return by train from Edinburgh to York, on June 19, stay 2 nights in York and travel to London on June 21.
Can we just show up at the train station and get on at any time a train is going there or is it so crowded that we should plan ahead for a certain time of day?
JaninSF is offline  
May 23rd, 2004, 07:37 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 102
Just a quick note to say thanks, Andrew. Let me digest all that and I'll get back to you.
Tiger_Lily is offline  
May 23rd, 2004, 10:24 PM
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Janin, trains on this route are likely to be crowded at any time and I strongly recommend that you make seat reservations before you travel, particularly as there are four of you and you will want to sit together.

Reservations can be made up to 2 hours before train departure, so you can still be fairly flexible about which train you use.

Either call in at the station or telephone them and they will make the reservations for you.
May 24th, 2004, 12:07 AM
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 251

If you have already got tickets via a website it is highly likely the reservation is included (no fee). Generally all tickets that are booked ahead, whatever the price or class, have a reservation. Check on your ticket.
Nigello is offline  

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