Train connections in London

Jul 2nd, 2007, 07:50 AM
  #1  
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Train connections in London

We arrive in London at 1:30 PM and have to take a train to Edinburgh right away.

Trains seem to leave from Euston, which is a bit of a trek and involves 2 tube changes - with kids and luggage in tow, this does not seem like a very exciting proposition.

2 questions - what is the easiest way to make this connection and given the delays one can expect nowadays, is it necessary to pre-book the onward train journey to Edinburgh (we could miss the train if there are delays at airport) or is it OK to arrive at Euston and buy tickets for the next train?

Would be grateful for your views/suggestion.
ahmedhaff is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 07:58 AM
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Trains to Edinburgh go from Kings Cross, not Euston. You didn't specify where you arrive in London, so it's not possible to suggest the best route to Kings Cross. The overnight sleeper to Edinburgh does go from Euston.
Trains are generally hourly and, if you have standard train tickets, you can catch any train, but these tickets are expensive. Cheap tickets are generally limited to a specific train and must be booked in advance; if you miss it, you have to buy another ticket.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 07:58 AM
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Where in London do you arrive and when?
flanneruk is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 07:59 AM
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www.nationalrail.co.uk

for fares - trains leave about twice hourly i believe so no problem getting on.

That said you can save tons of money over walk up fares by pre-booking as early as possible as cheaper seats are limited in number.

Walk up you could pay $100 p.p. more or so i think

Either leave lots of time between plane and train or investigate the BritRail pass which provides fully flexible trains - any train any time, including from each airport.

If you were coming back to London the pass may make sense esp for its full flexibility.

Passes are for non Britains so buy ahead. I always recommend BETS www.budgeteuropetravel.com for their expertise and unfathomable customer service. not sold at train stations in UK. Also check www.britrail.com

But check fares at www.nationalrail.co.uk to see if pass is better and what kind of discounts you can get now.

Not sure your other rail plans to judge on pass, which could be also used on day trips from Edinburg to places like Sterling or St Andrews or in Scotland on the rail lines to Mallaig and Kyle of Loch - some of the most scenic in Europe. Passes can be used on any of Britain's 28 or so privatized rail lines anytime.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 08:07 AM
  #5  
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wow - you guys are fast! thanks.

My apologies for the ommitted details - we arrive at Heathrow and we do come back to London after two weeks, but via some station in Lake District or York (will be driving in between and car drop-off seems more doable in York).
ahmedhaff is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 08:12 AM
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there is also a good priced BritRail 'n Drive pass mixing train with car - drop off at any station and pick up at any station.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 08:38 AM
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I do the train up to Scotland from Kings cross most months. Book the train ahead on any good web site. I use thetrainline.co.uk

You want the day fixed but the time of departure flexible something like a business saver would be ok. When you pay you can have them shipped for you but I make them pickable up at the Fast Machines (these are at all major stations) you stick your credit card in and they print you the tickets as you watch.

Given kids and lugage have you thought of flying?

www.scanner.co.uk
bilboburgler is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 08:43 AM
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<<< When you pay you can have them shipped for you >>>

Only with a UK address.

As for website to use - www.gner.co.uk - gives 10% discount on tickets for it's trains as opposed to charging you for CC use like trainline do.

And when you REGISTER you have to use a UK postcode. Before you book tickets you then change it to match your card address.

And when you use the fasticket machines always ensure that you have the booking reference & the card you used to book the tickets
alanRow is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 09:36 AM
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w/ an afternoon arrival and children/luggage -- why are you even considering taking the train up? You can book flights directly from LHR ro Edinburgh for about the same and sometimes even less than the train and avoid the cross-London hassles altogether.

You can always take the train back to London at the end of your trip . . . .
janisj is online now  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 11:07 AM
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Hi,
Just to say that you can to Edinburgh from Euston - via the West Coast line - up to Preston, Lake District, Carlisle

Mark
isplumm is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 11:09 AM
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and this is the line you'd take back to London from the Lake District, Windermere railhead for the district.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 2nd, 2007, 07:40 PM
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The west coast line takes about 1.5 or 2 hours longer than the east coast line from Kings Cross - IF it's on time, which it seldom is.
janisj is online now  
Jul 3rd, 2007, 06:05 AM
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rather than the plane, which makes sense if your goal is simply to get to Edinburgh the quickest and perhaps the cheapest way i advocate taking the train both ways - up on the East Coast line and back on the West Coast line from Lake District:

Treat the train ride as part of your UK discovery tour - 4.5 hrs London-Edinburgh and once you get to Newcastle the line, often hugging a rugged coast, is one of the more scenic main rail lines in Britain - indeed was voted recently by one UK rag the most scenic line (Highlands lines IMO even prettier)

and you see the signature British countryside the whole way - bah, bah, bah - sheep practically everywhere

Then return on the West Coast route from Edinburgh to Lake D, then back to London.

seeing a lot of Britain, which is what you came for and not just airports and a large city.

Of course would be better if you spent the first overnight in London to recoup your sleep, etc. or you could be snoozing as the bucolic scenes go by.

anyway consider the train and what it will show your family.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2007, 06:55 AM
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Traffic in London is very crowded these days, especially on weekends when the congestion fee does not apply. Early in June (on a Friday) we took the train from York to London-King's Cross. Then had to wait in a long line for an hour to get a taxi. The taxi driver said heavy traffic made it hard for the taxi drivers to get to King's Cross. Also they're doing a lot of construction in this area, and certain roads are blocked off.

So, even with stairs and changing lines, the tube is probably better for this trip than the Heathrow Express train to Paddington followed by a taxi.

However, I agree with just flying on to Edinburgh as the easiest route, especially if you will be jet-lagged after a long flight. Also flying might be cheaper if you are buying last-minute train tickets. The full 2nd class fare from York to London was about GBP130; we paid GBP16 by booking ahead.
Mimar is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2007, 12:52 PM
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<The full 2nd class fare from York to London was about GBP130; we paid GBP16 by booking ahead>

you can see that a value of a railpass is that it is a full fare ticket - any train anytime - if it's $270 London to York full fare 2nd class then that makes the BritRail Flexipass with 4 unlimited travel days over a 2-month period a bargain at $293 p.p. - and if you have three or more then the third thur 9th pay just 50% of $293 - for a fully flexible ticket. Going to Edinburg of course would be much more than just to York (i think but the pricing structure is Byzantine so not sure)

anyway a Scottish person recently wrote that the cheapest fare she could ever get to Lonon from Edinburgh was like 86 pounds or nearly $200 - so the advertised online specials it seems exist in miniscule quantities (to York may be different - many more seats on trains there)- an England Flexipass to go to York and back would be $235 p.p. - again a bargain for full fare.

And if landing and going by train a fully flexible ticket is very desirable

and between Nov and Feb all BritRail passes are 20% off the above.
PalenQ is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2007, 01:31 PM
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<<< anyway a Scottish person recently wrote that the cheapest fare she could ever get to Lonon from Edinburgh was like 86 pounds or nearly $200 >>>

That's if you book at very short notice and/or on a popular day - booking 12 weeks in advance or days apart from Friday & Sunday gets you lower prices

For example travelling this Friday after 5:00pm (peak travel time on peak day) gives a one way fare of £74.50, booking, the same journey a week later is £42, 4 weeks time £34.50, 12 weeks time is £15.70

In comparison Easyjet to any of the London airports it serves is a minimum of £75 for this Friday (plus transport costs to/from airports), £39 in a weeks time, £23 in 4 weeks time, £23 in 12 weeks time

Of course you could always get the sleeper to London - £42 this Friday but saving a night's accomodation costs
alanRow is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2007, 03:40 PM
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I recently took the train from London to Edinburgh (GNER out of King's Cross) and thoroughly enjoyed it, compared to the experience of flying. However, you'll already be at the airport, and just getting to King's Cross would be a big hassle. Personally, I wouldn't even think of trying it. I guess you might consider taking the sleeper out of Euston, which leaves around 11:00 p.m. on the theory that, if you're ever going to sleep on a train, it might be when recovering from jet lag (I'm assuming that you're coming in from across the pond--if not, this observation obviously doesn't apply).

You've had the options well outlined for you. If you want an affordable rail ticket, you either have to (1) buy a railpass, which will allow you to take any available train, then hope that you can find a space on Friday afternoon, or (2) book a specific train well in advance, meaning you'll probably have to book an early evening train (or the sleeper) in order to ensure that you don't miss your train and waste your ticket.
twk is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2007, 10:49 PM
  #18  
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Thank you all,

This is not for the un-initiated!

we have decided to take a flight to Edinburgh, given all the hassles involved.

The only reason I wanted to take the train was that while on may last business trip, the flights from London to Edinburgh and back were a nightmare, with delays etc. I just thought it might be a bit peaceful (and picturesque to train it).
ahmedhaff is offline  
Jul 3rd, 2007, 11:20 PM
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<<< we have decided to take a flight to Edinburgh, given all the hassles involved. >>>

You are going to get hassles flying

You've got UK security to worry about which means "one bag" through security.

And if your onward flight isn't a continuation of your original ticket you will probably be subject to local weight limits - typically one checked bag of 20kg - and you may find that you have to collect your luggage as well & recheck it

And that's assuming you don't have to change airports in which case you'll find out what hassle really means.
alanRow is offline  
Jul 4th, 2007, 01:09 AM
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"You are going to get hassles flying"

Very true - I would not put taking the train, even with a relatively large amount of luggage, into the same 'hassle' category as flying.

I would recommend the train anyday! Also a few months ago I was able to get a London King's Cross to Edinburgh open return ticket for just £21.50!
simcom is offline  

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