train from London to Cardiff

Sep 6th, 2007, 03:30 PM
  #1  
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train from London to Cardiff

Quick question: Should I pre-book the train from London to Cardiff, or just buy my ticket when I arrive at the station? I'll be travelling on a Thursday (noonish) if that make a difference.

TIA
Artemis_Vancouver is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 03:53 PM
  #2  
 
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travelling about noonish I would not think you would need to pre book. However you can save money by buying your ticket in advanced, you have to state the time of your journey on some of them. They have changed the train tickets and it can be difficult to work out some time. What date are you travelling and wil you be making a return trip back and when. Travelling off peak as you are is cheaper and sometime sit even works out cheaper to but 2 single tickets instead of a return. You can buy singles for as little as £11. The nearer the date you leave it the less likely you are to get the cheaper tickets.
www.thetrainline.com
crazychick is offline  
Sep 6th, 2007, 05:37 PM
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If you can commit to a specific date and time, pre-booking 30-60 days in advance at www.firstgreatwestern.co.uk will get you a fare of £11. The walk-up fare is £72!

You have to register on the site before booking and you have to give a UK postal code when doing so. Use the code for any London hotel. Then when it comes time to pay, change the address to match the one associated with the credit card you'll be using. Retrieve your ticket from a FastTicket machine at Paddington station using the confirmation number you'll be given and the credit card used when booking.
TimS is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 12:47 AM
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There are trains every half hour and they will not be very busy around lunchtime on a Thursday, so the trains will not be full.
The walk-up one-way fare at off-peak times is £53 and a saver return (round-trip), also a walk-up fare, is £54.
If you commit in advance to a specific time, you can get a much cheaper fare.
GeoffHamer is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 03:37 AM
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I should have added that I am from cardiff and often to the Cardiff to Paddington for work trips. Now it would be maddness for me not to pre book and reserve seats either way when traveling for work as it is peak time and standing room only if I did not. Travelling at Midday wil be off peak and quiter, unless something big is going on. Are you by any chance over for the World cup Rugby matches ?
crazychick is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 04:10 AM
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Trains from Paddington to Cardiff are jampacked all day when there's a major match on.

Now usually, major matches in Cardiff involve English - in particular London - football teams, and they're usually on Saturdays. But on Thursday Sep 20, the major match involves only Wales (well, Japan as well, but...), and it's rugby which IS a minority interest

I don't know there are that many people in London sufficiently interested in Welsh rugby to jam the trains. But if that's the Thursday you're travelling, I'd prebook just in case
flanneruk is offline  
Sep 7th, 2007, 04:56 AM
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"and it's rugby which IS a minority interest" I will leave others to make more comments but I think you have that one wrong.
Many people from all over the world are coming to Europe for the World cup Rugby. I have not yet seen the schedule yet It will be pinned on the kitchen wall today as the opening game is today. Just mentioned this as the person was from Canada and thought they maybe over here following the rugby games. Canada are taking part in the World cup Rugby.
crazychick is offline  
Sep 10th, 2007, 10:16 AM
  #8  
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It'll be Thursday the 27th. Any big games on then I should be concerned about? (I'm thinking probably not, or the hostel would have been completely booked.)
Artemis_Vancouver is offline  
Sep 10th, 2007, 10:20 AM
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Artemis_Vancouver - no games in the RWC at all, its a day off for the players
alanRow is offline  
Sep 10th, 2007, 11:42 AM
  #10  
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Ok, I bought my ticket. Thanks for that TrainLine link, crazychick: I was able to get a one-way ticket for only £5.50! Even with the service charges it came to less than £9. What a great deal!
Artemis_Vancouver is offline  
Sep 10th, 2007, 02:00 PM
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what hostel are you staying in?
crazychick is offline  
Sep 10th, 2007, 02:04 PM
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<<< Thanks for that TrainLine link, crazychick: I was able to get a one-way ticket for only £5.50! Even with the service charges it came to less than £9. What a great deal! >>>

If you'd booked through any of the train operating companies there wouldn't have been ANY service charges and you'd have paid £5.50 in total

Best idea is to find out who runs the train you are interested in then go to their website to do the booking - sometimes you get a discount or some other bonus
alanRow is offline  
Sep 10th, 2007, 02:13 PM
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What was the service charge?
crazychick is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 12:05 PM
  #14  
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<<If you'd booked through any of the train operating companies there wouldn't have been ANY service charges and you'd have paid £5.50 in total>>

Oh, sure, now you tell me! ;-) Service charge was only £2 though, so no biggie.

As for the hostel ... well I was *planning* to stay at the Cardiff Backpackers, but they have a 2-night minimum policy for weekends. Even though I *was* going to be staying 2 nights, Thurs & Fri, it's not two weekend nights so that doesn't count. Grrr. So I'm staying at a B&B instead.
Artemis_Vancouver is offline  
Sep 11th, 2007, 12:08 PM
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alan: does not nationalrail.co.uk not charge booking fees like thetrainline.com does - would nationalrail.co.uk be the same as going to the individual railway web site (often not known or there could be more than one serving cities so nationalrail.co.uk might be the best site?
PalenqueBob is offline  
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