thetrainline in UK

This item appears on page 11 of the February 2011 issue.
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Having read of the purchase of a 240-dollar rail ticket from London to Glasgow with Virgin Trains (Sept. ’10, pg. 46), I thought readers would like to know how to purchase tickets at a more reasonable rate.

I travel between London and Glasgow or Edinburgh more than eight times each year. I am in standard class sometimes but in first class frequently and always with a reserved seat. At the end of August 2010, I paid £34 (about $55) for first class on Virgin between London and Glasgow.

Booking way ahead, you will find the cheapest prices in standard class, but when I’ve booked at the last minute (several days to a day prior) I generally have found better prices in first class.

I book through thetrainline (Box 23972, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH2 9AF, U.K.; phone +44 [0] 871 2441545). In comparison, I’ve noticed that rates on the British Rail and Virgin websites are always a lot more expensive.

You can book your rail travel online from thetrainline with a credit card anytime up to two hours prior to departure. At the station, insert the same credit card you used to book the ticket into any ticket machine and type in the confirmation code. Your tickets as well as your receipt will be dispensed in fewer than 10 seconds. You can have reserved seats as well at no additional cost.

Granted, my 55-dollar ticket included only coffee/tea and biscuits, but is a meal worth the difference in price?

Also, if you’re planning to make even one round-trip rail journey from London to Scotland and are a senior, it’s worthwhile to purchase a Senior Railcard (phone +44 [0] 8457 48 49 50) for £26 ($42). It will save you more than its cost and can also be used for subsequent trips for a year. It provides a discount of one-third to one-half on rail tickets for either class on any line in the UK.

I’ve always just bought it at a ticket counter in the station*, showing my passport as proof of age.

SHARON AFFELTRANGER
Pacifica, CA

*Although the Senior Railcard can be purchased online, it will only be mailed to addresses within the UK, where at least 14 days should be allowed for delivery. It also is available at Gatwick, Stansted and Manchester airports but NOT at Heathrow.

Please login or subscribe to ITN to read the entire post.

Having read of the purchase of a 240-dollar rail ticket from London to Glasgow with Virgin Trains (Sept. ’10, pg. 46), I thought readers would like to know how to purchase tickets at a more reasonable rate.

I travel between London and Glasgow or Edinburgh more than eight times each year. I am in standard class sometimes but in first class frequently and always with a reserved seat. At the end of August 2010, I paid £34 (about $55) for first class on Virgin between London and Glasgow.

Booking way ahead, you will find the cheapest prices in standard class, but when I’ve booked at the last minute (several days to a day prior) I generally have found better prices in first class.

I book through thetrainline (Box 23972, Edinburgh, Scotland, EH2 9AF, U.K.; phone +44 [0] 871 2441545). In comparison, I’ve noticed that rates on the British Rail and Virgin websites are always a lot more expensive.

You can book your rail travel online from thetrainline with a credit card anytime up to two hours prior to departure. At the station, insert the same credit card you used to book the ticket into any ticket machine and type in the confirmation code. Your tickets as well as your receipt will be dispensed in fewer than 10 seconds. You can have reserved seats as well at no additional cost.

Granted, my 55-dollar ticket included only coffee/tea and biscuits, but is a meal worth the difference in price?

Also, if you’re planning to make even one round-trip rail journey from London to Scotland and are a senior, it’s worthwhile to purchase a Senior Railcard (phone +44 [0] 8457 48 49 50) for £26 ($42). It will save you more than its cost and can also be used for subsequent trips for a year. It provides a discount of one-third to one-half on rail tickets for either class on any line in the UK.

I’ve always just bought it at a ticket counter in the station*, showing my passport as proof of age.

SHARON AFFELTRANGER
Pacifica, CA

*Although the Senior Railcard can be purchased online, it will only be mailed to addresses within the UK, where at least 14 days should be allowed for delivery. It also is available at Gatwick, Stansted and Manchester airports but NOT at Heathrow.