Train fares - how do buy your tickets and do you get them in advance or use a Railcard?


Regular Member
Do any of you use trains to get to your walking destination? If so, do you buy your tickets well in advance of the planned walk, or do you use a Railcard to get a discount that way (or both)?

There just seem to be all sorts of different prices, and I've even heard of people getting two trains to split the journey because it works out cheaper?


Staff member
On the sofa
I get mine from Trainline. I try to get them in advance. I have a senior railcard which gets me a chunk off.......and where possible I try to travel first class, because there's usually some good deals going, if you get in quick.

If I was going to walk the Pennine Way, for example when I was based in Finchley, I'd book a fair from St Pancras to Sheffield and then on to Edale. At the end, I get the bus to Berwick on Tweed (from Kirk Yetholm) and take the train back to London KX. As soon as I know the date of the trip, I'll monitor Trainline to get the best deals when they become available.
I tend to use Northern and I've got their app on my phone - which surprisingly, given the terrible reviews it gets on the Google Play store, is actually quite good.
I'll only infrequently use another train company, so in that case I just tend to buy in advance via the National Rail website if I can.

I did have to travel to that there London a lot for work until about 9 months ago and if no cheap advance tickets were available they'd buy me split tickets to reduce the cost, although I'd always stay on the same train (for example I'd have a ticket from Leeds - Doncaster, then another from Doncaster to Kings Cross). Sometimes the savings were huge - a 'standard' ticket was £112 but the two split tickets combined could be as cheap as £30-odd.


Regular Member
I am another (UK) Senior Railcard user. It gives me 1/3 off for off-peak travel. You have to be over 60 to be eligible for those but there is a Two Together card which gives the same discount if you are travelling with your partner. Several other types too, Young Persons etc.

I often do Advance split ticket purchases for longer journeys. With my railcard I could expect to save (say) 50+% doing that.
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