Shop for Train Tickets

Travelling by train certainly takes away the strain as passengers can read their favourite book or newspaper during the journey, get on with some work using your laptop or simply sit back relax and let someone do the driving for you. Unfortunately train ticket prices have risen sharply in recent years meaning taking the train is not always the cheapest option. There are sites however that offer discounts that are well worth taking up. These are especially good if you can book well in advance. Here we will look at some of the best websites that provide train tickets.

Booking train tickets from your armchair, at any time of day, sounds great and that is just what travellers can do by visiting the Trainline site. The home page displays the online booking form that is very easy to fill in as long as you know which station you wish to travel from plus the name of your destination station. Type in the dates and which type of ticket you would like and all the options will be displayed immediately.

Customers can book tickets to any destination within the UK plus connections to Eurostar and some great attractions within the UK and Europe is facilitated. Tickets available come in many categories from first class right through to group bookings, travel cards or season tickets. You can even select which seat you would like, which way it faces plus whether it has a table or not.  Customers can have their tickets sent to them by post or collect them from a designated self-service machine at the station straight away or when you get to the station you are travelling from.

Trainline also offer other services including booking a hotel, theatre tickets and also tickets for attractions. The site is packed with useful train related information, while offers are in abundance such as saving money by ordering tickets in advance, discounts for groups plus two for one offers. Why travel to the station to book your tickets when you can book online using the Trainline site plus save money into the bargain!

The first advertisement you will see when you log onto Cross Country Trains is a chance to win a first class weekend away for two, making you want to look some more even though its actually train tickets you are after! Cross Country cover hundreds of journeys all over the UK plus trains that go to many attractions and airports.

Customers can order all the usual tickets from first class and off-peak through to rail cards, sleepers, ferry tickets and groups, so this site offers a pretty comprehensive service. Booking tickets in advance can save you up to 70% which is a huge amount when you consider a £100 ticket can be bought, in some cases for £30!

The online form that is sited at the top of the home page is very easy to fill in therefore in seconds the type of ticket you want will be displayed along with price. Click the special offers tab on the right of the home page to find plenty of perks that can be accessed when booking through Cross Country. Tickets can be booked up to twelve weeks in advance, while payment is fully secure as a unique encryption service is used for your protection. E-Tickets are available for some services, while booking and buying a train ticket has never been so easy!

My Train Ticket site states that they give an altogether better experience to their customers, so let’s look in more detail. The site is well laid out therefore navigating round is simple, while the introduction of self-print tickets on certain routes is a huge convenience for passengers as you don’t have to wait for delivery or print them off when you arrive at the station. Their convenient mobile app is also advantageous for the more techno-aware customer.

Passengers can book rail tickets for the UK and France plus there are many types including first class and advanced through to Eurostar, sleepers, groups and many more it’s just a matter of deciding which one suits your journey best. There is plenty of travel information on the site such as where can you leave your bicycle or luggage, storage info plus travelling with pets. Buying your tickets in advance can save up to a whopping 80%, while opening a business account with the site facilitates buying cheap travel tickets for employees or your business customers.

Finding and booking a ticket is easily done as the online form is very simple to fill in. Once you select your ticket and tick which seats you would prefer then either select to collect your tickets, print them off or have them sent to you. 10p from every booking is donated to the Samaritans which is nice to know plus My Train Ticket will endeavour to find you the cheapest ticket available.

The National Rail site not only facilitates booking train tickets but also gives customers access to booking hotels. The site also features useful live arrivals and departures board so travellers can check to see if their train is on time, has arrived or if there are any departure delays. Other tickets available are to sports venues, attractions, theme parks and airports.

Creating an account with National Rail is simple plus advantageous as all you’re bookings and previous payments can be saved so that you can check back at any time. There are plenty of deals to be had on the site including two for one offers, group savers and travel deals so it’s well worth taking a look at the site.

Even travelling to Europe by Eurostar is facilitated with great offers when you book through National Rail. The site has a list of all the popular train companies so that you have access to all their offers too. Why not save yourself time and book your tickets by visiting the National Rail site.

Customers can buy train tickets to travel nationwide plus to connect with Eurostar direct from the Virgin Trains website and also connect through to Dublin. The site is well planned making it easy to search for a ticket, order and pay for it from the comfort of your own home. Why bother trailing to the station when you can get your tickets online plus generally cheaper too.

The site has all the travel updates you need plus a handy section that displays live train times meaning all information is up to the minute. Customers can book up to three months in advance, while the sooner you book the cheaper the tickets are. The site has all kinds of discounts including group offers, family travel discounts, two for one offer, while it’s even possible to hire a train for the day!

Treat yourself to a first class ticket and you will have lots of space, be served complimentary food and drink, Free Wi-Fi plus even a free newspaper to read on the weekday services. Journey Care is also a unique feature of Virgin Trains where customers who contact Virgin up to 24 hours before they travel to inform them of specific needs will be accommodated. For instance you may wish to take a bicycle on board or need assistance such as if you are a wheelchair user. Virgin Trains will endeavour to meet any requirements that will provide customers with a smoother more comfortable journey, so why not ask?

The Red Spotted Hanky site looks very vibrant and packed with information as you will see when you visit their home page. The site not only covers train tickets but also offers flights, car hire, hotels, European travel, live information and much more. In fact everything you need in terms of booking your travel experience can be found here.

Red Spotted Hanky run a great loyalty scheme whereby once you order tickets or book anything through them you are automatically entered. Customers get one loyalty point per £1 spent on rail tickets and two points for every pound you spend on hotels or car hire. Even more points are offered when shopping (see the loyalty section of the site).

Red Spotted hanky charge no booking fees, or for the delivery of tickets, while also stating that if you book well in advance you will save a massive 51% compared to the price you would pay for tickets bought on the day. They also have a superb price promise that states if you find the same ticket cheaper on another website they will refund the difference. All this and more is available from Red Spotted Hanky, while it is one of the most user friendly rail services sites on the web.

The East Coast service is easily recognised due to their purple brand logo that we see in stations up and down the country. When booking with this company you can choose where you would like to sit, there are no credit card or booking fees plus you will earn reward points as you spend. In fact you get fifty bonus points for simply joining.

All the towns and cities on the East coast line are serviced from Edinburgh in Scotland right down to London in the south of England plus many in between. Booking online will immediately save you money, while the more in advance you book the better the saving will be. Signing up to the site means that customers can receive all the latest offers via email therefore not missing out on great savings or discounts.

The trains are well serviced plus have Wi-Fi, quiet coaches, café bars and areas for bicycles, pets or any other things you may wish to take on your travels. First class serves complimentary food and drink too. East Coast also facilitate booking a hotel through the site meaning customers can book their entire package in the one place, while competitions featured on the site may win you the chance to see a favourite rock band or stay in one of your favourite hotels.

Rail Easy is a National Rail accredited site and aims to make booking and travelling by rail easy whether you are travelling with your family, for business, pleasure or going on holiday. Booking in advance with Easy Rail can save customers up to 80% on the cost of their tickets which is a huge discount so is definitely worth considering, while note that Rail Easy charge 75p for paying by debit card and 4.5% of the ticket price for paying by credit card. Some sites have no booking fees.

Once you have booked your tickets you can collect them from the station straight way or if you prefer and there is time have them posted to you, while if Rail Easy offer the same ticket cheaper after you have booked it they will refund the money you have paid and issue you with the cheaper ticket. You can’t say fairer than that! Rail easy also enables customers to book a hotel, buy tickets for trains to Europe, offers car hire plus facilitates booking for business easily.

Sign up to Rail Easy to receive £20 cash back plus customers who are outside the UK can still book their train tickets through the site. Searching for anything that is displayed on the site is simple as all the search engines are easy to follow and use. Rail Easy endeavours to find its customers the cheapest plus fastest journey to their destination of choice so why not take a look at what the site has to offer?

Booking Train Tickets Explained

Are All Train Ticket Websites the Same?

No prices plus terms and condition vary from site to site. For instance some sites charge booking fees, while others charge nothing for buying tickets or having them delivered.

Will My Child Travel Free?

As a rule children under five will travel free but they do not have a designated seat so will need to sit on your knee if the train is full. You can however book a ticket for the under 16’s in order to secure a seat for your child.

How Do I Collect My Ticket From a Machine?

All you need is your ticket reference number and the card that you paid with online. The tickets will be issued straight away.

What is an Advanced Ticket?

When you buy an advanced ticket you will have to travel on the date specified at the time specified. They are not inter-changeable and cannot be used on any other date or time than those stated on the ticket. Advanced return tickets are available too. Customers can usually get the tickets cheaper as prices are much higher when buying on the day of travel.

What is an Anytime Ticket?

Anytime tickets can be bought in advance through a ticket website and allow anytime travel without restrictions.

What is an Off-Peak Ticket?

As with other tickets off-peak can be ordered on line but they do come with restrictions. Travelling off-peak is generally a lot cheaper but you have to travel within certain time parameters that are usually times that are less busy such as not in the rush hour.

What is Super Off-Peak?

Super of-peak tickets have even more restrictions. If your journey has more than one off-peak time the cheaper one is known as super off-peak. Off-peak tickets can be single journeys or return journeys.

What is an Open Return?

An open return ticket is very flexible. You can select the time and date of your return usually within a month from your outward bound journey. Open returns come in anytime, off-peak and super-off-peak categories.

What is a Season Ticket?

A season ticket allows unlimited travel between two places for a set time. A photo is required when you buy the ticket, while it saves money if you are a regular traveller.

What is a First Class Ticket?

Buying a first class ticket gives the customers the right to travel in the first class carriage that provides certain services and perks that other passengers are not offered. Perks can include complementary food and newspapers, free Wi-Fi plus comfier seating and more space and leg room.

What is an E-Ticket?

An E-Ticket can be sent to your email address so that you can print the ticket off yourself. When you travel you will need to take some kind of ID with you along with your printed off ticket.

What is an M-Ticket?

An M-Ticket is a ticket that is sent to your mobile phone via an app that you will need to download. When you board the train for your journey simply show the ticket collector the ticket on your phone. Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged before setting off too.

Cancelling or Changing Tickets

If you find that you have to cancel your ticket or change the dates or times you need to contact the ticket provider site straight away. They all differ regarding terms and conditions to a certain degree but below are some general facts about types of tickets bought and whether you can cancel them or change them. See individual providers for details.

  1.       Advance Tickets may be changed up to a few hours before your journey. This may incur a charge plus the new ticket of your choice may be more expensive so the difference may have to be paid. If you wish to change the route you travel this is not usually possible meaning travellers will have to buy a new ticket. If you find you no longer wish to travel you will most probably not get a refund.
  2.       Anytime Single/Return You can cancel your anytime ticket and buy a new one. Some providers may make a charge. You can also ask for a refund if you no longer wish to travel.
  3.       Off-Peak These tickets are refundable. You can change them also but may be charged.
  4.       Super-Off-Peak tickets are refundable or can be changed but once again there may be a charge
  5.       Can I Claim for Days Lost Due to Disruption? In order to claim money back on your season ticket if there are days when trains are disrupted or cancelled you must contact your local station or the place where you bought the season ticket.
  6.       Do I Need To Travel Every Day to Buy a Season Ticket? It is more cost effective to travel at least three days a week to warrant buying a season ticket.
  7.       Is My Railcard Valid Along with a Season ticket?  You cannot receive further discounts by combining tickets. For example such as a young person’s railcard with Season tickets. You are already receiving a discount when you but the season ticket.
  8.       What happens if I Leave My Season ticket at Home? If you do this once only then you will get a refund for the ticket you had to buy as you left your season ticket at home. If you do this on a second occasion you will face a £10 administration charge. Any other time within a twelve month window will not be eligible for a refund of any fares paid.

Season Ticket Holders: FAQ’s

How Do I Make a Complaint About Train Services?

To make a complaint you need to contact your individual train company. Please note if your journey is long and you have to make changes en-route you may be travelling with more than one company. You need to give the train company time to deal with your complaint. If you are not satisfied with the outcome of any complaint made you can find further information on what to do at the Rail Regulator website.