Online Train Tickets Tips & Guide

image
Print Friendly

Along with the BBC and the NHS, the UK’s railways are among the country’s most prized institutions – even though people do complain about them regularly. For both residents and visitors, train travel around the UK is surprisingly easy, with an extensive network that reaches from the south-western corner of Cornwall all the way up to the lofty Highlands of Scotland.

Buying train tickets, however, can be confusing and often leaves a big hole in your bank account. But buying tickets online in advance can save you a packet. So where’s the best place to buy UK train tickets online?

Buying UK train tickets

One of the biggest train ticket websites in the UK is The Trainline. One of the pioneers of online railway ticketing, The Trainline offers internet users a fast and convenient way to book train tickets at lower prices than you might get at the station. The site claims to help travellers save up to 43% on tickets, though that won’t always be the extent of the saving delivered. If the journey you intend to make is over 12 weeks in the future, discounted tickets – called “advance tickets” – may not yet be available but you can sign up to The Trainline’s Ticket Alert system to receive an email when they are.

There’s one big drawback, however: all Trainline users are charged a booking fee of £1.50 (£1 if you use their mobile app). Conversely, if you book tickets with East Coast, no booking fee is charged at all so many travellers prefer to buy tickets on this site. East Coast is the name of the train service that runs between London in the south and Aberdeen/Inverness in the north, stopping at major termini like York, Newcastle and Edinburgh on the way. Nevertheless, you can buy tickets for all UK train journeys on their easy-to-use website. Customers can also collect Rewards points, which can then be redeemed as e-vouchers to spend on future train tickets.

Looking for more options? One up-and-coming train ticket website to note is Red Spotted Hanky, who also run a loyalty scheme. And if you’re really having trouble finding cheap train tickets, Rail Easy could be a last-minute saviour.

Tips on global train travel

Since the opening of the Channel Tunnel in 1994, rail travel holidays have become much more attractive to travellers in Britain. Train journeys from London to Paris and Brussels can be booked on Eurostar.com and journey times are short at two hours or less.

But if you’re travelling beyond Northern Europe, The Man in Seat Sixty-One offers the ultimate online guide to global train travel. This passionate railwayman set up his website as a hobby in 2001, but today it’s grown into one of the world’s most cherished train travel resources. Find out more about the best ways to travel the world on train, from classic journeys like the Trans-Siberian Railway and the route of the Orient Express to the hidden mountain passes of Austria. The site even has a handy portal with links to international train ticket and rail pass websites, so you can buy tickets for railway journeys abroad in advance.

The following two tabs change content below.
Hello ... I am the Creative Director and Website Editor for Silversurfers and manage all the social media too. I hope you find the features and articles we have shared with you of interest and relevance. Please feel free to comment below and share your thoughts with us ... I hope you enjoy Silversurfers and all that we offer ...

Latest posts by Silversurfers Editor (see all)

Not a member?

Join the silversurfers community today! It's free, easy to do, and is packed full of features and amazing offers!

Join the community!
Click here if you have forgotten your password

Community Terms & Conditions

Content standards

These content standards apply to any and all material which you contribute to our site (contributions), and to any interactive services associated with it.

You must comply with the spirit of the following standards as well as the letter. The standards apply to each part of any contribution as well as to its whole.

Contributions must:

be accurate (where they state facts); be genuinely held (where they state opinions); and comply with applicable law in the UK and in any country from which they are posted.

Contributions must not:

contain any material which is defamatory of any person; or contain any material which is obscene, offensive, hateful or inflammatory; or promote sexually explicit material; or promote violence; promote discrimination based on race, sex, religion, nationality, disability, sexual orientation or age; or infringe any copyright, database right or trade mark of any other person; or be likely to deceive any person; or be made in breach of any legal duty owed to a third party, such as a contractual duty or a duty of confidence; or promote any illegal activity; or be threatening, abuse or invade another’s privacy, or cause annoyance, inconvenience or needless anxiety; or be likely to harass, upset, embarrass, alarm or annoy any other person; or be used to impersonate any person, or to misrepresent your identity or affiliation with any person; or give the impression that they emanate from us, if this is not the case; or advocate, promote or assist any unlawful act such as (by way of example only) copyright infringement or computer misuse.

Nurturing a safe environment

Our Silversurfers community is designed to foster friendships, based on trust, honesty, integrity and loyalty and is underpinned by these values.

We don't tolerate swearing, and reserve the right to remove any posts which we feel may offend others... let's keep it friendly!

More Travel

Top restaurants in Rio & Best Places to Eat Rio De Janeiro Restaurants
What better way to take in the best of Brazilian culture than with food? The country is famous for...
Top 10 French castles French Castles
With hundreds of years of history behind it and some of the most stunning countryside in all of...
Great ways to support your grandchildren on a gap year gap-year
A gap year offers young people a wonderful opportunity to get out there and see a bit of the world...
Where to find the best online travel guides Modern touchscreen smartphone or mobile phone with airline internet web site offering booking or buying airliner tickets online, credit cards and passports on laptop or notebook computer PC keyboard
We’ve all heard of TripAdvisor – but where else can you go to find impartial reviews and...
Making sense of travel websites and booking engines Miniature Backpackers On Top Of The Keyboard.
Booking engines are a great way to find discounted travel - but with so many out there it can be...
Want luxury? Travel in the off season Travel Suitcase with stickers. Clipping path included. Computer
Do you wish you could enjoy a stay in a luxurious hotel, tuck into some top cuisine or relax in a...
Shopping for cruise travel insurance Saint Georges, Grenada, Caribbean
If you’re lucky enough to have a cruise holiday coming up in the next few months then now is a...
The best wine regions to visit Classic Tuscan landscape
There was once a time where to get a decent wine it had to come from France, Italy or Spain –...
Best hotel comparison websites Receptionist or concierge workers standing at hotel counter
If you're looking for holiday accommodation, it's important to think about your essential...
Best Travel Insurance Guide for Over 50 & 65s bigstock-Travel-Insurance-Sign--48008171
The last thing you want to think about when you're planning your holiday is the fact that things...
Best flight comparison sites for holiday planning Passenger plane above the clouds.
Why spend more than you need to on your next flight? These days, you don’t have to rely on the...
Keeping your home safe when you go on holiday home security
Holidays tend to be the highlight of the year, but some of that joy is likely to be tarnished if...