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Rail user help

Image Don’t get caught out like this customer in the BBC TV series ‘The Railway: Keeping Britain on Track’. Railfuture has launched this online guide for rail users to help you find the cheapest train tickets in the minefield of the fares system.
Travelling by rail can be cheaper than the cost of putting fuel in a car, and is likely to be even cheaper when the cost of the car's depreciation, maintenance, finance and parking are taken into account. Rail is often quicker and more comfortable, and it is certainly safer and more environmentally friendly. These pages will help you to get the best out of rail travel and to deal with any problems that may arise:
While you are reading these pages, sit back and enjoy the soundtrack of The Railway, a piece for solo piano called Le Chemin de Fer by composer Charles-Valentin Alkan (1813-1888).

If you work in London and are thinking of moving house, it is worth considering both the daily travel time and the combined cost of your mortgage payments and season ticket. The website Life after London has mapped season ticket prices and average mortgage costs in the area around every station in south-east England, whilst Emoov has mapped average house prices around major stations througout the UK.

When people tell you that rail travel is cheaper in Europe, don't believe them - this infographic shows how fares really compare for one-way journeys. Off peak return journeys can be even cheaper.

If you can’t find the answer here, there is more information about British rail operators, tickets and fares on the National Rail website.

Latest Offers
  • South West Trains is offering off-peak single tickets anywhere where SWT sets the anytime fare, except west of Yeovil, until 9 April (except 4/5 March) for £14 (child £3). Tickets must be bought on the SWT website by 2359 on the day before travel, and on Monday - Friday cannot be used during the morning peak or on trains leaving London between 1615 and 1945.
  • Club 55 is back on Arriva Trains Wales. If you're over 55 you can travel anywhere on the ATW network (after 0930 Mondays - Fridays, any time Saturdays and Sundays) for £26 return until 25th February; return travel must be completed by 5th March. Add-on fares are available for travel from Wales to Birmingham, Marylebone, Liverpool or stations around Manchester. There is a £1 discount with a railcard.
  • Scotrail are offering 20% off the Spirit of Scotland Travelpass for travel across Scotland until 31st March. 4 days now £107, 8 days now £143.50.
  • Half price train travel! You can exchange Tesco Clubcard vouchers for double the value to use on redspottedhanky.com. So at the moment £5 in Clubcard vouchers can be exchanged for £10 to buy British train tickets, but this offer may be too good to last long. If you are entitled to a Railcard discount, you get that too! Just one word of caution - do not exchange more in Clubcard vouchers than you will use in a single transaction on redspottedhanky, as the site may not keep any unused credit - and the site does add a £1 booking fee to the price of the tickets.
  • If you buy a Scotrail season ticket on smartcard, you can get a third off Standard Off-Peak single and return tickets for you and up to three adults travelling together, a £5 First Class upgrade on off-peak travel for you and up to three adults travelling together on your usual Season Ticket route, and discounts and deals on high street shopping, food, drink and travel with Scotrail Smart Rewards.
  • If you spend more than £35 per month on off-peak rail travel in the West Midlands, East Anglia, London or the South East then a Gold Card will save you money.


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