Rail user help

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:
There are many independent station cafes which are worth visiting even if you are not travelling - Coffee Station at Hebden Bridge was voted best in our competition.
There are also at least 120 station pubs.

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 Western Railway are offering children's tickets for £1 when accompanied by an adult with an off-peak, super off-peak or promotional day return ticket, until 2nd September. Tickets can be bought online, at station ticket offices and on trains if departing from a station without a ticket office, but not from station ticket machines. Available on all South Western Railway services, except for journeys wholly within London Travel Zones 1 - 6 or where SWR does not set the fare, but not on other operator's services.
  • Would your child like a free bucket and spade? Essex and South Suffolk Community Rail Partnership are offering bargain return tickets at £5 adult and £3 child from Colchester to Walton on the Naze on the 09.56 Bucket and Spade service on Thursdays 16th and 30th August 2018, with a free bucket and spade for each child. Tickets must be booked on the ESSCRP website.
  • One third price train travel! You can exchange Tesco Clubcard vouchers for triple the value to use on redspottedhanky.com. So from 11 June 2018 £5 in Clubcard vouchers can be exchanged for £15 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 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.
  • On 30 May 2018 Virgin Trains West Coast launched a new partnership with Uber to encourage people to leave their cars at home and take the train.

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