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Birmingham England. to Edinburgh, plane or train ?

I wasn't sure if I should post this under the England or Scotland forum.
From what I can see on my Google searches,

One train ticket is $186 and the journey is four hours for a one way train from Birmingham to Edinburgh.

But it seems I can get a one hour flight from Birmingham airport into Edinburgh's for $100 or less, including one bag carry on ( which is how I'm traveling)
Probably an Easy jet or something but it's only a one hour flight, so I don't think comfort matters too much for such a short flight.

I'm planning on flying out of Edinburgh to Basel Switzerland four days later.

Are there many train company options or are they all that expensive ? I can't seem to find a cheaper one, but maybe I'm looking in the wrong place.

With only three and a half days there ( four nights) I feel I want to do the fastest option.
It looks like that is the flight. But I don't want to miss something obvious I'm not considering.
Thanks for your time.

Posted by
15722 posts

When is your trip? I was looking at fares for next week and they are as low as 58 GBP.

Time wise, train and flight will be the same. For the train, you go from city center to city center. You only have to show up a few minutes before the train leaves.

With the fllight, you need to travel to the airport, get there two hours ahead of time, fly, then travel into the city center. You might save 15 minutes flying.

I'd take the train. Less hassles. No security.

Use http://www.nationalrail.co.uk for your searches.

The trainline on that route is Avanti West Coast.

Posted by
6682 posts

It's 4 hours by train, you'll struggle to beat that travel time by flying. And I see tickets for £46.80 next week.

Posted by
6113 posts

Take the train. It’s cheaper travelling off peak (after 9.30 usually).

If you fly, you have to consider the time and cost of travel to and from the airports in addition to the flight price. Birmingham airport is 16 miles from the city centre.

Posted by
2562 posts

The $186 fare for the train will be an Anytime ticket - no one in their right mind buys those.

Look for Advance tickets. Tell us when you're travelling and we can advise further.

Posted by
15722 posts

The $186 fare for the train will be an Anytime ticket - no one in their right mind buys those.

Not always true. I have learned that if I am on a TPE train and have to transfer to another line to get to my destination, I had better buy an anytime ticket for the second train because TPE is never on time--if their trains run at all.

On a couple of occassions, TPE was so late I received a refund. That helped to cover the extra expense of the anytime ticket.

However......for a simple run from Birmingham to Edinburgh, an advanced ticket would be a smart move. (And it's not on TPE).

Posted by
6682 posts

Not always true. I have learned that if I am on a TPE train and have
to transfer to another line to get to my destination, I had better buy
an anytime ticket for the second train because TPE is never on
time--if their trains run at all.

You shouldn't have had to do that. If you missed your second train because the first train was late you could take a later train at no extra cost. That is EU law, but I don't know what the rules are in the UK post brexit.

Posted by
2562 posts

Yes, you don't need to buy another ticket if the first train is late.

From the T&Cs "If delays occur while travelling, you will be allowed to take the next available train(s) to complete your journey." Find and tell the guard though so they know what you're doing.

Posted by
27447 posts

I suspect you are looking for rail tickets somewhere like raileurope, which is a third-party reseller. It charges more than the train companies do, and it adds fees. I wouldn't trust its pounds-to-dollars conversion rate without verifying that, either.

Start at nationalrail.co.uk to see all your options. When you decide on which ticket you want, NationalRail will transfer you to the appropriate rail-company website, where you can complete your purchase at the same fare locals get.

Posted by
20 posts

Thanks so much everyone, I was hoping I was wrong about price and that I must be looking in the wrong place for train tickets.