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Buying Train Tickets

My planned trip to Dublin and the UK, will have me flying into Dublin, then sail/rail to Telford; Telford to York; York to London; then London back to Dublin.

It appears it will be best to book my tickets through Virgin Train's website. Seems I can get all the tickets I need for each leg of the itinerary and have the tickets emailed to print at home.

But, my lack of full understanding of the UK's National Rail, and each of the rail companies and carriers and their relationships still leaves me with some doubt. Any help or reassurance would be appreciated.

Posted by
2111 posts

yes you can use virgin train's website to buy tickets

all the train companies sell the same tickets it doesn't really matter who you buy them from

between York and London you'll likely travel with virgin east coast, which is a separate company to virgin west coast, but the same tickets are available from both companies

not entirely sure you can always opt for print at home tickets - sometime you need to collect at the stations

no need to overthink the train companies just choose when and where you want to go and let the websites do the rest

Posted by
233 posts

Neil, thank you. That was exactly the information to my questions I was looking for. Thanks for the link.

Posted by
1875 posts

Why Telford? Not known to be a tourist town - though Ironbridge Gorge Heritage is just to the south.
Why skip Conway/Conwy & scenic north Wales?
The shortest route from Holyhead to York goes via Manchester.

Posted by
4642 posts

With regular tickets there is no particular advantage buying tickets from one particular train company over another and it saves on multiple accounts; there are some with 'loyalty' schemes but these are orientated to the home market. Avoid third party sites with extra charges.

However, it is worth taking a quick peek at the company operating the trains you are using in case at the time they have a special offer of their own.

Posted by
233 posts

James --

Why Telford? Not known to be a tourist town - though Ironbridge Gorge Heritage is just to the south.

Well yup, that is where I intend to go, and Telford seems to be the best station from which to get to Coalport, Coalbrookdale, and Ironbridge.

Why skip Conway/Conwy & scenic north Wales?

Because I would rather spend time in Ironbridge?

Posted by
823 posts

VAP,

I purchased rail tickets for a trip from Edinburgh to London a couple years ago. I found the National Rail web site to be very easy to navigate and understand until it came time to purchase my tickets. When all attempts to purchase failed, I called their customer service line and was told that American credit cards are not handled by their fraud-prevention system (verisign?). However, they ran the transaction manually (over the phone) with no additionally fees added.

If you run into this problem, a cheap and easy way to call internationally is via a VOIP service Skype or Google voice.

And, yes, I received only vouchers via email and had to pick up my tickets at the station; which I did by entering my reservation code into the automated ticket machine.

Good luck and have a great trip.

Posted by
4642 posts

National Rail's website does not sell tickets - you would have been redirected to the operating company's site.