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Train Options Liverpool to Bath? Northern Line Train Advance Tix?

Hello kind folks:
If traveling by train from Liverpool to Bath on a Wednesday 3 July, would you have any preferences for the route or carrier? Looks like at least 2 stops for most routes, in Birmingham and Bristol Meads. Looks like multiple train companies for the full journey.

Meanwhile, we're (im)patiently waiting for Northern Train to open ticket sales for York to Penrith/North Lakes on Monday 24 June. Only the standard tix are available now, 106GBP, way more than we will need to pay with Two Together/Advance fares. Maybe 8 weeks out we'll see more options.

It's all very exciting, esp with TripIt keeping a countdown for the start date :)
Thank you all for your expertise and opinions, too!

Posted by
6708 posts

York to Penrith will open at 0001 exactly 8 weeks before the date of travel, and that is a route where you absolutely want to split tickets. Depending on whether taking the via Burnley or the Settle route you split at Preston, or Leeds and Carlisle respectively- thus 12 days time.

Via Preston you should get down to £36. Via Settle about £30 with the 2 way split, Via Newcastle about £28 with splits at Newcastle and Carlisle. That is for 2 people with railcard.

It is a shame that the bus times don't really work (it is a 90 minute wait) or you could have changed from train to bus at Kirkby Stephen or Appleby onto the Eden Valley Express bus to Penrith.

Liverpool to Bath my absolute preference would be Liverpool to Euston/Paddington to Bath- fastest, cheapest, far more comfortable in terms of passenger numbers and the train cars.

Or Liverpool to Chester to Newport to Bath for scenery and to avoid a London Change. That route also suffers from overcrowding on the 2 or 3 car sets so if taking that route I would want to put you on one of the 'Gerald' loco hauled trains- whose new rosters need to be identified.

If you need to go via Birmingham then we would need to do a bit of digging and find out which are the 8 car trains on that route, as the normal 4 car trains are not sufficient for passenger numbers and get pretty crowded. There was meant to be help on hand for that summer with extra trains being released from Avanti, but their new trains are behind time, so the cascade is delayed.

EDIT- The 0908 the 1506, 1806 and 1906 from Birmingham to Bristol are the ones which have 8 cars- all the others have 4 or 5 (if lucky) cars. So travel on a London North Western Train LIV-BHX is £15.10 for 2 people with railcard, then the 1506 BHX-Bath via Bristol is £47.60 for two people with railcard- total £62.70 (looking at a date in 6 weeks time).

Posted by
2492 posts

The more scenic westerly route via the Welsh borders to Newport is not viable between the 3 July and 18 July due to the closure of the Severn tunnel.

Posted by
6708 posts

GWR will not just stop running trains- there is a standard plan where local trains from South Wales to Bristol and the South West are diverted via Gloucester and South Wales to London trains via Gloucester and Stroud. It is too far ahead for times to be available yet.

GWR state that no replacement buses are being run due to the Gloucester diversion- but are currently allowing bookings based on trains to Severn Tunnel Junction then bus to Parkway and Bristol Temple Meads.

It also appears, from the advance booking information, that the work may have been slightly deferred to start on 8 July.

The plan just has not been fully worked up yet.

Posted by
6708 posts

By the way it's a question you haven't asked but National Express run from Liverpool One Bus Station to Bristol- 1040 bus to Birmingham (non stop)- 50 minute change to a non stop bus to Birmingham arrive 1600- £14.50 each.

Then switch to a Badgerline X39 bus at 1608 to Bath, then 1623, 1640, 1657 and every 16 or 17 minutes- £2 each.

National Express will through book you onto that bus- for £10!!

Flixbus only run overnight on that city pair, and Megabus only run to Bristol Airport (for Plymouth).

So you have all (or most) of the alternatives, now.

Posted by
161 posts

Gosh, I just cannot get over how quickly such accurate and thorough advice is shared. I’m forever grateful for your generosity here, esp Stuart, with those extra details and considerations like extra rail cars to consider. My husband also shares his gratitude.

We appreciate you all!
Thank you, thank you!

Posted by
161 posts

A follow up question please, if traveling on the route from Liverpool to Bath via London on 3 July:

Does this sound right? Leave Liverpool by Avanti train to London Euston Station, walk to Euston Square for tube to Paddington station, to catch GWR train to Bath. Do you suggest splitting the tickets that way: Avanti West train ticket to London then a GWR ticket London Paddington to Bath?

If so, how much time would you suggest between the trains midday on 3 July? Carryons and backpacks for two of us. Don’t mind a little leeway for a coffee break at the stations!

Looks like we missed the least expensive advance tix for 10-12 from Liverpool but not a huge deal to pay a bit more to be on our way (around 52 GBP instead of 33).

Thanks again for your kind input!!!!! :)

Posted by
6708 posts

Yes that's the way to do it.

Euston concourse to Paddington concourse on a good day with no delays you can do in 25 minutes or less.

The actual tube journey is only 9 minutes.

The official minimum connecting time is 40 minutes. So if you leave 1 hour as a minimum that is a nice leeway. If you want to go and pay homage to Paddington Bear on Platform 1 at Paddington, take in the grandeur of the station and have a bit of time to look at the shops/cafes allow 75 to 90 minutes. Leaving that amount of time pretty much copper bottoms you.

Both TfL and I reckon that the fastest time concourse to concourse is actually the #205 bus in normal circumstances. But this forum disagrees.

If the TfL information screen at Euston says that the tube is having a bad day keep that as a reserve option.

Posted by
76 posts

Apologies if you know this already, but if you go onto www.nationalrail.co.uk and enter your start as Liverpool and end at Bath, it will provide the various options available using the different companies.

Posted by
161 posts

Exhale, LOL, we bought the advance single tix from York to Penrith, via Preston, on Northern train. Just the one change to Avanti train at Preston. I jumped at the 29GBP around 10pm from the US. Patience overnight wd have saved 7GBP, but still happy with this price for a through-fare!

Northern didn’t give us a seat assignment, but Avanti did. That’s my only question to explore further. Northern says I can call for seat assignments? Or Can I do this at any train station in London area?

Now just ONE more route to book: LIV to Bath on 3 July. Without going thru London, the route with 2 stops: Birmingham New Street & Bristol [eta: Temple Meads] seems the best price and only 2 changes at 48GBP for advance single, for two of us. How do I know if it has the additional train cars?

Posted by
1003 posts

Northern don’t generally offer seat reservations but don’t worry - they are unnecessary. You can sit where you like. The train will start at York so getting there a few minutes before departure you will find seats.

Posted by
6708 posts

The £48 for the two of you Liv-Bath is on the 0933 and 1133 from Liverpool - which are the 1142 and 1342 from Birmingham. £24 each for a journey of that length

Unfortunately you can't have everything in life. That is a very good fare, especially for cross country, BUT those are short formed trains. The 1142 was a 4 car train today, the 1342 a 5 car train (well 1135 and 1335 currently). You have seats reserved though, so you know you will have a seat. If someone is sat there turf them out.

I heard the news over the weekend that 17 more Voyager trains are being released by Avanti to Cross Country by next May, as the new trains for Avanti are brought into fleet service. As soon as each train is transferred it will be brought into service with XC so many services will gradually be being strengthened during the year. Not before time.

Today the 1506- one of the longer trains today wasn't- for whatever reason that was missing it's 2nd train set so was only 5 cars, not 8.

I would grab their hands off for £24 each for that journey- probably the best XC fare I have seen for ages.