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Train Passes for England and Scotland

My husband and I are planning the following train trips in late September and early October:

London to Conwy,
Conwy to Holyhead,
Aberdeen to Aviemore,
Aviemore to Edinburgh.

We are trying to decide if a senior pass (both over 60) or another pass would be worth purchasing. Or would it be better to purchase single tickets? Any other advice would be appreciated. Thank you.

Posted by
331 posts

If you will be traveling together for all four trips, then a 2 Together railcard will be less expensive than two separate Senior railcards. There are some time restrictions on the 2 Together card (can't be used before 9:30 on a week day for example), so that needs to be taken into consideration.

Posted by
4032 posts

A Senior Railcard is valid at all times of the day outside London and the South East. Both railcards give you 34% off all fare types including the cheap advance fares fixed to specific trains.
They can both be purchased digitally or at a UK statiion.

Bu there isn't a Senior Pass in the way you describe, and no other type of railpass to cover that portfolio of journeys.

Posted by
4032 posts

For your journeys typical advance fares for your broad dates are
London Euston to Llandudno Junction, for Conwy- £29.70 each with railcard (£45 without)
Conwy to Holyhead £11 each railcard, £16.70 without
Aberdeen to Aviemore £12.50 each railcard, £19 without
Aviemore to Edinburgh £12.65 each railcard, £19.20 without.

Posted by
31509 posts

continuing Stuart's arithmetic, each of you without a railcard would be spending £99.90, with the savings of a Railcard it would reduce to £65.85, saving you £34.05 each or saving £68.10 for the two of you.

Senior Railcards cost £30 each. If you went to the hassle of getting them and remembered to use them each time you would save £8.10. As your first journey is from London to beyond the southeast you would not need to worry about the weekday time restrictions. When your tickets are checked you would need to produce both tickets and both Railcards.

Two Together Railcards cost £30 (but you only need one to cover both of you) plus the cost of photos of each of you if using the plastic card or images if using the app. You would need to ensure your phone had battery or use the plastic card which you would present with the tickets. Two Together Railcards are only valid after 9:30am weekdays or anytime on weekends, and the morning restriction is anywhere in the country. Because you only buy one Railcard your savings is £30 more, less the costs of the photos.

So to me the £8.10 savings on Senior Railcards versus the hassle is probably not worth it - you may feel differently.

The £38.10 (minus photo costs) would buy you a nice lunch, if you can adjust your travel no earlier than 9:30 weekdays.

Your choice...

Posted by
4 posts

Wow! These suggestions are much cheaper than what we could find on the website we were on. Do you have a suggestion for the best site to purchase? Thank you.

Posted by
4032 posts

I was looking on the Northern Rail website because that is the only one which does the maths on the railcard savings for me.
Any train company can sell each other's tickets, the trick is not to use a reseller.

We know that the Northern Rail website works a treat for North Americans, but most people here use the LNER website for all ticket purchases.
Many of the other websites are glitchy with overseas credit cards.

Decide whether you want senior or 2T railcards, then purchase your tickets first as if you had that railcard.
You only need the railcard when you are actually travelling.
So once you have got tickets, as we are only about 4 to 6 weeks out now, then purchase your railcard. That can be done on line or even at your first UK station.
I assume you are travelling in to London from.Heathrow when you arrive. If you use Heathrow Express or the Elizabeth Line and purchase the digital railcard you can also use it for that journey, after 9.30am Mon to Fri,, all day weekends.

Posted by
569 posts

Bear in mind that with Advance fares you must travel on the specific train(s) you book. If you miss one you will need to buy a new one at the walk up price.
There are other tickets that allow you to catch many trains on one day and you may prefer their flexibility. A time tickets are the most expensive and can be used on any train. Off peak are cheaper and you can catch most trains but with some peak restrictions Super off by peak are a bit cheaper still but more restrictive and finally Advance, cheapest but fixed to a specific train.
Buying more flexible tickets will cost you more but of course will also increase the savings you can make with a TwoTogether card.

Posted by
331 posts

If you decide to buy the 2 Together railcard online (I believe at national rail), then you do not need to pay for photos. My husband took pictures of us with his phone and uploaded them in the online application.