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Train questions re: Scotland and LON-AMS

I've read that train tickets can't be purchased too far out, but there are sites that offer tickets from Edinburgh to London and from London to Amsterdam for a trip in May (ex - / Does it make sense to buy these now or will the tickets from Virgin and/or Eurostar be even less?

On the LON-AMS route, it's suggested to allow at least 45 min for transfer and check-in, but the routing shows only 40 min. Is this doable for a slow-walking senior?

17:05 Brux.Midi/Bruss.Zuid Eurostar - Brussels South
Change track - 17:22
17:45Bruxelles Midi-Brussels South

Suggestions appreciated! Thanks!

Posted by
2829 posts

'Too far out', I think, means not as far out as air tickets.

However, because long distance and high speed trains compete with airlines, several operators have extended their booking windows from the usual 90 days to 120 or 180 days.

As for transfer time: you do not need 45 minutes when travelling to Amsterdam, because there is no immigration control for passengers travelling to the Netherlands in Bruxelles-Midi. That recommendation is more geared for passengers headed for UK (British border control happens in Belgium).

Bruxelles-Midi is large, but anything 20 minutes and over is more than enough to find your new platform with ease and without a hurry. Find your platform for the Thalys train headed to Amsterdam, and go there early as these trains (except for one) come from elsewhere and dwell just some 5-7 minutes at Bruxelles-Midi.

Posted by
136 posts

Thanks to both of you for your quick responses. I wondered about the 'check-in' and whether it was for entry to England. Glad for the verification.

Virgin has a pop-up that shows that they have extended booking periods (24 weeks rather than 12), but there are no options to check trains that far out. Am I missing something? Trainonline's price is £81.50 for 2 tickets (inc the booking fee of £1.50) but the closest I can find on Virgin (for the same train) is £137 each. There has to be something I'm missing on the Virgin site.

Is the travel card (senior) useful for shorter trips around London or for the Eurostar portion of the train to Bruxelle? I don't know that we'd make up the cost of the card.

Posted by
136 posts

We're traveling mid-May, but I can't get the site to bring up any dates past April 23. The rates I see for those dates is £137 each where trainsonline is only £81.50.

I'll keep trying.

Posted by
2424 posts

Weekday tickets start at £25 and you can buy these now right up to July from Virgineastcoast.

Weekend tickets are only available up to 23 April. So if you're travelling on a weekend (or bank holiday) you need to wait until they go on sale.

What exact day are you looking at?

Posted by
136 posts

I was searching for a Monday after 9:30 as that's when we'll be traveling. Glad it's all sorted. Hope I chose seats on the water side of the train! :)