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Train travel

At the end of our three-week tour of UK, we are planning to drop off the car in York and then take the train to London, probably Euston Station (close to our AirBnB apartment in Covent Garden). In checking train schedules, fares vary widely for no apparent reason, like 32 GBP on the low end and 112 GBP on the upper end. And they are not "first class" fares. Can someone explain this to us?

Posted by
6812 posts

What website are you using, and what is the date of your travel?

Posted by
6812 posts

I picked the 12:02 train, which shows cheapest fare at £25, then clicked on the little button that says Other Tickets (for that train), and you can see that there are several fares including First Class options for that one train. There are Advance purchase (buy them now -they will disappear closer to the day); Anytime (any train that day); Off-Peak (non-rush hour trains that day); and first class options for those. For other trains that day, the fares may be higher or lower, or some sold out. The fares are not constant or fixed for all trains - more popular ones cost more.

Posted by
21326 posts

It's common in Europe for fast-train fares to vary a great deal. When tickets initially go on sale, there are some seats available at low prices, but those tickets are non-changeable and non-refundable. As other travelers buy those tickets, only more expensive options are available, some of which are more flexible. This phenomenon is in operation big time in the UK, where the price variations on some routes are the highest I've ever seen. For long trips like York-London, the penalty for not buying the ticket early can be painful.

Posted by
28145 posts

York to Euston is an unusual routing, which will likely involve Cross Country trains from York to Birmingham New Street with a change to either London Northwestern trains (cheap but slow) or Virgin (fast and posh but pricey) into Euston.

Most people go directly from York to London Kings Cross (just a 10 minute walk from Euston and a hub of many tube lines including Piccadilly to Covent Garden). Much faster.

You can either take Hull Trains, less frequent, can be cheaper, slower and plodding and definately the minnow in the pond, or LNER, the big fish now run again by the government because yet another company failed, which is fast and frequent and runs long trains at 125 mph.

You pays your money and takes your choice....

Posted by
2 posts

This thread is probably a bit old now to be helpful, but a lot of people take the train from York to London so I'll still add my bit.

Firstly, Hull Trains don't serve York, so you can ignore that bit of advice.

York trains all run to/from London Kings Cross, not from Euston. Any routing that takes you to Euston isn't the way you want to go, unless you want to change trains unnecessarily. The two stations are not far apart.

The website will offer you standard (flexible) fares, either peak or off-peak depending on the time of day, plus inflexible Advance fares (by far the cheapest). You pay your money and make your choice.

The main train company on that route is LNER. Just book what's available from their website. Other companies exist that act as ticket agents. You won't save anything by using them and may end up paying an additional booking fee.

Posted by
4741 posts

The other operator on the route is Grand Central. Only 5 a day (4 on Sun)