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Trains England/Scotland

My husband and I will be flying into Manchester, England and after customs, etc, will be going to Glasgow via train. We will have three other train trips while we are in Great Britain. I am hoping you can help me with which train, etc. Here are the trips we plan: Manchester to Glasgow one day. A few days later, Glasgow to Oban to get to Iona. Then after a couple of days, Oban to Windermere, England. At the end of our trip we will need a train from Windermere to Manchester Airport. We are seniors, so assume the Senior Railcard would be beneficial. Do we look just at ScotRail except for Windermere to Manchester? Thank you in advance for your advice. This is about all I have left to schedule. Also, how do I know if a train pass is exchangable for a different time?

Thank you!

Posted by
6772 posts

Manchester Airport to Glasgow is on the direct Transpennine Trains.

Glasgow to Iona on Scotrail. Only the 0821 and 1036 trains connect for Iona.

Oban to Windermere- Oban to Glasgow Queen Street, walk or free Bus 398, Avanti or Trans Pennine to Oxenholme, change for Windermere

Then book one of the through Windermere to Manchester Airport trips.

Buy an Off Peak Return Glasgow to Oban for £31.90 railcard rate.

Glasgow to Windermere Advance Single with railcard can be as low as £7.85, but somewhere between that and £15.

Windermere to Manchester Airport you will hopefully get for £7.55 as an advance fare, and Man Apt to Glasgow is somewhere between £10 and £14- that fare is an Airport Advance Single- which can be used on a later train up to 3 hours after the departure time stated on the ticket if your flight is late (must be endorsed at the booking office before booking a later train). On that journey when you will be tired I strongly recommend upgrading to 1st class- that fare could be as low as about £30 for better seats, a hot meal and (after 10am) alcohol. It is actually a bit of a no brainer to do so unless funds are really tight.

As long as all your trains are after 9.30am on a weekday, any time at a weekend a Two Together Railcard for £30 is better value.

Posted by
33339 posts

I agree with Stuart about the Two Together Railcard. If you aren't on the earliest trains and travel together all the time it saves half the price of two Senior Railcards, with the same benefits. You do need to provide a photo of each of you which can be digital if you use the digital version - just travel after 9:30 M-F. No such restriction on the weekends or Bank Holidays.

Posted by
20 posts

Thank you both! Am I able to obtain the Railcard from the United States as an online railcard? Also, do I need to have the actual Railcard before making reservations?

Posted by
1010 posts

You can get the railcard online. You don't need to have bought the railcard before you buy tickets - just buy them saying that you have one - as long as you have it when you get on the train you're fine.

Posted by
123 posts

Regarding the Two Together Railcard, it will be a great option for us when in England this September. We usually buy our tickets on Trainline, but I would need to first need to buy a TT Railcard from National Rail first, correct? I may just then go ahead and buy our tickets on the National Rail App. to make things easier throughout.
If we use the TT Railcard for the Elizabeth Line from Heathrow Terminal 5 to London Liverpool Station or , London Waterloo Station to Hampton Court, we will need to collect our tickets from the station instead of tap and go credit card, correct?

Posted by
230 posts

We bought a rail card for our UK travel and it saved us a lot of money. Buying on line is pretty easy, but uploading our picture took a little time. It appeared the system took about 24 hours to be ready for you to do that final step.

Posted by
58 posts

Are there any other train lines from Glasgow to Oban? I have tried for three days to reserve tickets on Transpennine and once got to putting a credit card in and it took me back to start. All the other times I couldn't even get to the payment page. However, I have two sets of seats that are no longer available to be chosen from so not sure when they release seats that haven't been completed. I tried their chat and didn't get the help I needed. Sorry to be so frustrated. I really want to have the time I am hoping for and would like first class as has been recommended.

Posted by
58 posts

Sorry - I am not talking about the Oban trip - I meant to say Manchester Airport to Glasgow Central. My mistake

Posted by
6772 posts

You can book any train journey in the UK with any train company, all at the same price. The website/app favoured by many people here is LNER.

But we know that the Northern Rail website/app also works well overseas- or at least it does in Canada. So there is no obvious reason why it would wouldn't function equally as well in the United States.

Posted by
58 posts

Thank you. When I started this ticket process two days ago there were 7 first class tickets available - now there are none. We arrive at 7 am in Manchester - I was looking at an 11 am train to give us plenty of time. The 9:05 am train has room but not sure that gives us enough time through customs.

Posted by
6772 posts

I think to book the 0905 train. TPE have the one hour rule for the Airport Advance- a minimum 1 hour from scheduled arrival time to train departure time. the 0905 gives you twice that.

There is also a hidden part of the 3 hour extension rule which says if there is no train 3 hours later then there is a further extension to the next train, in your case at 1305.

Thus book on the 0905 and you can be almost 5 hours late landing. Never say never, but that should cover almost any likely eventuality.

The 1st class Advance fares may be sold out on the 1105 train, but I would be amazed if there wasn't capacity at non advance fares either now or on the day. I haven't ever seen 1st or standard with no spare seats on any TPE train on the west coast. If it really was totally rammed then as far as I am concerned I would say to them to put me on the next Northern service to Preston in standard class then in 1st on the next Avanti north out of Preston.

Posted by
58 posts

When I tried to book the 9 am train it told me the trip was only good on that train. It did not give me the airport option. I am usually good at online booking so am not sure what I am doing wrong. I don't want to book a first class and not be able to get that benefit. I really don't want to have to make a connection since we will be so tired, so was looking at no change trains. Do we just bite the bullet and book regular fare? Is it possible to upgrade on the train if there is space available? If so, is the price much more than booking ahead?

Posted by
6772 posts

I'm not sure which day you are travelling to be able to fault trace.

You can upgrade on the train. But, and it is a giant but, full 1st class fare (which you would be upgrading to) from Manchester Airport to Glasgow Central is an eye watering £99 with railcard reduction. So you would be paying the difference between whatever standard class fare you had bought and £99.

Posted by
6772 posts

At the time I am writing this (6.52pm) there are 2x 1st Advance Airport Singles available (maybe your failed purchase re-released) at £28.75 each on the 0904.

LNER, TPE and Northern all give me the same story.

The ones on the 1104 at £53.15 are Airport Advance. When I opened Northern first there were 6 left on that service. In the time it took to open TPE and LNER and start to write this message that has gone down to 4.

August 24 is the start of the August Bank/Public Holiday weekend.

Posted by
20 posts

Thank you all! This is such a great resource. I was finally able to get our tickets by using our PayPal account. Not sure why I couldn’t get a credit card to work. Tried two. I waited long enough that my original seats were available. Looking forward to a great trip. Almost done with reservations.