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Train reservations

We are about 77 days before our trip to Edinburgh. Would we be able to purchase our train tickets now and if so, where would I buy them. Could you tell me about the Two Together Railcard? How does that work? Our train travels would involve Edinburgh to Aberdeen on June 3rd, Aberdeen to York (June 9), York to London (June 11). How about Oyster cards-do we just purchase those when we get to England?

Posted by
458 posts

Here is a link to the national rail UK website. It is the portal through which you can input your departure and arrival stations and access the available trains. You can buy tickets by clicking on the buy now button and this takes you through to the train operating company websites in order to pay for your tickets. There are no commission charges unlike other website.
National Rail

As of right now it appears you can book tickets out as far as 10th June.

Here is a link to the information on national rail's website about the various railcards that are available - including Two Together.
Rail cards

As for London. Here is a link to Transport For London's webpage about Oyster cards. Transport for London

I hope this helps.

Posted by
458 posts

Glad it helps! Just a further note on the many different prices you will see for the same journey. Some of the cheaper tickets (e.g. Advance) are for specific trains and your ticket would not be transferable on to a later or earlier train. Others like Off Peak, are valid on a range of non rush hour services, but you need to check the terms and conditions for each ticket before you buy to ensure that it is suitable for your plans. There is also the 'dark art' of 'split ticketing' where you artificially split your journey in order to save money (often a lot of money). You end up with two tickets e.g. from say York to Doncaster, then Doncaster to London, but don't have to even leave the train. There's information about how it works here (one of my favourite money saving blogs run by a guy who is a financial expert, has donated millions of pounds to charity and persuaded the UK government to introduce compulsory financial education in UK schools). Money Saving Expert ways to save on train travel Once on the website click on 'split your tickets not your journey'. There are lots of other train travel money saving tips there too.

Posted by
15 posts

Wow! Thank you for that information, Skyegirl. I will definitely check out the split travel and other discounts. That sounded better even than the Two Together. Thanks again!

Posted by
458 posts

You can use split ticketing alongside the Two Together railcard.....as far as I know!

Posted by
15 posts

I tried to get the Two Together railcard but I chose plastic instead of digital and it required a UK phone number and postcode. Should I have chosen digital?

Posted by
458 posts

Yes I think you would need to have an electronic version of the railcard, on your smartphone. There is quite a good FAQ section here. Two Together FAQ

Posted by
23402 posts

Get your physical Two Together Railcard (remember the photos required) at your first staffed National Rail station. Easy. Takes moments.

If you want to get it on line you need to be a British resident - as you see they only post domestically and the electronic one requires UK information.

Get the real one in person. You don't need the card in hand before making reservations - only once you are on the train and have your ticket checked, or the same thing at a ticket barrier.

If you get it ahead the one year expiration clock starts. What if you come back in a year and the Railcard has just run out?

Posted by
458 posts

I was hoping you'd pop up to answer that one Nigel! I've seen your excellent UK rail info on the England forum, and now that I live up here in the wild west of Scotland I have much less up to date acquaintance with the rail system. I don't think Two Together even existed when I was living down south.

Posted by
234 posts

Is GroupSave something different that Two Together? I have a family of 5 traveling from London to Edinburgh the morning of 3 July and returning to London the morning of 6 July. I looked at train tickets yesterday and the prices were quite high. I'm thinking about flying :( Thanks in advance!

Posted by
16766 posts

CaliMom, where are you looking for tickets? The NationalRail.co.uk website isn't showing anything beyond the end of June. What you'll want to get are Advance tickets, not "Anytime" or "Off Peak" tickets.

It appears you may be shopping on a third-party website that is willing to sell you a full-price ticket even before the tickets are released by NationalRail. Wait until Advance tickets are available (could be very, very soon).