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Rail Tickets from Edinburgh to London

We will be traveling on Friday June 2...

I was on the Virgin website...can I buy directly from them or do I have to go through Rail Europe?

Posted by
8889 posts

Mike, Virgin are the company that runs the trains. Always book direct with the company that runs the trains
Rail Europe are a travel agent in another country that resells some rail tickets for a limited selection of trains, often at a markup. Why would you go with them? Would you book tickets for an American Airlines flight from New York to Chicago with an reseller in the UK?

Posted by
8597 posts

You're more than 90 days out, so you're not seeing the steeply discounted rates that there will be. If you start with the Nationalrail website (the official umbrella organization), it will send you to Virgin site to buy tickets anyway - but maximum 90 days out.

Rail Europe is one of several companies that sells tickets - they don't run ANY trains anywhere.

Posted by
4174 posts

I'm going to give you the best answer I can, but you will probably get more responses if you put this question on the England or Transportation forum.

Definitely do not buy through Rail Europe. Go to National Rail and search for tickets. You will get a variety of options for the journey. Click on the one you prefer and you'll be taken to the right place to buy tickets. It's probably too early to get tickets for June, but you can do a dummy booking for the month farthest in the future to get an idea of the variety of prices.

I took a look at traveling on 2 April and the fares varied from a low of £47.50 to £137.50. There are other variables to pay attention to, including arrival station in London.

Last year when I made the advance reservations for my May-June UK rail journeys, Virgin Trains East Coast was the only company that had the option of printing my ticket at home. That's a good thing.

Because I was doing so much rail travel over a 6-week period, I got a Senior Railcard. Your situation may be different, but this link will take you to information about railcards in case getting one might be worth the extra money in fare savings.

The link outlines the savings, but we can't order the card online. However, you can check the kind of railcard you have when you search for tickets so as to get the cheaper price. Then you can buy the railcard at your first train departure station, before you start your journey(s). Note that it along with your ticket will likely be checked at least once on the journey, so there is no possibility of cheating.

Posted by
91 posts

Thank you so much!

Follow up question on the senior card...it mentions passport number- so these cards are available to tourists..

Posted by
16738 posts

Buy 11-12 weeks ahead for the best Advance fares---I see fares as low as £40.

Start on the National Rail website linked above, enter the date and stations, Nd when you choose a train you like, the website will send you to the actual train company (Virgin East Coast). I like to register on the site so I can always view my journeys.

If you more than this one train journey in the U.K., you may benefit from a "Two Together" railcard ( you did say "we" are traveling). One card covers two people traveling together, costs £30, and gives you a 30% discount on the fares---even off of Advance fares. Yes, you can "double dip"! But if you only have this one train journey, the £24 savings will not be worth purchasing the card.

Posted by
1293 posts

Yes card is available to non UK citizens.
They will issue it to your hand at any staffed station.
Your passport is valid ID for it.
They will not post overseas.
When buying your tickets online , indicate you have it to get your discounts.
You must have the card with you on all journeys you have the discount

Posted by
4174 posts

Odd. It appears that the VTEC website has some issues. Updating maybe? I got different results from different search forms!

When I first tried the 2 June date on the Virgin Trains East Coast website, I got a message that said that the date was not yet available for purchase and to sign up to be alerted when it is. That's even though the date range posted on the page indicates that it should be. I tried 1 June and 5 June and got prices.

Finally, after many tries and lots of speculation, the Friday 2 June date showed up with the £40 price option, among other prices. I tried it one more time and it wouldn't give options for any Friday after 21 April. And the Journey Planner also wouldn't go past that date. Aargh!

The link above with the Azuma ad appeared at some point during the testing, and it was the only one that consistently got me to 2 June and its prices. Good luck with that

I've given up trying to figure out why. The booking month on National Rail remains only through April -- at the moment.

Posted by
91 posts

Thanks to all...I've having the same issues with the Virgin website... Looks like I get a discount for having 3 people, no additional discounts for rail cards.

Working on getting the rail passes suggested for other point to point tickets....

This is a great Forum!

Posted by
91 posts

Thanks to all...

Just bought the 3 tickets for 88 pounds...!

I'm finishing up the May 24th trip to Scotland with Rick Steves group and now moving on to London..

Posted by
8597 posts

apologies if I gave misinformation. I will say the VTEC webpage is showing much more availability than it did even this morning.