Trains in England

I'm looking at using trains to go around England, and I wasn't sure if train tickets are for specific time or just between locations. Any general info I should know? Cheers,

Posted by Ray
Portland, Oregon, USA
2425 posts

hi, you may want to be more specific. Example, travel with london or travel outside of london. happy trails.

Posted by Keith
United Kingdom
838 posts

The answer is both. To get you started try playing around with options at National Rail. The UK ticketing system is confusing (I think), but broadly: - for many journeys (especially longer distance), if you commit to a particular train (i.e. specific date and time), then you get it much cheaper than the "anytime" fare, you also get it even cheaper if you buy well in advance. (e.g. London - York, on 1 April - £40 if you commit to take the 0800hrs, £130 if you want to be flexible about which train to take, or commit to 0800hrs on 3 June - £30). - with other trains (especially commuter services), there is not much difference whether you buy in advance or turn up at the station and buy the tickets on the day; though with these there is often a difference in price between travelling at popular times Monday-Friday and at other times. If you mentioned a few planned journeys, many people on here do actually understand the way it works much better than me.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
12418 posts

Unfortunately it is necessary to learn how the system works in England. The English rail system is the most expensive in Europe so taking advantage of advance sale discounts is critical.

Posted by Elaine
Mission Viejo, Calif., USA
820 posts

We used both the Tube and the trains during our four visits to London. Their transportatin systems are absolutely wonderful. You can go to any train or Tube station and ask questions. The ticket counter assistants are most helpful. Sometimes you must take the Tube to a particular train station. Then you get on a train to go wherever, at that location. It is a great idea to get an Oyster card, as soon as you arrive. We took trains out to York, and Bath, back from Hampton Court, etc. We even took two trains to go to two different Costco stores. The trains are a great way to see England.

Posted by Tom
Suffolk, UK; formerly St. Louis, MO, USA
172 posts

As Keith said - the answer is both. It would help a lot if you had a few planned journeys, or at least a few more specifics. As has been mentioned, several folks on here actually live in the UK and use the system. In general - Advance tickets will usually restrict you to a certain service. Anytime tickets will allow you flexibility in when you travel within the ticket validity window. Alternatively, if you can travel off-peak, you'll be restricted on times but within the valid time window, you can take any service you want.