We're weighing the pros/cons of taking the train from London to York vs. driving. The National Rail site shows fares as low as £17.60 from the nearest tube station (Southwark) to York. The itinerary shows the train departing Southwark at 8:30 to catch the 9:08 train from King's Cross. My question: Is it better to depart a little earlier than 8:30 to ensure we don't miss the 9:08 train? Surely it's not necessary to take the tube at exactly 8:30, is it? Any other tips for this family of 4 train novices?
You can (and should) leave before 8:30 to catch your train. I like to allow a little extra time in case there is a delay or problem with the tube. I also like a little extra time to buy a drink and a snack at the station to take on the train.
Thanks Laura - how does the "dual carrier" ticket work - do they just provide a one-day travelcard for the tube fare, then an east coast ticket for the kings cross - york trip?
If you were to buy train tickets for a route that brought you from outside London into one station and required you to depart from another station, then your tickets would allow you to ride the Tube at no charge to travel between stations. However, in your case you'll have to pay for the Tube ride separately. The National Rail site simply shows you a suggested Tube route and gives the last possible time you could leave Southwark and still get to King's Cross in time to catch your train to York.
Perfect - thanks Tim!
OK, train tickets purchased today - £13 each (how'd I do?). How much earlier than our 9:08 departure time should we plan to get to King's Cross? The tube ride, with one transfer, is estimated at 20 minutes on the TFL website - is this realistic. Thanks for the help - train/London noob here.
Thanks, Nigel. I do believe you have a promising future as a travel planner You think? It looks a degree similar to my day job...
You did great! Tube trains run on a precise schedule. Unless there is a delay because of some unforeseen problem, you can count on a 20-minute ride. I suggest that you leave Southwark no later than 08:20 to give yourselves extra time to find the platform at King's Cross from which your train will depart. Or leave even earlier and give yourselves time to buy some snacks at King's Cross to take on the train.
Again, excellent help - I'm much more comfortable about the process now - thanks Tim.
I may have missed when this tube trip is scheduled. If on a weekend it may be affected by engineering works - check before travel. In addition to information available online on Fridays the Metro newspaper runs a TfL ad saying where all the weekend's shutdowns will be. If not a weekend you will be traveling towards the late middle of the morning rush hour and the tubes will be crowded. There is not a direct route. The most direct route is to join the Jubilee Line Extension at Southwark (pronounced like suth-ick) and go one stop eastbound to London Bridge, changing to the northbound Northern Line Bank Branch. London Bridge will be very crowded. Be careful along the edge of the platform. 5 stops to Kings Cross / St Pancras. It will take a few minutes to get into the rail station and find your platform. At Kings Cross most people will be going the opposite direction to you, unlike at London Bridge. I'd leave plenty time.
Thanks, Nigel. I do believe you have a promising future as a travel planner. ;-) We'll be heading to York on Friday 5/25 (25.5?) - so I'm sure the tubes will be crowded - good point. Hopefully just "no seats" crowded and not "wait for the next train" crowded - we're all pretty fit so walking/standing/balancing/luggage wrestling, etc. is not a big deal. Getting a wife and two college kids ready and out of the hotel early - well, wish me luck there!
Well, that makes a lot of sense - surely explains the excellent guidance - thanks again!
Scott, all manner of things can rise up to bite those who are averse to arriving early for a train or a flight. No one has ever missed a departing train by being early. I'd BE THERE at 8:30 or maybe even 8:00 to relax and wait for the 9:08. You will likely board about 15-20 minutes prior to departure anyway and you will have first choice of seats. Have a plan for not all of your family getting on or off a crowded tube car and getting separated. Try this. If if happens, get off at the next stop, those that get left or those that get whisked away. Those left behind can catch the next train and get off at the next stop. Rendezvous at the next stop and Voila! Disaster avoided.