I'll be spending a couple of days in Conwy this summer and then catching the train from there to York. I understand that the Conwy station isn't staffed, and that I have to flag down the train to pick me up. But what does one do about purchasing a train ticket there? Are there ticket machines, or can you buy a ticket from the conductor after you board the train?
Yes, you can purchase from the conductor on the train but you should also find a ticket machine on the platform. However, if you just show up on the day & purchase a ticket, it will cost you £62.10. My advice would be to advance book this journey either with Arriva Trains Wales or Trans Pennine Express as these are the trains you will be using. I have just checked for about 10 weeks from now and you can advance purchase the journey for £22 - but you must use specific trains.
Go to www.nationalrail.co.uk and test out a journey. Click 'details' for change points.
When you pre-book a journey, you will be asked for your card details and be sent a booking number - print it out & bring it with you. If you go to a staffed station, they should be able to issue you with the tickets when you present the booking reference. You will also need the SAME debit card. (You could insert the debit card into a ticket machine, tap in the booking ref & out will come your tickets).
(Chester is worth seeing en-route but the through ticket may not permit you to break the journey. Consider splitting the ticket at Chester if you wish to have a look around). CNW > CTR; CTR > YRK.
Should you do this, it looks like the fare from Conwy to Chester remains the same - so you could pay on the day £18.90 for this leg on any train. However, the leg from Chester to York is more expensive if you just show up at Chester station & pay on the day. I have found Advance booking fares for specific trains as low as £13.30 for CTR > YRK = at about 5 weeks from now.
Thanks so much James. That is really helpful information.