Birmingham to London

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thedarklord

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Hi I'm traveling to London on Thursday 2nd August. I'm looking for a return ticket to be back in Birmingham on the following day, 3rd August. I absolutely need to be on the Southbank side of London by around midnight or 00:15am at the latest.

I'm not an expert on train travel. In fact I've only ever travelled twice on train before and that was a return short journey between Birmingham and Solihull. So I'm really nervous for London.

I've heard that Chiltern Railways is the cheapest operator (I'm happy to sacrifice journey time for cost, although I need to be on the southbank by 00:15 am 3rd August). I'm looking at the website of Chiltern and I just find all the options baffling :(

Also could anyone give me any advice on whether to go for an Oyster card or a travelcard when on the London Underground? Someone told me that it's OK to use an Oyster card on the tube for 1 day and other people on the web say it's far cheaper to have a travelcard.

I would really appreciate any advice!
 
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SS4

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Hi I'm traveling to London on Thursday 2nd August. I'm looking for a return ticket to be back in Birmingham on the following day, 3rd August. I absolutely need to be on the Southbank side of London by around midnight or 00:15am at the latest.

I'm not an expert on train travel. In fact I've only ever travelled twice on train before and that was a return short journey between Birmingham and Solihull. So I'm really nervous for London.

I've heard that Chiltern Railways is the cheapest operator (I'm happy to sacrifice journey time for cost, although I need to be on the southbank by 00:15 am 3rd August). I'm looking at the website of Chiltern and I just find all the options baffling :(
The cheapest is London Midland Super Off Peak Return which is £20 and would suit your need at the cost of an hour's time compared to Virgin. It would be valid on the following outbound trains:

  • 1953 ex-BHM (arrives into Euston at 2220)
  • 2053 ex-BHM (arrives into Euston at 2321)
(BHM = Birmingham New Street)
and is first valid on the 1046 off Euston coming back.

Typically it costs the same to get from a local station in the West Midlands as it does from New Street if you intend to come into New St by train.

-----------------------------------

Chiltern's ticket is £5 more than this but it is more flexible allowing any train out in the morning and being about 45minutes quicker as well as Chiltern services having WiFi.

-------------------------------------

There are advance tickets available if you're willing to commit to a specific train in each direction. These are cheaper but have no flexibility.

Also could anyone give me any advice on whether to go for an Oyster card or a travelcard when on the London Underground? Someone told me that it's OK to use an Oyster card on the tube for 1 day and other people on the web say it's far cheaper to have a travelcard.

I would really appreciate any advice!
Travelcards are valid until 0429 the following day so you'd need two travelcards if you were to travel over two days whereas Oyster is a refundable deposit but you only pay for the journeys you make. If you don't intend to travel around London much then it will probably be easier to stump up the cash for two one-day travelcards.
 

thedarklord

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^
Thanks. I wouldn't mind having an even more unflexible journey for an ever cheaper journey. I've just looked at the Chiltern site and apparantly the cheapest journey from Birmingham to London is £6. £12 overall for a return. Access to wi-fi is a bonus as I'll have my laptop with me.

Also yes, I will be travelling a lot within London for sightseeing. I'm aware that I'll be there during the Olympics so should I expect disruption on the Underground?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
If you dont like the idea of travelling to London via train, have you considered Megabus? or National Express?

Welcome to the forum too :)
I don't like the idea of travelling on a coach, thanks anyway :)
 
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SS4

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^
Thanks. I wouldn't mind having an even more unflexible journey for an ever cheaper journey. I've just looked at the Chiltern site and apparantly the cheapest journey from Birmingham to London is £6. £12 overall for a return. Access to wi-fi is a bonus as I'll have my laptop with me.
That's what I found although I stress these tickets are only valid on the booked train and are worthless in the event of a delay. If you know exactly when you want to come back they're a good choice though.

When I was making my post above I referred to walk up tickets - these are ones you can walk into the station and buy to travel immediately instead of booking in advance. Hence the difference in price

Also yes, I will be travelling a lot within London for sightseeing. I'm aware that I'll be there during the Olympics so should I expect disruption on the Underground?

I don't like the idea of travelling on a coach, thanks anyway :)
If you're travelling a lot (and don't intend to return for a while) then paper travelcards are likely to be easier to deal with, especially if you're travelling wholly off peak
You may find it cheaper to pay cash to get from Marylebone or Euston to your station south of the river if you don't plan on using any other transport before 0429.

There are no planned closures on 3rd August but expect it to be busier. I recommend grabbing a tube map from a station and keeping it on you to be able to change your plans on the fly if necessary.
 

thedarklord

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That's what I found although I stress these tickets are only valid on the booked train and are worthless in the event of a delay. If you know exactly when you want to come back they're a good choice though.

When I was making my post above I referred to walk up tickets - these are ones you can walk into the station and buy to travel immediately instead of booking in advance. Hence the difference in price
Is it often that trains are delayed?
 

SS4

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Is it often that trains are delayed?
Trains aren't often late (I personally aim to be at the station 20mins before departure at the latest although your mileage may vary) especially as Marylebone is a terminus.

If your journey is delayed because your connecting service is delayed then you're good to travel on the next one although I'm not entirely sure if the Tube is counted in that case.

By a delay I was thinking along the lines of you changing your travel plans or arriving at the station late after sleeping in for too long :oops:
 

thedarklord

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Trains aren't often late (I personally aim to be at the station 20mins before departure at the latest although your mileage may vary) especially as Marylebone is a terminus.

If your journey is delayed because your connecting service is delayed then you're good to travel on the next one although I'm not entirely sure if the Tube is counted in that case.

By a delay I was thinking along the lines of you changing your travel plans or arriving at the station late after sleeping in for too long :oops:
I'm not planning on oversleeping :lol: Anyway I know this sounds silly (I can be a real dunce at times) but how do I make sure that I get on the right train/tube line? I often hear about people getting on the wrong trains and having to pay fines or whatever. I almost got on the wrong train once and was only stopped after a school friend had it pointed out :oops: This is my main fear.
 

SS4

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I'm not planning on oversleeping :lol: Anyway I know this sounds silly (I can be a real dunce at times) but how do I make sure that I get on the right train/tube line? I often hear about people getting on the wrong trains and having to pay fines or whatever. I almost got on the wrong train once and was only stopped after a school friend had it pointed out :oops: This is my main fear.
Departure boards. I find travelling on an Advance ticket is easier than an off peak one because the former has the time of travel on. If you're going with Chiltern trains from Moor Street will leave from platform 1 or 3 iirc and the destination you want is London Marylebone so you can match up the time on your ticket with that on the departure board.
From Marylebone you train will have a destination of Birmingham Snow Hill, Birmingham Moor Street or Kidderminster (unlikely the last one)

If you do get these cheap Advance tickets make sure you pick up all your coupons - there should be 5:
  1. Ticket from Birmingham to Marylebone
  2. Reservation for ticket 1 containing the time and date of the train
  3. Ticket from Marylebone to Birmingham
  4. Reservation for ticket 3 containing the time and date
  5. Collection Receipt

Reservations are mandatory and must be presented with the ticket. This isn't an online only offer so if you're in town you can buy them from the station if it's easier for you.

http://www.tfl.gov.uk/ has all you need to know about the Tube and you can get a PDF of a tube map and the lines are colour coded so it's easy to follow since they stop everywhere.

If you're confused ask a member of staff for help :)
 

NSE

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Basically, your ticket will display a time (say 13:07) this is clearly marked on the ticket. You can only depart your station (Birmingham in this case) on this train. No station in Birmingham will have trains to London departing at identical times so don't worry (there will only be one 13:07 for example). In the event of a connecting service being delayed, do not worry, you will be allowed to continue your journey as it was not your fault (I.e a lack of train crew, a breakdown). The tube however is a separate company, I was always led to believe it doesn't c punt for delays, or London buses.
 

tannedfrog

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I'm not planning on oversleeping :lol: Anyway I know this sounds silly (I can be a real dunce at times) but how do I make sure that I get on the right train/tube line? I often hear about people getting on the wrong trains and having to pay fines or whatever. I almost got on the wrong train once and was only stopped after a school friend had it pointed out :oops: This is my main fear.
definitely worth using Chiltern Railways from Moor Street to Marylebone then, as they are small stations, whereas New Street and Euston are huge and confusing
 

cuccir

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When you say the Southbank, do you mean somewhere on the south of the Thames, or the specific area known as the Southbank (around the London Eye, Southbank Centre etc). If it is the letter, from Marylebone your best option is to take the Brown Bakerloo line in the direction of Elephant and Castle. You'll need to get off at to either Embankment (and then walk over the Jubilee Bridge) or Waterloo.
 

thedarklord

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When you say the Southbank, do you mean somewhere on the south of the Thames, or the specific area known as the Southbank (around the London Eye, Southbank Centre etc). If it is the letter, from Marylebone your best option is to take the Brown Bakerloo line in the direction of Elephant and Castle. You'll need to get off at to either Embankment (and then walk over the Jubilee Bridge) or Waterloo.
Well near the southbank I think. I need to get to the BFI IMAX which is quite close to Waterloo tube station I think.
 
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