Brighton to Manchester for the day

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pat okeeffe

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Following RailUK members helpful advice on a very successful day trip for my son and daughter to Bristol and back a few weeks ago, my son would now like to visit Manchester on his own for the day this coming monday 10th . He has a 16-25 railcard. The WMT and Southern day return from Brighton to Liverpool and then day return from Liverpool to Manchester seems the cheapest but its a slow and awkward route. Otherwise, it seems to me that he can`t do an awful lot better than the standard £79.05 off-peak return. Ive looked at some of the advances on offer and tried various day return combinations, but to no avail. Any suggestions would be welcome
 
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Mcr Warrior

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Is "peak hours" travel permitted on Avanti WCML services for passengers travelling on an off peak ticket with a valid railcard? Used to be the case with Virgin Trains.
 

pat okeeffe

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Is "peak hours" travel permitted on Avanti WCML services for passengers travelling on an off peak ticket with a valid railcard? Used to be the case with Virgin Trains.
By the time he gets to London I think he will miss the peak, unless im mistaken the off-peak rule doesnt seem to apply to the Brighton to London leg. From BR Fares.com
Outward:​
NO DEP FROM EUS PRE 0926 OR 1501-1844 Mon-Thurs​
"
 

Watershed

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Following RailUK members helpful advice on a very successful day trip for my son and daughter to Bristol and back a few weeks ago, my son would now like to visit Manchester on his own for the day this coming monday 10th . He has a 16-25 railcard. The WMT and Southern day return from Brighton to Liverpool and then day return from Liverpool to Manchester seems the cheapest but its a slow and awkward route. Otherwise, it seems to me that he can`t do an awful lot better than the standard £79.05 off-peak return. Ive looked at some of the advances on offer and tried various day return combinations, but to no avail. Any suggestions would be welcome
A better option than that would be a Brighton to Crewe Off-Peak Day Return, route Southern & WMT only, then a Crewe to Manchester Off-Peak Day Return. Total cost with Railcard is £35.55 + £9.50 = £44.05. Can be cut down to £41.85 if you get a £6.30 TfW only ticket from Crewe to Manchester (the TfW service is your optimal connection in both directions).

The connections across London aren't great if you use the official connection times; combined with the current reduced timetable you'd have just over an hour each way. You could probably do it in half that time in reality, as you'd be using the Victoria line which has a train virtually every 2 mins and takes 6 mins. The walk at either station will probably take you longer! You also have a half hour connection to sample the delights of Crewe, both ways :lol:

So overall journey time would be 5.5 hours each way (5 hours if you made an 'unofficial' connection across London). That's not really great for a day trip - plus if you wanted to use the Off-Peak Day Return BTN-CRE, the first train you could use would be the 08:42 off Brighton, so you'd not get to Manchester before 14:13, and your last train back would be the 18:31.

Unfortunately there's not really any 'middle ground' between the cheap £41.85 Southern, WMT & TfW option and the £79.05 Any Permitted Off-Peak Return (it's also not worthwhile getting an earlier train from Brighton as the Anytime Southern & WMT fare is £76.60!). Whilst there are a handful of itineraries where it's cheaper to split tickets, you'd then be tied to stopping at specific stations or taking specific trains.

If you take the Any Permitted Off-Peak Return, there are no time restrictions on the Brighton-London part of the journey, so you're fine to get to London in time for the first Off-Peak departure to Manchester at 10:20 (which gets you in for 12:28). Your last train back then becomes the 20:15 (or the 21:15 if you fancy a rail replacement bus from Three Bridges!). That's still a 4.5 hour (ish) journey time, mind!

Edit: I suppose you could buy an Anytime ticket to London to let you get there a bit earlier with the Southern & WMT option, as there are no restrictions out of London on the BTN-CRE CDR, so you'd simply "start late" on the outward portion. A Thameslink only single to London is £17.40 with Railcard discount. Your earliest itinerary then becomes 04:12 BTN-09:43 MAN, albeit if you want to travel at a less ungodly hour you'd take the 05:52 BTN-11:11 MAN.
 
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swt_passenger

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Is "peak hours" travel permitted on Avanti WCML services for passengers travelling on an off peak ticket with a valid railcard? Used to be the case with Virgin Trains.
They stopped that quite a while ago. Late 2015 or so IIRC.
 

pat okeeffe

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A better option than that would be a Brighton to Crewe Off-Peak Day Return, route Southern & WMT only, then a Crewe to Manchester Off-Peak Day Return. Total cost with Railcard is £35.55 + £9.50 = £44.05. Can be cut down to £41.85 if you get a £6.30 TfW only ticket from Crewe to Manchester (the TfW service is your optimal connection in both directions).

The connections across London aren't great if you use the official connection times; combined with the current reduced timetable you'd have just over an hour each way. You could probably do it in half that time in reality, as you'd be using the Victoria line which has a train virtually every 2 mins and takes 6 mins. The walk at either station will probably take you longer! You also have a half hour connection to sample the delights of Crewe, both ways :lol:

So overall journey time would be 5.5 hours each way (5 hours if you made an 'unofficial' connection across London). That's not really great for a day trip - plus if you wanted to use the Off-Peak Day Return BTN-CRE, the first train you could use would be the 08:42 off Brighton, so you'd not get to Manchester before 14:13, and your last train back would be the 18:31.

Unfortunately there's not really any 'middle ground' between the cheap £41.85 Southern, WMT & TfW option and the £79.05 Any Permitted Off-Peak Return (it's also not worthwhile getting an earlier train from Brighton as the Anytime Southern & WMT fare is £76.60!). Whilst there are a handful of itineraries where it's cheaper to split tickets, you'd then be tied to stopping at specific stations or taking specific trains.

If you take the Any Permitted Off-Peak Return, there are no time restrictions on the Brighton-London part of the journey, so you're fine to get to London in time for the first Off-Peak departure to Manchester at 10:20 (which gets you in for 12:28). Your last train back then becomes the 20:15 (or the 21:15 if you fancy a rail replacement bus from Three Bridges!). That's still a 4.5 hour (ish) journey time, mind!
Thanks Watershed thats really helpful. Last year I did a similar day trip to Liverpool using the day return, and changed at Crewe, not the most prepossessing place. Being a football buff, and all the pubs being shut because of lock-down, I walked aaround the block and peered through a gap in fence around Crewe`s ground then got the connection to Liverpool. Sad I know, but what else is there to do in lock-down Crewe!
 

Watershed

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Thanks Watershed thats really helpful. Last year I did a similar day trip to Liverpool using the day return, and changed at Crewe, not the most prepossessing place. Being a football buff, and all the pubs being shut because of lock-down, I walked aaround the block and peered through a gap in fence around Crewe`s ground then got the connection to Liverpool. Sad I know, but what else is there to do in lock-down Crewe!
No worries, yes, lots of people tend to change at Crewe but I think most are quite glad to get on their connections! Would help if the missing bits of roofing canopy were replaced rather than punters getting soaked whenever it rains...

Also see the edit to my original post - there is a (sort of) middle ground option involving getting an additional Anytime ticket to London, albeit at £59.25 it's getting close to the cost of the Any Permitted Off-Peak Return.
 
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