Finding the Best Deal with BR Fares!

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BR Fares

Verified Rep
31 Jul 2019
Hello all from BR Fares!

We know so many of you make use of our site at, and we've started a new blog as a companion (a link will be placed on the main site soon).

We thought we would draw your attention to our new article which explains some cases where we think the customer should have clearer information during their ticket buying process. We've used a precise example of a customer looking for a journey from Stockport to Crewe on the Virgin Trains website, but we could have used an endless list of cases.

Of course, many of you here at RailUK Forums are already expert users, and you've probably seen this before, but we will be building on these ideas in future blogs!

The tickets aren’t given their full names, just ‘Off Peak’ and ‘Anytime’, no Advance tickets are shown whatsoever, so you might not know they even exist, and you could be forgiven for being confused about why an Off Peak ticket is said to be more expensive than an Anytime one for the Virgin Trains services (note how they’ve prioritised these at the top, separately from all of the other options). It is only revealed when you mouse over a price what the ticket you are actually being offered is, in this case, valid on Transport for Wales only:

After mousing over a price, additional restrictions are revealed; this ticket is only valid on Transport for Wales services and at ‘off peak’ times.

Even now, we do not know the name of the ticket as it will be printed on it if we buy this, and we have absolutely no information other than ‘any off peak train’ (a term which is a misnomer anyway, but that’s for another post!) about what times of day this ticket can be used at. If we moved the cursor over the £10.40 ‘Anytime’ fare, we would be told that this is Virgin Trains only, and for the ‘Off Peak’ fare, travel is ‘allowed by any permitted route’ (this means that the services of any of the train operators along a permitted route can be used – through trains are always permitted with ‘Any Permitted’ tickets).

For a better look at the prices and precise conditions attached to each ticket, we can search on the BR Fares website. This immediately brings up all of the ticket options available to us, without the need to specify any times or dates, using their proper names. The BR Fares website tells us that there is a range of ‘Walk-Up’ tickets which are available at the same price regardless of when they are bought, which the Virgin Trains website didn’t tell us. It is also much clearer that these tickets are flexible, because in the ‘validity’ column, we can actually see how long the ticket is valid for. An Anytime Day Single is valid for one day, so under validity there is ‘On Date Shown’, rather than simply showing the price against one train.
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