Kings X to Newcastle upon Tyne

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coaster

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Hello, I want to travel to from London Kings Cross to Newcastle Central (return), sometime between the second half of August 2012 and the end of September 2012. I will choose specific times and days to travel (outward and return journeys roughly a week apart), based on the cheaper tickets, and am aware that 2 singles can sometimes be better than a return ticket. I do not hold a rail card or any discount entitlement, and I will accept a longer journey time.

I thought it best to ask first, does anyone travel this route, and which days and times are the quietest? These will presumably also be the cheapest and will help me narrow down my search for the cheapest times and dates. I can leave Kings X at 9am at the earliest, but don't want in arrive Newcastle later than 8pm. Returning, I don't want to depart from Newcastle earlier than 9am or arrive at London Kings X later than 8pm.

I would presume Saturdays are busy days to travel, Sundays less so but probably more prone to delays (engineering, etc). Would that be correct?

I generally use thetrainline.com, but can't remember if they still send tickets thru the post or require you to have them printed off from a machine.
 
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cuccir

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Coaster welcome to the forum.

Can I suggest something to you, the trainline charge booking fees where as http://www.eastcoast.co.uk/ don't and they use a much friendlier system to use.

East Coast also have two special offers for that route if you use their website:

1. If you buy an Advance ticket - which is the type of ticket that ties you to a particular train and CANNOT be used on any other train - for an East Coast train (East Coast run all the direct trains between Newcastle and Kings Cross) then you can get a discount of 10% on the price elsewhere.

2. If you buy a 'Super Off-Peak Single' (valid on all trains at weekends, and during the week on trains scheduled to arrive in London after 11:17, and to depart London 09:06-14:59 and after 18:59) they offer them at £58.10, which is 50% the normal price.

Advance tickets are usually the cheapest option- they start at £12 for a single, with more at various price points up to around £55. There's a limited number released for each train, and once they are sold out they're gone. If you see any at £55 or more, you might as well book the Super Off-Peak Single for the extra flexibility, unless you want to travel early or during the evening peak from London.

As for busyness - if you're booked onto a train, there's no need to really worry. However, as a rule, mid-morning and midday trains are likely to be cheaper and emptier. The line is often at its busiest on a Sunday afternoon, as there are fewer services, and people travel for work during the week or back after trips away!
 

bb21

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Hello, I want to travel to from London Kings Cross to Newcastle Central (return), sometime between the second half of August 2012 and the end of September 2012. I will choose specific times and days to travel (outward and return journeys roughly a week apart), based on the cheaper tickets,

What have you found so far?
 

142094

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Sundays can be quite busy days as well, due to people returning home after a weekend away. In reality it is hard to predict which days will be the busiest, but it is normally Friday - Sunday.
 

coaster

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Thanks very much to sonic2009 and cuccir for recommending eastcoast. I'll definitely use it since you both rate it highly. Do you know whether they send you your tickets in the post, or do you get a code to use in these "stamp out your ticket" machines? We have a machine here in South Croydon.

@bb21 - haven't looked too closely yet, as I will be visiting my sister and am waiting to hear the best dates from her, based on what we'll want to be doing. What cuccir said about mid-mornings and mid-day sounds right, from what I've seen so far.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Sundays can be quite busy days as well, due to people returning home after a weekend away. In reality it is hard to predict which days will be the busiest, but it is normally Friday - Sunday.

Days to avoid then - thanks!
 

142094

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Days to avoid then - thanks!

If you book well in advance, you can still find some bargains, but usually these are far and few between. Also, in some cases 1st class advances can be cheaper than a standard advance on some services, which some people don't realise.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
If your station has a Ticket Vending Machine which is enabled for collecting tickets, then you can do that for free, otherwise East Coast charges £1 delivery. If the station you are travelling from doesn't have a machine, they will send them for free in the post.

I've just done some random dates and cheap advances are still available:

OUT Tuesday 28th August (King's Cross - Newcastle)

dep. 09.00 arr. 11.50 £26.80 Standard Advance

RTN Tuesday 4th Sept (Newcastle - King's Cross)

dep. 12.25 arr. 15.45 £15.00 Standard Advance.

Total £41.80
 
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Kryten2340

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Avoid the 18th August as Newcastle start the new season entertaining Spurs so trains no doubt will be busy then.
 
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I would go for travelling on tuesdays or wednesdays and aim for about a lunchtime depature time, as long (as has already been said) you book it on the east coast website you should get it for £30 rtn or maybe less. For example travelling out on wens 5th Sep on 12:30 service and coming back tues 11th Sep on 12:25 service is at the moment £15.00 each way.
You may find something even cheaper but these times are generally the times with best availability on the EC route i find.
 

cuccir

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Note that there are some advance fares available East Croydon ti Newcastle, from 35 pounds
 

John @ home

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Note that there are some advance fares available East Croydon ti Newcastle, from 35 pounds
Yes, but these are unlikely to be helpful to a passenger seeking the cheapest Advance ticket at the quietest time. There are 9 levels of Standard Advance Newcastle - London fares set by East Coast. Let's call them tier 1 (lowest) to tier 9 (highest).

The six levels of Standard Advance Croydon - London fares cost a few pounds more than, and appear to have the same availability as tiers 4 - 9. Tiers 1 - 3 are not available from Croydon (or other suburban London stations).
 

coaster

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The six levels of Standard Advance Croydon - London fares cost a few pounds more than, and appear to have the same availability as tiers 4 - 9. Tiers 1 - 3 are not available from Croydon (or other suburban London stations).

Will check these out when I finalise my dates. I have an Oyster card, so can always use that from Croydon to Kings X if need be.

And yes, I'll take care to avoid the football date, Kryten2340. Thanks for all the help, everyone - much appreciated.
 

yorkie

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Will check these out when I finalise my dates. I have an Oyster card, so can always use that from Croydon to Kings X if need be.
Oyster PAYG fares from East Croydon to St Pancras are £4.50 (M-F 0630-0930 & 1600-1900) or £2.80 (at all other times) - take FCC (Thameslink).

Alternatively if your journey includes London Underground to Kings Cross St Pancras, the fares are £5.90 and £4.10, respectively.

I would allow extra time if using Oyster PAYG over and above the normal minimum interchange times when using an Advance ticket from King's Cross, due to the Advance Fares FAQ stating that if smart cards (rather than paper tickets) are used for the first part of your journey, you should get the ticket endorsed before boarding if you are delayed on your way to King's Cross and miss your booked train. (This is not a policy I agree with!).
 

flymo

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Kryten2340:1154113 said:
Avoid the 18th August as Newcastle start the new season entertaining Spurs so trains no doubt will be busy then.

Yep the kick off is at 5:30pm. The change in schedule must be due to being on the telly.
 

coaster

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Oyster PAYG fares from East Croydon to St Pancras are £4.50 (M-F 0630-0930 & 1600-1900) or £2.80 (at all other times) - take FCC (Thameslink).

Alternatively if your journey includes London Underground to Kings Cross St Pancras, the fares are £5.90 and £4.10, respectively.

I would allow extra time if using Oyster PAYG over and above the normal minimum interchange times when using an Advance ticket from King's Cross, due to the Advance Fares FAQ stating that if smart cards (rather than paper tickets) are used for the first part of your journey, you should get the ticket endorsed before boarding if you are delayed on your way to King's Cross and miss your booked train. (This is not a policy I agree with!).

Very specific info, thanks, yorkie.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Yep the kick off is at 5:30pm. The change in schedule must be due to being on the telly.

Will avoid like the plague! And never been inside a football stadium in my life.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Here's what I went for in the end:

Journey: 1 London Kings Cross to Newcastle @ £41.80
ADVANCE £26.80 (1 @ £26.80)
ADVANCE £15.00 (1 @ £15.00)

Journey: 1 London Kings Cross to Newcastle
Outward journey: 13 Sep 2012
departs London Kings Cross at 11:00 travel by Train service provider East Coast to station Newcastle arrives 13:49

Return journey: 20 Sep 2012
departs Newcastle at 11:28 travel by Train service provider East Coast to station London Kings Cross arrives 14:46
=========================

Same options would have been around £76 if I included from South Croydon, so I will use my Oystercard instead and save a few quid. Thanks again for all your help.
 
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