London to Newcastle - regular

RJ

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I'm looking for most cost effective way to travel between King's Cross and Newcastle at super off peak times. Sometimes one overnighter a week, sometimes three.

The tickets must be walk-up only (no Advances) and must be valid on trains that only stop at York and Darlington.

Any pointers appreciated, prepared to use any valid combination of singles, returns and rovers.

Single leg pricing has its plus points but I'm finding open return fares are better value - shopping around a bit it's apparent they're cheaper than buying two of those singles and more flexible. Like the other week I was able to stay over in Leeds on the way back and pay a visit to the Barnsley bus scrapyards among other things that day. Not possible with a single.

I've looked at flying - British Airways in Club Europe is pricing up at 50p each way, but is less flexible and more effort for a negligible time saving, so is not my first choice. Three hours on a LNER train is preferable.

Many thanks in advance!
 
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MotCO

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Is London to Sunderland, via Grand Central, an option, then Metro from Sunderland to Newcastle? A few years back I was able to get better prices for London to Sunderland than London to Newcastle, but not sure if it's still the case.
 

JB_B

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A return is never going to be A) cheaper or B) more flexible than a Super Offpeak single that you can buy walking towards the gateline.
Is that always true? I would have thought it depends on the sort of flexibility you're looking for.

For example, if you want to break your journey over multiple days on the return leg then you can't do that with 2 x SuperOffpeak singles. I think that a (well chosen) SuperOffpeak return will allow you that and need cost no more.
 

Wallsendmag

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Is that always true? I would have thought it depends on the sort of flexibility you're looking for.

For example, if you want to break your journey over multiple days on the return leg then you can't do that with 2 x SuperOffpeak singles. I think that a (well chosen) SuperOffpeak return will allow you that and need cost no more.
For KGX to NCL on a fast train yes
 

alistairlees

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Only singles are available from kings cross to Newcastle because it’s one of the flows into which LNER is trialling having no returns (with a few exceptions like family tickets). You can get a super off peak return from kings cross to Manors though, for example.
 

JB_B

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Only singles are available from kings cross to Newcastle because it’s one of the flows into which LNER is trialling having no returns (with a few exceptions like family tickets). You can get a super off peak return from kings cross to Manors though, for example.

Exactly. (Of course, Manors isn't the only example where a SSR valid for the OP's needs is still available at twice the KGX-NCL SSS price). No doubt the vast majority of travellers will find 2 x Kings Cross - Newcastle super off peak singles serve them just as well as (or better than) the abolished super off-peak return but that won't be true for everyone - that's why I felt @Wallsendmag 's assertion that they would never be less flexible than a return doesn't seem wholly accurate.
 
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Haywain

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With compulsory reservation being required and Advance tickets being available on the day, the advantages of flexibility are overstated for the majority of travellers when considered alongside single leg pricing.
 

Wallsendmag

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Exactly. (Of course, Manors isn't the only example where a SSR valid for the OP's needs is still available at twice the KGX-NCL SSS price). No doubt the vast majority of travellers will find 2 x Kings Cross - Newcastle super off peak singles serve them just as well as (or better than) the abolished super off-peak return but that won't be true for everyone - that's why I felt @Wallsendmag 's assertion that they would never be less flexible than a return doesn't seem wholly accurate.
Sorry missed the overnight break of journey part.
 

APT618S

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If you want area flexibility at the Northern end of the route and travelling after 0900 an option could be a North East 4 in 8 rover at £107.20 combined with a Retford to KGX super off peak return at £84.90.
The rover allows unlimited Newcastle to Retford journeys after 0900 weekdays, all day at weekends, for any 4 days in a consecutive 8 day period.
And the train DOES NOT need to stop at Retford as per section 14.2 of the National rail conditions of travel so is valid on a fast train.
Rover Info:

A Super off peak single from NCL to KGX is £74.30. So a return will be £148.60.
So for 1 return journey it will be more expensive.
If making 2 return journeys in 8 days it will be £277.00 with the rover option and £297.20 with 4 x singles.

If you time it to make 3 SINGLE journeys in each 8 day period it will be £469.10 for 3 return journeys over 16 days vs £445.80 for 6 x single NCL KGX tickets.
So whilst the rover is not cheaper just for NCL to KGX it would allow visits to Leeds and Barnsley at no extra cost.
P.S. Hope the above maths is correct !
 

RJ

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Is London to Sunderland, via Grand Central, an option, then Metro from Sunderland to Newcastle? A few years back I was able to get better prices for London to Sunderland than London to Newcastle, but not sure if it's still the case.

Thank you for the suggestion. In this instance I'm most interested in finding the best price for the fastest and most frequent service, but will bear that in mind as a diversionary route if circumstances change :)

A return is never going to be A) cheaper or B) more flexible than a Super Offpeak single that you can buy walking towards the gateline.

Ah ok, thanks :)
 

yorkie

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Is that always true? I would have thought it depends on the sort of flexibility you're looking for.

For example, if you want to break your journey over multiple days on the return leg then you can't do that with 2 x SuperOffpeak singles. I think that a (well chosen) SuperOffpeak return will allow you that and need cost no more.
Assuming no overnight break of journey requirements, and also assuming there won't be a need to travel at times that are "Off Peak" but not "Super Off Peak" then I believe it would be true.

But if you wanted to travel at times that are not valid by a Super Off Peak Single but would be valid on an Off Peak, then the solution is to buy from (say) Manors, and/or to (say) West Hampstead (many other options are available at the same price). This is because "simplification" means a huge cliff-edge between Super Off Peak and Anytime, with no Off Peak option.
 

RJ

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Assuming no overnight break of journey requirements, and also assuming there won't be a need to travel at times that are "Off Peak" but not "Super Off Peak" then I believe it would be true.

But if you wanted to travel at times that are not valid by a Super Off Peak Single but would be valid on an Off Peak, then the solution is to buy from (say) Manors, and/or to (say) West Hampstead (many other options are available at the same price). This is because "simplification" means a huge cliff-edge between Super Off Peak and Anytime, with no Off Peak option.

I also have some fares in my back pocket for that eventuality!
 

yorkie

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If you end up using loophole tickets, there is one particular Newcastle-based Guard who would try to get them shut down instantly! :lol: And even more so if you are using PRIV ;)
 

mattmtfc

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If you end up using loophole tickets, there is one particular Newcastle-based Guard who would try to get them shut down instantly! :lol: And even more so if you are using PRIV ;)
I heard he had retired. Can remember him nearly getting his head kicked in by Forest Fans on a northbound service from Kings X 1 Saturday night he tried to make a women with 3 young kids pay for new full price SOS for an adult and 2 of the kids because she had missed the booked train on a Super Advance or he was going to kick her off at Newark think it was the last train what run north of York on a Saturday night and she was going to Durham so about 20 of us clubbed together and paid him then he moaned because there was about 20 quid in pound coins. I know of several platform staff who reported him over the years.
 

kieron

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With compulsory reservation being required and Advance tickets being available on the day, the advantages of flexibility are overstated for the majority of travellers when considered alongside single leg pricing.
As is the viability of buying a ticket "walking towards the gateline". Maybe LNER let you reserve a seat without a ticket (I haven't checked), but that's not really a solution.
 

Kite159

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As is the viability of buying a ticket "walking towards the gateline". Maybe LNER let you reserve a seat without a ticket (I haven't checked), but that's not really a solution.

The LNER website allows seat reservations to be made without a ticket being held.
 

ainsworth74

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I think we can leave it there now please regarding this rather infamous guard. Starts to feel a bit like an internet based pile on which I think we would do well to avoid :)
 

RJ

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With compulsory reservation being required and Advance tickets being available on the day, the advantages of flexibility are overstated for the majority of travellers when considered alongside single leg pricing.

They are fine for customers who are completing their whole journey in one go, which probably is the majority. I find the option of overnight breaks of journey add value to a ticket and is something I often make use of.

If you want area flexibility at the Northern end of the route and travelling after 0900 an option could be a North East 4 in 8 rover at £107.20 combined with a Retford to KGX super off peak return at £84.90.
The rover allows unlimited Newcastle to Retford journeys after 0900 weekdays, all day at weekends, for any 4 days in a consecutive 8 day period.
And the train DOES NOT need to stop at Retford as per section 14.2 of the National rail conditions of travel so is valid on a fast train.
Rover Info:

A Super off peak single from NCL to KGX is £74.30. So a return will be £148.60.
So for 1 return journey it will be more expensive.
If making 2 return journeys in 8 days it will be £277.00 with the rover option and £297.20 with 4 x singles.

If you time it to make 3 SINGLE journeys in each 8 day period it will be £469.10 for 3 return journeys over 16 days vs £445.80 for 6 x single NCL KGX tickets.
So whilst the rover is not cheaper just for NCL to KGX it would allow visits to Leeds and Barnsley at no extra cost.
P.S. Hope the above maths is correct !

Thank you for this. You are quite correct, if I do two overnights per week, this is indeed cheaper than buying 2x Super Off Peak singles to Newcastle and 2x back to King's Cross. I agree with your sums.

If I do three overnights then the North East Rover @ £123.10, plus 3x London to Retford Super Off Peak Returns @ £254.80 totals £377.90. This is vs £445.80 for 3x Super Off Peak singles each way. My preferred Off Peak Return that covers King's Cross to Newcastle falls between these two prices.

I hadn't thought to look at the North East Rover so thanks for that - if our paths ever cross at a meal I owe you a drink. Also means I can do other things in Yorkshire. Was preoccupied trying to look at options involving the East Midlands Rover which has been good for breaking down high £ per mile prices in the past, but reading the COT I don't think this will be any good between London and York.

If you end up using loophole tickets, there is one particular Newcastle-based Guard who would try to get them shut down instantly! :lol: And even more so if you are using PRIV ;)

I retired from that game when I stopped commuting to uni 5 years ago :). Since then it has all about using inconspicuous tickets that offer better than intended value for money! Which means I'm not digging into the Routeing Guide to draw value out of permitted routes. However I will query the fares database to see what turns up - it's full of surprises.

Pre-lockdown I was doing these Newcastle trips usually with a SSR of some description (definitely cheaper than buying a KGX - NCL SSU there and back) and all the LNER staff I've come across have been sound :)
 
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