Scottish Rail and Sail - Shetland

DeeGee

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Joined
24 Jul 2012
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Great Grimsby
I've been struck with a fanciful idea to go up to Bressay to run the Bressay parkrun once it restarts.

I've got a few days' holiday to burn, and I can make it up there and back in time for the event by only needing to take the Friday off work.

It's quite an interesting journey as well, I'd imagine.

I've found mention of a ScotRail Rail and Sail ticket, but can't find prices anywhere and seem to only be able to buy them in Scotland.

I'll be travelling up from Grimsby and want to travel as flexibly as possible, to eat a decent meal en route - especially given there's no booze to be had in Scottish stations, and catering is a bit pared down at the moment - so I'd imagine a split somewhere would be feasible. Not sure how the two tickets would merge together, I'd probably be happy enough fixing myself to a train from Grimsby to Edinburgh, but would rather be able to work to my own schedule between EDI and Aberdeen.

Can these tickets be had at the moment? I know the rail-CalMac ones aren't because of restricted availability. Can I get them online at all? How can I find out the cost?
 
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Aljanah

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19 Mar 2021
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14
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Dunbar
I've only ever been able to get these tickets by phoning Scotrail. They used to have sample prices on the website, but they do seem to have disappeared. I can't find anything on BrFares.com either; Stromness appears as a destination but I cannot find any fares at all. Kirkwall and Shetland don't appear to be destinations.

I don't remember the fares being especially cheap; the main advantage I found was they included the taxi from Thurso to Scrabster which doesn't help you going to Shetland at all.

Can't help much more I'm afraid. Don't see why they shoudn't be available right now. Northlink website asks you take a COVID test before you travel.

The only "dodge" that might help is to essentially split-ticket. Get a "normal" fare to somewhere in Scotland and get the railsail onward from e.g. edinburgh or stonehaven or somewhere.
 

Mainline421

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Joined
7 May 2013
Messages
222
I've only ever been able to get these tickets by phoning Scotrail. They used to have sample prices on the website, but they do seem to have disappeared. I can't find anything on BrFares.com either; Stromness appears as a destination but I cannot find any fares at all. Kirkwall and Shetland don't appear to be destinations.

I don't remember the fares being especially cheap; the main advantage I found was they included the taxi from Thurso to Scrabster which doesn't help you going to Shetland at all.

Can't help much more I'm afraid. Don't see why they shoudn't be available right now. Northlink website asks you take a COVID test before you travel.

The only "dodge" that might help is to essentially split-ticket. Get a "normal" fare to somewhere in Scotland and get the railsail onward from e.g. edinburgh or stonehaven or somewhere.
Scrabster is only available from the Isle of Man! https://www.brfares.com/!locations?dest=SOS Lerwick (J201) appears to not be in the fares system right now but when it was it should be avaliable from a ticket office providing they can do CCSTs.
 

DeeGee

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Joined
24 Jul 2012
Messages
1,024
Location
Great Grimsby
Scrabster is only available from the Isle of Man! https://www.brfares.com/!locations?dest=SOS Lerwick (J201) appears to not be in the fares system right now but when it was it should be avaliable from a ticket office providing they can do CCSTs.
CCST being the "newer style" credit-card sized magstripe tickets with reservation details and such printed on?

Should any National Rail ticket office with this sort of ticket machine be able to issue it?

Or is it more of a sort of Local Area tourist-style ticket like a Merseytravel Saveaway that can only be bought in that specific area?

I'm not averse to splitting at Edinburgh, but I don't want to do it if it'll end up costing me more.

And I suppose I'd have to book the cabin based on availability when I get to Aberdeen, would I?

Maybe a tweet to Scotrail? I don't fancy waiting on the phone...

I've tweeted them. Not currently available to control numbers on the boats, I'm guessing due to being turn-up and go with guaranteed carriage on the boat.

I'll book the parts separately. I don't imagine there's anywhere I can split a flexible ticket from GMB-ABD to save money, is there?
 
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paul1609

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28 Jan 2006
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4,894
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Wittersham Kent
Prior to covid when I last went to Shetland from London it was much cheaper to buy an advance ticket to Aberdeen and then separate return ferry ticket from Northlink than any rail combination. It's also a long crossing to Lerwick without a cabin so its easier to book the ferry bit in one go. I did do the return trip sleeping in the bar but Im a professional sailor so can sleep most anywhere, Not sure the average punter would like it, its probably one of the choppiest ferry crossings Ive encountered. In the end I did the Mainland bit using airmiles from Heathrow
 

Elwyn

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Joined
5 May 2014
Messages
338
Location
Co. Antrim, Ireland
Just back from Lerwick yesterday. There’s quite a lot of tourists there at present (all Brits, staycationing) so be sure to sort your accommodation out in good time. I flew (Edinburgh – Sumburgh). Flight was packed in both directions.
 

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