Southampton to Birmingham

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Chris@Soton

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Travelling to Birmingham in July and was wondering what is the cheapest way to get there ? Looked at Virgin , they want silly money to go direct , is there any cheaper way to get there

many thanx
CHRIS
 
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Mike395

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Hi Chris,

Advance tickets do not usually go on sale until around 12 weeks beforehand - so they will not be in the system yet for July. My suggestion would be (when they're on sale - NRE's Booking Horizons page will give you a guide as to when that might be exactly but it is likely to be at some point in April) to book 2 Advance singles in each direction - one to Waterloo and another Euston-Birmingham, and then cross London using Oyster if possible :)
 

SS4

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July?! Tickets won't have been released yet. 2x Advances are often your best bet, especially if you can get them as soon as they're released (roughly 12 weeks in advance).

You'd be travelling direct with crosscountry who tend to have relatively high fares, splitting would be better if you avoid XC priced services.

Travelling via London is a good idea (as Mike suggests above), especially between London and Birmingham where you've 3 TOCs to choose from
 

dzug2

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You could also look at megatrain, who run both Southampton - London and London - Birmingham

But they only release tickets about 6 weeks ahead. £1 for each leg is not impossible.
 

swt_passenger

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Travelling to Birmingham in July and was wondering what is the cheapest way to get there ? Looked at Virgin , they want silly money to go direct , is there any cheaper way to get there

many thanx
CHRIS
Virgin? They haven't operated XC for quite a few years, assuming that by direct you mean a XC service.

Arriva XC's basic policy is that you book an 'Advance' fare if you need a cheap fare - you'll not find any available until within 12 weeks of your travel date, and they are rarely available in the morning peak anyway, but you should be able to work out what prices are normally available by looking at dates in late May?

Looking at May 23rd, £18 shows on some of the 2 hourly Southampton - northeast trains, the hourly Bournemouth - Man Picc trains are nearly always more expensive...
 

wintonian

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Look at going via London and traveling with Virgin from euston when advances are available.

To bring the cost down further it may also be beneficial to look at a ticket to zone 1 London then buying an advance ticket with London Midland also from euston but slower than Virgin.

Sent from my HTC Desire S using Tapatalk
 

lemonic

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You might be able to get reasonably priced Advances (from £13.50 single) direct from Southampton to Birmingham by specifying via London - it may be cheaper than splitting in London if you want to travel via London but on the fast Virgin services.
 

AndyLandy

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Going via London seems somewhat excessive. I'd have thought getting an XC advance fare would be your best bet. I can't imagine London being much cheaper and I don't see it being any quicker either.

That said, it does no harm to check for advance fares going either way. If you're using TheTrainLine or RedSpottedHanky or similar, try adding London Euston as a 'via' station, you might find there are advances routed that way which are cheaper than the direct one. It does no harm to ask for fares via Bristol Temple Meads either, since that's also a valid route.

Edit: Looking at prices, Off Peak Return is £76.10 with XC and £76.30 via London. If you stick with the NR recommended timings to cross the tube, you're looking at via London taking an hour longer to get there. I'd just check all the possible routeings and get the best value advance fare. It should be possible to get a single Advance fare to cover the whole journey whichever route you go.
 

noblergt

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I often go to Birmingham from Winchester or Basingstoke. Obviously you will need to look at this closer to the time, but if you are taking XC then try tickets to Banbury, then a separate Banbury to Birmingham Moor Street/Snow Hill on Chiltern only trains. Usually there isn't much of a wait and the service isn't much slower overall depending where you are heading to in Birmingham itself, and the train will probably be much less crowded. Sometimes there is a noticeable saving, though at other times its more expensive! An additional advantage is being able to use a network rail card all the way up to Banbury if you don't have a national one, regardless if you use Chiltern or not.

From Southampton there may be another potential split at Basingstoke or Reading as well.

If you go via London, also look at routes which go from Clapham Junction - Watford Junction on a Southern service. This won't take any longer than taking the tube in the centre, and can be cheaper.
 

Cherry_Picker

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I often go to Birmingham from Winchester or Basingstoke. Obviously you will need to look at this closer to the time, but if you are taking XC then try tickets to Banbury, then a separate Banbury to Birmingham Moor Street/Snow Hill on Chiltern only trains. Usually there isn't much of a wait and the service isn't much slower overall depending where you are heading to in Birmingham itself, and the train will probably be much less crowded. Sometimes there is a noticeable saving, though at other times its more expensive! An additional advantage is being able to use a network rail card all the way up to Banbury if you don't have a national one, regardless if you use Chiltern or not.
Tangential, but if you get one of the five minute connections at Banbury where the following Chiltern service stops only at Leamington, Warwick Parkway, Solihull and Moor Street then you will almost certainly be standing on a platform in Birmingham before you would on the Voyager. The Chiltern service always catches up the Voyager up at Leamington (Voyagers seem to have longer dwell times) and the route from Tyseley into Moor Street is significantly faster than it is from Tyseley into New Street. Even if you get a connection which stops at Warwick and Dorridge it is probably still worth it for comfort. A 168 has a much nicer saloon than a Voyager in my opinion.
 

lj9090

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From Southampton there may be another potential split at Basingstoke or Reading as well.
Not much of a saving, but from BCU there is, and I'd imagine SOU to be much the same. I've generally found Basingstoke marginally cheaper on a day return, whereas Reading has the edge for anything longer.
 
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