Traveling from London to York (NRM) and Chatham

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Giugiaro

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Good afternoon everyone.

I'll be travelling to London in late October to attend this year's MCM London Comic Con, and decided to stick around a full week before the event.

I already sorted out the railway connection between Stanford Airport and London Liverpool Street.

I just want to use two days to visit the National Railway Museum at York and to take care of business at Dovetail Games in Chatham.

Given how the UK has an astronomical amount of TOC's, I'm not very well aware of how to find the best fares to travel around the country, outside of the Oyster region in London.

Any idea of an online platform I can search for railway connections, while at the same time taking into account discounts like reservations in advance, passenger age and train sharing?

I've already checked RailEasy and National Rail. The two were able to fetch the same result and price so far.
 
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telstarbox

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For Chatham you can either get the High Speed train from London St Pancras (faster but more expensive), or the 'classic' train from London Victoria or London Charing Cross (cheaper and slower). Both of these are operated by Southeastern.

Trains between London and York are operated by either Virgin Trains East Coast or Grand Central. For both of these you can get cheaper fares if you book specific trains in advance.

If you're aged 16-25 you can get a Railcard for £30 which gives you a 1/3rd discount on most fares and you can also apply this to your Oyster card for a lower daily fares cap.
 
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Giugiaro

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Thank you.

Just one thing, are foreign travellers eligible for a 16-25 Travel Card? I tried to order one myself but I couldn't get anywhere far because I don't have an UK telephone number, nor an UK Postal Code...
 

Romilly

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As you say, you may have difficulty buying the railcard online, but you can buy it from a staffed railway station:

You can buy a 16-25 Railcard at any staffed station ticket office or National Rail-licensed Travel Agent. The main advantage of this is that you can do it on the day you are travelling.
If you're applying at a station for the first time you'll need to complete an application form which is also available here and you’ll need to bring either of the following:
Your birth certificate
Passport (all nationalities accepted)
UK driving licence
National identity card

You'll also need:
A passport-size photo
 

DaveNewcastle

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. . . and just to clrify the advice above, you are permitted to buy the train tickets now, (to take advantage of lower priced 'Advance' tickets) and taking the 33% Railcard discount off the price, even if you don't actually buy the Railcard until you arrive in the UK after buying the tickets.
 

telstarbox

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As you say, you may have difficulty buying the railcard online, but you can buy it from a staffed railway station:

For the avoidance of doubt you'll need to buy the Railcard at a National Rail station rather than a London Underground one. Kings Cross, St Pancras, Victoria, Charing Cross or Stratford will all be able to sell you one.
 

Giugiaro

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I don't know how, but I was able to bypass the recommendations and jump to the following fases.

I could get one when I arrive at Liverpool Street in October, but will I be able to buy the tickets I need at the price I find right now? I don't think so...
 

Romilly

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If you are buying tickets online at a price which includes a railcard discount, all that matters is that you have the railcard at the time of travel: you do not need to have the railcard at the time when you are buying the tickets (online ticket sales sites only ask which type of railcard you will have: they do not ask for the railcard number).

In contrast, if buying tickets in person at a ticket office, you are likely to be asked to show any railcard you want to use.

But ... do make sure that you buy your railcard before starting any journey using tickets that have had a railcard discount applied to the price: without the necessary railcard, a discounted ticket is not valid.
 

yorkie

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Any idea of an online platform I can search for railway connections, while at the same time taking into account discounts like reservations in advance, passenger age and train sharing?

I've already checked RailEasy and National Rail. The two were able to fetch the same result and price so far.
Trainsplit uses the Raileasy booking engine, but doesn't charge a booking fee.

Unlike other sites, Trainsplit attempts to identify if a combination of tickets is cheaper than one ticket. If it is, then it will pass on 90% of the savings to you, and 10% of the saving is retained as a fee. See: RailUK Forums partnership with Trainsplit.com

Alternatively you can use any train company website to book with any train company. It usually makes no difference which site you use, but in some cases a small discount may be available with the company you are travelling with, or they may have a special offer fare available through their website.

The National Rail website doesn't sell tickets, but will re-direct to to a train company website.

If you have found a journey itinerary you like the look of, but have questions, e.g. how busy will the train be? is it worth upgrading to 1st class? what type of train is it? then we are of course happy to help!
 

Giugiaro

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Understood. I just made a search using Trainsplit, but the results where 8,37£ more expensive than the results gathered at National Rail for both Virgin Trains and Grand Central.

Interestingly, both Grand Central and Virgin have the same trains departing and arriving from the same stations, at the exact same time, in both directions...

Are they running side by side directly competing for passengers, or are they selling me the exact same train!? :lol:


About the Railcard, I better buy it later when I arrive at London, and immediately peg it to a Oyster Card, since it's not required to possess one when ordering a ticket. Thank you for telling me that. ;)
 

yorkie

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Understood. I just made a search using Trainsplit, but the results where 8,37£ more expensive than the results gathered at National Rail for both Virgin Trains and Grand Central.
What are the journey details?
Interestingly, both Grand Central and Virgin have the same trains departing and arriving from the same stations, at the exact same time, in both directions...
They are showing the same trains, yes. In general it makes no difference to which train company's website you book with.
Are they running side by side directly competing for passengers, or are they selling me the exact same train!? :lol:
They sell tickets for the same trains.
About the Railcard, I better buy it later when I arrive at London, and immediately peg it to a Oyster Card, since it's not required to possess one when ordering a ticket. Thank you for telling me that. ;)
Agreed, that is the best way forward.

What day(s) are you in York?
 

Giugiaro

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What are the journey details?

Image attached.


What day(s) are you in York?

I already booked for Monday, according to the image. I found the carrier was Virgin East Coast, so I booked in their website as well.

I just need to book the meeting in Chatham so that I can know in which day should I book the ticket there. I was thinking about doing Highspeed one way and Regular on the other. It would be my first experience above 220km/h.
 

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yorkie

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Image attached.
That's not showing the 0800/1931 trains on Trainsplit. I have attached a screenshot showing the fare is the same, £27.05.

It's cheaper if you get the 1911 Grand Central (which I would recommend; you may even be able to sit in the declassified 1st class coach, and their Mk3 vehicles are much more spacious with additional leg-room).
 

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