Using Interrail for UK Travel.

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Oscar46016

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Ok so here is the scenario - I am planning to go to Aberdeen from Cardiff for a week.

If I plan my journey via National Rail it gives me a price of £462.60

I had a quick look at Interrail and that states that you can have one outbound and one inbound journey at anytime of the duration of your pass.

So I 4 days in 1 month Interail pass is £224.

Is that right that I can get the journey I want for half the price - I also wonder if I could go via London as well whereas National rail takes me via Manchester.
 
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Watershed

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It's only £462.60 if you depart before 9:30am and don't want to split en-route.

If you depart at 9:30am or later, you don't even need to split to reduce the cost to £237.80.

It may well be cheaper if you buy Advance tickets or split en-route, depending on the exact dates and times you want to travel.

But Interrail is another option, and it doesn't have any time restrictions.

It used to be the case that your home country journeys had to be at the start and end of the foreign part of your trip, and had to be to/from your 'port of exit/entry'.

But it appears that requirement has been lifted. Interrail's website is a little sparse on details but there does not appear to be any requirement to travel to/from a port anymore.

As to whether you can travel via London, I think you would be fine doing that on an Interrail ticket - it is effectively a daily "All Line Rover" whenever you date a box. You just need to fill in your travel diary before you get on each train.

Are you eligible for an InterRail pass?
Interrail passes are available for anyone to buy nowadays. They are, however, quite a bit more expensive if you're aged 28-59.
 

roversfan2001

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I got it confused with a BritRail pass, apologies.

It's definitely not within the spirit of the rules but if there's nothing specifically barring you from using it then it looks fair game. I can see this loophole getting fixed pretty soon given it undercuts the MAN-EUS SOR.
 

Watershed

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I got it confused with a BritRail pass, apologies.

It's definitely not within the spirit of the rules but if there's nothing specifically barring you from using it then it looks fair game. I can see this loophole getting fixed pretty soon given it undercuts the MAN-EUS SOR.
It only undercuts tickets like that because they are ludicrously overpriced. The Manchester SOR is undercut by fares to places twice as far from London!

I don't think this can really be fixed unless they remove the ability to make a domestic return journey on an Interrail pass.

I think most people would be sufficiently put off just through the hassle of having to get an Interrail pass posted to them.

Now, if they moved to e-ticket fulfilment, it might be a different story. But that strikes me as a long way away due to the number of countries' railways that would have to agree on a common standard. It's hard enough getting all British TOCs to agree to e-tickets!
 

roversfan2001

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It only undercuts tickets like that because they are ludicrously overpriced. The Manchester SOR is undercut by fares to places twice as far from London!

I don't think this can really be fixed unless they remove the ability to make a domestic return journey on an Interrail pass.

I think most people would be sufficiently put off just through the hassle of having to get an Interrail pass posted to them.

Now, if they moved to e-ticket fulfilment, it might be a different story. But that strikes me as a long way away due to the number of countries' railways that would have to agree on a common standard. It's hard enough getting all British TOCs to agree to e-tickets!
Peak restrictions would near-eliminate the anomaly (a la ALR restrictions). An InterRail is definitely more hassle to obtain than an ALR but if it saves £££ then people will do it and Avanti will kick up a fuss.
 

RT4038

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it's not age. You are not entitled to have one for your home country. Are you UK resident?

The single domestic return journey is just to the border, isn't it?
The poster is using the 1 journey at beginning and return journey at end of use of pass, available with a 'Global' Interrail. I am presuming that he has UK residency so is entitled to buy such pass.
 

Oscar46016

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it's not age. You are not entitled to have one for your home country. Are you UK resident?

The single domestic return journey is just to the border, isn't it?

Interail states:
  • Only European residents can travel with an Interrail Pass. If you’re a non-European resident, you can travel with a Eurail Pass. Read more
  • The Interrail Global Pass is valid for travel in your country of residence during one outbound journey and one inbound journey that occur during travel days at any point in your trip. Read more

I presume that by "european" they don't exclude non EU countries!

The poster is using the 1 journey at beginning and return journey at end of use of pass, available with a 'Global' Interrail. I am presuming that he has UK residency so is entitled to buy such pass.
Correct - thats what I'm intedning - it's actually £214 for 2nd class and £280 for 1st - so I might stump up the extra and go first!

Peak restrictions would near-eliminate the anomaly (a la ALR restrictions). An InterRail is definitely more hassle to obtain than an ALR but if it saves £££ then people will do it and Avanti will kick up a fuss.

Interail is delivered to your phone. So I don't know if it is such a big hassle in getting one.
 

Watershed

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Interail is delivered to your phone. So I don't know if it is such a big hassle in getting one.
You can tell it's been a while since I had one! That's a good development (though perhaps not for the longevity of this 'solution').

It's saddening that such anomalies inevitably tend to result in more restrictions, rather than someone sitting back and going "hang on a minute - how on earth can we justify charging more for a return journey from London to Manchester, than it costs to have 4 days of unlimited European rail travel?".
 

plugwash

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Hmm, IIRC when I bought mine the outward and return journey had to be to/from a port , airport or international border..... has that changed? If so it seems like it makes the interrail pass a huge loophole fare for longer peak time journeys in the UK.
 
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CyrusWuff

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The full Interrail Conditions of Use states:
Interrail Conditions of Use said:
5.2 Travel in Country of Residence with an Interrail Pass

The Interrail Global Pass has a specific convenient price which assumes that you are travelling abroad to experience Europe. Therefore the product cannot be used extensively in your country of residence since the pricing for such a usage, in some countries, would be higher. In case of extensive misuse, the railways would decide to increase globally the price of the product which would be unfair towards the travellers who really want to experience Europe. In case a ticket inspector observes misuse of this condition, e.g. in case of frequent travels from and to the same destination, he/she can issue a fine and ask for blocking of the Pass to limit further usage.

An Interrail Global Pass may only be used for two specific trips in the country of residence of the traveller (provided this country is an Interrail participating country). These two trips are referred to as the outbound and inbound journey.
  • The outbound journey can be used to travel from any location in the country of residence to the border or an airport or port.
  • The inbound journey can be used to travel from the border or an airport or port back to any location in the country of residence.
During these trips, the traveller may travel with more than one train, provided the trips are within the same day. Please note that the special rule for travel with an overnight train also applies.

In order to make use of these trips, the traveller must indicate the relevant date and journey on the Interrail Pass Cover and on the Travel Calendar on the ticket, in case of a Flexi Pass (see also § 3.2).
In the case of misuse being detected, normal domestic Revenue Protection rules apply AND the pass is supposed to be confiscated (paper Passes) or blocked (mobile Passes).
 

skyhigh

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Admittedly picking a random date in the future, but I've found a price of approx £150 on trainsplit for the journey - so that's definitely worth a look into.
 

Polarbear

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The full Interrail Conditions of Use states:

In the case of misuse being detected, normal domestic Revenue Protection rules apply AND the pass is supposed to be confiscated (paper Passes) or blocked (mobile Passes).
I would add to this that I have occasionally been asked to produce evidence of onward travel to Europe when having my IR checked on the UK leg. Virgin trains could be particularly adept at this in my experience.
 

tynesider

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I often used a the peak time Flying Scotsman service in First Class from Newcastle to London, when off on an Interrail adventure.

Comparing the Interrail ticket price to that of a walk up, I was technically in profit without leaving the country!

It's a massive benefit of the pass and long may it continue!
 

Haywain

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Can they see the travel diary? Without any non-UK travel it will be pretty obvious that it’s been misused by the time of the return journey.

It's a massive benefit of the pass and long may it continue!
Which it will if it isn’t abused.
 

30907

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Can they see the travel diary? Without any non-UK travel it will be pretty obvious that it’s been misused by the time of the return journey.
Yes they can ask to see it. And if there is no evidence of the ticket being checked (which is normal across mainland Europe) I would expect bother.

IMO you could get away with a day travelling towards an international port/airport (can you fly from Aberdeen to Stavanger?), but a single journey might not be cost effective.

PS I wouldn't use the app version to do even that, as I suspect the incomplete trip would be flagged up.
 
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rg177

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I have had UK conductors ask to see passports and travel diaries before though usually only on the outward.

I suppose you could technically invent a nice little trip on the diary though in the current climate perhaps writing about a multi-country rail adventure might not be very convincing!
 

AlterEgo

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Good luck convincing anyone you’re doing a European Interrail trip in this climate.

This is a great product, especially for young people, so please don’t abuse it.
 

plugwash

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The terms don't seem to actually require you to travel abroad though, only to travel to/from a port, airport or border.
 

superjohn

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The terms don't seem to actually require you to travel abroad though, only to travel to/from a port, airport or border.
Regardless, using it as described is not in the spirit of the ticket. Please don’t spoil things for genuine Interrailers. If TOC’s smell a loophole it will be stopped. Others have shown how your journey could be made cheaper still by other means.
 

morrisobrien

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This is a great product, especially for young people, so please don’t abuse it.
Regardless, using it as described is not in the spirit of the ticket. Please don’t spoil things for genuine Interrailers. If TOC’s smell a loophole it will be stopped. Others have shown how your journey could be made cheaper still by other means.
Agree with these two quotes 100%.Please do not abuse.
 

miklcct

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Good luck convincing anyone you’re doing a European Interrail trip in this climate.

This is a great product, especially for young people, so please don’t abuse it.
What's the problem of the OP travelling to mainland Europe (or Ireland) to do an interrail trip? This is the intended use of the ticket.
 

RT4038

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What's the problem of the OP travelling to mainland Europe (or Ireland) to do an interrail trip? This is the intended use of the ticket.
Nothing - but I don't think the OP had any intention of travelling to mainland Europe to do an interrail trip. (Post #1)
 

XAM2175

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What's the problem of the OP travelling to mainland Europe (or Ireland) to do an interrail trip? This is the intended use of the ticket.
The OP intends to use the pass purely for travel within Great Britain.
 

Gloster

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Regarding the question of the port. Is it any port or just those that fall into certain categories, such as having an advertised, public shipping service to another country?
 

skyhigh

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What's the problem of the OP travelling to mainland Europe (or Ireland) to do an interrail trip? This is the intended use of the ticket.
No issues. The key words in the post you quoted were "in this climate". Given covid travel restrictions and quarantine, it's not exactly a common activity (especially via Aberdeen)
 
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