How splitting the trip can save on rail fares

THE Press can reveal today the huge savings travellers can make on train journeys from York – by buying two sets of tickets for one train.

Train companies’ complicated fare structures mean it is often cheaper to buy one ticket for part of the journey and another ticket for the second leg on the same train than to buy one through ticket.

For example, an East Coast super off-peak return ticket from York to London Kings Cross, leaving York at 11.29am next Friday and stopping en route at Newark, costs £94.10.

But a super off-peak return from York to Newark costs £33.60, and an off-peak day return from Newark to London costs £48.70, making a total fare of £82.30 – a saving of almost £12 on the single ticket.

This week, a ticket from Edinburgh to York on the 05.48 service on January 4 would have cost £49 if booked as one ticket.

But by buying a ticket from Edinburgh to Berwick and another from Berwick to York, the cost was reduced to £30.55 – a saving of £18.45.

A passenger travelling at 10.34am next Friday from York to Bristol Parkway with Cross Country would pay £80 for a single fare, but could buy one ticket to Birmingham for £42 and then another from Birmingham to Bristol Parkway for £22.50, making a total saving of £15.50.

An off-peak return from York to Liverpool Lime Street next Friday would cost £45.80.

But an off-peak return to Manchester would cost £25.40 and then a separate off-peak return from Manchester to Liverpool would cost £13.70, giving the passenger an overall saving of £6.70.

New companies are capitalising on the rise in passengers splitting their journey into two or more tickets.

Moneysavingexpert.com, founded by financial journalist Martin Lewis, has launched a free app called TicketySplit.

Thisa saves customers time working out which tickets to buy on train company websites.

The websites splitmyfare.co.uk and splityourticket.co.uk also offer a similar service.

An East Coast spokesman said using two separate tickets to complete one journey, known as split-ticketing, had been around since British Rail days.

He said: “Splitting tickets does impose extra restrictions on the passenger which they need to be aware of, such as time restrictions when using day return tickets like the Off-Peak Day Return, which can only be used on certain trains compared to the Super Off-Peak, which offers more flexibility for the return journey,” he said.

He said another restriction was that the train on which the return journey was made must also call at the station where the two tickets joined – at Newark, for example– otherwise the ticket became invalid. This reduced the choice of trains available to passengers.

First TransPennine Express said it was obliged to sell the most appropriate fare for a journey, based on the information provided by a customer.

“Therefore if a customer specifically requests a split ticket then we will sell it,” said a spokesman.

A CrossCountry spokesman said: “Split tickets are permitted as long as the tickets are valid to travel on the train being used and cover the entire journey, and the train calls at the stations where the tickets have been split.”

Comments (22)

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10:10am Thu 20 Dec 12

rogue84 says...

anyone who's a regular traveler would, sadly, already know this!
i've done many journeys by splitting the tickets, particularly to the south west through bristol/birmingham.
no doubt the rail companies will react to any news on this and put their prices up again!
anyone who's a regular traveler would, sadly, already know this! i've done many journeys by splitting the tickets, particularly to the south west through bristol/birmingham. no doubt the rail companies will react to any news on this and put their prices up again! rogue84
  • Score: 0

10:21am Thu 20 Dec 12

MrsHoney says...

Hardly news, I've been doing this for at least a decade. The train fares are stupid, I'd like to know how they work them out.
Hardly news, I've been doing this for at least a decade. The train fares are stupid, I'd like to know how they work them out. MrsHoney
  • Score: 0

10:40am Thu 20 Dec 12

nasrudin says...

The annoying thing is that the rail staff selling the tickets often don't know this, and are suprised when we ask them to look about splitting the journey.

They're also often surprised when we ask them to look for first class too -- as first class tickets are sometimes cheaper than second class -- again, something fairly common.....
The annoying thing is that the rail staff selling the tickets often don't know this, and are suprised when we ask them to look about splitting the journey. They're also often surprised when we ask them to look for first class too -- as first class tickets are sometimes cheaper than second class -- again, something fairly common..... nasrudin
  • Score: 0

10:57am Thu 20 Dec 12

AngryandFrustrated says...

I agree with all the points made here - I've been doing it for years so it is hardly "new" news!

Other tricks to try are York-Doncaster and Doncaster - London Kings Cross for a cheaper ticket to London and York-Alnmouth, Alnmouth- Edinburgh for journeys to Scotland.

Be careful tho' - I cannot emphasise enough that the service you are on must actually STOP at the stations so for Alnmouth, you have to pick carefully as not that many trains stop there.

Also, some conductors will say that you are in breach of the terms of the ticket and argue that you should break your journey. I find that by stepping off the train and stepping back on it, the conductors shut up - there is no requirement for you to actually leave the station.

I also find the East Coast website very good for booking tickets and you don't have to travel with East Coast to use their site - it's easy to understand and they offer web based discounts as well as a loyalty scheme that enables you to collect points to put towards the cost of a future journey. If you know well in advance when you want to travel, they also have a good e-mail service that notifies you when tickets are released so you can book the really cheap tickets to places like London (did it for £13.50 each way in May, by booking in Feb on the day the tickets were released). And no, I do not work for East Coast or anywhere within the rail sector, but I do think their site is miles better than the Train Line etc
I agree with all the points made here - I've been doing it for years so it is hardly "new" news! Other tricks to try are York-Doncaster and Doncaster - London Kings Cross for a cheaper ticket to London and York-Alnmouth, Alnmouth- Edinburgh for journeys to Scotland. Be careful tho' - I cannot emphasise enough that the service you are on must actually STOP at the stations so for Alnmouth, you have to pick carefully as not that many trains stop there. Also, some conductors will say that you are in breach of the terms of the ticket and argue that you should break your journey. I find that by stepping off the train and stepping back on it, the conductors shut up - there is no requirement for you to actually leave the station. I also find the East Coast website very good for booking tickets and you don't have to travel with East Coast to use their site - it's easy to understand and they offer web based discounts as well as a loyalty scheme that enables you to collect points to put towards the cost of a future journey. If you know well in advance when you want to travel, they also have a good e-mail service that notifies you when tickets are released so you can book the really cheap tickets to places like London (did it for £13.50 each way in May, by booking in Feb on the day the tickets were released). And no, I do not work for East Coast or anywhere within the rail sector, but I do think their site is miles better than the Train Line etc AngryandFrustrated
  • Score: 0

11:01am Thu 20 Dec 12

Tom6187 says...

You're still better off driving, overpriced, overcrowded and unreliable trains are a big problem because they put so many people off using them which adds to the congestion on the roads. Good old Tory privatisation.
You're still better off driving, overpriced, overcrowded and unreliable trains are a big problem because they put so many people off using them which adds to the congestion on the roads. Good old Tory privatisation. Tom6187
  • Score: 0

11:18am Thu 20 Dec 12

big boy york says...

booking early if you know when your going is even cheaper i got york- stevenage return for £22 last july booking 10 weeks in advance
booking early if you know when your going is even cheaper i got york- stevenage return for £22 last july booking 10 weeks in advance big boy york
  • Score: 0

1:33pm Thu 20 Dec 12

Stevie D says...

THE Press can reveal today the huge savings travellers can make on train journeys from York

That says a lot ... this has been common knowledge among regular passengers for at least 12 years. Truth be told, it's a lot less effective now than it has been before, because a lot of the loopholes have been closed, and prices set to minimise the loss to train companies. With the rise of advance purchase tickets, your best bet is almost always to book as close to 3 months ahead as you can and buy a regular through ticket.
[quote]THE Press can reveal [bold]today[/bold] the huge savings travellers can make on train journeys from York[/quote] That says a lot ... this has been common knowledge among regular passengers for at least 12 years. Truth be told, it's a lot [italic]less[/italic] effective now than it has been before, because a lot of the loopholes have been closed, and prices set to minimise the loss to train companies. With the rise of advance purchase tickets, your best bet is almost always to book as close to 3 months ahead as you can and buy a regular through ticket. Stevie D
  • Score: 0

1:57pm Thu 20 Dec 12

MadHaxMan says...

Its all stupid, stupid, stupid. The rail industry is yet another like airlines, telecoms and energy suppliers, who prosper at least in part by tricking and confusing many of their customers. Why not just play fair with people for once.
Its all stupid, stupid, stupid. The rail industry is yet another like airlines, telecoms and energy suppliers, who prosper at least in part by tricking and confusing many of their customers. Why not just play fair with people for once. MadHaxMan
  • Score: 0

2:10pm Thu 20 Dec 12

heworth.28 says...

This isn't news! It's been featured on dozens of websites, on TV, other newspapers etc etc. Do some real reporting on local issues!
This isn't news! It's been featured on dozens of websites, on TV, other newspapers etc etc. Do some real reporting on local issues! heworth.28
  • Score: 0

2:27pm Thu 20 Dec 12

Tom6187 says...

heworth.28 wrote:
This isn't news! It's been featured on dozens of websites, on TV, other newspapers etc etc. Do some real reporting on local issues!
Newsquest are based in Bradford so they aren't local, which is why they get so much wrong and the quality of reporting isn't as good as it was before the press was sold to them.
[quote][p][bold]heworth.28[/bold] wrote: This isn't news! It's been featured on dozens of websites, on TV, other newspapers etc etc. Do some real reporting on local issues![/p][/quote]Newsquest are based in Bradford so they aren't local, which is why they get so much wrong and the quality of reporting isn't as good as it was before the press was sold to them. Tom6187
  • Score: 0

2:28pm Thu 20 Dec 12

Digeorge says...

This really news?

Advance Purchase ticket £7.00 return - £3.45 per single + plus bus both ways £2.00 instead of £3.50 on First York to Newcastle within the hour. Numerous trains go there from Yorkshire.

It is cheaper to go to York-Newcastle than York-Leeds.

Advance Purchase saves £ss and I get a seat every time, no booking fees on Transpienne Express and more savings if you are a student.

But what irritates me most is that a season ticket to Leeds costs more than my fellow colleagues who travel from Ilkley (more expensive than York) as they get travel which is reduced as being in West Yorkshire catchment area.
This really news? Advance Purchase ticket £7.00 return - £3.45 per single + plus bus both ways £2.00 instead of £3.50 on First York to Newcastle within the hour. Numerous trains go there from Yorkshire. It is cheaper to go to York-Newcastle than York-Leeds. Advance Purchase saves £ss and I get a seat every time, no booking fees on Transpienne Express and more savings if you are a student. But what irritates me most is that a season ticket to Leeds costs more than my fellow colleagues who travel from Ilkley (more expensive than York) as they get travel which is reduced as being in West Yorkshire catchment area. Digeorge
  • Score: 0

3:47pm Thu 20 Dec 12

sounds weird but says...

MadHaxMan wrote:
Its all stupid, stupid, stupid. The rail industry is yet another like airlines, telecoms and energy suppliers, who prosper at least in part by tricking and confusing many of their customers. Why not just play fair with people for once.
Agreed. Bred on confusion, bureaucracy and is very disjointed. Not customer focussed.
[quote][p][bold]MadHaxMan[/bold] wrote: Its all stupid, stupid, stupid. The rail industry is yet another like airlines, telecoms and energy suppliers, who prosper at least in part by tricking and confusing many of their customers. Why not just play fair with people for once.[/p][/quote]Agreed. Bred on confusion, bureaucracy and is very disjointed. Not customer focussed. sounds weird but
  • Score: 0

3:49pm Thu 20 Dec 12

eeoodares says...

I often commuted to London, it used to be cheaper to book a ticket from Newcastle to London than York to London.
The staff in the Train Station booking office were awesome and could really save you a fortune.
I often commuted to London, it used to be cheaper to book a ticket from Newcastle to London than York to London. The staff in the Train Station booking office were awesome and could really save you a fortune. eeoodares
  • Score: 0

4:31pm Thu 20 Dec 12

Osbaldwick Lad says...

The first time I bought two tickets for one journey was in 1956.
The first time I bought two tickets for one journey was in 1956. Osbaldwick Lad
  • Score: 0

4:38pm Thu 20 Dec 12

arg says...

Another trick is to book a ticket beyond your destination: for example york portsmouth can be cheaper than york to king's cross.
Another trick is to book a ticket beyond your destination: for example york portsmouth can be cheaper than york to king's cross. arg
  • Score: 0

7:06pm Thu 20 Dec 12

Paul Meoff says...

arg wrote:
Another trick is to book a ticket beyond your destination: for example york portsmouth can be cheaper than york to king's cross.
Just make sure the ticket doesn't say not via London!
[quote][p][bold]arg[/bold] wrote: Another trick is to book a ticket beyond your destination: for example york portsmouth can be cheaper than york to king's cross.[/p][/quote]Just make sure the ticket doesn't say not via London! Paul Meoff
  • Score: 0

7:25pm Thu 20 Dec 12

nearlyman says...

Tom6187 wrote:
You're still better off driving, overpriced, overcrowded and unreliable trains are a big problem because they put so many people off using them which adds to the congestion on the roads. Good old Tory privatisation.
Book early, book a seat and you will be fine ! And dont try and kid us it was better before privatisation..it was not. Dirty trains, unresponsive staff and totally inadequate time keeping by trains.
[quote][p][bold]Tom6187[/bold] wrote: You're still better off driving, overpriced, overcrowded and unreliable trains are a big problem because they put so many people off using them which adds to the congestion on the roads. Good old Tory privatisation.[/p][/quote]Book early, book a seat and you will be fine ! And dont try and kid us it was better before privatisation..it was not. Dirty trains, unresponsive staff and totally inadequate time keeping by trains. nearlyman
  • Score: 0

11:47pm Thu 20 Dec 12

jumbojet says...

Nasrudin says; some first class tickets are cheaper than second class. How does that work then, everyone would 'turn left' at the entrance door, especially if it was cheaper. Sorry, I do not believe that to be the case, I would like an example, and the reasoning for such an event.
Nasrudin says; some first class tickets are cheaper than second class. How does that work then, everyone would 'turn left' at the entrance door, especially if it was cheaper. Sorry, I do not believe that to be the case, I would like an example, and the reasoning for such an event. jumbojet
  • Score: 0

2:14am Fri 21 Dec 12

Magicman! says...

There used to be a loophole for York to Leeds whereby you could buy a ticket to Burley Park, and of course only go as far as Leeds... that loophole has since closed as now your ticket will specify either "via harrogate" or "via leeds"... shame, as that was about £2-3 savings.

Where you split your ticket dependands on the "TOC Boundary"... each Train Operating Company sets fares for certain routes, and then a system is used to divvy the revenue to all companies who provide services between those two points based on how many seats per hour are provided - ie, Transpennine Express sets the fare of York-Leeds, and likewise for York-Manchester - but you could decide to travel via Rochdale, First will still get a cut of the fare. Manchester-Liverpool is not set by Transpennine Express, as they only provide one train per hour along there, so by splitting the ticket at manchester you get the saving. But you MUST split it at a station the train calls at, even if you stay on the train because you've got tickets for both portions of the journey.

Sometimes 1st class is cheaper than standard - you just have to get the timings right! I did a journey from Lancaster to Preston once on a service that had left scotland just after 5pm... 1st class ticket was only £1 more than standard so I went for it and go a seat whilst the rest of the train was standing room only. Generally you'll find 1st class is cheaper at weekends as less commuters are using it. Unlike Standard tickets, train companies can have a half decent idea as to how many people they can be expecting in 1st class of a train on a given service, and so they can flex the prices to suit (in a similar way to airlines offering budget seats right at the end before the plane is ready to leave)
There used to be a loophole for York to Leeds whereby you could buy a ticket to Burley Park, and of course only go as far as Leeds... that loophole has since closed as now your ticket will specify either "via harrogate" or "via leeds"... shame, as that was about £2-3 savings. Where you split your ticket dependands on the "TOC Boundary"... each Train Operating Company sets fares for certain routes, and then a system is used to divvy the revenue to all companies who provide services between those two points based on how many seats per hour are provided - ie, Transpennine Express sets the fare of York-Leeds, and likewise for York-Manchester - but you could decide to travel via Rochdale, First will still get a cut of the fare. Manchester-Liverpool is not set by Transpennine Express, as they only provide one train per hour along there, so by splitting the ticket at manchester you get the saving. But you MUST split it at a station the train calls at, even if you stay on the train because you've got tickets for both portions of the journey. Sometimes 1st class is cheaper than standard - you just have to get the timings right! I did a journey from Lancaster to Preston once on a service that had left scotland just after 5pm... 1st class ticket was only £1 more than standard so I went for it and go a seat whilst the rest of the train was standing room only. Generally you'll find 1st class is cheaper at weekends as less commuters are using it. Unlike Standard tickets, train companies can have a half decent idea as to how many people they can be expecting in 1st class of a train on a given service, and so they can flex the prices to suit (in a similar way to airlines offering budget seats right at the end before the plane is ready to leave) Magicman!
  • Score: 0

7:57am Fri 21 Dec 12

Caecilius says...

nearlyman wrote:
Tom6187 wrote:
You're still better off driving, overpriced, overcrowded and unreliable trains are a big problem because they put so many people off using them which adds to the congestion on the roads. Good old Tory privatisation.
Book early, book a seat and you will be fine ! And dont try and kid us it was better before privatisation..it was not. Dirty trains, unresponsive staff and totally inadequate time keeping by trains.
And now you can still have all the above, but at twice the cost (and you also contribute more as a taxpayer, by bankrolling the shareholders of private companies, than you did when the network was publicly owned). You have to book well in advance to travel anywhere at a reasonable price: before privatisation, you had the flexibility of going to the station on the day and being able to buy a ticket without taking out a second mortgage. The BR service was often appalling but there was no doubt who was responsible when things went wrong. The privatised service is often appalling (look no further than the complete breakdown of the ECML, yet again, this week) but the companies play responsibility ping-pong. Typical British big business: undemanding targets (multiple ten minute pauses built into cross-country schedules to ensure trains arrive at the final destination "on time"), poor service and inflated prices.
[quote][p][bold]nearlyman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Tom6187[/bold] wrote: You're still better off driving, overpriced, overcrowded and unreliable trains are a big problem because they put so many people off using them which adds to the congestion on the roads. Good old Tory privatisation.[/p][/quote]Book early, book a seat and you will be fine ! And dont try and kid us it was better before privatisation..it was not. Dirty trains, unresponsive staff and totally inadequate time keeping by trains.[/p][/quote]And now you can still have all the above, but at twice the cost (and you also contribute more as a taxpayer, by bankrolling the shareholders of private companies, than you did when the network was publicly owned). You have to book well in advance to travel anywhere at a reasonable price: before privatisation, you had the flexibility of going to the station on the day and being able to buy a ticket without taking out a second mortgage. The BR service was often appalling but there was no doubt who was responsible when things went wrong. The privatised service is often appalling (look no further than the complete breakdown of the ECML, yet again, this week) but the companies play responsibility ping-pong. Typical British big business: undemanding targets (multiple ten minute pauses built into cross-country schedules to ensure trains arrive at the final destination "on time"), poor service and inflated prices. Caecilius
  • Score: 0

7:58am Fri 21 Dec 12

colette says...

I've not split tickets from York to London or Edinburgh, but when I wanted to go to Fort William, it was far cheaper to go to Edinburgh and get a separate ticket from Edinburgh to Fort William than to pay for York to FW. I have also booked well in advance, so got "cheap" first class tickets - when you factor in the food and drink provided, and the comfort of wider seats, etc, the cost would have been about what I would have paid for a second class ticket plus refreshments on the journey. However, sometimes I have been unable to get any train tickets cheap enough (as an OAP), so have driven instead - four hours to Edinburgh - good fuel economy from my diesel car, sometimes cheaper than taking the train.
I've not split tickets from York to London or Edinburgh, but when I wanted to go to Fort William, it was far cheaper to go to Edinburgh and get a separate ticket from Edinburgh to Fort William than to pay for York to FW. I have also booked well in advance, so got "cheap" first class tickets - when you factor in the food and drink provided, and the comfort of wider seats, etc, the cost would have been about what I would have paid for a second class ticket plus refreshments on the journey. However, sometimes I have been unable to get any train tickets cheap enough (as an OAP), so have driven instead - four hours to Edinburgh - good fuel economy from my diesel car, sometimes cheaper than taking the train. colette
  • Score: 0

10:46am Fri 21 Dec 12

nasrudin says...

jumbojet wrote:
Nasrudin says; some first class tickets are cheaper than second class. How does that work then, everyone would 'turn left' at the entrance door, especially if it was cheaper. Sorry, I do not believe that to be the case, I would like an example, and the reasoning for such an event.
I didn't say "some are cheaper", I said "... are sometimes cheaper".

For example, when I travelled back from the Edinburgh Fringe. Second class £40, first class £39. As the train broke down near Newcastle adding another couple of hours onto the journey, it was the best -£1 I've spent.

As to why, I believe it's because they set the prices for each based on their demand, so if there's not many second class left, but lots of first, then first can be cheaper. But ask East Coast, I agree it's counter intuitive.

Quick note on cutting journies short: I thought ticket barriered stations would prevent this?
[quote][p][bold]jumbojet[/bold] wrote: Nasrudin says; some first class tickets are cheaper than second class. How does that work then, everyone would 'turn left' at the entrance door, especially if it was cheaper. Sorry, I do not believe that to be the case, I would like an example, and the reasoning for such an event.[/p][/quote]I didn't say "some [...] are cheaper", I said "... are sometimes cheaper". For example, when I travelled back from the Edinburgh Fringe. Second class £40, first class £39. As the train broke down near Newcastle adding another couple of hours onto the journey, it was the best -£1 I've spent. As to why, I believe it's because they set the prices for each based on their demand, so if there's not many second class left, but lots of first, then first can be cheaper. But ask East Coast, I agree it's counter intuitive. Quick note on cutting journies short: I thought ticket barriered stations would prevent this? nasrudin
  • Score: 0

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