How does train travel in the UK work?

  • invisigay10

    Posts: 35

    Apr 24, 2012 9:55 PM GMT
    Hi there,

    This summer, a friend and me will endeavour on a three-week bicycle tour through Scotland.

    However as I am from Germany, I am largely unfamiliar with the wonders of unregulated capitalism that are at work in the Anglo-American world.

    As I understand there are about 20 different, private railway companies, all of which offer different tickets and prices. After initial research however, prices appear to be outrageous.

    Specifically, we need to travel from Newcastle, England to Inverness, Scotland. Within one day starting at aprox. 10 am.

    This website : ojp.nationalrail.co.uk

    gives me a price of 96 Pounds per person. More than the cost of the ferry from Amsterdam to Newcastle..

    I also can't seem to find the option to select that we are carrying two bikes. Is it generally possible to take a bike on UK trains? And how much does it cost?

    tl;dr: Are there any cheap "day tickets" or something like that available for train travel in the UK? I know in Germany you can buy cheap tickets that allow you to travel across the entire country, but only on slow trains. Maybe there is something similar in the UK? Also we carry two MTBs with us.

    Any help is much appreciated.
  • offshore

    Posts: 1294

    Apr 25, 2012 2:08 AM GMT
    They don't.

    Unlike continental Europe. where trains are fast, efficient, cheap and run on time, UK railway is a national joke, just think of the opposite of what German's rail system is.

    Sorry I can;t really help, maybe you can try ask the question in Lonely planet Thorntree forum
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 25, 2012 2:14 AM GMT
    check out this website for the different passes and flexi-passes

    http://www.britrail.com/passes/britrail-pass
  • suedeheadscot

    Posts: 1130

    Apr 25, 2012 6:37 AM GMT
    offshore saidThey don't.

    Unlike continental Europe. where trains are fast, efficient, cheap and run on time, UK railway is a national joke, just think of the opposite of what German's rail system is.

    Sorry I can;t really help, maybe you can try ask the question in Lonely planet Thorntree forum


    I was gonna get cheeky with the guy here for slagging off my country until I realised he's telling the truth : it is a bit crap. However if you get in early enough on these websites you can get some cheap fares: I'm going down to London today and managed to get a £15 return from Birmingham (as opposed to £40 off-peak return).
    o on
    I also don't think its quite as bad as what everyone thinks: the vast majority of trains I go on arrive on time.

    www.nationalrail.co.uk

    www.thetrainline.co.uk

    www.redspottedhanky.co.uk

    www.chilternrailways.co.uk

    www.londonmidland.co.uk

    www.virgintrains.com

    Cheap travel can be obtained but you must must MUST plan miles in advance!


    Hope this helps!
  • offshore

    Posts: 1294

    Apr 25, 2012 7:05 AM GMT
    No need to get cheeky, the guy slagging of your country is actually your countryman. icon_smile.gif

    Or at least British.
  • suedeheadscot

    Posts: 1130

    Apr 25, 2012 7:11 AM GMT
    offshore saidNo need to get cheeky, the guy slagging of your country is actually your countryman. icon_smile.gif

    Or at least British.
    icon_razz.gif


    Was the train service one of the reasons you moved away???
  • offshore

    Posts: 1294

    Apr 25, 2012 7:14 AM GMT
    suedeheadscot said
    offshore saidNo need to get cheeky, the guy slagging of your country is actually your countryman. icon_smile.gif

    Or at least British.
    icon_razz.gif


    Was the train service one of the reasons you moved away???


    Oh British Rail is like 5 star compared to Queensland Rail...
    Unless you want to hitch a ride on the freight coal carriages, there's not many places you can go on a train here.
  • agro

    Posts: 199

    Apr 25, 2012 10:25 AM GMT
    offshore saidOh British Rail is like 5 star compared to Queensland Rail...
    Unless you want to hitch a ride on the freight coal carriages, there's not many places you can go on a train here.


    Surely it can't get any worse than Metro and our bloody mykis...
  • kew1

    Posts: 1595

    Apr 25, 2012 1:37 PM GMT
    Most train companies allow bikes on the trains, but with some restrictions (not during the morning/evening commuter periods etc.). Restrictions will be on the company web sites.

    http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/travel/cheap-train-tickets

    Enjoy the midges.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 25, 2012 2:36 PM GMT
    I live in a country that pretty much owes its existence as a single sovereign nation to the foundation of the coast-to-coast railway. Yet its rail system today is a joke. Like the UK, it was underfunded in the mid-70s to mid-90s when a little investment would have kept it up-to-date. Canada is the only G8 country without a single high-speed passenger rail service, even though this has been discussed since the 1960s or earlier.

    What Canadians pay for rail service, at least in the Windsor-Quebec City corridor, is comparable to UK. I found train travel in Sweden just as expensive at list rates, though the early discount rates were good (just as they are in the UK). The difference being that in Sweden the X2 runs at 200km/hr--and they're discussing getting that up to 250!
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 25, 2012 4:04 PM GMT
    cdncuteboy saidI live in a country that pretty much owes its existence as a single sovereign nation to the foundation of the coast-to-coast railway. Yet its rail system today is a joke. Like the UK, it was underfunded in the mid-70s to mid-90s when a little investment would have kept it up-to-date. Canada is the only G8 country without a single high-speed passenger rail service, even though this has been discussed since the 1960s or earlier.

    What Canadians pay for rail service, at least in the Windsor-Quebec City corridor, is comparable to UK. I found train travel in Sweden just as expensive at list rates, though the early discount rates were good (just as they are in the UK). The difference being that in Sweden the X2 runs at 200km/hr--and they're discussing getting that up to 250!


    The really really sad part about it is that that Bombardier, arguably the world leader in building high speed rail systems worldwide is a Canadian company.

    There isn't even daily transcontinental service any longer, it's every 2 days now.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 25, 2012 4:07 PM GMT
    beneful1 said

    The really really sad part about it is that that Bombardier, arguably the world leader in building high speed rail systems worldwide is a Canadian company.

    There isn't even daily transcontinental service any longer, it's every 2 days now.


    Actually you have to give Bombardier kudos on their success because of that situation---they're an international leader in that field despite having no domestic market. icon_lol.gif
  • invisigay10

    Posts: 35

    Apr 27, 2012 5:01 PM GMT
    Lots of thanks to everyone who replied here and/or messaged me :-)

    I am going to check out the links you posted this weekend. Was pretty busy with university and work the last couple of days.
  • Suetonius

    Posts: 1842

    Apr 30, 2012 12:42 PM GMT
    cdncuteboy said Canada is the only G8 country without a single high-speed passenger rail service, even though this has been discussed since the 1960s or earlier.

    Not quite the only country. The US does not have any high speed rail The Acela is not high speed, just a bit faster than normal. In California, the trains from LA to San Francisco take hours longer to make the trip than the steam trains did before World War II.
  • Suetonius

    Posts: 1842

    Apr 30, 2012 12:44 PM GMT
    Like others have said, trains in the UK are good (where they still operate) but expensive. For longer distances, Ryan Air could be much cheaper (severe restrictions on luggage, however,)
  • kew1

    Posts: 1595

    Apr 30, 2012 3:32 PM GMT
    ^
    Unfortunately there aren't any flights from Newcastle to Inverness. Manchester would be the nearest with direct flights.
    http://www.hial.co.uk/inverness-airport/destinations-and-holidays/
    Or Newcastle>birmingham>inverness