Are split tickets always cheaper than conventional train tickets?
There’s been a lot in the news about how much you can be able to save on rail travel by splitting train tickets but does it find cheaper fares than conventional through on every route?
The short answer is no, but given the existence of sites like raileasy.trainsplit.com, which is finding split ticket savings on 60% of journeys with an average additional saving of 30% compared to any other train booking site, it’s always worth taking a look. So what are some scenarios where you might find savings?
Travelling in and out of London
Contrary to popular belief, there can be savings on many journeys going in and out of London although they generally aren’t as spectacular as those that can be found on other routes. For example with split ticketing you can get a Wellingborough-London anytime day return for £49.80, saving £46.20.
Cross country routes
Journeys going across the country, particularly those operated by train company CrossCountry tend to have the biggest savings. As an example, a Plymouth to Derby off peak single ticket would normally set you back around £129.50 for instance but with 5 splits the price drops dramatically to just £79.80. In this case, it’s a direct service so there’s no need even to get off the train.
Journeys at peak times
Unsurprisingly some of the largest savings can be found on flexible anytime tickets for journeys taking place at peak times of day. Mike Richardson a Director of Raileasy, the partner site of Trainsplit.com said ‘If your journey starts at a peak time and ends off-peak – particularly if going cross country and using more than one different train operator – you could win from split ticketing.’
Train Journeys in Scotland
In April 2013 Scotland’s Transport Minister announced that the "decades-old fare anomalies of split-ticketing" would end in Scotland at least. Despite all of the fanfare there are still many Scottish routes where you can significantly reduce your fare with split ticketing. A Glasgow-Dundee off peak return, for instance, will normally set you back £37.40 but with a split at Perth, the price drops to a more affordable £24.00, saving £13.40 or 35.83%
Booking in advance
Even without any additional split ticketing savings, booking train tickets in advance can be up to 80% cheaper than the cost of buying train tickets on the day of departure. The cheapest tickets are generally released in limited quantities about 12 weeks in advance of the day of travel and are sold on a first come first served basis.
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