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Train Scheduling

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posts: 72
Train Scheduling

I want to book a train for 2 persons, one way, London to Edinburgh in May. I am 12 weeks out from my date. I looked at The Train Line site and found the fare to be substantially higher on May 1 than it would be just 10 days from now(both searchs same time of day, same day of week). Am I too early to get a good fare? Do rates go up in Spring? Also, dumb question #1, if I enter 2 for # of passengers does the fare come up for two tickets? We want to get 1st class seats in order to see what I hope is lovely English scenery. And I know this is subjective, but, dumb qustion #2, is the first class ticket worth it for this trip?

posts: 374
reviews: 18
11. Re: Train Scheduling

Thank your for all the helpful info! Of course, I still have questions! I went to the eastcoast website and:

(1) The 1st class fare varies quite a bit. £95 to £430 for travel on the same date (late March). I can't tell what factors into the different prices.

(2) I selected LONDON and EDINBURGH as the FROM and TO options, though there were several others listed for each city. But there were a LOT of options for London and a few for Edinburgh. What should I select? I don't know yet where I'm staying in either city.

(3) TravellerPlus suggested a morning train for the breakfast option. I don't see where they indicate which departures include breakfast.

(4) I saw mention on the boards something called a "Caledonian Sleeper" between London and Edinburgh, but if the travel time is under 5 hours it doesn't seem like one would get much sleep!

Thanks so much for the info...

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 48,572
reviews: 15
12. Re: Train Scheduling

Trains to Edinburgh Waverley depart from London King's Cross. Although you may buy a fare that will include the Underground journey (if need be) it might be easiest to book from King's Cross to Edinburgh Waverley and make your own way from hotel to rail station. Breakfast is served from KX on departures until 0900, but double check to make sure. www.eastcoast.co.uk

Have just made a quick check for departures from KX to Edinburgh for 25 April; the 0800 train has seats in First available for £53.55. The fares you see for travel in late March reflect not only the popularity of the route (hence the need to book early) but with Easter at the end of next month, even more travellers will be on the move.

The sleeper trains depart from London Euston rather than King's Cross. Travel time is seven and a half hours; trains depart at 2350 and arrive at 0722, so there is time for a bit of kip. scotrail.co.uk/caledoniansleeper/index.html for more information.

With respect to hotels in London, please post on that forum. Let us know how long you plan to stay in the city, if you'll fly to the city using Heathrow or Gatwick airport, and your budget in £. Thank you.

posts: 374
reviews: 18
13. Re: Train Scheduling

Thank you! Sorry to be so dense, but ...

When I choose the generic LONDON and EDINBURGH options, what is it showing me in terms of departure and arrival station?

London Euston and King's Cross are only 8 minutes apart (as per google maps), so I assume then that it's a matter of high-speed vs regiular speed trains? While it does seem convenient and would maximize our time to take an overnight train, I understand the ride to Edinburgh is scenic so that might be reason enough to go that route.

Finally, what does "a bit of kip" mean? ... Thanks!

Vancouver, Canada
Destination Expert
for London
posts: 48,572
reviews: 15
14. Re: Train Scheduling

If at the National Rail site you choose London (all stations) and Edinburgh (you'll have to select either Edinburgh or Edinburgh Park) then choose a random date and time and ... voila: King's Cross to Edinburgh Waverley. If you want to start out at, say, London Fenchurch Street, you'll get a routing that will include an Underground journey and possibly a walk as well. Play around with the NR site and see what you find.

Google maps is fairly accurate; Euston is a brisk(ish) 10 minute walk from King's Cross. The difference in travel time is that the sleeper train travels a different route, up the west coast through Carlisle.

A bit of kip ~> to get some sleep.

posts: 5,223
reviews: 2
15. Re: Train Scheduling

There is only one set of fares for any given journey - www.nationalrail.co.uk shows them.

Thetrainline.com sells them with a small booking and card fee.

Train company sites such as eastcoast.co.uk sell them with no fees. So a no brained to use one of these.

In addition, eastcoast.co.uk sell their own Advance fares with an extra 10% discount, so also a no brainer to use them for any journey on the London Leeds York Newcastle Edinburgh line.

It here are 3 fare types. Advance, Off-peak and Anytime, or if you prefer, inflexible, semi-flexible and full-flexible.

The £430 fare will be a full flexible Anytime fare. The £53 will be an inflexible, no refunds, only valid on that specific train, Advance fare.

If you look at a date with only expensive anytime and off peak fares shown (which are 'Freesale' as they say in the travel trade, unlimited availability, not tied to any reservation or quota) but no advance fares shown at all, booking probably hasn't opened yet, so wait.

Yes, first class is nice if the extra cost is affordable, and scenery good, especially north of Newcastle along the Northumberland coast and over the Royal Border Bridgeat Berwick.

Make sure you sit in a seat on the righ hand side of the train, if necessary ignoring your reserved seat to sit in any unreserved seats if your reservation is on the 'wrong' side.

Edited: 4:31 am, February 02, 2013
London, United...
posts: 2,433
reviews: 62
16. Re: Train Scheduling

Aside from the Caledonian Sleeper, if you get a route that leaves from London Euston, it will involve a change of trains in Glasgow. This will add unnecessary time to your journey and, if memory serves, is a less scenic route as well. Obviously, in the case of the sleeper, the scenery is less important because it will just look dark. The Kings Cross trains are the fast trains to Edinburgh. Edinburgh Waverley is the main station in Edinburgh and should be your destination.

Bingley, United...
Destination Expert
for Edinburgh
posts: 27,874
17. Re: Train Scheduling

< it will involve a change of trains in Glasgow. >

There is still at least one Virgin train a day that goes Euston-Edinburgh - but you are right about it adding unnecessary time to your journey

posts: 374
reviews: 18
18. Re: Train Scheduling

Thank you! Looks like we'll be stopping in York. Plans not firm yet. Am I correct to assume that I should purchase the tickets as soon as possible for the best price?

Thanks again for all the very helpful info!

posts: 10,060
19. Re: Train Scheduling

Provided the cheap advance fares have been released - yes

If not, wait until they have been

20. Re: Train Scheduling

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