A 50% discount is available on a limited number of tickets.

A temporary train ticket sale has begun, claiming to be the country’s largest offer of substantially discounted rates.

The government and rail industry are offering more than one million tickets in the “Great British Rail Sale” as a way to stimulate demand following the outbreak. However, the majority of cuisines aren’t mentioned. So, what should you be on the lookout for?

These are the most important questions and responses.

What really is the situation?

From April 25 to May 27, there will be great discounts on a variety of rail journeys. The majority of tickets will be half-price.

Grant Shapps has been chastised for a “cringey” advertisement advertising the Great British Rail Sale.

In April and May, the ‘Rail sale’ provides over a million half-price tickets.

Passengers on P&O Ferries have been informed that DFDS would not be able to transport them to France this weekend.

Almost majority of the tickets that are available are Advance fares. These necessitate committing to a specific train in advance.

The price changes depending on demand, just like airline tickets: regular Advance tickets between Edinburgh and London on LNER, for example, ranging from £27.80 to £72.50 on Tuesday 3 May.

However, according to information released by the Department for Transport (DfT), the discount will only apply to some Advance prices, not all of them.

On some LNER trains, £22 one-way Edinburgh-London tickets are available. Between London and Leeds, the flat train sale fare is £15.

Some tickets are extremely cheap – particularly if you are happy to trade speed for savings. Between Southampton and London Victoria, Southern is selling seats for just £2.70 – though this journey takes twice as long as the South Western Railway journey to London Waterloo.

The Department for Transport has provided the following lower prices:

  • £10.30 (TransPennine Express) Manchester-Newcastle
  • £12.60 (CrossCountry) Birmingham New Street-Bristol Temple Meads
  • West Midlands Trains: £5.25 Wolverhampton-Liverpool

GWR looks to be selling all Cardiff-London Paddington tickets for £25 one-way, including peaks, with Bristol to London at a flat £18.


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Discount tickets are marked with a red “rail sale” emblem by Avanti West Coast, which provides trains from London Euston to the West Midlands via northwest England and Scotland. Glasgow is £26, Manchester is £23, Liverpool is £17, and Birmingham is £8 for a one-way ticket to and from the capital.

Is the discount applicable to all trips?
Certainly not. “Great British Rail Sale tickets are not available on all lines, are limited, and are subject to availability and exclusions,” according to the Department for Transport.

The majority of tickets, including Anytime, Off-peak (except in a few situations), Seasons, and Flexi-Seasons, do not qualify.

On any given date?

Certainly not. The long weekend of 30 April to 2 May, when London Euston station and the southern end of the West Coast main line will be closed, is included in the 25 April-27 May travel window.

More broadly, high-demand times of day are likely to be excluded from the agreement.

Is it possible for me to take a connecting flight?

When booking directly with the same operator, connections should be feasible. According to the Department for Transport, a Portsmouth-Penzance ticket for £22 is available for travel on GWR via Westbury.

Connecting journeys on separate railway companies, on the other hand, are not eligible. For example, you can generally book an Advance ticket from Birmingham to Barrow in Furness by taking the Avanti West Coast to Lancaster and then taking the Northern train from there.

To save money with the bargain, you’d have to plan two trips. “If your travel comprises different train companies, you’ll get a ‘No Discounts found’ statement,” according to the Trainsplit website. The website compares prices in order to locate the best offer.

For example, between London and Hebden Bridge in West Yorkshire on 16 May it prescribes a first-class LNER ticket from King’s Cross to Doncaster then two separate Northern tickets via Leeds. The fare is £35 but Trainsplit adds a £2.48 fee.

Do railcard discounts apply?

Yes, which will reduce these fares by a further 34 per cent. Between Birmingham and London, for example, the £8 ticket will be cut to £5.30.

Can I book in first class?

Yes, at least on LNER. London to Newcastle is £19.80 in standard and £42.20 in first; an uplift of 110% appears to be the average.In addition, individual train operators may have upgrade offers that can be used in connection with a discounted ticket.

How can I make a reservation?

“Customers should visit nationalrail.co.uk/railsale to check what discounts are available for the location they desire to visit,” the Department for Transport states.

Then make a reservation through one of the following channels:

  • Direct communication with the operator makes things easier in the event of a problem with the voyage and may qualify for a loyalty bonus, such as LNER Perks.
  • If you have a favourite website, you can purchase CrossCountry through a different operator (for example, South Western Railway).
  • Through a third-party vendor like The Trainline, which charges fees but has the advantage of automatically “splitting tickets” if it saves you money.

People with access concerns can seek assistance at a staffed railway station’s ticket office.

How quickly should I make a purchase?

As quickly as possible. Although one million tickets may appear to be a considerable quantity, it pales in comparison to the normal number of rail rides in a 33-day period (more than 160 million). Many trains will immediately sell out of low-cost tickets.

“The quantity of Rail Sale tickets supplied by each participating Train Company will vary and are limited in number, so we’re encouraging people to act fast because once they’re gone, they’re gone,” said the Rail Delivery Group, which is managing the deal with the DfT and train operators.

More information about Department of TransportationLNERAvanti West CoastGWRRail Delivery Group LNER Avanti West CoastRail Delivery GroupLNERAvanti West CoastRail Delivery GroupLNERAvanti

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