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Train Ticket and Rail Pass Guides Save with Split Ticketing on Trainline

Save with Split Ticketing on Trainline

When it's possible to save money on rail journeys in Britain, by splitting tickets in one booking, Trainline now automatically offers this option - look out for for the blue symbol!

| Last Updated: 4 months ago
Save with Split Ticketing on Trainline Save with Split Ticketing on Trainline

When travelling long-distances on British trains, booking separate tickets for different sections of a journey can save money.

Trainline now typically offers Split-Tickets as an option when looking up a long-distance journey in Britain.
Look out for the blue ticket symbols, as pictured above, when searching for a journey and they can booked in one transaction.
So the booking process isn't any more complicated than buying tickets for a conventional journey and the savings are always greater than the booking fees charged by Trainline.

Completing the end-to-end journey with 0 changes

Split Ticketing can be an option when taking a direct train.
One ticket will be valid for the first part of the journey from your starting point to an intermediate station along the route, then another ticket(s) will be valid on the same train that you are travelling by - but this ticket will be valid to travel on from the same intermediate station.
So, for example, on a London to Edinburgh journey you may be offered a London to York ticket(s) and a York to Edinburgh ticket(s).

What you will need to do is show your second set of ticket(s) to the conductor, when they repeat the ticket inspection later in the journey.
The big plus of this scenario is that your journey time won't be any slower than if you'd booked a conventional ticket valid for the end-to-end journey, but you will save money.
Though you won't have assigned seats on the train, as seat reservations on British trains are separate to bookings - except when booking Advance tickets.
So when boarding you will need to sit in an available seat - on Azuma trains operated by LNER, on Nova trains operated by TPE and on IEP trains operated by GWR, you can look for seats with green lights.

If when boarding you can't find seat(s) available for your entire journey, select seat(s) which won't be occupied until the station that your first ticket is valid for.
Then move to seats which become available at that station.

The ticket valid from your starting point will open any ticket gate at the station at which you will be commencing a journey, and similarly the ticket valid to your destination will open the ticket gate, so that you can exit the station.

Travelling on multiple trains, despite direct trains being an option

Particularly when different companies offer services along sections of a route, it can be possible to save money by changing trains between those alternative services.
In the one transaction on Trainline, you will in effect be purchasing separate tickets for each different train you will be travelling by - and you will then show each respective ticket to the conductor on each train.
If when looking up a journey. most of the journeys are direct with 0 changes are indicated, but other options have 1 or more changes + the blue symbol, that second option is indicating this multi-train scenario.

The savings tend to be greater than using split tickets on the direct trains, plus the tickets for each train usually have assigned seat reservations.
Though the journey time is inevitably longer, due to the need to change train - and also look out for the time between each train.
If a delay to the first train causes a missed connection, you will need to check which company is operating the train that the second ticket is valid for - and then travel by that same company's subsequent train on to your destination.
You won't have to re-book tickets for this other train, but your seat reservations inevitably won't now be valid.

These tickets will also open the ticket gates at each station where you will be changing trains, if you want to make full use of its facilities between trains.

When direct trains aren't an option

Having to make connections between trains managed by different companies is often inevitable when making British train journeys, particularly if you won't be travelling to or from London.
Major cities which aren't connected by direct train include:

  • Bristol <> Leicester, Nottingham and Oxford,
  • Cardiff <> Leeds, Sheffield and Newcastle
  • Liverpool <> Bristol, Exeter and Southampton
  • Norwich <> Birmingham, Bristol, Leeds and Newcastle
  • Nottingham <> Edinburgh and Newcastle

On their booking services, the train operating companies only tend to offer discounted Advance tickets, on the first train on these multi-train journeys.
However, Trainline is using its tech to offer Advance tickets on each train, so when booking such journeys, it's often possible to save more than £20 compared to booking with the train operators.
The ticket booking process and making the journey won't be any complicated, so in these scenarios it's definitely worth checking which price(s) are being offered on Trainline.


Simon Harper

I wanted to share my passion for train travel and explain how anyone can take the fantastic journeys I have taken.


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