Trains from Manchester take two different routes:
(1) The fastest are those operated by TP Express which depart from Victoria station
(2) Other trains depart from Piccadilly station
Final Destination: Liverpool
2 x trains per hour
Book Early and Save: Yes
Online Bookings Usually Open: from up to 24 weeks ahead of the travel date (usually); TransPennnine Express (TPE) places its ticket on sale sooner than other UK train operating companies.
If you want to travel at the cheapest possible price, look for the 'Advance tickets', though the four key things worth knowing about booking and using 'Advance' tickets for travel by TPE services are:
(1) The ticket(s) will be valid for the specific departure you select when making a booking.
(2) The ticket(s) cannot either be refunded, if you subsequently change your plans or miss the train due to any circumstances not attributable to the train operator.
(3) They can be exchanged to another departure on this route prior to the departure you have booked - but the price difference with the new ticket will need to be paid (the price will likely have risen since your original booking will need to be paid.
(4) TPE doesn't take Advance tickets off sale until 15 mins prior to departure.
All types of ticket booked at least 15 minutes ahead of travel for TPE trains have complimentary seat reservation.
If you book and Advance ticket(s) you have to travel on the train shown on the reservation, which will be the specific departure you selected when making a booking.
Though on boarding, you won't have to occupy the seat(s) you have been assigned for your ticket to be valid.
If you book Anytime or Off-Peak tickets you will be provided with a reservation(s) on the departure you selected when making a booking, but are able to transfer the reservation to any other valid departure on your travel date.
You can do this by contacting the TPE social media team, or at a station ticket desk.
What is unusual about travelling with TPE is that these reservations can be arranged up to around 15 minutes prior to departure - which is a much shorter time limit than the norm.
Travelling on Saturday-Sunday
Tickets are usually available 12 weeks ahead of the travel date, but maintenance work on the route is periodically undertaken at weekends and if it is scheduled on your travel date, it can affect when tickets will be released for sale.
If you're looking up a journey less than 12 weeks ahead and Advance tickets aren't available, it can be a good indication that works will be impacting on your travel date.
It can be worth checking this on the National Rail website - enter TransPennine Express as the operator.
Booking at the station
As TPE doesn't take Advance tickets off sale until 15 mins prior to departure, if you will be booking walk-up tickets at the station try to avoid booking at the last minute.
Offers and deals:
TPE offers a group deal for when groups of 3 - 9 adults are travelling together and Advance tickets are booked online - make sure you see the 'G' symbol which indicates that the discount has been applied.
You can save 33% of the total costs of the tickets and no Railcard is required.
|Ticket Provider||Approximate Cost|
Take a journey on the world's first railway to be constructed between two cities.
Remarkably the route in terms of the railway lines used has been little altered, though inevitably the views of the Manchester skyline have been entirely transformed, particularly in recent years.
The most impressive engineering achievement, though it is a slightly later addition, is the brick-lined cutting that the train will travel through at journey's end in order to reach Lime Street station.
Final destination: Liverpool
One train per hour, the slower train operated by Northern, typically commences its journey in the station at Manchester Airport and after departure from Piccadilly station it also calls at Manchester Oxford Road station
EMR = 1 x train per hour
TPE = 1 x train per hour
Northern = 1 x train per hour
Book early and save: Yes
The train company Northern offers discounted Advance tickets on this route from weeks ahead of travel, but what's good to know is that they can still be booked online (and saved to a mobile device) up until shortly before departure.
You can save a few £s by booking ahead, though you will have to select a specific departure, but if you then subsequently change your travel plans, you can't claim a refund.
But if you book online on you travel date you won't risk this scenario and the price will still be cheaper than what you would pay when booking last minute at the station.
|Ticket Provider||Approximate Cost|
The trains on this route are split between
Though if travelling from central Manchester to Liverpool at the cheapest possible price is your key criteria, than target the slower trains operated by Northern and board them at Manchester Oxford Road or Deansgate; a simple connection with the Manchester Metrolink trams is available at Deansgate.
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