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Durham to London train prices -ouch!

(17 Posts)
birdofthenorth Fri 12-Oct-12 15:04:59

We are going to London for a few days over new year, by car from Manchester via Center Parcs Sherwood Forrest smile

We have invited the ILs to London too and DH suggested we Should buy their train tickets and if we do it now it might be cheap to go first class. I've just checked three websites though and for them both to go standard class is £234! Or close to £400 for first class. They are both over 60 but even if we bought them senior railcards (£56 for the two of them) standards class travel would only come down to £154, so £210 in total.

I am shocked - we use the West Coast Mainline and it costs nothing like this much unless you just stroll not a train without booking in advance.

Am I doing something wrong or is it just an expensive line? Any tips on finding cheaper fairs (I tried Trainline, Virgin, Red Button -all the same).

Or is it just the time of year?
They need to travel on 30 or 31st Dec and return a few days later.

Will it get cheaper or more expensive if I wait a bit longer?

Please help, literally cannot afford these tickets!

OatyBeatie Fri 12-Oct-12 15:15:16

It will be because of the time of year I should think. Normally advance booking makes it much cheaper than that. I thik usually it gets more expensive not cheaper, but because it is at such a special time of year it might be worth contacting a real human via the site, to see what their plans are.

sashh Sat 13-Oct-12 08:02:43

Does either of them have a disability? If so you can get a disabed railcard and they will both be able to travel on the one card and get 1/3 off both fares.

So DRC = £20

2/3 of rail fare =£156 standard and £266 first class.

Although, depending on the neares airport, it might be cheaper for them to fly.

MirandaWest Sat 13-Oct-12 08:09:30

If you book East Coast tickets using the East coast website it is 10% cheaper I think.

fuckwittery Sat 13-Oct-12 08:13:47

Ouch! It's the dates. I just tried a return Durham to London 30 Nov - 2 Dec and it was £65 return.

fuckwittery Sat 13-Oct-12 08:17:14

Oh, and it will only get more expensive! Its cheaper the further away you book. Is there any chance you can change dates. The other trick that sometimes saves money is to split the ticket half way i.e. a ticket durham to say newark, then newark to london, but as this is a major route that doesn't usually involve any changes I suspect that won't work.

PotteringAlong Sat 13-Oct-12 08:19:09

If you can get to Sunderland you can often get cheaper tickets Sunderland-London on grand central trains

Doodlekitty Sat 13-Oct-12 08:23:24

As daft as it sounds the dates may be too far away for the discounted rate. We went from Durham to London first class as part of our honeymoon last August. I think I booked the tickets 2 months in advance because if I booked them any earlier they were full price.
I worked this out (sad money saver that I am) by going through the website and trying the same tickets on the same day of the week every week between now and when I was travelling, noting when the price went up and checking that date a week later, voila, it was the reduced price.

I could be wrong with it being festive season though

BoringSchoolChoiceNickname Sat 13-Oct-12 08:29:56

Try splitting the journey - if you buy the tickets in two or more legs then you can often save a load. worth a try.

Bunbaker Sat 13-Oct-12 13:20:30

What about National Express or Megabus?

BikeRunSki Sat 13-Oct-12 13:25:27

It's the time of year. Discounts are usually applied about 3 months in advance. Try singles, split at Doncaster.

BikeRunSki Sat 13-Oct-12 13:26:40

Have you looked at flying from Teesside?

DontmindifIdo Sat 13-Oct-12 13:28:30

It's often cheaper to fly.

SavoyCabbage Sat 13-Oct-12 13:30:59

Try booking a longer journey eg from Newcastle or Edinburgh. It's sounds ridiculous but when I was doing Newcastle to London for work it was often cheaper to get a ticket from Edinburgh.

fuckwittery Sat 13-Oct-12 17:11:12

Grand Central has got good prices, Hartlepool to Kings Cross, if your parents could get driven there or find somewhere to park. Your mum & dad would need to be careful about where they parked the car in Hartlepool though! Grand Central also goes from Sunderland if that's easier to get to.
£41 return, gets into Kings Cross at 21.44 on 30 Dec and return on 2 Jan leaves Kings Cross 11.21am. First class is £76.
And its £10 to get the train from Durham to Hartlepool, although it takes an hour and a half mins. £7, 1 hr train Durham to Sunderland.
can't believe the difference in price!

MirandaWest Sat 13-Oct-12 20:11:37

There's grand central trains from York too, thinking about it

birdofthenorth Mon 15-Oct-12 14:37:24

Thanks v much all, especially Pottering -found Sunderland to London tickets on the other line for £68 each in First Class! What a difference. Apparently they can catch a bus to Sunderland easily from their village, too, whereas Durham is closer but a taxi ride. Hurrah!

Now more glad than ever that First don't have their hands on the Westcoast Mainline (for now!)

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