UK Trains Are Depressing And Awful – Here Are Some Hacks To Make You Queen Of The Railway

Goddamn train journeys getting you down? Here are some tricks to ease the pain...


by Stevie Martin |
Published on

Fares have gone up, trains are always late, today's headlines aren't really news for anyone who has used a train, ever, but it doesn't have to be that way. Or rather, there are things you can do to lessen the pain of spending half a month's rent on a journey to your parents' house, finding the train is delayed by half an hour so you miss your connection and don't even get a seat in the first place. Apart from sucking it up and getting the megabus (do not do this unless it's absolutely necessary).

Get a Network Railcard (if you live in the south - sorry)

Firstly, if you're under 27 and you don't have a young person's railcard(yes, it's 16-25 but you can get it up until your 27th birthday for some weird reason) then you're a total idiot. Sorry, but tough love is necessary: why would you pay full fare if you can get consistently cheap tickets for £30 a year? Oh god it makes no sense. If you're no longer eligible for a young person's railcard (and yes, you'll remember the day you discovered this for the rest of your life, as it is one of the big milestones through which all of us must pass) and make a number of journeys in one area, you can get a Network Railcard which knocks off 30% off fares in the Network Rail area (i.e. the south-west of England). Perfect for London commuters and those in the surrounding areas.

Get on Train Line

Yeah TheTrain Line gives you pretty cheap fares, but there's this magic secret button that few know about called 'Click here to check if slower routes with cheaper tickets are available'. It involves inputting your desired train times as normal, hitting 'show prices', then clicking on the aforementioned link that appears at the bottom of the screen. Oh, and then revelling in the money you've saved while trying not to notice how much longer the journey has now become - because while it's cheaper, it'll probably involve four slow trains and a horse. Still, though: cheaper.

**Split your fare **

It'll take a bit more planning, but turning a direct route into a couple of different, and cheaper, journeys along exactly the same line can save a lot of money - especially if you're booking at the last minute because when you told your dad it was 'all sorted' you meant 'I'll sort it later fingers crossed I remember haha'. Basically, you pick stops that are fairly evenly spaced, and buy separate singles - the Ticketysplit app helps you figure this out more easily than working out all the fares using a spreadsheet and a calculator. Then just use the money you've saved to buy false moustaches so the ticket guy doesn't freak the fuck out.

**Force someone to travel with you **

There's a new railcard called Two Together, invented solely to make single people with no friends cry on trains. The good news is, if you're not single or you have friends/someone to travel with (or a sister who you regularly journey home with, for instance) then you can get 30% off your fare, provided you both take the same train. It's horribly twee if you get one with your boyfriend/girlfriend so please don't instagram it.

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Follow Stevie on Twitter: @5tevieM

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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