The Great British Rail Sale – which does not include Welsh or Scottish operators – will be giving away a total of more than a million fares between 25 April and 27 May. We explain everything you need to know
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Train ticket prices will be reduced by up to half as part of a “Rail Sale” tariff announced today.
Brits traveling between Monday next week and May 27th can get lower fares to get people back on track.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps – who appears in a cheesy advert today in a North Face jacket in Edinburgh, beachwear in Cornwall and a hiking rucksack in the Lake District – also said it would help with the cost of living.
All major English operators have signed up, covering key cross-border services to Scotland and Wales.
However, Welsh and Scottish operators are not part of the deal – despite it being billed as the ‘Great British Rail Sale’.
More than a million discounted tickets go on sale this morning and officials say at least 800,000 will be on sale at half price.
Passengers can combine the retail price with Bahncards to buy tickets for a third of the original price.
It could bring some Manchester to Newcastle journeys to just over £10, while seating on some London to Edinburgh services will be cut from £44 to £22.
However, sleeper services are not included.
Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “We lived virtually for two years.
“It’s time to get real and visit our beautiful country.”
Almost 3,000 fewer trains run per day than before Covid. Leaked industry data seen by the Mirror shows there were 132,000 rail services in the week ending March 20.
That’s down 19,000 from 151,000 in the week ended February 23, 2020.
Rail transport is struggling with Covid outages and a funding crisis – as data shows only 72% of passengers are still traveling than before the pandemic.
A single from York to Leeds will fall from £5.60 to £2.80, London to Cardiff from £47 to £25 and Portsmouth Harbor to Penzance from £45.70 to £22, the DfT claimed.
Jacqueline Starr, Managing Director of Rail Delivery Group, added: “Customers will enjoy over a million discounted tickets, allowing them to explore some of the amazing places accessible by rail.”
Here’s everything you need to know about the plan:
How much will train tickets be reduced in price?
The Department for Transport (DfT) says more than a million tickets will be reduced in price by “up to” 50%.
Officials say at least 80% of the tickets included in the sale are offered at a 50% discount.
The others are offered at a “significant” discount, but we don’t know what that is, or the exact number of discounted tickets.
When can I travel?
The discounted tickets are sold for travel between April 25th and May 27th.
When do the discounted tickets go on sale?
Tickets go on sale today in a big bundle, first come, first served.
There is no exact start time as this varies by operator, but the intention is to have them all live by mid-morning.
No more batches will be released, so you’ll have to be quick to snag the tickets you want.
Where can I buy them?
Tickets are sold at www.nationalrail.co.uk/railsale.
The DfT says all retailers for its franchise operators and third-party retailers will offer the tickets.
Which routes offer the sale?
The DfT says all train operators contracted by the English government will take part in the sale.
These are: Southeastern, London North Eastern Railway, Avanti West Coast, Greater Anglia, South Western Railway, Great Western Railway, Northern, C2C, Chiltern, London Northwestern Railway, Cross Country, East Midlands Railway, West Midlands Railway, Southern, Thameslink, Great Northern, TransPennine Express.
Hull Trains and Grand Central are also part of the program.
However, Welsh and Scottish operators are not believed to be part of the ‘Great British’ railway sale.
Can I combine it with my Bahncard?
Yes, Bahncards – which usually offer a one-third discount – can be used in addition to the discounted fare.
That means Railcard holders could buy a ticket for a third of the original price by combining a Railcard with the sale.
Can I use it for a night train?
No, the sleep service is not included.
Which tickets are discounted?
Exact details vary by operator, but the sale applies to off-peak and pre-sale fares.
Who pays for all this?
Technically the operators but essentially it’s the government who have had to provide bailouts for services due to reduced Covid demand.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/rail-sale-makes-nearly-million-26736599 Rail sales TODAY make almost a million half-price tickets - how to find cheaper fares