My top three train travelling tips

I have a fairly long commute into work, and was standing at the platform last night thinking about ways I’ve tried to make the journey less painful on me and my pocket.

First things first, and due to the near-anonymity here, I can come clean – I was a train-spotter in a former life. This was in my early school years, when the school was right alongside a railway line (I’ve still got my train-spotter’s book where you can cross off each train that you’ve seen).

Anyway, I digress. Here’s my top 3 tips:

  1. 16-25 railcard: I’m nerdily proud of still being able to use this, even though I’ll be hitting 27 in the next couple of months. If you buy the card just before you turn 26, you still get a full year’s use out of it. There are some serious savings to be made by using one of these, especially on long or regular journeys.
  2. Be a geek and log train departure platforms: Being on a schedule has its advantages – trains typically depart from the same platform for the same journey each week. I know, for example, that my 1830 train home departs from platform 9. As the train is always fully-occupied, getting a seat is a priority. So, I go through the barriers and onto the platform and train before it gets officially announced, thus securing a seat. Just be aware and listening out for announcements to double-check you’re on the right train!
  3. Split your tickets: Do research using our split ticket guide to work-out whether you can save money by splitting your journey into separate parts. Currently I’m saving around 15% by doing this on my journey into work, depending on whether certain advance tickets are available or not.

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