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Rail Europe

Rail Pass

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Getting Around

 Airport to Train Station; Stansted: All trains leave from Stansted Airport rail station and arrive in London Liverpool in 45 minutes; Gatwick: Gatwick Express has non-stop trains running to and from London Victoria station every 15 minutes. Takes 30 minutes. Gatwick South Terminal is also directly linked to the Brighton, Bedford, London Bridge, St Pancras International and Luton; Heathrow: Fast and frequent connections between Heathrow Airport and London Paddington station; Cardiff International: Direct train services between the Airport Station to Cardiff Central and Bridgend; Edinburgh: Regular bus services from the Airport to Edinburgh Haymarket and Edinburgh Waverley stations;  Glasgow: The railway station is a mile from the airport and can be reached by a bus which stops outside of the terminal building’; Glasgow Prestwick Glasgow airport rail station is beside the terminal, can be reached via covered walkway. Connects to the Glasgow Central Station

Getting To UK – There’s a more-or-less hourly Eurostar train from Paris to London via the Channel Tunnel, taking just 2 hours 15 minutes, centre to centre.

Travelling Within the UK -  Start with National Rail.  Here you can see the list of both direct rail operator and rail ticket booking providers and save on booking fees by booking direct.National Rail

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Tickets & Discounts


Anytime (fully-flexible) – Valid any time, any day, any train, any operator. It is aimed at business travellers and is expensive. You can break your journey in either direction.  Valid 1 month.  No advance booking necessary.  

Off-peak – Valid on any train, any operator, any day, any time except during the Monday-Friday business travel peaks. The exact time restriction varies by route. You must make the outward journey on the date shown on the ticket, but can return any day within 1 month.  No advance booking necessary, you can buy a ticket on the day and get on any train on which your ticket is valid without a reservation.

Advance = cheap, inflexible… – Cheap tickets, only valid on the train you’ve booked, no refunds, limited or no change of travel plans allowed. Limited number so book early to get the cheapest fare.

Split the journey – Where two tickets are cheaper than one, usually the exception. Splitting the journey if your first train starts as a peak train but becomes an off-peak train en route.   

Railcards – For under 26, over 60, travel as a family, or have a registered disability. One third cheaper than other fares. You can even buy a 3-year Railcard. Family & Friends Railcards for groups of up to 4 adults and 4 children (you don’t have to be related). A network railcard covers London & Southeast area, and it’s for anyone of any age. .Minimum fares and non peak travel restrictions apply so check before you buy.

London: Children under five can travel free at any time on the Tube, DLR, buses and trams as long as they are accompanied by an adult with a valid ticket. Under-11s can travel free at any time on buses and trams without the need for a Photocard. They can also travel free at any time on the Tube and DLR when they are travelling with an adult who has a valid ticket. Children aged 11 to 15 years must get an 11-15 Oyster photocard to travel free on buses and trams and at child-rate on Tube, DLR and London Overground services. You can get around the photocard requirement by purchasing a 1 day Travelcard for the child, (longer length Travelcards do require a photo card) or paying the cash fare. All 16 to 17-year-olds can travel at child-rate on bus, Tube, tram, DLR and London Overground services with a 16+ Oyster photocard.There are no special Senior’s fares on London’s public transport. Railcards for families travelling together, for those aged 16-25 years and for seniors which offers discounts on travel.

Up to two children under five years of age may accompany each fare-paying passenger free of charge. Children aged five to fifteen inclusive get a 50% discount on most tickets. In addition, up to two children under five can travel free with each fare paying passenger.

Family & Friends Railcard – up to 4 adults and 4 children can travel together on one card, Adults can save around one third and children’s tickets cost 60% less. Student – aged 16-25 or a full time student aged 26 or over? Save 1/3 off most standard class rail fares throughout Great Britain with a 16-25 Railcard. Business – Tickets (often First Class) are available for selected journeys that combine travel with features such as car parking, meals/refreshments, travel in London Underground Zone One and access to Wi-Fi on board. Three or four adults or children can travel for the price of two adults on various off-peak ticket types. Also additionally, up to four accompanying children pay £1.00 each. For the following rail companies;

GroupSave is offered by the following train companies: c2c, Chiltern Railways, East Midlands Trains, First Capital Connect, First Great Western, London Midland, National Express East Anglia, ScotRail, Southeaster, Southern and South West Trains.

BritRail’s offer senior travellers aged 60 years or older a 15% discount on First Class adult train fare on BritRail passes.

BritRail, FlexiPass and BritRail Consecutive Pass permits unlimited train travel in England, Scotland and Wales, while a BritRail England FlexiPass or BritRail. England Consecutive Pass only allows for train travel in England. In addition, grandkids between the ages of 5-15 travels free when accompanied with seniors.

Oyster Card holders receive lower fares for London’s public transport system

Onboard Stuff

Seats and Beds - Choice of 1st or 2nd class seating accommodation

Mini-Hotels on rails, operated by Scotrail;. Runs every night except Saturday, two Sleeper trains leave London’s Euston station for northern Scotland and Edinburgh/Glasgow. Sleeper services operate nightly and link London with most major business and holiday locations in Scotland and Southwest England and Cornwall. Cabin berths are available onboard Scotrail’s Caledonian Sleeper and First Great Western Night Riviera.

Baggage – Customers may take up to three items of personal luggage free of charge (two large items and one item of smaller hand luggage)

Bikes – space for bikes is available but in busier times it would be best to reserve space. Passengers may take small animals

Onboard Services e.g. Wi-Fi – On Virgin Trains Wi-Fi is free for first class members and there are a number of packages available for standard class passengers.

Station stuff – Eurostar Brussels to London; X-ray security check then Belgian passport control followed by UK passport control. London St Pancras has a left luggage office run by the Excess Baggage Company

The Small Print; You may need to reserve your seat in advance of your journey. All tickets can be brought online, collected at any major railway station or sent out to any UK address. Book well in advance for the cheapest. Most tickets can be refunded, less the administration cost