Saturday, 11 February 2017

Crazy pricing!

I had a great (and slightly crazy!) day out this week.  I'd always wanted to travel the East Coast Main Line north of York,  I think Michael Portillo's programmes have inspired me but I didn't want to get off the train: it was the countryside I wanted to see and besides, I rather like train travel.  My journey was (sort of) free but I decided to look at the pricing.

My nearest station to this line is Newark and usually I would drive to Newark and board there.  I wanted to travel first class because I need leg room and it is fun to eat at one's seat.  Meals are complimentary in first class on this line.  So I started to look at prices.

An open first class return ticket is £366 !  No way!!

So the first trick is to advance book.  The train I chose (which was the cheapest that day) was £45.50 each way.  

Next apply my Senior Citizen Railcard and the fare drops to £30.50 each way.  Suddenly the cost of my day out is looking much more reasonable at £61, less than 17% of the full fare.

But let's take it a step further.  Tesco vouchers can be swapped for Red Spotted Hanky vouchers.  £5 Tesco buys £10 Red Spotted Hanky.  My fare is now just £30.50!

What else can I trim?  As I said above I usually drive to Newark and pay £14 for a day's parking on top of the cost of the drive.  However, I have discovered that a connecting train from my local station is free if I have booked main line travel so I saved £14 plus the cost of the drive as someone drove me to the station in case I needed help boarding at our unmanned station

And it was a wonderful journey.  I had booked disabled assistance at Newark and Edinburgh so my transfers were easy.  I had a delicious breakfast, a tasty lunch and an unending supply of coffee, all included in my fare.

So my trip cost me just £30 in Tesco vouchers plus £2.50 for ticket postage and booking fee.  Not bad for a great day out.  

PS  Tesco vouchers can also be used to purchase a railcard.


  1. What a lovely treat! I hadn't realised that Tesco vouchers were so flexible. Jx

  2. Hope the weather was good so you could see the countryside. Sounds like a good day out

  3. Oh wow, I didn't know that but will be looking into it. I am longing to go to Loop in London but the train fare if dreadful. I may be able to do this for very little, more to spend on wool.

  4. What a good idea. Is your local station Barnetby? How is the kitchen coming along?

    1. No I went from Market Rasen. You'd be amazed at how much more expensive Barnetby was. New vinyl chosen for the kitchen but still no date. See you Friday.XX

  5. Brilliant use of research and vouchers. Always pays to search and plan. What a lovely trip.