Let’s say you start searching for a trip to Newcastle 2/3 weeks in advance. London to Newcastle return can cost upwards of £100, easy. And that’s with a 16-25 Railcard which gives you a with 1/3 off train fares. I’ve tried Trainsplit and have not been wowed. Train fares are crazy high and I refuse to be extorted just to visit my family for a weekend. So, here’s how I manage to play the system that tries to play me.
To pull this off you will need a railcard, 16-25 is what I have, and a digital rail platform of your choice, I like Trainline. After a basic journey search from London to Newcastle and a little play around with arrival/departure times, you could get tickets for like £80. That, friends, is not a bargain.
The real bargain starts in London stops in York and ends up in Newcastle for £50-£60. Sometimes you can even skip the York swap-a-roo. York is the game changer, the secret weapon, most importantly the money saver. It’s not strictly the half-way point between London and Newcastle but it has always worked for me to split the journey there to get cheaper tickets. London to York return usually costs £40- £50 and then York to Newcastle return can cost as little at £10. Even better, if you can align the train times, you don’t even have to physically get off the train at York (at most you’ll have to move seats). But ultimately, even if you have a short wait in York, it’s a small price to pay for a £40-£50 saving.