Wednesday, 26 May 2010

How I Intend to Cheat the Railways (Warning - Not very PC)

There's an old Irish joke that goes: 
Paddy: "I've done it at last, I've cheated the Railways" 
Mick: "Well, how did you do that then, Paddy?"
Paddy:" I'm going to Dublin and I've bought a return ticket"
Mick: "But, Paddy, that's not cheating the railways"
Paddy: "Ah, to be sure so it is - I'm not coming back!
(Apologies to any Irish readers - in my defence I am Welsh myself)
Rail fares have got a lot more complicated since then, and a lot more expensive so taking advantage of the system and finding a cheaper fare is now a challenge for me for anything other than local journeys. I've been invited to help Bernard take his narrowboat "Sunshine" from Foxton to Banbury next week (with a call at the Crick Boat Show). Foxton is easily reached by bus from Market Harborough but Hereford to Market Harborough by train involves a roundabout route via Birmingham and Leicester with a change of train at each and as I'm not coming back from there I'd be buying a single (always the worst deal) at a cost of £35.

Market Harborough, however, is on the X7 bus route from Northampton and Hereford to Northampton, which involves only one change of train,  can be done on a West Midlands Day Ranger Ticket (yes, on the railways Northampton is in the west Midlands) for £16.80. Even better - next week London Midland Trains has a special offer allowing a return journey between all stations on their network for only a tenner! So, I'm buying a return to Northampton which, with a few quid for the bus will get me to Market Harborough for less than half the "official" price - although, of course, that is all it would cost on most European railway systems anyway.

Normal people just drive....


Halfie said...

No, it's much more fun going by train, especially when you can "beat" the system! Don't forget to check the first class options, sometimes they're actually cheaper than "standard". We travelled from London to Penzance a couple of years ago first class as it was cheaper!

Starcross said...

Ah!, but I live in Hereford and all our trains (except for two or three a day to London) are second-class only!

An English Shepherd said...

Now thats clever planning :-)