Legitimate ways of cutting costs, particularly where Advance tickets are unavailable

Split ticketing


Buying more than one ticket for a journey. For example, if you are travelling from station A to station C it may be cheaper to purchase one ticket to intermediate station B and a second one from B to C. This arrangement will generally work best for day trips – see examples below.

Rules of the game

Your trains must stop at the ticket break point(s). You do not have to alight but the train must stop.

Any rules (e.g. time restrictions) must be followed for each individual ticket.

Booking Office staff are under no obligation to offer this arrangement but they are obliged to sell multiple tickets on request.


Exmouth to Bristol (weekdays), out and back same day. Buying one ticket to Taunton and a second one from there to Bristol will produce a saving.

Exmouth to Salisbury (weekdays off-peak), out and back the same day. Look at buying one ticket to Pinhoe and a second one from there to Sailsbury. Remember that trains must stop at Pinhoe for this arrangement to be valid.

Exmouth to Birmingham (weekdays), this can be very expensive if bought on the day and the first choice must be to try and find Advance tickets. However CrossCountry don’t make that easy, you generally won’t find Advance tickets available before 09:30 and from Birmingham you won’t find them for departures from around 15:30 to 18:15.

For an early start of journey look at Standard Day returns to Taunton, from Taunton to Bristol Parkway and from there to Cheltenham. Finally an Anytime return from Cheltenham to Birmingham. The total savings are substantial.

Bypassing time restrictions

No, nothing illegal is being suggested but consider this; does a time restriction cease to apply from a station further down the line. If so could you save money by buying more than one ticket, or get to your destination earlier than you might otherwise have done. As an example:

The CrossCountry 09:30 Off-peak restriction.

You are not allowed to travel on the 09:23 from Exmouth but the same train leaves Topsham at 09:35. So an off-peak return from Exmouth to Newcastle would not be valid on the 09:23, so if you really want to travel on that train you may be faced with a very expensive Anytime return fare. Answer, book Cheap Day singles to and from Topsham and the main ticket from Exeter to Newcastle. There might even be a case for booking to Tiverton and then from there to Newcastle, as that would allow off-peak and Advance fares to be purchased from Tiverton because the 09:24 from Exeter goes through the time barrier between there and Tiverton.

The above ticket information is provided on an E&OE basis.


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