There’s been a lot in the news recently about so-called split-ticketing to get cheaper rail fares. That’s where instead of buying a single ticket between your starting point and destination, you split the journey into two, three or more sectors. Often it doesn’t even require you to change trains, but the savings can be enormous.
Until recently this approach meant you to do lots of separate searches to find the cheapest combination, but a new website has made that much easier. TrainSplit.com allows you to simply put in your start and end points and it goes through all of the combinations, offering you the cheapest and most convenient. So how does it work?
I looked at a trip from Bournemouth to Leamington Spa, which is a direct train leaving at 9.45am and arriving at 12.13pm. The cheapest single ticket I could find on the popular Trainline.com booking site was £42. But TrainSplit.com offered me exactly the same journey, but with three tickets – from Bournemouth to Basingstoke, Basingstoke to Oxford and Oxford to Leamington – for £32. Remember, you won’t have to leave the train!
Sometimes, TrainSplit will come up with some imaginative routes that can save you money. I looked at a single midweek fare from Yeovil to Gatwick Airport leaving at around 4pm. The cheapest single ticket I could find was £52, changing at Clapham Junction. But TrainSplit.com came up with an interesting alternative. For £31, I could travel via Woking and Guildford. That’s a saving of £21. The journey time was similar with the added advantage that I could avoid travelling on the infamous Southern Railways!
TrainSplit.com will allow you to book the tickets but, like many other booking sites, you’ll get charged a fee for this. Interestingly, they charge 10% of the saving you make, which seems reasonable. You also need to be a little careful if the tickets offered include a change of train. If the ticket isn’t flexible, and your first train is late in, causing you to miss a connection, you might have to buy a top-up or even a new ticket.
So before you book your next train trip, take a look at TrainSplit.com to see if you can get a better deal.