Have you seen this new way to save money on train tickets?

Miss Thrifty11 June 16, 2014

split-ticket on trains

Have you heard of split-ticketing? This is when you purchase multiple tickets to cover various “stages” of a  journey, instead of a single ticket for a single journey. Train travel can be eyewateringly expensive so, if you know what you are doing, split-ticketing can save some serious cash.

Here is one example of split-ticketing in practice. You need to travel from Macclesfield to Southampton, leaving at 0730. A return ticket for the 0730 train will set you back £215 (ouch). However if you travel on the same trains, but “split” your fare across five separate tickets, you can save £113.50 on the journey:

Macclesfield -> Stafford (£16.50, Anytime Return)

Stafford -> Coventry (£15.00, Anytime Return)

Coventry -> Leamington Spa (£9.20, 2 x Anytime Day Singles)

Leamington Spa -> Oxford (£18.00, Off-Peak Return)

Oxford -> Southampton Central (£40.80, Off-Peak Return)

TOTAL: £101.50 instead of £215.

Split-ticketing isn’t new. As you may have surmised from the detailed journey above, however, the challenge has been working out how best to split tickets – particularly when you are travelling cross-country.


(Excuse the railway-related pun. I couldn’t resist)

A clever computer programmer called Matthew Somerville has just launched a new website called Split Ticket, which does all the hard work for you. It is as simple as this to use…

Enter your journey details:

train travel split ticket


how to split train tickets

Find the Split Ticket website here.

Important points to note, if you split-ticket:

  1. Make sure the train you catch actually stops at the station where you will be “switching” from one ticket to the other. If the train doesn’t stop there, your ticket isn’t valid.
  2. Railcards aren’t included, so if you have a regional or train company-specific railcard (such as the Network Railcard I have for travel between Essex and London) you may wish to look into splitting your journey at the point where the railcard becomes valid.
  3. If your train travel times are flexible, try searching for journeys based on different departure times, for a variety of results.
  4. Double check your tickets to ensure that any travel restrictions, such as no travel until after 0930, are compatible with your planned journey times. (I do this with train tickets as a matter of course, having been stung in the past.)
  5. The site has only just launched and is still in beta mode. In other words, it is box fresh and isn’t expected to be perfect at this stage. Right now, for example, there is a glitch if you want to travel via Hereford. So if you try out the site and have any feedback, do let the website’s creator know. You can find Matthew on Twitter.

By the way, if you like to cock a snoop at the train companies and their KER-AZY prices, do check out my how-to on getting a free upgrade to first class.

[Split Ticket – Accessible UK Train Timetables]

Image credit: Steve Jones.

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11 Responses to “Have you seen this new way to save money on train tickets?

Amandah says:

Indeed I have known of this little money saving gem for a few yrs now, courtesy of the one & only Mr Martin Money saving Lewis.
Luckyily I’ve never had to use it as we always drive down to Brighton to see my sister & the children.
But hey, one day I may very well have to use this method if I travel further afield.
But my god, £215, for a UK train journey????!!!!!!!!!!!!!

June 16, 2014 at 4:55 pm

Amber says:

That is such a great idea. I spent way too much on a train journey in the UK and will not do it again!

June 17, 2014 at 11:07 am

Vicky C says:

This is excellent news! Split ticketing is the kind of thing I always think I should do but the effort seems too great. Fab post x

June 17, 2014 at 8:54 pm

Ricky Willis says:

I love this. It’s amazing how much savings you can make just by splitting the journey. I used to travel from Tunbridge Wells to Southampton every other week and the direct ticket price was around £50. By splitting the ticket and taking a slightly different route, the price came down to less than £20!!

June 18, 2014 at 7:49 am

Louisa says:

Yes to splitting tickets! I always check our journeys online both for advance trips and on the day trips – only last month we managed to get two returns from Bristol to Edinburgh in August down from £234 to £96 (which we then paid for with Tesco Clubcard vouchers) 🙂 x

June 20, 2014 at 5:07 pm

Jeremy says:

Splitting tickets is awesome! I’ve saved lots of money doing this and I would do it again should I ever need more travelling in the future. More people should learn how to do this! Thanks for sharing this!

June 23, 2014 at 8:46 am

This sounds like a great money saver, but does it typically take a lot more time to travel this way? Can you split tickets and remain on the same train, or do you always have to switch trains? It seems that this strategy works best when time isn’t a major concern.

June 25, 2014 at 9:03 pm

Amanda says:

Wow this is amazing, I wish I had found this website last week, wanted to get a train into London From Aldershot to go for dinner and decided that The cost was way to much for an hours journey and decided to drive instead. Definitely going to check the site out, thanks for sharing.

June 27, 2014 at 11:01 am

Michelle says:

I will have to keep this in mind when we travel overseas.

July 8, 2014 at 2:04 am

Miss Tulip says:

What an amazing idea! Really hope his website is successful. Sometime ticket masters are helpful and advise how to save money, other don’t
Miss Tulip x
The Thrifty Magpies Nest

July 8, 2014 at 3:53 pm

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