We all suffer from the ridiculous train fares and appreciate it’s probably one of the big reasons that you’re put off of coming to live events. So using our experience we’ve put together a range of tips that can help you make train travel more affordable. All of this might be obvious to you, but hopefully there’s something in here that’s helpful. If we’re missing something, please share it and we’ll update this post.

Railcards

You probably already know the score with this, but you can get a third off of fares by getting a 16-25 Railcard. If you don’t already have one it’s probably worth it if:

  • You travel on the train often, you’ll soon make your money back
  • If you’re traveling far and the discount for that one trip equals more than the price of a Railcard

They cost £30 for 1 year, £70 for 3 years – you can buy online here or go to the station and buy one at the ticket office (you can only get the 1 year Railcard in person and remember to take a photo!)

Group buy

This is useful if there’s a group of you planning on heading to an event from the same station.

If you buy between 3 and 9 tickets together you get a third off of the fare, a few things to consider with this:

  • You must travel together, you’ll have to go on the same train from the same station
  • You can’t use this and your Railcard, so probably only saves you money if one or two of you don’t have one

Cheapest fare finder tool

No surprises this can be pretty much impossible to find on the National Rail website, so keep this one bookmarked. This tool searches all the train companies to find the cheapest fares within set day/time range, what’s great about this is it also find “Internet Advance” fares which you can only usually find on each individual train companies website.

A few things to note with this:

  • If you select “All Day” or a late time just be mindful of what time the train arrives, sometimes it thinks you’re happy to sleep in the station and picks a early morning train for the next day
  • Because it only shows the absolute cheapest fare within your defined range it’s worth trying different time ranges, if you select “All Day” there might be a 5am train that costs £5 but won’t display a £10 fare later in the day which would be more reasonable.

You can access the tool here.

Split ticketing

This is clever way of finding cheaper fares by calculating whether it would be cheaper to buy individual tickets to stations along your route opposed to just buying a ticket from station A to B, usually these tools calculate it so you end up on the same trains if you bought a ticket from A to B so you don’t have to get off at any additional stops.

It’s a completely legit way to buy tickets, you can check out this BBC article on how it works. Though a couple of things to note:

  • It’s not always cheaper, so compare it to the standard fare
  • We’d only advise it if you’re a confident traveler, if a train gets cancelled or delayed then you might have to work out how it affects your journey and whether all your tickets are still valid

You can use Splitticking or Splitmyfare to calculate and purchase the tickets.  

Travelling to NUEL Live

Hopefully this has helped and saves you some money when travelling to NUEL Live. When booking your tickets you want to go to the station named “University (Birmingham)” which as the name suggests is the station on the University of Birmingham campus. The venue is around a 5-10min walk, just simply follow the clock tower and you’ll find it!

Look forward to seeing you all there. (If you’ve not got your tickets yet then go grab them from here).