Half price train tickets: how to get a discount on your train journey now

Get half price train tickets with the ‘Great British Rail Sale’ for travel in April and May

Woman looking at departure information
Half price train tickets
(Image credit: Getty images)

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps launches half price train tickets as part of the 'Great British Rail Sale'.

With rail fare prices at their highest since January 2013 and the cost of living denting household budgets, commuters feeling the pinch can now take advantage of half price train tickets from 27 April to 27 May for all off-peak travel. 

Dubbed the ‘Great British Rail Sale’, over one million half price train tickets are available for UK trips between 25 April until 27 May. The tickets can be booked now, up until 2 May 2022. 

The sale was announced by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps this week in a bid to help families cut costs following record rail fare increases earlier this year, which saw ticket prices go up by 3.8%. 

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Here’s everything you need to know about getting half price train tickets.

Half price train tickets: how much can I save?

Savings on offer for off-peak tickets include:

  • York to Leeds: was £5.60, now £2.80
  • London to Edinburgh: was £44, now £22
  • London to Cardiff: was £47, now £25
  • Wolverhampton to Liverpool: was £10.50, now £5.25
  • Manchester to Newcastle: was £20.60, now £10.30
  • Birmingham New Street to Bristol Temple Meads: was £25.30, now £12.60
  • Portsmouth Harbour to Penzance was £45.70, now £22.00

In most cases, you can get up to 50% off on specific ‘Advance’ or ‘Off Peak’ train tickets.

With ‘Advance’ fares, this means booking at least one day in advance, and tickets must be for a specific train and on a fixed date.

And with ‘Off Peak’ tickets, travel times are restricted, so for example you can’t use them during the rush hour.

HOW TO BOOK HALF PRICE TRAIN TICKETS

The rail sale discounts are only available online, so you can’t nab one of the half price train tickets by bowling up at your local station.   

You can book these discounted tickets from now until 2 May for trips between 25 April until 27 May; they’re available on both standard and first class and on a ‘first come, first served’ basis.

Start by checking out the discounts that are available for the trip you want. 

You can then book tickets through individual train operators or sites like Trainline. Booking fees may apply. Trainline says it has highlighted all eligible journeys with a ‘sale’ sticker sign.

Sue Hayward
Sue Hayward

Sue Hayward is a personal finance and consumer journalist, broadcaster and author who regularly chats on TV and Radio on ways to get more power for your pound.  Sue’s written for a wide range of publications including the Guardian, i Paper, Good Housekeeping, Lovemoney and My Weekly. Cats, cheese and travel are Sue’s passions away from her desk!