UK Train Prices

The Cost of Travelling on the Train in the UKThe Cost of Travelling on the Train in the UK

Most people in the UK think that travelling by train is an expensive way to get out and about. The following train ticket prices show how much an open return will cost you between two locations and also the total cost per mile. If you still think that train travel is expensive then you should compare it to the cost of running your car.

In some cases train travel is far cheaper (especially if you have an expensive car), but sometimes it can end up costing you more, especially if you include bus or taxi rides at the other end. The train ticket price also vary a great deal depending on whether you pre-book (on the internet), or just turn up on the day. With petrol prices increasing, pre-booked train tickets are almost always cheaper than travelling by car!

All train travel prices are for open return tickets and the milage stated is the distance a car would have to travel from one town/city centre to the other and back again

UK Train Prices: Disclaimer
Location of First Train Station Location of Second Train station Pre-booked Train Ticket price Standard Open Return Train distance (miles) Train Cost per mile
London Newcastle £19.50 £55 350 5.5p/16p
Bristol Coventry £35 £52 210 17p/26p
Edinburgh Glasgow £11 £11 94 11p
Cardiff Brighton £55 £130 396 13p/32p
Lands End (Tenby) Jon-o-Groats (Thurso) £167 £269 1348 12p/20p

Train Travel in the UK

As you can see taking the train costs around 10-30p per mile, and you will make huge savings by pre-booking online. The cost of car travel is probably around 20-40p per mile in total, so there is the potential for making some savings when travelling by train. And of course train travel does have other benefits.

"This is highly selective nonsesne, try getting from, say, Kingston in Surrey to Glasgow, the very cheapest fare, booking on the internet dix weeks in advance, is 147 Sterling ONE-WAY!!"

John Wood

"And what about Parking at the station, this narrow mided review forgot that people have to get to the station... add 9.50 to park "


"The car works out a lot cheaper for my family i shudder at the thought of buying four lots of tickets! I'm driving!"


"trains are too expensice, arw what do you mean when you say germany has got it right, I would just like to know out of interest"


"Haha the pro-car lot are at it again they forget that you have to buy the car in the first place, drive the thing, fuel it, maintain it, tax it, insure it, MOT it, park it....."


"I cant save penny either, it is much much better to have a car, there just isn't a comparison unless you are going huge distances by yourself! The petrol for driving to Notts and back from Birmingham would cost me £10 whereas the train, bus to the station and bus to friends house would cost me around £25 there and back, plus it would be inconvenient. So why would I get the train?!!! Germany has the railways right, we are an embarrassment to the world of transport and I will always push for public transport to be ignored until it stops ignoring the ordinary non wealthy people."




"This information is rubbish. You have taken the special offers available and used them to work out a cost per mile. I can get from Peterborough to Shrewsbury for £15 in fuel add the cost of running the car and it works out to about £27. The rail company wants £42. And that is pre-booked. Rail is expensive, and inconvenient, oh, and un-reliable."


"I\'ve been trying to pre-book train tickets for mid may and I can\'t save a penny. All the websites give the same fare despite offering different discounts"

unconvinced traveller

"My wife and I are are senior citizens and want to visit her sister in Glasgow the standard rail fare is quoted as over £400 return. We are going by national express for a cost of £53 return for two the £350 saving is well worth the longer journey. rip off rail travel. "


"I wanna know the price from Beverley to Dover HELP !!!"

rob pattinson

"I have never read so much nonsense in my life. I costed a journey from darlington to Birmingham International well in advance on the internet for 4 people to the focus photography event, the cost? £512 pounds, total cost of diesel for the trip in my 1.4 tdci? £30. do the math, the cost of train travel in this country is a disgrace, they are simply milking the people that have to use them because of business travel for all they can get."

Andrew Breckill

"You can't possibly say that train companies can justify charging £250 for an open return from Warrington to London by calculating the miles. Trains can fit hundreds of people on, so the cost of running a train is far less than what they charge. You should calculate how many people get on the train, how much they each paid, then you'll get a true cost per mile. Then work out how much it would cost if they all drove 5 people to a car. Think you'll find that it is massively cheaper for everyone in the UK to drive than it is to get the train. Fact is, train companies are privately owned companies all out for maximum profit, the government gave up the right to have a say. Look at it this way, we're in a recession, banks are going under, shops, businesses, people are losing their homes etc, have the rail companies mentioned their need for cash? No because they're raking it in."


"The above is absolute rubbish! Yes you can pre-book tickets but for any number of reasons they are normally not available unless you travel at a certain time and come back at a certain time! Can anyone possibly explain why it cost £127 return to travel from Bristol to London? ABSOLUTE DISGRACE! Dont know about anyone else but the price we pay in this country for train travel is an absolute ripoff... The same journeys in France (distance wise) are less than a quarter in price, they are almost never cancelled or dealyed and if they are you get a FULL refund on the price of your ticket and you are still allowed to travel! For Gods sake, Britain invented the railway, you would think we could at least run one professionally instead of holding the passengers to randsom or some would say legalised extortion!"

Stuart McLoughlin

"wow does any 1 no how much a child return train tiket from preston 2 bpool is please"

kyle finch

"hiya my name is yasmondo how much is it from cardiff to barry? a child return please in the summer time thanks you should have barry on here as well not everyone wants to go to brighton x"


"A standard open return from London to Newcastle is £124, which is 35p per mile."


"Train prices in the UK are alarmingly expensive. Considering the government offers huge subsidies it's very disappointing rail travel isn't cheaper. Just another reason why Britain is becoming a rip-off island. "


"I have to do a regular commute from Leicester to Hull and my first thought was to get a train, do the journey in comfort i thought, and avoid the traffic. Well it would cost me £40 return and take 3 1/2 hours. The car costs me £25 at most and takes just over two hours, its just no contest really. I would love to take the train but its just insane to pay that sort of money when it takes longer as well"

nationalise the railways

"Hi Bracknell I understand your frustration, but i would recommend trying to book the tickets online. i have had a quick look on and found 1 day returns for around £50.50. Also by carefully choosing the ticket I could get the price to be as low as £15, this was for a train that leaves at 10am onthe 22nd December and returns at 5pm, without a railcard. To understand the true cost of traveling by car take a look at Petrol is around 10p a mile, servicing and wear and tear costs and additional 3.5p a mile, and depreciation is a further 7p a mile (I am ignoring insurance and tax). This takes us to around 20p per mile and the cost of your journey by car to £47, which is comparible to the train journey with the more expensive return, and far more expensive than the cheap 1 day return I could find. However I do agree that these prices are out of date, and hopefully we will get to publishing new sample prices soon. In the mean time shop around on the web and you might be suprised at what bargains you can find! Course, why should we have to shop around and try to find the best ticket, the train pricing structure is stupidly complicated and means a lot of people get ripped off on those last minute journeys.... "


"These prices are seriously out of date. I love the trains and would take the train everywhere if I could because it is so less stressful than driving. I want to go from Bracknell to Leicester for one day shopping 4 weeks from now. The best return ticket I can get is £101 per person so that's £202 for me and my girlfriend. For some stupid reason it's only £30 to buy a single so I could mess about buying 4 singles (I assume this makes their ticket sales look better which is why they encourage it) but that's still £120 for two people to Leicester. I've driven the trip a lot and I know it's about 115 miles each way, my car does 350 miles on a £45 tank so that's 2/3 a tank or £30. Don't try to say that I should consider insurance or road tax because I will still be paying those even if I take the train, the only relevant cost is the petrol and possibly depreciation caused by the extra milage on the car but that's complicated and negligable. Anyway, the basic point is that it's £120 by train or £30 by car. Rediculous. Maybe this explains why the train companies make the reported £10'000'000 PROFIT a week."

Frustrated from Bracknell

"Of course you are correct in stating this but if you put 5 people in a car and share the cost suddenly a car is much cheaper. Although u can get family tickets these are restrictive and dont suit non family groups. Also prebooked tickets often mean u have to arrive at a certain time so are useless to people with other commitments I wish train prices were always the same and did not favour the boring and predictable of this world!"