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Maydup | 21:09 Wed 27th Apr 2022 | Travel
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When's the best time to buy advance train tickets? I just checked train times and prices for Norwich to London in late June and the price was really high with no change for off-peak. It used to be cheapest to book 6 - 8 weeks ahead, has that changed post covid?


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Keep a serious eye out for deals, my daughter has travelled from Leeds to Nottingham today for £1.50 each way...she sent me a text with her ticket price as evidence!
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What was her deal and where did she get it?

On line, I believe, three days ago....
she travelled at about 11.30 from Leeds, one stop at Sheffield, no need to change.
"Advance tickets are normally released 12 weeks before the departure date of the train; however in some cases where services are affected by engineering work, they may be released a few weeks later than this"

From Norwich to London, fare splitting at Manningtree can often reduce the price you pay. Alternatively, travelling via Cambridge (using separate tickets) might be cheapest.

Dates and times, please?
Ultra-cheap tickets (where they exist at all), in the Great British Rail Sale, are only available up until 22 May:
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Thanks Chris, but have you even seen prices not change from peak to off peak after the morning rush?

Sorry, Maydup. That's a dead link. Let me know roughly when you want to travel, both out and back, and I'll take a look for myself. (I might then be able to provide some more information for you).
Question Author
Midweek say 28th June leaving Norwich at 8:30/9am. I normally choose the first off peak train and return whenever its cheapest - maybe around 7pm?

Thanks Chris

On 28 June the Anytime fare (£123.70 or £81.60 with a Railcard) applies to trains arriving into Liverpool Street before 1000, so that's all departures up until 0726. So the first Off-Peak service is at 0803, getting into LST at 1000, for £62.10 (or £40.95 with a Railcard). The first return service upon which an Off-Peak ticket is valid is at 1902, getting into Norwich at 2050.

However the total absence of Advance tickets shown for that date suggests that Greater Anglia hasn't released them yet. Trying the preceding Tuesdays in June finds loads of Advance tickets available on the 7th and the 14th but none at all on the 21st. That strongly suggests to me that Great Anglia are currently only offering Advance tickets for the EIGHT week period before travel (rather than the twelve weeks that they state on their website). Try again in a fortnight or so. Looking at the fares for Tuesdays earlier in the month suggests that you should then be able to find fares of £12.50 each way without a Railcard (or £8.25 each way with one) at the times that you want.
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That's great, thanks Chris. I've not seen it before where there are no advanced tickets. I was beginning to get worried that they'd put prices up really dramatically, and just after I had purchased tickets for the event I am going to!
since the pandemic, network rail has been taking advantage of the quieter network to undertake larger engineering projects, often at short notice. the result is that several train companies have been unable to adhere to the 12 week booking horizon and in some cases (Avanti on the West Coast are a classic example) cannot meet 6 weeks. travellers from Liverpool are still unable to buy advance tickets for the day of the FA Cup final - the cynical will say it's Avanti ripping off the traveller, but it's simply that NwR haven't confirmed to Avanti which trains they'll be able to run.

best thing to do is follow Greater Anglia on Twitter, / @greateranglia and set yourself up with a ticket release date alert.

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