The Anonymous Widower

An Advance Single From London To York For £32.90 Bought An Hour Before The Train Left

I went to York and Manchester yesterday.

I had been planning to do this trip for a week or so, but as I have lots of other things to do, I didn’t want to decide on a date.

So on Monday, I went to King’s Cross and investigated how much a London to York single ticket would cost.

I was surprised to find, that if I bought it last minute from a ticket machine with a Senior Railcard, that travelling about eleven in the morning I could get a ticket for £55 on the 11:06, which is a service that terminates at York, but is a few minutes slower.

Everything was clear for a trip yesterday and just after ten, I turned up at King’s Cross.

The machine offered me tickets at £81.90 on the 10:30 and 11:00 services, but I was able to get a ticket for £32.90 on the 11:06.

I was also able to ask for and get a forward-facing window seat with a table.

It looks like LNER are trying to sell as many seats as possible and they have developed, an algorithm that does this.

If I look at buying a ticket for today on the 11:06 on the Internet, I’m offered the following prices.

  • Advance Single – £32.90
  • Super Off-Peak Single – £81.90
  • Anytime Single – £94.35

There is even a First Class Advance Single at £45.90.


It pays to do your research.

It looks like a one-way journey by an electric car would take four hours and cost around £20.

August 10, 2022 - Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , ,


  1. I also found with LNER that it was also cheaper to book a through ticket to Redhill from Edinburgh than split it between Thameslink and LNER. Cost £3.90 more rather than 18.60 if i’d try to buy KX to Redhill leg from Thameslink.

    The reality is if you know your way round the ticketing options you can find reasonable deals if you steer clear of the peak days and times and the operators and DfT should make more of this to help drive up revenue..

    EMR also have good deals early mid week after 1100 from STP.

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | August 11, 2022 | Reply

  2. I use which is not infallible but generally provides cheaper tickets than what you’d get from the train operators. It makes optimum use of cheap off-peak tickets, splitting a journey into smaller chunks It’s currently offering £27.65 on the 13.06, splitting at Stevenage and Peterborough. As Nicholas says, steer clear of peak times, especially in and out of London.

    GBR is supposed to be simplifying ticketing nationwide – but who knows when that will be.

    I don’t know whether all operators now allow last-minute cheap rates, but CrossCountry certainly does.

    How are you calculating the EV price? If you charge from PV at home and an EV with sufficient range, the cost will be precisely £0.00. It’s hard to see how any form of public transport can compete with this. OTOH, if you don’t own an EV and have to hire one for the day, the cost will be more.

    Comment by Peter Robins | August 11, 2022 | Reply

    • PS I always avoid ticket machines – they rarely provide the cheapest tickets, and provide very little information. They compare woefully with the machines common in continental countries, which give you different options for when you want to travel, explaining where you have to change and what different options cost.

      Comment by Peter Robins | August 11, 2022 | Reply

    • It was a rough calculation found by Google.

      Comment by AnonW | August 11, 2022 | Reply

  3. I share your cynicism about ticket machines, but LNER seem to have got it right here, as they told me the price on the next three trains. By crossing the 11:06, I saved nearly £50.

    When digital signalling opens up extra paths on the East Coast Main Line, this probably means more services to each major station and this should drop prices! It’s a difficult sell for a booking office clerk, but if you see say five choices on a screen, it’s an easy choice.

    It could be arghued, that I saved £50 by waiting six minutes.

    Comment by AnonW | August 11, 2022 | Reply

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