It’s a common dilemma. You’re considering using split ticketing to book your train journey but you are concerned changing trains during the journey will be a hassle. Fortunately, there are things you can do to ensure your train change happens as smoothly as possible. To find out what these are, read on.
Book far in advance where possible
Booking further in advance gives you more journey options and the chance to pick the optimum time for you to travel. It also increases the chances of you being able to choose a journey with a straightforward changeover.
Booking in advance provides other benefits such as potentially getting tickets that cost less too.
Check your journey details ahead of time
It might seem obvious but it is surprisingly easy to forget to check your train times and tickets properly before you travel.
When you check, firstly make sure you are aware of any train changes and which station you will be changing at. The next point to remember is to check the changeover times. Carefully take note of what time your first train should be arriving at the station and then when the next train you’re taking will depart.
Where possible you should also try to find out the platform numbers where your trains will be arriving and departing from in advance too.
Top tip: you might find that with some split tickets, you may not actually have to go to a different train, just go into a different seat on the same train. So stay vigilant!
Check for updates about your service
Generally speaking, once you have booked your tickets, your journey should be straightforward. However, there are many factors which can impact your journey. Engineering works, strikes and adverse weather conditions are all examples of reasons why a journey could be delayed, cancelled or rescheduled.
Therefore, it is recommended that you keep up-to-date with the news, stations and rail operators in case you are going to be faced with any of these issues.
Luckily in some cases, alternative transport may be provided. In other instances, usually when trains are significantly delayed you might be able to claim for a refund. Money Saving Expert say that in England, Scotland and Wales, you can potentially be compensated for any train journey delayed by 15 minutes or more or 30 minutes or more.
If your first train is delayed, making you miss the second one you have booked on your journey, you may be able to wait for the next train to that destination or take alternative transport and get a refund for that part of the journey. Different rail operators have different rules for this situation so if in doubt, check the train operators terms and conditions or speak to a member of staff at the train station.
If you’re travelling over a further distance or you are travelling to go on holiday, you might be bringing a suitcase or large weekend bag. However, travelling as lightly as possible is always the best option if you have a train change on your journey.
The less luggage you are carrying, the less you will need to lug around when you’re changing trains. This will help you to move through the station and transfer trains more speedily, decreasing the chances of you missing your next train. With less luggage there are also fewer things for you to worry about losing on your journey.
Have your tickets to hand
Make sure you have your tickets ready throughout your journey. This is a good practice to get into whether your journey has a changeover or not because there are multiple times where you may need to use or present your tickets.
It could be when you need to check journey information, when they get checked by train staff or if you need a ticket to pass through a barrier.
If you can quickly show your ticket without fumbling around through your pockets then it will definitely make your journey run more smoothly.