Rail passengers were left angry last night as it was revealed that fares could rise by more 10 per cent next year, the Daily Express reported.
Next year's fare increases is based on July's Retail Price Index, which will be announced on Tuesday and is expected to show inflation at around 2.5 per cent.
The Government is allowing train companies to increase the average season ticket fare by RPI plus three per cent for the next two years, meaning an average rise of 5.5 per cent.
On top of this they can increase season ticket prices by another five per cent if this is balanced by lower increases elsewhere.
This would mean rail fares could be 10 per cent higher or more, which would see commuters pay an extra £400 for an annual season ticket.
Unregulated fares, like advance and long distance anytime tickets, could rise even higher.
Manuel Cortes, leader of the TSSA rail union, said that Transport Secretary Justine Greening 'seems determined to turn her predecessor Philip Hammond's flippant remark about rail now being a rich man's toy into firm reality'.
He said: 'Passengers already pay 60 per cent of all rail funding through the fares box and now they are being forced to pay even more. Motorists don't fund new roads and air passengers don't fund new airports. Why are rail passengers being singled out?'
Anthony Smith, of the Passenger Focus watchdog, said: 'With the economy flat-lining and passengers' belts being further tightened, we would urge the Government to accept that these are exceptional times and repeat last year's capping of fares at RPI plus one per cent.
'We also want them to reduce the flexibility train companies have to increase certain routes by more than the overall average.'
Fare prices rising by 5.5 per cent would see commuters from Northampton to London pay an extra £261, taking the total above £5,000.
A season ticket holder from Reading to London would pay £4,180 instead of the current £4,009.
For commuters from Edinburgh to Glasgow, the price would change from £3,380 to £3.718.
Passengers travelling to London from Canterbury could pay an extra £475 if the rise is 10 per cent.
Justine Greening is trying to persuade the Treasury to limit the 2013 rise to RPI plus one per cent, as she did last year, but it is believed a similar move is unlikely.
The Department for Transport responded by saying the formula for fares was set out last year. It said: 'It is a rise of RPI plus one per cent this year and RPI plus three per cent in 2013 and 2014 before returning to RPI plus one per cent.'
Want to catch a train elsewhere? Check out our favourite rail journeys...
Great railway journeys
Rail passenger anger as fares could rise by more than 10 per cent
Reaching heights of 3000 feet and going 100 miles the other side of the Arctic circle, this trip links Stockholm and Kiruna, in Norway. Highlights include the longest fjord in the world, Sognefjord, which is 126 miles long and 4000 feet deep. Come in the summer, and you'll experience the meaning of the term, 'land of the midnight sun'. Visit greatrail.com for more info.
There's no doubt that this is the most luxurious way to cross India. A steam engine drags the train out of Delhi for a week-long trip to the royal estate at Rajasthan. Along the way there's canoodling with elephants in the pink city, Jaipur, a camel safari in the desert at Jaisalmer and a tour of Agra's extraordinary Taj Mahal. Visit thepalaceonwheels.net for more.
Beginning in Cuzco (one of South America's most enchanting cities) and winding its way along the path of the Urubamba River, Peru's famous railway line takes in colossal Andean mountains, Inca ruins and llamas galore. And that's before you get to the unbelievable lost city of Macchu Picchu. For more info, visit machupicchutrain.com for info.
Great Rail Journeys offers berths on arguably the greatest passenger train on the planet, the Golden Eagle, for an astounding ride covering 11 time zones. This epic journey begins in Warsaw and ends 8,000 miles away in Vladivostock. Along the way there's a chance to go ice fishing in the world's biggest lake, Baikal, take a troika carriage in Suzdal, lunch out in a traditional Mongolian 'yurt' tent and gape at the golden domes of Yaketerinburg.
The Orient Express is a byword for luxury travel. Traditionally it served Paris and Istanbul, but that's no longer the case. These days it runs between Strasbourg and Vienna, so you'll have to improvise. Four journeys- Paris-Strasbourg, Strasbourg-Vienna, Vienna-Belgrade and Belgrade-Istanbul- will suffice, taking you from the heartland of Western Europe to the gateway of Asia. Truly a journey worth undertaking, 127 years since its maiden passage.
This railway has been in operation since 1893, giving spectacular views of one of Switzerland's most beautiful regions. It climbs from Interlaken to a height of 11332 feet at Jangfraujoch Station. A phenomenal feat of engineering allows the train to enter through the middle of Eiger mountain. From the top you can see as far as the Black Forest in Germany- this is the so-called 'Roof of Europe' after all. Inside the glacier is Ice Palace, an exhibition of ice sculptures. The cost of a return fare is steep - fares are over hundred quid - but well worth it. Visit jungfrau.ch for more.
The Blue Train offers a luxury service crossing South Africa. It takes in Victoria Falls, the haunting barren landscape of the Great Karoo and the incredibly seaside city of Cape Town. And along the way you'll be glued to the window hoping to spot elephants, lions and other wonderful animals in their wild habitat. Visit bluetrain.co/za for more.
If you want a taste of real speed try a ride on Japan's Shinkansens. The latest model of these bullet trains reaches speeds of 186mph. This means you reach Osaka from Tokyo (515 km away) in a mind-boggling two hours and 25 minutes. You can take a Shinkansen all the way across Japan, from Kagoshima in the south-west to Hachinoche in the north-east. Just be sure not to blink. Visit seat61/japan for more.
Beginning in Tangier (the sleazy port which inspired the likes of Paul Bowles, William H. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac) the train stops at the delightful medieval town of Asilah . Then it heads inland from the modern metropolis of Casablanca, home to the stupendous Hassan II Mosque. The closer to Marrakech one gets, the land becomes pinker and barer, until the foothills of the Atlas Mountains- where the magnificent city itself appears in all its glorious weirdness. Visit greatrail.com for more.
This engineering triumph – which cost $90 million and took 90 years to complete – crosses the guava-spotted deserts and canyons of northern Mexico, linking the Pacific Coast and Chihuahua City by way of 87 tunnels and 36 bridges. The Copper Canyon itself features two climactic zones, so sub-tropical forests give way to a cool alpine climate with oaks and pines. for Visit mexicoscoppercanyon.com for more info.
Don't listen to what anyone else says; from Switzerland to Siberia, by bullet train or steam engine, it's still the best way to travel.