Buy Christmas train tickets now to save cash, rail passengers urged

Rail passengers planning to travel over the Christmas period are being urged to buy tickets now to save money.

A number of train operators are selling cheaper advanced tickets, which are quota controlled and can quickly sell out.

Europe's leading independent train ticket retailer, Trainline, revealed that its customers saved £21.8 million last year by purchasing advance return tickets for travel between December 16-31 rather than buying tickets on the day of travel, excluding booking fees.

A survey of 2,000 British adults commissioned by the company found that expense is a source of frustration over the festive period for 39% of people, followed by family arguments (22%) and traffic jams (21%).

More than half (53%) of people prefer to travel by train over Christmas as they find it relaxing, while 40% want to avoid congestion on the roads.

Almost one in four (24%) enjoy the option of catching up on sleep during the journey home, while 19% want the option of checking social media.

- Here are the top 10 most popular routes for passengers who booked advance return tickets with Trainline for festive travel last year. The time saved travelling one way by train instead of car, according to Trainline - including 30 minutes' waiting time at train stations - is in brackets.

1. Manchester Piccadilly to London Euston (one hour and 16 minutes)

2. London Euston to Manchester Piccadilly (one hour and 16 minutes)

3. Birmingham New Street to London Euston (12 minutes)

4. London Euston to Birmingham New Street (12 minutes)

5. London Euston to Liverpool Lime Street (57 minutes)

6. Liverpool Lime Street to London Euston (57 minutes)

7. Peterborough to London King's Cross (52 minutes)

8. London King's Cross to Edinburgh Waverley (three hours and three minutes)

9. Leeds to London King's Cross (59 minutes)

10. London King's Cross to Leeds (59 minutes)

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