New website can slash train fares by half

Clever algorithm automates 'split ticketing'

A female passenger looking the ticket on the train

A new website has been launched that's claimed to be able to help rail travellers save a fortune on their journeys.

Ticketclever.com is based on an algorithm that quickly scans through millions of fare and route options to come up with the best value combination.

It says it can save travellers up to 60% on the cost of their journeys, with an average of around 20%.

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The system works through 'split ticketing' - breaking a journey down into its elements.

"For longer journeys, tickets can be more expensive overall than if several singles are combined for the same journey," the company explains. "Our algorithm breaks up journeys into parts then puts them back together in a way that makes them add up."

The site automatically takes into account peak and off-peak times, and will suggest to passengers that they might be better of travelling a little earlier or later.

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The biggest savings are generally on journeys that are more than an hour long. Examples include Leeds to London for £54.30, a saving of £50.90 on the normal price.

Meanwhile, a ticket from Manchester to London can be bought for £73.80 - less than half the normal price, with a saving of £95.20.

But split ticketing isn't the only way to save money on rail travel. It's worth checking out whether you're eligible for a railcard, which are usually available for those 25 and under, over 60, disabled, in a family or a couple. They are also available for specific areas: the Network Railcard, for example, covers a large area of South East England.

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And don't forget child fares - all children under five travel free as long as they don't take up a seat needed by a fare-paying passenger, and many train operators also provide big discounts for children between the ages of 5 and 15.

Another option is the 'groupsave' ticket offered by most rail operators, giving one-third off each fare when a group of between three and nine people travel together.

And the easiest way to save money is by booking your ticket in advance: train companies usually release fares 90 days in advance, so you can keep checking online to get the cheapest tickets when they are released.

How to get cheaper train tickets

How to get cheaper train tickets