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London to Birmingham

from £6.40
Travelling between Britain's two largest cities? Make sure you're getting the smallest fare with Railsmartr.

Available train operators on this journey

  • Avanti West Coast
  • Chiltern Railways
  • West Midlands Railway

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What are my London to Birmingham train options?

Looking for the best London to Birmingham train? The good news is that you have a number of options to pick from! Whether you're after speed, comfort or value, there's a train to suit every budget. Let's take a look at each of them.

Avanti West Coast

Need to get from London to Birmingham in a hurry? Avanti West Coast is the best option for you. They run two trains per hour (three at peak times) and these trains take between 1h15m and 1h35m. Here are the fares that you can expect to pay on the day:

  • Anytime Return - £188.80
  • Off-Peak Return - £65.80.

The Off-Peak Return is valid to leave London Euston between 09:27 and 15:00, then after 18:44, on Mondays to Thursdays. When you return, it's valid to arrive in London Euston after 11:30. There aren't any restrictions on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays.

The fares above are valid on any operator on any 'permitted' route between London and Birmingham. You can use them on London Northwestern Railway and Chiltern Railways, too.

London Northwestern Railway

Looking for a budget option when it comes to taking a London to Birmingham train? London Northwestern Railway fits the bill nicely. They're more of a 'commuter' train operator but they run services between London and Birmingham two times every hour. These London to Birmingham trains take between 2h15m and 2h30m. Here are the fares that you can expect to pay on the day:

  • Anytime Return - £99.20
  • Off-Peak Return - £39.00
  • Super Off-Peak Return - £29.00.

The Off-Peak Return is valid to leave London Euston after 08:45 on weekdays. When you come back, you can arrive in London Euston after 09:59. There aren't any restrictions on weekends or Bank Holidays.

Meanwhile, the Super Off-Peak Return is quite restrictive. You can only leave London Euston between 10:30 and 15:59, then after 19:01 Mondays to Saturdays. When you return, you can't arrive in London Euston before 13:00. You also can't leave Birmingham between 16:00 and 19:00. There aren't any restrictions on Sundays and Bank Holidays.

The fares above are only valid on London Northwestern Railway (and West Midlands Railway) services.

Chiltern Railways

Finally, we have Chiltern Railways. These trains take a different route and leave from London Marylebone rather than Euston. They'll also take you to Birmingham Moor Street and Snow Hill. They take between 1h45m and 2h15m to complete the trip. Here are the fares that you can expect to pay on the day:

  • Anytime Return - £135.30
  • Off-Peak Return - £58.00
  • Super Off-Peak Return - £36.40.

The Off-Peak Return doesn't have any time restrictions when you're leaving London. When you're heading back into London, you can arrive at Marylebone after 10am on weekdays. There aren't any restrictions on weekends and Bank Holidays.

You can use the Super Off-Peak Return to leave London between 08:31 and 16:00, then after 19:00 on weekdays. When you return, you can arrive back in London after 11:30. There aren't any restrictions on weekends and Bank Holidays.

The fares listed above are valid only via High Wycombe. This means that you can use other train operators if you wish, but you have to travel on this route into London Marylebone. For example, you could take a CrossCountry train from Birmingham New Street to Banbury (or vice-versa).

How do I get the best London to Birmingham train fare?

You can get the best London to Birmingham train fare with Railsmartr, of course! We'll show you all of the cheapest options for your journey, including slower services and split tickets where they're available.

Let's take a look at our options if we want to leave London at 11am on a Tuesday, two weeks in advance. Make sure that you search for London to Birmingham (rather than specifying a certain station) if you want to see the full range of fares: london to birmingham train fares on railsmartr So, this is roughly what we'd expect. London Northwestern Railway is the cheapest and slowest option, while Chiltern Railways are the 'middle ground'. Both of these operators offer some very cheap Advance tickets depending on the time of day, so they're worth checking out if you're on a budget. Meanwhile, Avanti West Coast is the fastest but more expensive option.

What are the trains like?

Let's take a look at the trains that run on the London to Birmingham route and what their different features are, such as seat comfort, power sockets and catering.

Avanti West Coast

Taking an Avanti West Coast service? You’re likely to have a Pendolino train. They’re currently being refurbished and have either nine or 11 carriages. The refurbished ones have a power socket at every seat:

Meanwhile, Standard Premium and First Class have seats in a 2+1 layout. Wondering what the difference is? We’ve taken a trip to compare them.

Feeling peckish? There’s a shop in Coach C. If you’re in First Class, then you’ll get complimentary food and drink served at your seat.

As for seat comfort, we’d recommend the refurbished trains. They have more legroom, winged headrests and generally more space to stretch out.

London Northwestern Railway

Taking the budget route on a London to Birmingham train? Then you’ll have a Desiro. They have quite a few different layouts. Some of them have seats in a 2+2 layout, and others have them in a 3+2 layout:

interior of lnwr london to birmingham train

The trains with a 2+2 layout have sockets at every window seat, while the ones with 3+2 seating only have them in the former First Class area. There aren't any reservations on these trains, so just pick any seat you like!

There isn’t any First Class on these trains anymore and you won’t find any catering. So, we’d recommend packing a picnic!

Chiltern Railways

Finally, if you're taking Chiltern Railways for your London to Birmingham train journey, then you'll have a Turbostar (also known as a Clubman) on most services:

interior of chiltern turbostar train on london to birmingham route All of the seats are in a 2+2 layout and you'll find a power socket at every window seat. You can also expect free WiFi. There aren't any reservations on Chiltern, so you can simply pick any seat you like.

Feeling peckish? You'll need to pick something up at the station before you go. You won't find any food and drink on the train.

Is there anything else I should know?

The final thing we’d recommend is using the Railsmartr website to book your London to Birmingham train tickets. We’re completely independent, so we’re happy to ‘tell you like it is’ when it comes to rail fares!

Don’t forget that we don’t charge any fees, either. That includes if you change your mind and want to travel on a different day. If your ticket is refundable, we’ll refund it fee-free, too.

All fares stated on this page are for ONE adult with no Railcard discount and were correct at 13:00 19/02/24. All information is issued in good faith. They’re subject to change at any time and Railsmartr are not responsible for any loss or disappointment incurred as a result of the information provided.