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Split tickets

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What are split tickets?

Split tickets are a great way to save money on your journey. All it involves is having more than one ticket for your trip! Other than an extra ticket or two, your journey won’t change.

Why are split tickets cheaper? There can be a number of reasons why. For example, train companies price fares differently, and some of them price these higher than others. Traditionally, a company that operates on more ‘long-distance’ routes is more likely to have higher fares than a company that mostly runs slower, local services.

As well as this, all Advance tickets are subject to their own quotas. So, the cheaper fares from A to C might be sold out, but they might still be available if you buy from A to B and B to C.

How do split tickets work?

What is split ticketing?

So, how does split ticketing work? In a nutshell, it’s a way for you to pay less for your journey. In most cases, you can stay on the same train and even in the same seat. When you book with Railsmartr, we’ll find the best combination of fares that let you make your trip for less.

We’ll tell you where to change trains if you need to and where your seats are. We’ll always do our best to get you the same seat reservation (if you have multiple tickets for the same train) but this isn’t always possible. In this case, you can either swap seats or find an unreserved seat that’ll be free for the whole journey. We’ve written a handy guide on where you can find these.

Our top tips for saving more with Smart Split

Look for the biggest savings

We'll show you how much you're saving over just buying one ticket

Book in Advance

It's still best to book ahead if you can for the cheapest fares

Beat Peak fares

Splitting your tickets is a great way to only pay the 'peak' fare for the time you're actually travelling during peak hours!

Which train operators offer big split ticket savings?

  • CrossCountry
  • LNER
  • Avanti West Coast
  • Great Western Railway
  • East Midlands Railway

What you need to know

  1. Be sure to check your ticket is valid – if one of your split tickets is an Advance, then it’ll only be valid on the service that you choose. If it’s an Off-Peak ticket, it’ll only be valid at certain times
  2. Remember you may have more than one reservation so your seat may change during the journey. We’ll do our best to give you the same one, but you should check your seat reservation before you travel. You can also pick an unreserved seat
  3. Make sure that your train stops at the ‘split point’ if you’re using split single or return tickets. We’ll do this for you when you book your split tickets with us, but it’s worth remembering if you choose to take a different train
  4. Check the minimum connection times. If you book with Railsmartr, we’ll do the legwork and make sure that you have enough time to change trains. If you book each ticket separately and don’t leave enough time, then you won’t be entitled to any compensation if there’s a delay and you miss your connecting train. To find out the minimum connection time for a station, click here and enter the station name
  5. Check the refund policy. If you’ve bought a mix of Off-Peak, Anytime and Advance tickets, there’ll be different rules for each.

What happens if my train is delayed?

This is one of the biggest myths around split ticketing. If you have split tickets for your journey, this doesn’t affect your right to compensation if there’s a delay. So long as you’ve left enough time for any connections, it’s exactly the same as if you had just one ticket.

Be careful if you’re doing this across London, though. If you have split tickets from York to London, then London to Bristol, and you use Contactless or Oyster on the Underground to get from Kings Cross to Paddington, there’s technically a gap in the journey. In this case, you’d need a ticket that was also valid on the Underground.