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For European intercity travel there's often no contest against the train for time and convenience - and travelling around Europe on a railpass is a matchless experience. Check this section out for comprehensive rail timetables, a full list of rail-passes and rail network maps covering Europe from Lisbon to Leningrad.
Unfortunately, the United Kingdom has some of the most expensive rail services in Europe. While France leads the way in low cost high speed trains, many of the British private rail companies charge premium fares during peak commuter periods and add surcharges to tickets bought at the station for immediate travel. With so many different rail companies operating on different sections of the UK rail network, booking and travelling by train in the UK can be a trying and costly experience.
One of the easiest ways to cut the cost of taking a train in England, Scotland or Wales is to to book a ticket well in advance. The further ahead you book, the more likely you are to have access to the cheapest available fares. While train fares in the UK are never going to be a match for the fares offered by low cost intercity bus services like NX Funfare or megabus, travelling by train can be faster and more comfortable than taking the coach - though, admittedly, that's not always guaranteed and it's often not the case during congested peak times.
But if you are happy to travel outside peak hours, using a price comparison service like the trainline can show you when it's cheaper to travel with one company than another and even when it's cheaper to purchase two single tickets rather than one return ticket. It's much easier to relax on the train when you know that the ticket you bought in advance only cost half as much as the same ticket would have cost you at the station. [ Read more... ? ]
The price of trains on the European mainland comes as something of a pleasant surprise after the sky-high rates charged in the UK.