17 OCTOBER 2011


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Article from BTNews 17 OCTOBER 2011

The Train Line needs a siding

AERBT readers should be very careful when booking rail tickets through thetrainline.com.  The site is excellent when looking up rail times on the UK domestic network, but it becomes very expensive when actually buying tickets. 

And trying to retrieve a pre-purchased ticket from a self-service machine at the departure station is far from easy.

The price asked by thetrainline.com is the same as at a ticket office.  You do save the time spent actually getting in queue and dealing with a transaction.  However there is a £1 booking cost, and if charged to a credit card, a £3.50 fee.  All you get is a receipt and not the actual ticket.  The station machines cannot read a bar code.

The real problem starts at the self-service equipment that should produce your rail authority!  Type in the transaction reference, laid out very clearly on your email receipt and nothing happens.  Try again and the last two figures are not accepted.

Now if you are really bright you will find in very small print a reference number.  That is what the machine requires.  However most people seem to give up and then find their way to the one place they did not want to visit – the ticket office. www.thetrainline.com

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