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Old 06-18-2004, 01:30 PM   #1
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Hi all you fabulouso savvy backpacker people!

I'm new to this site and backpacking itself and I am FREAKING OUT about BritRail, only cause I don't understand how the schedules run! I'm assuming it'll be easy when I'm actually at the station but this is the way I'm getting around England for a month and I leave in two days! Anyone have any tips or encouragement for a paranoid solo traveller?? Sorry if this isn't all that urgent at all, I am really nervous about BritRail that's all
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Old 06-18-2004, 01:47 PM   #2
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Man, trying to figure stuff out on their web site gives me headaches.

I've found that just showing up at the station (esp. a day beforehand) to sort out timetables and fares made life easier. The people working the desks at each station were amazingly helpful, even printing out timetables for me, figuring out the quickest routes, cheapest fares, etc.

Granted, if you don't buy in advance, the fares can be pricey, but if you're going with a pass, then I don't think you have to worry too much.
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Old 06-18-2004, 02:12 PM   #3
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If you don't have to, I would not recommend taking the train in Britain (the most expensive train system in all of Europe.) There are plenty of coach options that are far cheaper, even if you're buying a BritRail pass. Example: A rail ticket from London to Birmingham is approximately 32 GBP, depending on which time of day you go. A coach ticket is only 13, at the most, and I've gotten it for 1 pound before! The train journey takes about 2 hours, the coach journey takes 2 hours and about 15 minutes. You're not saving a whole heck of a lot of time, usually. Check out National Express for more info. They have some really good deals.

Good luck!
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Old 06-18-2004, 08:43 PM   #4
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One nice thing about taking the train places, is that if you can get ahold of the route (in a schedule, etc.), you know exactly when your stop is coming up. It's easy to get confused on buses with their looping around and usual lack of signage as to when you've arrived at YOUR destination.

That said, I've never had a problem on either, as far as figuring out where to go. KD, if you go with Britrail (and I assume you've already priced it and are content with the expense), then you should be able to get a good timetable which shows when the trains run to where, etc. Plus, like you said, it's easy once you get to the station to figure out.

And train travel IS the most comfortable form of travel around, in my the most scenic usually...

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