For a week next month I shall be helping friends move their blue-top boat Kew from Stourport to Braunston. To that end I have bought my rail tickets - most of them anyway.
Not only am I saving money by buying the tickets in advance, I am also saving a considerable amount by breaking the journeys into discrete legs.
The quoted fare from Wymondham to Kidderminster is £41.50 (advance) but I'm doing it for just £20.00 over the same route. How? By splitting it into Wymondham to Liverpool Street (£8.00); Euston to Birmingham New Street (£6.00); and Birmingham Moor Street to Kidderminster (£6.00 "anytime" fare - not yet bought).
I shall be taking my folding bike, so will cycle from Liverpool Street to Euston and Kidderminster to Stourport. Coming home I'll cycle from Braunston to Long Buckby and get the train to Euston (£6.00 advance); cycle to Liverpool Street; and then get the train to Wymondham (£8.00 advance). Total for the homeward journey: £14.00, saving £7.20 on the quoted "one hop" fare.
One more ridiculous anomaly: if I wanted to go by train from Long Buckby to Milton Keynes and bought the cheapest ticket for that journey it would cost me £11.20. However I could get a ticket to Euston for only £6.00 and get off at MK. I pity visitors from overseas who are not used to this malarkey. I'm sure they wouldn't understand how it is that it costs twice as much to go half the distance. I don't.
I'm looking forward to steering Kew again. It has an air-cooled Lister engine and a large wooden rudder - it is a converted butty. Now, what do I need to pack? Bike, windlass ...
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