Church Stretton and District Rail Users Association
Church Stretton and District Rail Users Association Church Stretton and District Rail Users Association

Travel Tips

On this page we have a few tips to help you get the most out of the railway…

Timetables

For your convenience, we’ve collated the full timetables from the National Rail Timetable for services through Church Stretton.

Table 130 is the Heart of Wales line, whilst Table 131 covers all other services and are for the period 11 Dec 2023 to 1 Jun 2024. Please note that we are publishing these in good faith, but we do not guarantee their accuracy or up-to-date status; they are as available from the Network Rail website.

Table 130

Table 131

Previous Timetables (up to Dec 2023):
Table 130

Table 131


Complaints and Claims

Transport for Wales are operating the Deley Repay Compensation scheme which allows you to claim back part of your journey’s fare if your train is over 15 minutes late. The later it is, the larger the repayment (up to the cost of the ticket, of course…). For more info, please go to the TfW Delay Repay Compensation page.
If you have any other complaints, there is a dedicated Complaint Submission page.


Railcards

There are several Railcards that are designed to save you money if you travel around by train. The railcards are:

16-17 Railcard:

This is for anyone aged 16 – 17. 50% off fares, costs £30 per year.

16-25 Railcard:

This is for anyone aged 16 – 25, and also for Muture Students over 25. 1/3rd off fares, costs £30 per year, or £70 for 3 years.

26-30 Railcard:

This is for anyone aged 26 – 30. 1/3rd off fares, costs £30 per year.

Two Together Railcard:

For two named people (over the age of 16) who regularly travel together. 1/3rd off fares, costs £30 per year.

Family & Friends Railcard:

For groups of up to 4 adults and 4 children (aged 5-15) travelling together. 1/3rd off fares, costs £30 per year, or £70 for 3 years.

Senior Railcard:

For those aged 60 or over. 1/3rd off fares, costs £30 per year, or £70 for 3 years.

Disabled Persons Railcard:

For people with a disability that makes travelling by train difficult. Allows a friend to travel with you, also at the discounted price. 1/3rd off fares, costs £20 per year, or £54 for 3 years.

Veterans Railcard:

For UK Veterans. Allows a named companion and up to four children to travel with you, also at the discounted price. 1/3rd off fares, costs £30 per year, or £70 for 3 years.

All these also offer discounts on days out, holidays, theatre and more. For more information on any of the above, and for full Terms & Conditions, please go to: The Railcard Website


Finding the Cheapest Ticket

Train Fares is a highly complex area and if you’re travelling a reasonable distance (further than, for example, Manchester or Cardiff), there is a huge range to choose from, as well as a possible choice of Train Operating Companies (TOCs) and actual train journeys, which can all affect price. Advance Fares also offer significant savings, if you can plan ahead. The National Rail Website or the Transport for Wales Website will offer you a range of tickets. Things to bear in mind are:

  • Different train journeys may have different prices.
  • Different routes may have different prices.
  • Different TOCs may have different prices.
  • Slower trains might be cheaper than faster ones.
  • It is often possible to achieve a cheaper overall (return) price if you carefully select 2 separate single journeys (i.e. Out and Back) rather than purchase a Return ticket.
  • It is sometimes possible to achieve a cheaper price by breaking your journey into smaller chunks, buying tickets for each section, so investigate possible options, perhaps by “breaking” your journey at another major town en route. Note that you don’t necessarily actually have to change trains, just so long as the train you are on does stop at the nominated break point!
  • If buying online, be sure to check if there are any “surcharges” to pay, such as Booking Fees or Postage Costs, as these may offset any apparent saving.

An example of a split-ticket saving is this: if you are travelling from Church Stretton to Manchester, leaving CS after 09:30 and returning from Manchester on the 15:30 or earlier train, you can save by buying a return CS – Shrewsbury, then a separate return Shrewsbury to Manchester; you can expect a saving of between £3 and £4.

Travelling on Eurostar?

Did you know that there are substantially reduced fares for journeys to London if you are travelling to catch a Eurostar service and already have your ticket? Information gleaned from the Seat61 Website shows that low-priced tickets to London International (code LNE) are available. These are no cheaper than the cheapest ‘normal’ cheap ticket, but have the advantages of possibly less restrictive travel times and the protection of the CIV conditions – do see the website for full info. Such tickets are not available online, but the ever-helpful staff at Ludlow station ticket office (see below) can help you if need be, or you should be able to purchase them at Shrewsbury.

Using a Ticket Office

Two ticket offices that we have good reports of are listed below. Both are experts in finding you the best deal and will take the hard work out of the process.

Ludlow Ticket Office

Situated on the station platform at Ludlow, they are keen to save you money, but they can only offer their services to customers in person. Opening Hours are 05:50-16:50, Mon-Fri; 0700-1250, Sat; Closed Sun.

Llandrindod Railway Station (formally the Heart of Wales Travel Centre)

Based at Llandrindod Wells Station, this company is able to offer discounted fares to destinations across the UK. Alternatively, they will be able to find the best route/price option to suit your requirements. Even local travel on the Heart of Wales line is discounted, which means you get a nice saving without even having to have a railcard. Order over the phone, and they will post the ticket(s) to you at no extra charge; or you can buy in person. Telephone: 01597 822053. Opening Hours 0845-1630, Mon-Fri; 0900-1200, Sat; Closed Sun.


Discounted tickets

Group Travel

Small groups of people travelling together can get a 25% discount off normal Off-Peak Day Ticket fares. Called a “Small Group Day Ticket”, it is suitable for groups of between 3 and 9 people (inclusive). Larger groups can also benefit from the same discount, but these need to be booked in advance and are of limited availability. Full Terms and Conditions are here.


Other ways to buy tickets

Ticket Machine at Church Stretton

You can purchase most commonly purchased standard tickets from the Ticket Machines, now on both platforms, which take credit/debit cards as payment. If you are using a Railcard, be sure to select that option, so that you get the correct discount.

Shrewsbury Ticket Office and Information Centre

The Ticket Office is staffed daily. Opening Hours 05:20-20:40, Mon-Fri; 05:20-19:30, Sat; 07:30-19:30, Sun. The Information Centre is perhaps better suited to discussing travel options and is open 09:35-16:30, Mon-Sat. The friendly staff will be very happy to discuss travel arrangements around the UK.

Using the Transport for Wales Mobile Ticket App

This allows you to purchase tickets easily via your smartphone. Details are here.

On the train

You can, of course, buy your ticket from the conductor on the train. This is not recommended for longer journeys, however, as you will not necessarily get offered the cheapest ticket.


International Travel

Ffestiniog Travel

Ffestiniog Travel are experts in arranging National, European and Worldwide rail travel, for both the independent traveller and those requiring an Escorted Tour (especially those with a railway interest). They can also arrange ferries and flights for you. For more info, please take a look at their website.

Rail Canterbury

With many years experience of rail travel ticketing, Rail Canterbury is able to offer an excellent service to find the right ticket for you, whether in this country or abroad. Please take a look at their website.

Seat61.com

Seat61.com is run by passionate train traveller Mark Smith, and it aims to guide the prospective traveller in the right direction to buy tickets and generally offers loads of advice about travelling abroad. Do have a look at Mark’s interesting website.

Railbookers

Railbookers offers expertly planned holidays by train, with an extensive portfolio of over 300 holidays to Europe, North America and beyond. Please take a look at their website.


Rover Tickets

Transport for Wales offer a number of Rover Tickets, which offer a good value day out. We have selected some and these are shown on our Travel Ideas page. Note also that if you are travelling to North or South Wales for the day and not necessarily “roving”, these tickets might save you money!

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