The Great British Rail Sale: how discounted train tickets can help you break out of hibernation | I came by train

The end of January can be when our new year resolve starts to wane, and rather than overhauling our lives we end up staying indoors bingeing box sets, nibbling crisps and waiting for spring. But how can this year be different?

For many, the idea of living better (hashtag new year, new me) means exercise regimes and healthy eating, but it’s also a chance to live better for the planet.

If you’re a regular car user, swapping car for rail is one of the simplest ways to lessen your impact on the environment. That’s because taking the train is 67% less polluting than driving*. Plus, there are no traffic jams, no wrong turns and no having to stop repeatedly because one of the children need to use the loo.

And now, the Great British Rail Sale is back, so this week it’s cheaper to book tickets – up to 50% cheaper, to be exact. With the cost of living biting, it’s an opportunity to get out and about for less. Here’s everything you need to know about the sale:

1 What is the Great British Rail Sale?
The price of more than 1m standard tickets for selected off-peak and advance journeys will be slashed by as much as half**, giving you the opportunity to visit far-flung friends and family, get out of hibernation ruts, or perhaps even fight back against the effects of seasonal affective disorder by reconnecting with nature.

2 When is the sale?
You can buy sale tickets until Monday 29 January, but bear in mind that you’ll need to purchase your tickets at least seven days ahead of travel. The dates you can travel are from Tuesday 30 January to Friday 15 March – so even if you can’t face the outdoors in January, you can save for trips when the days begin to lengthen.

You’ll be able to travel far and wide as many train operators are taking part. Photograph: EP-stock/Getty Images

3 Loads of train operators are on board
For the second year running, most of the train companies in England will offer discount fares as part of the sale. So make sure you look out for a discounted journey to enjoy while the offer is on.

4 You can’t use your railcard – but you won’t need to!
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to use your railcard to apply even further discounts on top of the sale, but with up to 50% off some trips you can find savings that beat most railcard offers.

5 Super Routes can help you bag bigger savings
There are hundreds of routes around the UK that are cheaper and/or faster than driving*. Whether it’s Leeds to London or Brighton to Leicester there are plenty of these Super Routes* connecting Britain for less than you’d expect.

A simple swap to make an environmental impact

I came by train is a collective movement supported by the rail booking platform Trainline to help fight climate change. It draws on the combined power of small actions taken by many to create a bigger impact.

Whether it’s a commute, a holiday or a family get-together, swap one journey in 2024 and help create a collective impact with the thousands of others who have already pledged to choose train travel for the environment this year.

Cars and planes create 58% of the UK’s transport CO2 emissions, while the entire rail network adds up to just 1.5%. It’s almost always better to swap a car ride for a train journey, but the impact is amplified for solo drivers: taking the train instead of driving is 67% less polluting*.

*See how Trainline did its calculations

Swap road for rail next time you travel – with up to 50% off train fares, it’s time to grab a great value trip in the Great British Rail Sale

**Terms and conditions apply

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