Deriding train fare fairness

UK student completes four-country low-fare air tour instead of buying a train ticket to Scotland
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Szczecin, Poland
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LONDON — An Englishman took a multi-city trip to Berlin, Poland, and Scotland — all for the same cost of a train ticket between London and Edinburgh, Scotland.

Will Stein, a student at the London School of Economics, balked when he found that the cheapest option for a Virgin Trains East Coast ticket between London and Edinburgh would run about $105, even when student discounts and advanced booking were factored in. Online research showed no cost savings by booking a direct slight, but Stein found a $30 fare to Edinburgh that included a stop in the small Polish town of Szczecin. When the original flight was cancelled and he was given a $53 voucher, Stein added an additional stops in Berlin and Glasgow.

Stein says he stayed with friends at most of his layovers, and spent a mere $13 to stay at a hostel in Szczecin, on the Baltic Sea. Stein’s total costs for the weekend came to only $130. A full $60 of that sum went to a one-way train trip back to London.

Stein tells the Evening Standard that his four-day jaunt showed that rail fares in the United Kingdom have become “absurd.”

The newspaper cites a Virgin Trains representative saying that the passenger rail operator’s London-Edinburgh fares are less than comparable airline tickets.

See the original article online
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