A winter sale on rail tickets will start next week, with up to 50% off selected advance and off-peak rail tickets, through the Great British Rail Sale.

In the sale, over a million discounted tickets will be available to destinations across England and Wales, as well as on cross-border trips into Scotland, for journeys taking place between 30th January and 15th March 2024.

Sale tickets will become available from midnight on 23rd January 2024 at this website.

Tickets can also be found on all ticket retailer websites for journeys taking place between 30th January and 15th March 2024. Only a limited number of tickets are available, and no further sale tickets will go on offer once sold out.

Operators are not offering sale tickets on days when their services might be impacted by the strikes announced by ASLEF on the 15th and 18th January 2024. More tickets will be made available on days unaffected by industrial action.

Jacqueline Starr, Chief Executive of the Rail Delivery Group, said: “Following the success of the Great British Rail Sale in 2022, we are really excited that it’s coming back, and customers will be able to once again purchase over a million advance ticket fares starting on 23 January 2024 and enjoy what rail has to offer.”


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  1. Edward Betts says:

    I’m curious about the financial underpinnings of this initiative. Specifically, is the funding for these discounted fares being provided by the train operating companies themselves, or is it subsidised by central government? Understanding who is bearing the cost of these discounts could offer insight into the broader strategy behind this sale and its potential impact on the rail industry.

    • Jeremy says:

      Train operating companies are now paid a fee for operating the services and government takes the revenue risk.

      That doesn’t mean the government is paying out in subsidy for each discounted ticket sold: part of the point is to encourage additional journeys: not every sale ticket sold would otherwise have been sold at full price.

    • ChrisC says:

      Indeed and it depends on what offers are available per day of the week.

      I’m due in Manchester beginning of Feb for the weekend. Likely limited or no tickets on the Friday to Monday or if there are they’ll be at inconvenient- for me – times but the times could work for others.

      But that’s a trip I’m making anyway.

      I usually only buy the ticket the day before so it will give me chance to actually see if this offer benefits me and if breaking it into separate bookings per leg helps.

      I’m guessing that most of these tickets will be for off peak times or at weekends to encourage people to make trips they wouldn’t otherwise do in which case this counts as extra not lost revenue.

  2. Andy says:

    Using Office or Rail Regulation (ORR) you can assume nearly 90m journeys in a 6 week period. 1 million ticket sales is less than 1% of all sales in that period. So maybe just 2% of off-peak sales. Not many tickets then. So there’s lots of free marketing of this pretty small but eye catching sale.

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