Letter: Trains steam ahead

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The Independent Culture
Sir: So the Reader's Digest can't understand why some rail fares are cheaper than others ("Rail users overpay in `ticket jungle' ", 28 April). That doesn't make the system impenetrable for the rest of us.

Common sense tells us that it costs more to travel first class than standard class; and that you can buy a ticket at a discount if you are prepared to commit yourself in advance to travelling at a particular time.

There is also the element of competition introduced since privatisation which allows different train operators to woo customers by offering different fares.

The good news for the Reader's Digest is that rail travellers are being offered a better service by our ticket offices and phone services than ever before. The results of independent market research which will be published shortly reveal another significant improvement in the accuracy of information provided to travellers by the train operators.

GEORGE MUIR

Association of Train Operating Companies

London WC1

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