Travel: Something To Declare

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Bargain of the week

Rail travel between Norwich and Liverpool

Yours for less than pounds 18 return - if you take three pals. When the new railway timetables begin tomorrow, there will be more trains on the Midland Main Line between Sheffield and London St Pancras. But Teesside airport still gets only one train a week. However, you have the chance to annoy your fellow travellers, thanks to a free service from some people who are fed up with trying to find the best fares around.

"I moderate an e-mail list," writes Rob Cope, from Cyberspace Junction, "dedicated to ferreting out cheaper rail tickets and other ways to save money by train."

To give you a flavour of this excellent compilation: "Central Trains joins GNER, Virgin, Silverlink, Scotrail, Wales & West and Midland Main Line in offering a small groups fare: reduced prices to foursomes... Central's variation on the theme, the 4Go, allows two to four adults (or two adults and up to four children) to travel certain of Central's longer-distance routes for about half the Apex fare. For example, Norwich-Liverpool is pounds 71.90 for 4Go (ie less than pounds 18 each) compared with pounds 35.90 Apex, pounds 62.40 SuperSaver. So these are good value if you can fit in with the booking restrictions. Be warned, 4Go is available only from Central Trains' telesales (0870 000 60 60): pre-book out and return journeys at least seven days in advance."

If you have e-mail, subscribe free by contacting requests@ lists.infoservice.com with subject line "subscribe RailWatch". If you don't, watch this space.

A likely story

"the next train to Havana will be leaving at..."

If you have experienced difficulties with the UK's national rail enquiry line, spare a thought for the compilers of the Thomas Cook Overseas Timetable: "Just before we went to press, a new timetable arrived from Cuba, supposedly including many changes as a result of Cuban Railways' receipt of large quantities of second-hand rolling-stock...

"If anyone really needs to know about the timings, we will send out reprints of the `revised' pages on application."

Get the latest edition from Thomas Cook Publishing (01733 503571).

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