The Independent contacted a number of long-distance rail operators in an attempt to book a ticket for Easter weekend travel, from Thursday, 24 March returning on Monday, 28 March. Most train companies, with the exception of Virgin, were not yet putting tickets up for sale for the Bank Holiday weekend for services into and out of London. Central Trains was able to pre-book tickets for that weekend, but the Apex fares were not yet available.

w GNER has yet to put tickets up for sale but anticipates that an Apex return between London and Leeds will cost pounds 39. There will also be limited cheaper tickets available at pounds 29 and pounds 19 for the standard off-peak return.

w First Great Western has not released tickets but it is likely that a London to Taunton return ticket will cost pounds 21 for an Apex and pounds 36 for a Super Advance.

w Central Trains can sell Saver tickets but advised us to call back in the first week of March for Apex tickets. A typical Saver return from Derby to Birmingham will cost pounds 12.10.

w Virgin runs a Value ticket instead of the Apex but it is subject to availability and there were none available on the dates chosen. A Saver return ticket from London to Liverpool was offered for pounds 55.

w Midland Mainline - called twice and each time was told to call back because its system was not working.