An Anytime Return London to Glasgow costs £365. The same route in Off-Peak costs £137.60.

An Anytime Rail&Sail Return London to Belfast via Cairnyran costs £108.

Rail travel from London to Cairnyran takes one through Glasgow, among other places.

Is the train ticket to and from Glasgow valid if I don't take the ferry?

There's not a lot they can do; they might figure out that I never appeared for the ferry and blacklist me, but that would be after the fact. The difference in price is very large and even the Anytime Rail&Sail is cheaper than the Off-Peak return, so for any train that can timetable-wise connect to or from a ferry, it should work. Similar tickets exist via Liverpool or Holyhead to Belfast or Dublin. The only additional restriction appears to be that the Rail&Sail ticket does not permit a break of journey, but that is a relatively minor restriction for most travellers.

(The advantage disappears for Advance travel.)

1 Answer 1


In theory, no:

Break of journey is not permitted except to change trains

Finishing your journey short at least used to count as break of journey (not sure this is still the case any more, I think it's ambiguous since the transition from Conditions of Carriage to Conditions of Travel. Reading the section in question I certainly get very confused as to whether finishing short is supposed to count as a break of journey or not. I get the impression that MAYBE they wanted to cover starting late as BoJ but not finishing short, which would mean you could only use it in one direction).

  • I guess that they could in principle enforce it with ticket barriers (you must pay an excess fare if you want to leave the station).
    – gerrit
    Apr 6, 2017 at 13:54
  • @gerrit Indeed. The "In theory" part of my answer is quite important; in practice there's very little they could do. Bear in mind that using the station facilities (outside the gateline at Glasgow) (at least, in the old Conditions of Carriage; as stated, the new Conditions of Travel don't provide a clear definition) didn't count as Break of Journey. Nor did leaving the station to stay overnight when it's impossible to complete your journey in a day. So in reality there are few opportunities where they could catch you. The question though was "is this valid" not "can I get away with it"...
    – Muzer
    Apr 6, 2017 at 13:58
  • The restrictions on breaking journey are in section 16 of the CoT. Where a break of journey is explicitly prohibited (restriction 1X), the breaks allowed in 16.2, 16.3 and 16.4 do not apply. The excess fare levied by virtue of 16.5 would be the amount of the saving (that is, the total cost would be £365). Now, breaking the journey at the ferry terminal would be a lot harder to police, of course. Apr 6, 2017 at 14:03
  • @AndrewLeach "The restrictions on breaking journey are in section 16 of the CoT." Source? The section is entitled "16. General conditions applying to Tickets", and there's nothing to suggest that the conditions are only valid when Break of Journey is allowed. Indeed, it specifically talks about Break of Journey specifically being prohibited, then goes on to talk about starting late and finishing short as if they were separate issues. Of course, I'm not a lawyer, and I wouldn't try starting late/finishing short on these non-BoJ tickets myself.
    – Muzer
    Apr 6, 2017 at 14:30
  • There are occasional news reports about UK train passengers being fined for getting off the train before reaching the ticketed destination. The most recent I can find is from May 2016: thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/… Apr 6, 2017 at 14:33

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