What are Split Tickets?

Split Tickets are combinations of tickets that together offer the same journey but at a lower price than a regular ticket.

This is done by splitting regular train tickets at calling points along the journey. However, you stay on the same train as normal. There is no requirement to alight and re-board.

How does that work in practice?

So, for example, instead of getting a single ticket from London to Bristol Temple Meads, you would have a ticket from London to Didcot Parkway and then another ticket from Didcot Parkway to Bristol Temple Meads.

The train you get would need to stop at Didcot Parkway, but you don’t need to alight and re-board; you can just stay seated.

As a side note, this particular split is somewhat famous and even has its own name: the Didcot Dodge.

Do I just stay on the same train?


As mentioned above, the only requirement you need to abide by is that the trains you get must be scheduled to stop wherever your Split Tickets split. But Railboard works that out for you when buying tickets for a journey.

When the train does stop at one of those calling points, there is absolutely no requirement to alight and re-board the train.

Why are Split Tickets cheaper?

Thanks to the complexity of the UK rail network, there are various scenarios that can make breaking up your ticket work out cheaper overall.

Here are the two main ones:

  • With journeys made around the change from Peak to Off-Peak times, instead of paying for a Peak ticket unnecessarily for the entire journey, it’s often possible to have a Peak ticket for just part of the journey and then an Off-Peak ticket for the rest.
  • If the journey is long and uses services from several train operating companies, there are often pricing anomalies we can find and take advantage of for you.

What’s the catch?

We go into these in more detail here, but essentially, there are three main disadvantages:

  • We do our best to avoid this, but sometimes your seat reservation will change mid-journey if using Split Tickets.
  • You’ll have more actual tickets, so you will have a little more admin to deal with to find the correct one at barriers and such like.
  • We charge a small commission based on any saving we find you. If there’s no saving, there’s no fee.

The savings from Split Tickets can be pretty massive, though, so for most people, the money saved from using them more than makes up for all of this!

Why doesn’t every ticket retailer offer Split Tickets?

A lot of work goes into finding Split Tickets and then updating them for new routes and fares. Luckily for you, Railboard’s ticketing partners, TrainSplit, first introduced split ticketing way back in 2014, and since then, have been constantly improving and tweaking their clever algorithms to find you the biggest savings.

Which is why you’ll often find better split ticketing savings on Railboard compared to its competitors, such as Trainline or TrainPal.

Updated on 4 November 2023
Thank you! Your feedback has been received.
Something went wrong while submitting the feedback.