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Trains in United Kingdom: an Overview

General information about United Kingdom Trains

Travelers that wish to visit the UK will find that the trains are a suitable method of transportation to do so. There are various types of trains and services that travelers may choose from when planning their trip within, or to, the UK. There are high-speed trains, mostly serviced by the Eurostar and Southeastern services. The Eurostar route connects travelers directly from London to Paris, while the Southeastern services from London to Ashford International.

The UK also has 28 national train companies that service routes all over Great Britain. There are just a few small differences between the train companies. For example, the more modern trains (such as Avanti West Coast Trains and GWR) usually cater to the longer routes, while the smaller trains (such as Thameslink) usually focus on the commuter and short-distance routes. Lastly, the UK also offers travelers the opportunity to use sleeper trains, which run their routes overnight, for example from London to Edinburgh (serviced by Caledonian Sleeper). Lastly, the rail services in the UK also include trains that travel between London airports and the city center. Although it may seem like there are many companies to choose from in the UK, Omio allows travelers to plan their trip and route in the most convenient and simple manner.

Main Train Stations
Popular Routes in the UK
Trains from the UK
Train Companies in the UK

Booking with Omio

When booking train tickets to the UK with Omio, travelers are going to be surprised by how efficient and smooth the service is. The first step for travelers is to select the location for their destination and arrivals, as well as their desired date. Once this has been done, travelers will be directed to a webpage which will provide them with clear and valuable information regarding their trip. Travelers will have the option to choose between specific currencies, inserting any personal discount cards, and will be able to sort their travel options by lower price first (or fastest travel time). Moreover, once the travelers have booked their trip, they will have access to all the tickets needed for their journey, directly on their mobile phones.

Main Train Stations in United Kingdom

All big United Kingdomn cities have major train stations that are connected to other parts of the country as well as as international cities. Below is a list of the major stations and their need to know details.

London Kings Cross

Address: Euston Rd, Kings Cross,
London N1 9AL, UK
Amenities:
Free WiFi (30 minutes), Luggage Lockers
Restaurants and Shops
Parking, Disabled Access
Public Transport to the City Center:
Six underground lines including Northern Line,
14 buses including the 205, 73 and 38 and taxis.

Edinburgh Waverley Station

Address: Edinburgh EH1 1BB, UK Amenities:
Free WiFi (30 minutes)
Luggage Lockers
Restaurants and Shops
Parking, Disabled Access
Public Transport to the City Center:
Multiply buses and taxis

Manchester Piccadilly Station

Address: Manchester M1 2QF
Amenities:
Free WiFi (30 minutes)
Luggage Lockers
Restaurants and Shops
Parking, Disabled Access
Public Transport to the City Center:
Buses, Trams and Taxis

Popular Train Routes in United Kingdom

Trains are a popular way to travel in the UK and are most popular for longer journeys.

North Eastern Railway
Trains from London to Edinburgh
Virgin Trains
Trains from London to Manchester
Virgin Trains
Trains from London to Liverpool
Southern
Trains from London to Brighton
Chiltern Railways
Trains from London to Oxford
Greater Anglia
Trains from London to Cambridge
Northern Rail
Trains from Manchester to Liverpool
First Transpennine Express
Trains from Manchester to Edinburgh

UK Train Companies

There are several train companies in the UK that travelers may want to be informed about prior to their travels. There are 28 national train companies that service routes within the UK, and travelers will find that each of these companies caters to a specific region or area of Great Britain. Further on, the amenities, speed, and the infrastructure of the trains will also vary between companies and routes, as mentioned earlier.

The national train companies in the UK are C2C, Caledonian Sleeper, Chiltern Railways, CrossCountry, East Midlands Railway, Gatwick Express, Grand Central Railway, Great Northern, Great Western Railway, Greater Anglia, Heathrow Express, Hull Trains, Island Line, London North Eastern Railway, London Northwestern Railway, Merseyrail, Northern Rail, ScotRail, South Western Railway, Southeastern, Southern Rail, Stansted Express, Thameslink, Transport for Wales, TransPennine Express, West Midlands Railway, and Avanti West Coast. On the other hand, the only train company that has a direct route from the UK into mainland Europe is Eurostar, which leaves and arrives at London St. Pancras International station.

Local Train Companies


Abellio Greater Anglia: Abellio Greater Anglia is Eastern England's main train company. Abellio trains run to Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Hertfordshire, and Cambridgeshire.


Arriva Trains Wales: Arriva Trains operate along 5 routes in Wales: between Northern Wales and the Midlands, between Northern Wales/Manchester and South Wales, the South Wales Coast Line to Swansea and Cardiff, and the North Wales Coast Line to Manchester and Crewe.


C2C: c2c is mainly a commuter train company servicing areas outside of London. c2c trains run on the London, Tilbury and Southend Rail line from Fenchurch Street through Essex into East London around 8 times each hour during off-peak times.


East Midlands Trains: East Midlands Trains operates both long-distance and regional trains. East Midlands regional trains service cities in the East Midlands and Yorkshire. Long-distance East Midlands trains run between London St Pancras station and Leeds, Sheffield, Corby, Nottingham, Derby and York.


Great Western Railway: Great Western Railway is the primary train company for South West England and South Wales. Great Western trains service Devon, Cornwall, Somerset, Bristol, Berkshire, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.


First Hull Trains: First Hull Trains have just one route from London's King's Cross station to Hull. First Hull Trains run 6 times per day during the week and 5 times per day on the weekend.


First TransPennine Express: First TransPennine Express run 3 main routes through Northern England: North TransPennine from Liverpool and Manchester to Hull, York, Scarborough, Middlesbrough, and Newcastle; South TransPennine from Cleethorpes to Manchester; and TransPennine North West from Manchester to Edinburgh.


Merseyrail: Merseyrail runs trains through Merseyside and Liverpool along two routes: the Northern Line between Southport and Liverpool; and the Wirral Line which links Liverpool with the Wirral Peninsula via the Mersey Railway Tunnel.


Northern Rail: Northern Rail operates most trains between major cities in Northern England including Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle and Sheffield. Northern Rail is the main train company for Cumbria, Cheshire, Lancashire, Northumberland and Yorkshire.


ScotRail: ScotRail runs trains throughout Scotland and Northern England connecting Newcastle and Carlisle with London. Most ScotRail trains run between major Scottish cities like Edinburgh, Oban, Sterling, Glasgow, Inverness, Aberdeen, Dundee and Wick.


Southern: Southern trains primarily operate between London, East and West Sussex, Surrey, Kent, and Hampshire. Southern trains travel to major cities including Hastings, Southampton, and Lewes. Southern also operates the Gatwick Express between London Victoria train station and Gatwick International Airport.


South Western Railways: South Western Railways operates trains from London's Waterloo train station to destinations in South West England including Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset, Devon, Somerset, Berkshire and Wiltshire. South Western Railways also runs trains to the Isle of Wight under the name Island Line Trains.

International Train Companies


Eurostar: Trains from continental Europe to the United Kingdom are operated by Eurostar and travel via the "Chunnel" beneath the English Channel. Eurostar trains depart from Paris, Lille, Lyon and Brussels and arrive at London St Pancras station.



Popular Train Routes from United Kingdom

Travelers wishing to visit UK cities using trains will find that Omio is a useful and convenient tool that will make their planning process smoother. Depite being surrounded by water, it is possible to get to the UK via train via the Channel Tunnel which connects the UK with mainland Europe.

If travelers wish to visit the UK from mainland Europe (or vice versa) via train, the London St. Pancras International station will be the station to do so from (or to). The Eurostar services routes that go from London directly to Amsterdam/Brussels/Paris. Other popular routes that travelers may take are London to Bristol (Great Western Railway, South Western Railway), London to Bath (Great Western Railway, South Western Railway), and London to Southampton (Great Western Railway, South Western Railway, Southern), for travelers wishing to go further into the UK. All international routes will pass by London, however.

When arriving

If travelers decide to visit the UK, they should be aware of the following information in order to facilitate their journey. Although the main language spoken in the UK is British English, it is important to keep in mind that within the UK there are many native languages being spoken, such as Welsh, Scottish Gaelic, Irish Gaelic and Cornish. This is especially important to keep in mind if travelers wish to visit the more rural areas of the UK, although almost everyone in the UK will speak English of some kind. Moreover, for the travelers who may not know, in the UK the traffic comes from the left-hand, therefore travelers coming from places where there is right-hand traffic should keep extra attention while crossing the road.



More Information about Trains in Europe