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BritRail vs. National Rail?

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BritRail vs. National Rail?

Hello all,

What is the difference between BritRail and National Rail?

My next trip to the UK is going to include a bit of train travel and I am not sure about the difference in these two trains...are they simply competing companies offering about the same service on the same tracks?

I guess I could also ask the same about Virgin, who runs trains as well.

The BritRail passes look like a possible good bet for what I think I need. Any big difference in price or quality?


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1. Re: BritRail vs. National Rail?

Britrail is a company set up by the Association of Train Operating Companies to promote inbound tourism to the UK. National Rail is the collective name for the train companies who operate Britain's rail service. So, Britrail sell passes, National Rail provide timetable advice, etc.

Many routes are served by only one company although sometimes there is a choice. Last week I travelled Kings Cross to Glasgow on NXEC and returned from Glasgow to Euston on Virgin.

Generally all the companies sell each other's tickets and, on the whole, the actual carrier is of mere academic importance.

So, whatever pass or tickets you have, you'll probably be using the same trains.

Without an idea of your plans it's impossible to say which might be better value for you.

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2. Re: BritRail vs. National Rail?

In terms of trains - no difference whatsoever. They are just different marketing organisations for the SAME trains on the SAME tracks. Virgin ditto except that they do run SOME of the trains they sell tickets for.

3. Re: BritRail vs. National Rail?

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