London to Birmingham train fares fall to just £10

Simon Calder

Train travellers between Birmingham New Street and London Euston can make the 120-mile journey for a flat £10 – but only for the next nine Mondays.

Virgin Trains is launching an experimental promotion which will reduce the cost of all standard Advance tickets on certain Monday trains to £10 one-way.

Passengers must travel on trains departing between 11am and 1pm or after 8pm.

Current deals on the relevant trains range from £8.50 for Advance tickets booked well ahead to £35 for a “walk-up” super off-peak ticket.

What is different about this offer is that travellers can book at any time up to an hour before departure and that all tickets are guaranteed to be £10.

Railcard and child discounts apply; with a railcard, the cost falls to £6.60.

The move is an experiment, but if it proves successful then it is likely to become a long-term fixture.

In 2018, Virgin Trains trialled the removal of Friday afternoon off-peak restrictions for several months, and eventually made the deal permanent.

The deal also applies for the relevant trains departing Birmingham International (the stop for the airport), the NEC and Watford Junction.

But passengers wanting to start or end at Coventry or Milton Keynes will not be able to take advantage of the offer.

Past experience suggests that the deal could be extended to other key destinations on the West Coast main line, including Manchester, Liverpool and Glasgow. But the initial choice of Birmingham is due to the intense competition that Virgin Trains faces intense competition between the West Midlands and London.

While some passengers pay the “anytime” fare of £89 for peak journeys on the 83-minute run from Birmingham to the capital, others opt for slower, cheaper trains on London Northwestern or Chiltern Railways. The latter offers £5.50 Advance tickets on many of its 105-minute services from Birmingham Moor Street to London Marylebone.

National Express and Megabus offer low-cost road alternatives.