It is now a number of years since we organised group travel to matches – largely because the number of offers available meant we were unable to provide the cheapest option.
There are a number of options for those wishing to use public transport for home game.
Probably the cheapest train option for home games – have that lovely feeling on the same East Midlands Trains service knowing you’ve paid a lot less than the person next to you.
Although there offering is limited, it often includes the 08.34 and 12.34 trains from London St Pancras to Nottingham on a Saturday and the train back at either 17.45 and 18.45pm. Also worth checking if you are travelling up to a midweek game – the 15.34 to Nottingham is a regular offering.
Fares are strictly limited but available from around six weeks in advance and at least one member once paid £1 each way. However, a pretty average return fare would be around £25 a couple of weeks before the game or somewhere in the late £30s if you book a couple of days before. The midweek single is £25 but you need to find another way back or stay over!
A 50p booking fee applies and you need to print out the ticket booking yourself. For 20p they will text you the booking. Note that Megatrain tickets are not available on Sundays or Bank Holidays.
Also: If you have a Nectar card click through their site to book via Megabus and you will get points.
EAST MIDLANDS TRAINS
Generally runs between two and four trains per hour in each direction on a Saturday. Obviously far greater flexibility than a Megatrain and not necessarily much more expensive.
Note: The time of trains has changed for the 2018-19 season. Fast trains tend to depart St Pancras at 05 or 34 minutes past the hour and typically take one hour 45 minutes. Return trains after the game are at 12 and 45 minutes past the hour.
A special football deal is available for around £42. These can be booked in advance by calling EMT on 0845 604 8302. For more details click here
Midweek matches are difficult as very few rail companies run a train back to the capital late at night (the last train from Nottingham to London leaves at 21.29).
EAST MIDLANDS TRAINS (APFSCIL) TICKETS
East Midlands Trains offer a Football Special ticket to Nottingham, priced £42, which has been negotiated via APFSCIL.
Although these tickets may not be the cheapest option, they provide added flexibility allowing you to return on any reasonable train – which means you are untied to a particular service unlike Megatrain or East Midlands advance tickets.
Designed for fans living in London but supporingt a football club on the East Midlands Trains London route, the special return fares from London St Pancras are:
Sheffield – 1st class £75*, standard class £53*
Derby – 1st class £68* Standard class £44*
Nottingham – 1st class £68* Standard class £42*
Leicester – 1st class £63*, standard class £42*
If your destination is not detailed above please get in touch with one of the team who will be able to advise. Call 01332 867050 or visit email@example.com
The office is open from 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday.
*Fares correct as of 1st August 2018
Small print: Valid for all services arriving into London St Pancras at or after 09:56 and for trains departing London St Pancras up until 16:26 and at or after 18:25 on weekdays. If you are making a return journey, you can return on any train over the weekend. Refund permitted – £10 cancellation fee.
LONDON NORTH EASTERN RAILWAY
Despite involving a change at Grantham of Peterborough this is surprisingly quick and sometimes offers better value – particularly on Bank Holidays when East Midlands Trains has a tendency to hike the price.
One other reason why London North Eastern Railway are worth knowing about is the 23.20 service back after a midweek game which gets into Kings Cross at 01.03. This can be useful because the Grantham branch runs a bus back from the City Ground after games which reaches the station area with roughly 20 minutes to spare. Steve Moon can provide their contact details.
If you are on a tight budget and you can cope with hours, and hours (and hours) on a coach full of students, this is probably the cheapest option. On a Saturday there is a 10am service from London Victoria getting in to Nottingham at 13.45. This seems to cost about a tenner if booked well in advance.
The return bus, leaving Nottingham Coach Station (next to the Broad Marsh) leaves at 18.00 for a 21.20 arrival in London; or 19.45 for an arrival time of 22.50. These seem pretty widely available for £5.
Midweek buses leave London at 13.30 (arrive 16.50) and 15.00 (arrive 18.45) and cost in the region of £8-£12; the first one back after the game (and a few hours in the pub) is 3.00 the following morning from £8-£18. A word of warning, even at that time in the morning the bus will be absolutely packed so don’t bank on a good night’s sleep.
A £1 booking fee applies on the National Express website.