Trains to Manchester

Cheap Trains to Manchester

"When entering for the first time a town like Manchester, a stranger, overwhelmed by the new and interesting spectacle presented to him, scarcely dares look this giant full in the face at once....” J.G.Kohl

This destination guide for Manchester provides tips to make your train to Manchester even cheaper.

Tip 1: If you can, book in advance for the cheapest tickets
To get the best price on trains to Manchester it is worth booking your journey early, most train companies make advance tickets available to book up to 12 weeks before you travel. There can be high demand for these tickets, so it is worth booking your trains early if you can for the cheapest fares. However, if you aren't able to buy your ticket until the last minute then advance tickets may be available for your journey up to one hour before departure from your train station, however, these will have sometimes sold out before then, so it is, of course, a risk to leave booking this late.

Tell us which station you want to go to and in no time you might be having fun in the hustle and bustle of Manchester with Alex Ferguson and Ken Barlow (Well you never know). You might want to take in a match at Old Trafford (or The City of Manchester Stadium), enjoy an interesting visit to Manchester Town Hall or watch a play at the Royal Exchange Theatre. Manchester is one of the great destinations with some of the UK's best attractions, ideal for families and groups of friends and a very popular place to travel on business.

Tip 2: Use a site that doesn't charge a booking fee
Split My Fare doesn't charge any credit card or booking fees for your journey, we will only deduct 10% of any saving you make when you successfully split your ticket. As such, if you make no split saving when booking your trains, then you won't be charged any fee. Some retailers aren't so kind though, Trainline charges up to £1.50 on every ticket you book for example. As an accredited ticket retailer, you can rest safely when you book your journey with us.

Tip 3: If your train is delayed, then claim a refund through Delay Repay
Unfortunately, sometimes trains don't arrive on time at the train station and you could be left waiting on the platform for a little while. If your train is late, however, you can claim a partial refund on your train tickets to Manchester with Delay Repay, whatever the reason may be for the delay in getting to the train station. It is worth checking with the Train Operating Company you travel with what the minimum delay is that they will refund for on a journey, with some this could be as low as around 15 minutes. Once you have found out if your journey is eligible for one, you can then make your ticket cheaper by applying for the refund with them directly.

£33.00 saving (22%)


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£5.80 saving (16%)


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£17.00 saving (28%)


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Tip 4: Stay on the quieter routes to less busy stations if you can
Train tickets are largely priced based on demand, as such busier routes to busier stations in the city centre aren't likely to be the best priced. Because of this, another way to buy a cheap train ticket to Manchester is to stay on a quieter route and if you can depart your train just outside Manchester rather than going direct to a train station in the city centre.

Split My Fare recommend a visit to the Museum of Science & Industry if you've got kids. For those looking for a good night out The Printworks is definitely worth a visit.

Train Fact: The world's first passenger railway ran from Manchester.

Manchester's most famous football clubs, City and United often take the top spots in the Premier League table. As well as football the city has a huge student population, a buzzing social scene in the centre with many pubs and clubs and is known the world over as the birthplace of the industrial revolution. Manchester continues to thrive and is the third most visited city in the U.K.

Tip 5: If you're going in a group, always book together
You can sometimes get 1/3 off your tickets when you travel together in a group of 3 to 9 people. As long as you're taking the same train and doing so during off-peak hours then this discount will automatically be applied to your journey at checkout getting you the best price, depending on the rail network you're using. If you don't want the hassle of collect lots of paper tickets when getting these cheap split train tickets to Manchester, you can receive these by E-Ticket to your phone instead and send them on to each person.

Mancunians are known for their strength and togetherness in a forward-thinking city that they take pride in. Being home to many famous musical acts, fantastic shopping and now restaurants from top chefs such as Simon Rogan and Jason Atherton, the city has plenty to offer to tourists no matter what they are looking for.

Tip 6: Double-check the cost of Singles and Returns
When going by train and not just travelling one way, it can be worth comparing the price of single and return tickets to buy the cheapest train tickets to Manchester. It can be the case that sometimes for your journey two single tickets will work out less than a single return ticket, the good news is Split My Fare will sell you whichever combination works out at the lowest price.

Tip 7: Look at using the slower trains to Manchester
If you're looking for cheap train tickets to Manchester and don't mind taking slightly longer in getting to your station, you may get these lower-priced tickets when using a slower train. If a slower train is less expensive for your journey, we will show you this option to select, if you'd rather travel to Manchester as quick as possible though, additionally you have the option to only see faster trains.

It would take just a 10-minute walk from Manchester Piccadilly to get to the Northern Quarter and experience a taste of what sets Manchester apart from other English cities. You can head to the Castlefield conservation area to see the 18th-century canal system where the interactive Museum of Science and Industry traces the period of the city when it was a textile powerhouse.

Tip 8: Look at the prices of both Standard and 1st Class Tickets
It seems silly but 1st Class Tickets can sometimes work out costing less or not much more expensive than Standard Class Tickets. This is due to changes in demand for tickets, it may be the case that not many 1st Class Tickets have been sold on a train, whereas Standard Class is almost sold out. As such, it is worth comparing the prices of the two, which you can easily do via a dropdown on our site.

Tip 9: If you travel a few times a year, get a Railcard
If you use a railcard, you can save up to 1/3 off your train tickets to Manchester. As such, even if you only go on a few train journeys a year it will normally cost less to purchase these, especially as all train companies accept them. With it, you can often get additional benefits, such as free entry to major attractions and other discounts too.

With the price of most Railcards, very low at £30 per year, they are great value for money and you can get them for a lower price by paying for 3 years for around £70.

If you're travelling as a pair, the Two Together Railcard means you can save 1/3 on most tickets.

If you have a family or travel as a big group, then the Family & Friends Railcard will be perfect for you. As well as giving 1/3 off most adult fares, children will get 60% off most fares. This can be used for up to 4 Adults and 4 Children.

The Senior Railcard, available for those over 60 provides 1/3 off most tickets but is slightly cheaper, with a 3-year card available for just £70!

For Disabled Passengers, you can purchase a Disabled Persons Railcard for just £20 a year, again getting 1/3 off your tickets.

There are other Railcards available for passengers to use on their journeys, including the 26-30 Railcard and Network Railcard.

If you would like more information on these Railcards, you find this on the Railcard website or purchase your Railcard at any National Rail Ticket Office.

If you like literature and are familiar with Elizabeth Gaskell, author of “North and South”, you can visit the author's house which has been converted into a museum open to the public. Formerly known as 84 Plymouth Grove, the museum has been listed as a neoclassical villa, preserved to honour the author and her family.

Tip 10: If you're flexible in your travel look at different dates and times
If you're looking for cheap train tickets and you don't have to travel on a specific day at a specific time, it can be worth comparing different dates and times to find the cheapest tickets. You might find one of these dates has advance tickets available, whereas another doesn't, or that by travelling on a weekday rather than a weekend you find cheaper tickets due to lower demand.

Manchester Piccadilly has regular rail services and Manchester Airport can be accessed from the city centre, with journeys taking around twenty minutes. Both stations are open seven days a week and serviced through operators TransPennine Express and Northern Rail. In between Whitworth West and Oxford Street, you can also find the Manchester Oxford Road railway station.

Main stations in Manchester

  • Manchester Airport
  • Manchester Oxford Road
  • Manchester Piccadilly
  • Manchester Utd Football Gd
  • Manchester Victoria

Frequently Asked Questions

⏱️ How long is a train to Manchester?

The length of journey from London to Manchester is typically 2 hours 35 minutes. Trains may take slightly longer during holidays and at weekends.

🚆 What train goes to Manchester?

You can get a train to Manchester from almost anywhere, with journeys stopping at Manchester Victoria, Manchester Piccadilly and Manchester Oxford Road.