Just a quick tip for anyone who is travelling to Birmingham using the Cross Country trains network. If you split up your ticket into two halves (i.e. buy two tickets for different parts of the route), you can save a lot of money. For example, travel from Manchester to University costs over £70 normally. But if you book a ticket from Manchester to Stafford, and another from Stafford to University, it comes in at just over £30. If you’re travelling a long distance, it may be worth splitting the ticket several times. And if you book on Cross Country’s website, there is no booking fee and you can choose and reserve your seats.
I know this technique does not work on Virgin Trains, but it may be worth checking with other networks if you are travelling on a different line. And don’t forget to get your 25% off with a student railcard if you’re eligible.