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Getting the train to the airport...

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Flying from Manchester this season, which is a bit less convenient than Birmingham. Similar distance-wise but a far slower drive which can be prone to bad weather delays (although I do have winter tyres). A bit of googling has shown that the return train fare to Manchester airport is cheaper than any of the airport car parking quotes, although takes a fair bit longer than driving and involves a change of trains at Sheffield.

Has anyone done this before? I rarely use UK trains so I'm aware of the headlines about delays and cancellations, but is it really that bad? Also am I going to be the most unpopular person in the carriage traveling with a large hold bag, a ski bag and hand luggage? I'm all for saving a bit of money, but not if it means risking missing a flight.

I've taken the train in Austria before to get to Munich airport and of course that was a model of germanic efficiency, albeit a lot slower than by car. There was even a helpful man at the station in Radstadt to lift my luggage onto the train (no platform as such, it was a long way up!).

Any comments/experiences to share?
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
I have just come back from Canada via Manchester Airport and traveled back to Birmingham by train. It was a breeze, there is a station right in the airport. You may have to change at Manchester Piccadilly.

One tip, don't buy the cheapest ticket for the return, that restricts you to one train. I arrived half an hour early due to tail winds, it was 7am and we were through the controls and luggage in less than 30 mins. I was able to catch a train an hour earlier than planned because I had a flexible ticket, it would also have been handy had I been late.

There was adequate room for luggage.

I have in the past when getting an early flight driven and stayed in a nearby country hotel were I left the car for two weeks, the cost was the same as paying to park at the airport, they also arranged a free taxi there and back.


Last edited by Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person on Sat 31-10-15 15:53; edited 1 time in total
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I've just travelled from St Albans to Gatwick on the train without too much hassle. Massive ruscksack and big ski bag. Wouldn't have wanted to do it in rush hour, mind!

I will be in Tignes in a few hours! snowHead
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jbob wrote:
I have just come back from Canada via Manchester Airport and traveled back to Birmingham by train. It was a breeze, there is a station right in the airport. You will have to change at Manchester Picaddily.



Shouldn't need to change at Man Picc for Sheffield, it's a direct trans pennine train IIRC.

Airport station is very easy and very good, right inbetween the two terminals and fully linked by walkways.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@queen bodecia, how much have you been quoted for car parking? It's not the most convenient as you have to get the car park bus for the cheap ones, but I've usually paid under £20/wk and £25 was the most.

The train is ok if it matches up with your flight times. Very early or late flights involve a lot of sitting around as they don't run at night. Bear in mind that if it's the Trans Pennine Express you need, it can be massively overcrowded and generally unreliable Sad
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There are "Airport Advance" tickets to/from Manchester that have a few more rights than just an advance ticket. Forget the exact details but it does allow travel on a later train than the booked one if the flight is delayed.

All my trains were on time to/from Manchester in summer. And yes clambering up on to an ICE train (actually think it was an IC/EC) at radstadt with skis and rucksack seemed a bit old school, but I conveniently positioned myself at the door where the guard pops out.

Only backwards thing about the UK advance tickets was that you can only pick them up from a station, and can't print out PDF like you can with other UK tickets and pretty much all German/Austrian tickets. Ticket machine works well though for collection.

I got 1st class tickets. one cost me less than 2nd class (MIA-Glasgow iirc), and another cost me a whopping £2 more (lake district to MIA).
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@Maireadoconnor, I will be in Tignes in a few hours! snowHead

that's just rubbing it in for the likes of us who have to wait until feb!!!!
(or sporadic trips to hemel, but not he same)
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
Depends on where the Trans Pennine not so Express originated as to whether it goes direct to the airport or not - but there are regular trains from Piccadilly directly to the airport where a travelator takes you into one of the terminals. However, there are currently a lot of engineering works in the area and schedules have been reduced so check before you travel.
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You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Flight times are fine, I'm on an evening flight to Munich and an early morning return into Manchester. And yes it will be the Transpennine Express from Sheffield and Northern Trains to Sheffield. It's far enough in advance to get the tickets posted to my home address, there's no ticket office or machine at my local station.

@Scarlet, on-site parking at Manchester for 10 days starts at £34.99. There's off-site parking (some of which seems miles away!) for a few quid cheaper. Plus of course the £15 or so for diesel there and back. The return train fare is £31.40.
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@queen bodecia, back in the day I had been known to take my ski kit from home, to the Central London office by rush hour tube then train to Gatwick. No issue.

While I went out of my way to minimise anyone else's inconvenience, at the end of the day, if they're unhappy, it's their problem.
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I'm sure you've checked but depending on which train you take you can go direct from Sheffield to the airport or have to change at Piccadilly. The trainline also shows a service with 2 changes at stockport and wilmslow. But of course I don't know your home station.

Piccadilly is a big station and there may be a bit of a walk between platforms.

I've travelled from Liverpool to Sheffield a few times and my son has used the service on his last two visits home from Uni. We've had no problems but there's not much luggage space. Your skis will go on the overhead rack but your bag may need to go on an adjacent seat.

It might be best to allow extra time for getting to the airport in case of delays.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
Took my double ski bag once by train from Brum to Oxford and ended up standing up next to it all the way as I couldn't find anywhere else to put it. OK for a short journey though.
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So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
queen bodecia wrote:
Flying from Manchester this season, which is a bit less convenient than Birmingham. Similar distance-wise but a far slower drive which can be prone to bad weather delays (although I do have winter tyres). A bit of googling has shown that the return train fare to Manchester airport is cheaper than any of the airport car parking quotes, although takes a fair bit longer than driving and involves a change of trains at Sheffield.

Has anyone done this before? I rarely use UK trains so I'm aware of the headlines about delays and cancellations, but is it really that bad? Also am I going to be the most unpopular person in the carriage traveling with a large hold bag, a ski bag and hand luggage? I'm all for saving a bit of money, but not if it means risking missing a flight.

I've taken the train in Austria before to get to Munich airport and of course that was a model of germanic efficiency, albeit a lot slower than by car. There was even a helpful man at the station in Radstadt to lift my luggage onto the train (no platform as such, it was a long way up!).

Any comments/experiences to share?


I live in the opposite direction to you but here is a top tip to test.

Coming form Glasgow.... if you get a ticket to preston then from preston to MAN it is cheaper than a straight through ticket. Also, trains from Presto to MAN are rammed so don't get the standard £11 single, get the £14 first class and get agree tea/coffee/food. Happy

I always give myself at least 1 train leeway, but I have a lounge card so if I get here early I simply go into the airport lounge (not done it at MAN).

cheers
bob
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
The train station in Manchester airport is pretty good for getting to T1 and OK for T2. T3 involves walking through T1. For T1 it's about as convenient as taxi drop off. If you don't mind walking through the airport with your stuff it will take much less time than parking once you are there. From the platform you get a lift that exits into a pedestrian walkway. If you don't have to change at Piccadilly and are close to a station at your end, its probably a good option.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
I don't need to change at Piccadilly, just Sheffield. And my local station is at the bottom of my street.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
welshskier wrote:
Took my double ski bag once by train from Brum to Oxford and ended up standing up next to it all the way as I couldn't find anywhere else to put it. OK for a short journey though.


The luggage rack above seats can work well. Maybe not on a crowded train.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
queen bodecia wrote:
Any comments/experiences to share?


Done it many times, never had a problem.
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