We’ve discovered a “hack” to get you from Barrow-in-Furness to Manchester (it also works in many other places across the country) for a fraction of the price.
There’s a train at 9.35am which you could take. It’ll get you there at 11:57. But even with our split ticketing it would cost you £31.50. That’s because there are no advance tickets available, because you can’t reserve seats on the train.
But there’s a way around this. Take the train as far as Lancaster and change there onto the Avanti West Coast service to Wigan. This train actually overtakes the original train, and you can change back onto it at Wigan. Because the Avanti train is reservable, advance tickets are available. This brings the cost down to an astonishing £8 – even if you’re booking for tomorrow (obviously this is subject to availability).
You’ll still get into Manchester at the same time, but you’ll have to change twice – whether that’s worth it for the massive saving is up to you, of course.
TrainSplit finds both of the these options automatically, so you can choose what’s right for you. It also works for other stations around the Cumbrian coast.