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Train prices are now so obscene that this man saved money by going from Newcastle to London via Spain

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Gary Ogden
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A man who “does stuff on the internet” and is a bit of an “attention seeker” was invited down to London to see a couple of mates, which is a pretty simple request – obviously just get the train down. Three-hour journey, couple of Marks and Spencer G&Ts, Bob’s your father’s brother.

But no, Joe Furness wasn’t having that, he wasn’t willing to pay the (admittedly quite steep) price of £78.50 for the ticket. So what did he do? Stay at home? Get a Megabus? Walk? No, he went via Spain.

He worked out that if he flew from Newcastle to Menorca, it would cost him £15.99, and then from Menorca to London, £10.99. That’s £26.98 overall, which is a bit of a bargain. Additionally, he’d have a good 12 hours in Spain to do what he wanted, so he hired a car (£7.50), bought a cocktail (£4) and had a look around – he also slept in his car, so he didn’t have to pay for accommodation.

Of course, taking this cheaper route meant that the journey lasted 24 hours instead of three, so could quite easily be viewed as a massive waste of time, and can’t have impressed the carbon footprint crowd, but still – he got a YouTube video out of it. A YouTube video he’s helpfully made unavailable to watch in this country. However, if you take his re-routing methods and apply them to the internet, you can just use a proxy server to watch it, which is a bit like getting a plane to Spain just to get to London. A bit.

Or alternatively, you could just watch this version The Metro put together, and is a bit like just getting the goddamn train down there:

I don’t know if I’m on board with this whole thing. He only had one cocktail, for starters, and he didn’t even eat anything (supposedly). I think he’s lying – I reckon he did some secret spending otherwise that trip would’ve been mighty boring. It probably cost the same in the end.

Also, I don’t mind paying a bit more if I get there quicker. I got a Megabus to Exeter on a stag do once and it took five more hours than my friends who got the train – I saved £30 but I would categorically never do that again. It was hell on earth. So yeah, I’d happily pay extra to get there in a shorter time. Don’t need to go to Spain to save £40.

Airports are stressful, flights are stressful, sleeping in a car is stressful, spending 12 hours on your own is not ideal (especially if you don’t eat anything) and one cocktail is never enough. Getting on a train is much simpler, and you can still get a YouTube video out of it if you throw a cat out of the window or something.

However, he does make an important point about the obscene price of rail travel in Britain, especially when you compare it to the rest of Europe. We’re paying through the nose to use the train.

Sure, flying to Spain is a bit extra, but so is paying six times more for a 100-mile journey in the UK than you’d have to in Belgium or Italy.

(Image: @joethesailor)

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Gary Ogden

Shortlist writer and "the least woke person in the office", Gary Ogden, likes horror movies, Cheestrings, tapping his leg under the desk, "having a drink", PDAs, not having eczema anymore, hiding from responsibility, screaming into the mirror whenever he is alone, and assorted other things. Mainly the eczema thing though. @garyblogden

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