Millions of London 2012 spectators will be able to take advantage of great value rail fares from this month, well ahead of next summer's Games.
Train companies are offering special rail fares exclusively to Olympic and Paralympic spectators. '2012 Games Train Tickets' will be available to buy more than 12 months in advance of the start of the Olympic Games, allowing spectators to book their rail travel once they have confirmation of all their London 2012 sports event tickets.
The tickets will offer great value rail travel from every National Rail station across Great Britain to all the Games venues. First Class tickets will be offered on any services where First Class is available and child and Railcard discounts will apply with no time or minimum fare restrictions. Seat reservations will be available for longer journeys.
2012 Games Train Tickets are designed to be flexible and will allow spectators to change the time they return should an event be unexpectedly rescheduled, or if they simply wish to remain longer. They will be available to buy through the dedicated website - www.nationalrailgamestravel.co.uk - which will go live in late June.
Spectators will be directed to the website from the Olympic Delivery Authority's (ODA) own Spectator Journey Planner page - www.london2012.com/travel - which will inform spectators on how to get to specific venues, whether by rail, bus, coach, river, bike or foot, and direct them to the relevant travel provider for booking tickets.
The 2012 Games train fares can be used by event ticket holders to travel to and from London and all cities hosting Games events: Coventry, Newcastle, Glasgow, Manchester, Cardiff and Weymouth.
Ticketed spectators travelling to Games events in and around London will also be given a free Games Travelcard with their Games event ticket, allowing free travel within zones 1-9 and as far as Watford Junction on most National Rail services, and all Transport for London services throughout the day of their event. Spectators with event tickets to venues around London - Eton Dorney (Rowing), Lee Valley White Water Centre (Canoe Slalom) and Hadleigh Farm (Mountain Biking) - will receive a Travelcard, and will be able to travel on National Rail between London and the recommended stations for those venues at no additional charge.
Examples of 2012 Games train fares include:
Newcastle to London - Advance return: from £37
Leeds/York to London - Advance return: from £32
Coventry to London - Advance return: £40.40
Glasgow to London - Advance return: £94.40
Preston to London - Advance return: £61.40
Manchester to London - Advance return: £46.40
Cardiff to London - Advance return: from £21
Basingstoke to London - Advance return: £15
Sheffield to Manchester - Day return: £19.40
Cambridge to London - Day return: £17
These prices will be even lower for spectators with a Railcard, who will be able to get at least a third off any 2012 Games train fare.
Train companies have also worked with Network Rail and ODA to draw up a special Olympic and Paralympic timetable providing thousands more services, running later in the evening and starting earlier. This will ensure that more than eight million people are able to get to and from London 2012 Games venues. There will also be more maximum length trains, and extended peak hour periods offering more frequent trains. Like the rail fares, the timetable has been developed earlier than usual so that spectators can book seats from late June 2011.
Michael Roberts, Chief Executive of the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), said: "The rail industry is committed to offering fast, flexible, reliable and affordable travel for the millions of spectators expected at Olympic and Paralympic events. Not only will the 2012 Games Train Tickets offer spectators great value for money, they can be booked over 12 months in advance - a UK first for a major event - and are flexible to allow spectators to change their plans.
"Thousands of extra services, earlier starting and later trains will be provided during the Games, to help ensure spectators enjoy all of the action."
Hugh Sumner, ODA Director of Transport said: "In just over a year the country will stage the greatest show on Earth and spectators will have every chance to begin planning their journeys from the end of June. The ODA's own Spectator Journey Planner will act as a one-stop shop that will outline the various ways of getting to venues and direct people to the relevant travel providers for booking their fares.
"ATOC has done an excellent job in working with the nation's train companies to offer a bespoke rail ticket with clear-to-see benefits - from early booking to flexible terms and conditions."
David Higgins, chief executive of Network Rail, said: "The Olympics is about sport, not transport. Our job during Games time is to provide smooth, seamless journeys for spectators travelling to and from Olympic and Paralympic venues, whilst continuing to offer the service which keeps millions of people moving across Britain each day."
Rail Minister Theresa Villiers said: "For millions of people London 2012 will be the event of their year and our rail network will be on the frontline, carrying the public to where they need to be at the right time.
"I'm pleased the industry has come together to offer some great value fares with added flexibility and the ability to book a full year in advance. This will help spectators to make the very most of their trip to the Games."