Modifying searches by adding a via station
For most searches the default results contain the most logical routes and best fares, so it isn't usually necessary to modify searches. To understand how to perform a basic search see Getting started with Loco2.
For more complex journeys, or if you're looking for a new ticket combination, the "More options" feature may be useful. You can also use it, say, to change trains in Lille instead of Paris. We explain how and why to use this tool below.
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Increase time between trains
When you select "More options" you will be asked to specify the station and the length of time you want to spend there. Add a couple of hours for lunch, or several days if you prefer.
If you just want to spend the night and continue your journey the next day, you should enter 12 to 16 hours to see trains the following morning.
You can do the same for a return search, and set a different amount of time for the return journey if you wish. However, it is not possible to set a different "via" station for outbound and inbound journeys; the origin and destination must be the same.
This tool can also be used to reduce the amount of time between trains, but should be used with caution. Please be advised that in the case of international trains, your trip may not be covered by the CIV rules governing international rail journeys if you opt for a very short interchange that doesn't leave a practical window in which to change trains.
Go via a specific station
The "More options" functionality can be used to go via a specific station, for example by choosing a Eurostar train via Lille to avoid changing trains in Paris. When you select "More options" you will be invited to specify the station you want to travel via.
If you aren't sure how long is required to change trains, you can leave the duration blank and we'll check if the rail operator returns a recommended duration. If this doesn't work (if it's not a typical route for your start/end stations) then you may need to specify an amount of time.
If the route is possible, we'll show results via your chosen station. However, bear in mind that going via a particular station does not necessarily prevent your journey from going through another place.
For example, a search from London to Nice via Lille will show results from London to Lille/Lille to Nice, but it may also show trains from London to Lille/Lille to Paris/Paris to Nice. Check the results thoroughly to make sure you get your preferred route.
Mix and match travel classes
Tickets that include travel on more than one train are often bundled together so that you have the same class for the entire journey. This is usually fine, but there are some occasions where you may prefer to mix and match the travel class. For example, travel in Standard Class on the Eurostar for the first couple of hours of your trip, then switch to First Class for your onward journey.
You can use the "more options" functionality as described above ( Go via a specific station) to split your tickets. This allows you to select a different travel class for each leg of your trip.
Troubleshoot a failed search
Sometimes searches fail when you enter a via station. This could be due to a numbers of reasons, so there are a few ways you can troubleshoot your search if it fails. We outline the basic steps below, but please see our dedicated Help article Troubleshooting a failed search for specific details.
- Choose 'Any Station': If you're going via a destination with more than one station, your trains may not arrive and depart from the same one. If you're any doubt, choose an 'Any Station' option if it's available.
- Check the route: It may not be possible to go via your specified station. If you aren't sure, try searching for each leg separately to make sure it's possible and make a note of train times and departure/arrival stations.
- Check the route the other way: Often, it's possible to go via a specific station on the way out, but not on the way back. This varies depending on the timetable and season, for example there are very few direct trains from Nice to Lille in winter months. As above, try searching for each leg separately to make sure it's possible then modify your return search accordingly.
- Split your search, or search individual legs: For some complex itineraries e.g. searches to less popular destinations, or journeys that cross multiple borders, Loco2 may not be able to find tickets for your entire search right away. If this is applicable, we show an error message "Sorry, we haven't found any tickets" and will display a timetable to help you troubleshoot your search:You can view timetable results to get an idea of a suitable route, and search for tickets individually by clicking the respective "search for tickets" button. This will launch a new tab with a search for each individual leg of the journey. This means you can build a complex itinerary, and add multiple tickets to your basket.
- Alternatively, you can choose a station from the results to split your journey. Once you've identified a suitable station to split your search e.g. Cologne, you can use the "More options" button to add a via station, before running the search again and hopefully finding tickets for your entire journey.