Saturday 11 January 2020 3:59 pm

Trainline hits back at Virgin with its own 'split ticketing' initiative

Ticketing app Trainline has launched its own version of “split ticketing” just days after Virgin Rail launched its own app with the legal loophole in a bid to end Trainline’s stranglehold on the market.

Split ticketing purchases two or more tickets for a journey at a lower price than a standard fare.

The split ticketing initiative has grown popular among savvy UK customers and Virgin had endeavoured to take advantage of it by rolling out their own app, however Trainline have hit back with their own SplitSave initiative, first reported by the Daily Telegraph.

Read more: Trainline sales surge to £198m on £2.9bn ticket sales

Trainline has said it could save commuters up to £260 per year.

The London-listed firm was launched by Virgin Group in 1997 before being sold in 2006.

It floated on the stock market last year and was valued at more than £2.2bn.

Sir Richard Branson’s two decade stint running British rail services came to an end last year after Virgin’s bid to continue running the west coast rain line was disqualified by the government.

Virgin’s venture into a ticketing app now threatens the dominance of Trainline.

It is the second company to present a major challenge to Tramline following Trenitalia’s trail of a British version of its popular software in Italy.

Trainline’s SplitSave initiative has estimated it will save travellers up to £340m in total this year.

Jacqueline Starr of the Rail Delivery Group told the Telegraph that split ticketing was “only sticking plaster solutions on a system in need of major surgery.”

Trainline boss Clare Gilmartin said: “We’re passionate about helping our customers save as much money on train travel as possible and we think SplitSave is going to make a real difference.

“We’ve been working closely with our industry partners on this exciting new feature, as it represents another big step in our shared goal of getting more people to pick train travel over cars and flights.”