The Trainline review: The Trainline

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The Trainline

(Part #: CNETThe Trainline)
3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Free to install; free to use a debit card; user-friendly.

The Bad High credit-card fee; £1 booking fee; no live departure information.

The Bottom Line For planning journeys and booking tickets on the go, the Trainline app is well worth having. Just keep an eye on the fees.

7.5 Overall

Who wants to bother typing on actual keys on an actual computer? We have mobiles now, for Pete's sake! So forget the best train-booking websites , grandma, and saddle up to get tickets on your mobile with the Trainline app.

We tested the app on the iPhone , because we're fancy like that, but it's also available on non-touchscreen BlackBerry phones, as well as some Nokia, Samsung and Sony Ericsson handsets, with support for Android devices on the way. A full list of supported phones is available on the Trainline website. The app is free to install.

First one's free

We like the National Rail website because it's independent and links straight to the right train company when you're ready to book a ticket, skipping the booking fees. But National Rail's iPhone app is particularly pricey, at £4.99, and you can't book tickets from it. It's great for finding train times, but, at that price, it ought to be.

The Trainline app is free, and can do the same job of helping you plan your journey on the iron highway. But it can't show live departure information like the National Rail app can, and that feature comes in very handy when you're at the station and trying to find the right platform.

The Trainline app is the first one that lets you buy train tickets within the app, although, in the Raileasy app, you can search for a journey and then use the browser to buy tickets on a mobile-friendly site. Other train sites offer mobile-friendly sites too.

In our tests, the Trainline app did a great job of helping us buy tickets quickly and easily. The interface is well designed and user-friendly, and even fiddly tasks, like entering credit-card information, are straightforward. That's what makes having an app useful, as opposed to using a website, since even mobile-friendly websites can be fiddly and unforgiving of mistakes and dropped data connections.

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