TFNation 2017 – National/international travel information.
With August fast approaching, we are aware many attendees are now planning their transport to and from the event. This can be a stressful experience for first-time visitors, especially for those travelling to the UK for the first time. We hope this guide will assist you with booking travel, and help you save some money on those travel costs.
TFNation is being held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole which is located next to the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) in Birmingham. The NEC has strong transport links via Birmingham International Train Station, Birmingham International Airport and the road network, though attendees will need to be aware of the details for each.
As this is already a long post, we will post a more detailed local guide for travel between the Airport/Train station and the Hilton and Resort World, next weekend. This guide is to help people get to the Birmingham NEC.
The travel sections are as follows
1) If you are travelling by train.
Birmingham International train station is part of the cross country network and so has good links other lines throughout the country. If your journey requires you to change at Birmingham New Street, do not worry as there are regular services Between New Street and International every 15mins, on both virgin and london midland trains. To plan your journey go to http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/
Birmingham International Station is linked to the NEC via an overpass that is open from 06:00am to 01:00 am, though it has been known to shut earlier. Outside of those hours, you can walk around the NEC (more details to follow in our local guide) or get a taxi from outside the train station.
If you are staying at the Hilton, you can utilise their free minibus, which travels from the station carpark to the hotel reception. The dedicated phone for this will be noted on our local guide photos.
Train booking tips
DO NOT BUY YOUR TICKETS ON THE DAY OF TRAVEL, AT A TRAIN STATION! Book in advance (via trainline.com/national rail enquiries/other booking sites) and save money. Yes, you will be tied to a set time and train, but many advance first class tickets are cheaper than second class tickets, purchased on the day.
Booking advance tickets means being tied to particular trains. If timeliness is not a virtue, be aware that missed trains can mean you pay the full price for a new ticket! Also check your operators T&C on cancelations. Missing trains due to faulty services can also cause issues.
Several companies offer reasonable weekend first class upgrades. If you are spending several hours on a train, even on the way home, why not allow yourself some comfort?
Travelling between London and Birmingham? If time is not an issue take the far quieter train between Marylebone and Birmingham Moor Street and save a considerable sum over the London Euston to Birmingham route. This option means making a 10min walk From Moor Street to New Street to continue your journey, but this will allow attendees chance to “stock up” in Birmingham city centre, on the way to the event.
2) By air
Birmingham International Airport is linked to the International Train Station via a free monorail that runs every 10 mins from 5am to 02am. From there, you can head to the NEC via the overpass, alternate night route or taxi.
Airport tip: Due to safety issues, some hotels have halted previously running shuttle services to the Airport, with some instead traveling to the International train station. Make sure you check with your hotel’s travel services when booking.
3) By car
The Hilton Birmingham Metropole
The NEC Birmingham,
The Hotel is located within the NEC complex in Birmingham, on the in east side of the M42 ring road just off junction 6. You’ll find the NEC clearly signposted from all motorways and major routes including the M42, M40 and M6. When you arrive at the NEC look for the Hilton Metropole signs.
Keep track of any roadworks or travel issues by checking out Highways.gov at http://www.highways.gov.uk/traffic-information
We will add further, more detailed local advice for car users in the next update
If you can share the journey with friends, then it will not only reduce costs, but make the trip a bit more interesting. Just be sure you chip in for petrol and parking!
The Hilton has ample secure parking space, with reduced rates for hotel residents of £9 a night and £15 for visitors. To ensure you pay the reduced rate,, you will need to present your parking ticket to the Hilton’s reception before departure. If you do not present your ticket to reception, or you are not staying at the hotel, then you will be charged the full rate and this cannot be amended afterwards.
4) By coach
Birmingham’s main coach station is located in Birmingham City Centre, 10minutes from Birmingham New Street, and is serviced by National Express. Visit their website at www.nationalexpress.co.uk for timetables. Megabus also run services through Birmingham. Please check www.megabus.com for details.
We’d recommend booking your journey in advance to get the best reductions on your fare.
Note: Some journeys will stop at Birmingham International Airport so this may be an option for you rather than travelling to Birmingham City Centre and then back out again towards the Hilton.