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Old 13th August 2012, 17:06   #8
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1.5 Break of Journey

One of the advantages of rail travel is that it is often possible to stop somewhere on your journey (break your journey), do something like go shopping, meet friends or sightsee and then resume your journey at your leisure.

Sometimes it may also be convenient to start your journey at a station somewhere on the route, rather than the origin on the ticket (starting short), or end it early (ending short).

However, some tickets limit whether you may break your journey or not. This is explained in 1.4.3.

1.5.1 What is and is not a "Break of Journey"
Section 16 of the National Rail Conditions of Carriage (NRCoC) defines a break of journey as: "if you leave a Train Company’s or Rail Service Company’s stations after you start your journey."

However, it also defines the following exceptions as NOT being a break of journey:
"(i) to join a train at another station, or
(ii) to stay in overnight accommodation when you cannot reasonably complete your journey within one day, or
(iii) to follow any instructions given by a member of a Train Company’s staff."
So you're not breaking your journey if you have to go to another station to continue it, nor if you need to stay overnight because there are no more trains to your destination, nor if a member of staff gives you permission (for example, to go and smoke a cigarette).

Neither are you breaking your journey if you simply want to use station facilities (like shops, pubs, ticket offices etc). Sometimes this will require you to pass through the barriers, but that doesn't mean you're breaking your journey.
1.5.2 Break of Journey Types Breaking and Resuming Later
Unless your ticket restricts break of journey (see 1.4.3) you may leave the train at any station on a permitted route for as long as you like within the validity of the ticket. (Note that if the only reason your route is permitted is because you're using a through train, you can't do this, however).

There is no limit to the number of times you may break your journey, other than how long the ticket is valid for.
If you hold a ticket that is valid for more than one day, your break of journey can also include one or more nights provided you resume your journey whilst the ticket is still valid.

Some tickets that are valid for only one day may also allow an overnight stay. For example, the restriction codes on outward portions of off-peak tickets state "If the journey cannot be completed in this time, the ticket may be used to continue the journey on the following day...". Other conditions may apply, so see for details on restrictions codes. Starting And Ending Short
The NRCoC specifically allows you to start and/or end your journey short, provided that your ticket allows break of journey. Clause 16 states:
"You may start, or break and resume, a journey (in either direction in the case of a return ticket) at any intermediate station, as long as the ticket you hold is valid for the trains you want to use. You may also end your journey (in either direction in the case of a return ticket) before the destination shown on the ticket. However, these rights may not apply to some types of tickets for which a break of journey is prohibited, in which case the relevant Train Companies will make this clear in their notices and other publications."
You must make sure that any station you choose to start or end short at is on a permitted route from the ticket origin to destination.
Because of the way fares are priced, and depending on your journey and the route you want to take, it's possible that starting or ending short may save some money. London Underground / DLR
National Rail Enquiries says:

"You can ‘break your transfer journey' and leave the Underground at any intermediate station, e.g. if you are travelling between Victoria and Euston you can exit at Oxford Circus. However, if you subsequently wish to continue your journey by Underground you will have to purchase another ticket.
1.5.3 Break of Journey Restrictions
For detailed information about cross London transfers, see the Crossing London page.
Some tickets restrict your break of journey rights, whereas others freely allow breaks of journey. If you hold an ANYTIME or season ticket, there are no restrictions. For other tickets, any restrictions will be found the restriction code definition.

Advance purchase tickets never allow you to break your journey, or to start or end it at intermediate stations.

Occasionally Off Peak and Super Off Peak tickets may restrict break of journey on the outbound journey, but allow it on the return, so it's important to study the restriction code carefully. It may also be prudent to take a printout on your journey.
1.5.4 Permission to Break Journey
If a member of a train company's staff instructs you (or gives you permission) to exit a station, it does not count as a break of journey. For example, if you have a long wait for a connecting train you could ask to leave the station while you wait.

Although you have no automatic right to this, you will find that most staff will allow such a reasonable request.
1.5.5 Invalid Breaks of Journey
If you attempt to break your journey, but your ticket does not allow this, you are liable to pay an excess fare.

Last edited by SickyNicky; 9th January 2013 at 09:24. Reason: Updated
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