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Old 3rd January 2017, 19:19   #16
Neil Williams
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TBH, I think it would work better if we applied a capped system and removed these anomalies. So an Anytime Single to Preston/Manchester/Liverpool might be £145, but so would be one to Lancaster, Edinburgh, or even Wick. By the time you got to the latter you wouldn't need an Off Peak.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 19:25   #17
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Originally Posted by ChrisD4 View Post
I get that, but this is a bit different though - I'm using the same train, for less time. Your analogy involves a different route and different flights.
I am trying to illustrate the variance in demand between two destinations.

(And not different flights, the same ones from London!)
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Old 3rd January 2017, 19:32   #18
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Originally Posted by Goatboy View Post
...Whilst personally I was over the moon to pay so little for so much I'd have made the trip had it been 50% more expensive ...
But others would not have. So the solution is to monitor your account and see how much you are likely to travel anyway; anyone seen as a 'business' type customer could be charged extra. I'd be careful what you wish for...

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Originally Posted by ChrisD4 View Post
I get that, but this is a bit different though - I'm using the same train, for less time. Your analogy involves a different route and different flights.
If we must use an analogy, Dublin to New York (I think) via London is cheaper than just London to New York. On the same plane from London.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 19:37   #19
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If we must use an analogy, Dublin to New York (I think) via London is cheaper than just London to New York. On the same plane from London.
That's slightly different in that a direct flight is worth more than a connectional one.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 19:40   #20
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Originally Posted by TrainfanBen View Post
You could ask for a Cumbria dayranger and then use that for any Preston/Lancaster combination...
At over £40, I'd take my Lancaster-Preston suggestion!

Or, for £22.70 you can get a Lancashire Day Ranger, valid from Preston to Lancaster and back (and considerably beyond) so would cover a journey from London to Preston via Lancaster but also overlaps in validity with the other ticket between Wigan at Preston.

The train doesn't need to call at Wigan; you can switch tickets there and the second ticket allows a break of journey (and would obviously not be questioned at all at the barriers).

The journey would therefore be London to Preston using a combination of tickets, and the journey would not have to go via Lancaster according to my interpretation of the rules.

I know some people agree with me, I know some people disagree. But where there is doubt (I don't think there is any doubt), the law sides with the consumer!

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Originally Posted by Neil Williams View Post
That's slightly different in that a direct flight is worth more than a connectional one.
OK, if there is no analogy, rail fares are bonkers. Happy?

(Valid analogy or not, the fare disparity being justified or not, many fares are bonkers!)
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Old 3rd January 2017, 19:46   #21
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OK, if there is no analogy, rail fares are bonkers. Happy?
I'm not going to argue with that!

(Though I fear that simplifying them properly so they aren't bonkers would have to involve one of two things: route-specific kilometric pricing, possibly exponential[1], or per-train pricing with compulsory reservations)

[1] To a fractional power, so the increase per km gets lower the further you go.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 19:48   #22
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That's slightly different in that a direct flight is worth more than a connectional one.
True.

But London to San Francisco is usually cheaper than London to Vancouver despite being much further away. Same A380 aircraft, different city pairs.

It is all about demand, which can be affected by a wide variety of factors.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 20:03   #23
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Why not simply buy a Wigan Preston anytime single as the last stop before Preston on the 17.57 is Wigan?

Last edited by Mag_seven; 3rd January 2017 at 20:06.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 20:11   #24
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Originally Posted by AlterEgo View Post
True.

But London to San Francisco is usually cheaper than London to Vancouver despite being much further away. Same A380 aircraft, different city pairs.
But they are completely separate flows - a full flight to Vancouver doesn't reduce capacity for people paying less to San Francisco.

Whereas a Pendolino full of people on cheap fares to Lancaster blocks seating for people on expensive fares to Preston.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 20:12   #25
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Originally Posted by yorkie View Post

OK, if there is no analogy, rail fares are bonkers. Happy?
On National Express coaches a return from Brighton to Heathrow costs less than a return from Gatwick to Heathrow, even if the Brighton journey involves changing coaches at Gatwick.

And no, you can't stop or start short on that either.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 20:13   #26
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Originally Posted by Goatboy View Post
Quite, but either the seat's there or it isn't. If there is that much demand for Wigan and Preston then where is the room to stuff people going to Lancaster for a third of the price?
There is space because the fare to Wigan and Preston is high enough to cause some travellers to travel off peak.

If the fare really is to manage demand then it appears to work. When I have travelled on peak services out of Euston most reservable seats are booked but there are enough seats in U or F (and unclaimed reservations) for people to get a seat. Charge everyone the lower fare and you would soon see the train full and standing, as happens on the 1930 - the first of two off peak to Preston on the direct route and the only direct off peak north of Lancaster.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 21:02   #27
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Originally Posted by ChrisD4 View Post
I don't want to dodge fares. I want to know why Virgin are charging me three times as much as people further along the line. I'm using less of their service, and getting penalised for it.
No, you're not using less of the service, you're using a different service. The fact that a train from London to Lancaster happens to go through Preston is a coincidence.

The pricing is demand-led.
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Old 3rd January 2017, 21:41   #28
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It's not an unusual situation.

Historically, Lancaster and points North had a significantly less frequent London service than Preston as well as being much less significant in terms of business travel.
Neither is now true, and Lancaster folk do well out of it - but I bet there'd be an outcry if the restrictions were to change! (It might even be that they can't be because of the way Saver fares are regulated - but I don't know!)
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Old 3rd January 2017, 21:49   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mag_seven View Post
Why not simply buy a Wigan Preston anytime single as the last stop before Preston on the 17.57 is Wigan?

In my view this would be fraud.


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Old 3rd January 2017, 22:05   #30
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In my view this would be fraud.


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Strong stuff! I would love to see this contested in court. I have traveled from Wigan to Preston on a valid Preston to Wigan ticket! Does the fact that I am already on the train when the service arrives at Wigan somehow invalidate the Wigan - Preston ticket?
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