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Old 20th March 2017, 08:12   #1
AM9
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Default Abbey Flyer off peak.

Looking fo a train from St Albans Abbey (SAA) that arrives at Watford Junction (WFJ) before 09:00, both NRE and the LM site offers an anytime fare at £7.50. BR Fares shows the Off-Peak Day Return (CDR) at £5.20 with the JK restriction. The terms of the JK restriction state:

Not valid on trains timed to depart after 04:29 which arrive at London Terminals or Kensington Olympia before 10:00

The Abbey line is self contained so a Ticket from SAA to WFJ would not involve any train that goes to 'London Terminals or Kensington Olympia'. As far as I can see, none of the General conditions mention any time restriction provided that Railcards aren't involved, - and London Travelcards rules are irrelevant here.

Can anybody please confirm whether the CDR is valid for the 08.25 train for SAA to WFJ?
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Old 20th March 2017, 10:58   #2
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I would argue it is valid, as per the restriction text.

There is a hidden restriction on the CDR preventing itinerary being shown for arrivals at WFJ before 0931, which explains why your train is not shown.
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Old 20th March 2017, 12:44   #3
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I would argue it is valid, as per the restriction text.

There is a hidden restriction on the CDR preventing itinerary being shown for arrivals at WFJ before 0931, which explains why your train is not shown.
What is the legal position re this "hidden restriction" and are there any others? Seems a bit dodgy to me.
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Old 20th March 2017, 16:38   #4
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What is the legal position re this "hidden restriction" and are there any others? Seems a bit dodgy to me.
If you search for the fare on BRFares, you will notice a section called "Unpublished Restrictions" towards the bottom of the page.

I suspect that these are used to fudge the journey planner in an attempt to get them to show the intended restrictions on these fares, but often these are not detailed in the published restriction text so I have doubts over how enforceable they are.
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Old 20th March 2017, 16:42   #5
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It's not so much to *fudge* the journey planner, it's more that it is the implementation of the restriction in terms of the relatively basic functionality the planner has.

For one example, AIUI the planner can't deal with "trains departing London between 0700 and 0900" for boarding at other stations unless you specify each train or you specify departure times separately for each relevant boarding station.
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Old 20th March 2017, 20:21   #6
AM9
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Thanks for all the responses. So it looks like another fudge because the TVM planner implemetation is a bit crude, which also has a revenue benefit by leading customers to buy anytime tickets where the official rules don't expect them.
I appreciate that vandal-proof TVMs are not cheap so they represent a considerable investment that will take some time for the current designs to be replaced. Do they normally communicate with a central computer on a per transcation basis, or do they operate autonomously except during updates?
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Old 20th March 2017, 20:25   #7
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Quote:
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I would argue it is valid, as per the restriction text.

There is a hidden restriction on the CDR preventing itinerary being shown for arrivals at WFJ before 0931, which explains why your train is not shown.
I've sucessfully argued that before on Liverpool-Birmingham with the return portion of a super off peak on the first train on a Saturday. I don't think the guard understood my point though when I explained why the ticket actually WAS valid!
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