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Old 25th August 2012, 22:52   #1
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Default RailUK Fares & Ticketing Guide - Section 3 - Routeing

Section 3 - Routeing

Contents


Last edited by yorkie; 9th January 2013 at 02:08. Reason: Updated
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Old 25th August 2012, 22:52   #2
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3.1 Introduction to routeing

A particular feature of the national railway network in Britain is that for many journeys, mostly over medium and longer distances, the passenger has a choice of routes over which their ticket is valid.

The Routeing Guide states that "Most customers wish to make journeys by through trains or by the shortest route" however in some cases passengers may wish to take the fastest route, while in others passengers wish to go via a particular place for a variety of reasons, in which case this section may be helpful to determine if the desired route is permitted.

Determining the shortest route or identifying a direct train is not as simple as it may seem, and furthermore many tickets additionally permit travel via 'mapped routes' permitted in the National Routeing Guide. All these types of routeing options are described in this section.

If one of the booking engines will sell you a ticket for the route you wish to use, or for a straightforward journey, such as Plymouth to Exeter, only one route exists, you may skip this section.

3.1.1 Definition
The route you may take for any given journey is defined by the National Rail Conditions of Carriage (NRCoC):

Quote:
Originally Posted by NRCoC
13. The route you are entitled to take

(a) You may travel between the stations shown on the ticket you hold in:
(i) a train on which you are able to take your entire journey without changing trains
(ii) trains which take the shortest route which can be used by scheduled
passenger services;
(iii) trains which take the routes shown in the National Routeing Guide
...
(b) If you are using a Zonal Ticket you may travel in trains which take any route within
the zone or zones shown on the ticket.
(c) Together, the routes referred to in (a) (ii), (a) (iii) and (b) above are the
“permitted routes”.
3.1.2 Route on ticket
Many tickets have restrictions on which routes you may or may not use. These are always printed on bottom of the ticket under "Route".

If the route is ANY PERMITTED you may take any route permitted by the NRCoC or routeing guide (see Section 3 - Routeing)

Some tickets are routed DIRECT. The meaning of this is undefined. However, one interpretation is that the only permitted routes are those taken by through trains or following the shortest route rule.’

Where the route is VIA a station(s) your journey must pass through this station although the train doesn't need to stop there. Where multiple stations are separated with a hyphen, you must pass through all of them. Where they are separated by a slash, you need only pass through one of them. If there is no permitted route that allows travel via these stations, see Tickets routed via stations that are not on a permitted route.

If the route is NOT VIA one or more stations, you may take any train that does not call or pass there, but you must follow a permitted route.

Should you wish to travel on a permitted route that your ticket does not allow, you may be entitled to excess it to allow you to travel on your preferred route.
3.1.3 When to consult the Routeing Guide
If your route fulfils the through trains or shortest route rules, you do not need to use the National Routeing Guide. To determine if any additional routes are permitted, you must refer to the National Routeing Guide, as for many tickets there are numerous routes shown in the National Routeing Guide, and additionally routes permitted by easements or by the group station rule.

Last edited by ainsworth74; 22nd February 2015 at 16:26. Reason: update
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Old 25th August 2012, 22:52   #3
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3.2 Through Trains

When you purchase a rail ticket it can be valid for a number of different routes to get from the origin on the ticket to the destination. One of those permitted routes is determined by travelling on a through train. This is outlined by Condition 13 of the NRCoC:

Quote:
Originally Posted by NRCoC
13. The route you are entitled to take

(a) You may travel between the stations shown on the ticket you hold in:
(i) a train on which you are able to make your entire journey without changing trains...
A through train is also explicitly defined in the Routeing Guide Instructions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Routeing Guide Instructions
A through train is advertised in the passenger railway timetable as a direct service which offers travel between a customer’s origin station and final destination, as printed on the ticket for the journey being made. This route may not be a permitted route if a change of train is necessary to complete the journey.
The above pieces of information mean that a through train is always considered a permitted route with no need to consult any part of the Routeing Guide.

It should be noted that the through trains rule applies specifically to when you travel on a direct train calling at both the origin and the destination printed on the ticket, providing you do not alight or join at any intermediate station.

For the through train rule to be applicable, a train must be advertised as such in one of the following ways:
  • A train that is shown in the National Rail Timetable (NRT) or on National Rail Enquiries (NRE) as a through train requiring no changes;
  • A train that has on board notices that list both origin and destination stations as calling points on that train;
  • Station announcements or customer information screens show both stations as being calling points

Last edited by yorkie; 10th January 2013 at 02:18.
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Old 25th August 2012, 22:52   #4
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3.3 Shortest route

3.3.1 Your right to take the shortest route
The NRCoC states:-

Quote:
Originally Posted by NRCoC
13. The route you are entitled to take

(a) You may travel between the stations shown on the ticket you hold in:
(ii) trains which take the shortest route which can be used by scheduled
passenger services...
This means the shortest route is always defined as being valid, with no requirement to consult the Routeing Guide.

Therefore, a negative easement listed in the Routeing Guide cannot prohibit use of a route using the shortest route rule.
3.3.2 Routes shorter than the shortest route
Note that in some cases e.g. Clitheroe to Hellifield, the shortest route is via a circuitous route (via Lancaster in this case), however if there is a train that takes a more direct route due to engineering works or a special service (e.g. DalesRail on Summer Sundays), while obviously valid (being shorter than the shortest route) this does not reduce the shortest route.
3.3.3 Calculating the shortest route
The shortest route is calculated by reference to the National Rail Timetable (NRT). Mileages appear in the station column at the beginning of each major table, except table 51. To arrive at the throughout distance for travel between every station by any route, add mileages together for the component parts of the journey by referring to the relevant timetables.

In reality, calculating mileages in this way is problematic, and the mileges shown in the NRT are not free from errors. Various unofficial methods exist to calculate the mileage, although they are not authoritative.
3.3.4 Shortest route in detail
There is some controversy surrounding how 'regular', or frequent a train has to be, for the route taken to form the shortest route. ATOC have stated their opinion that a service only need operate once a week to count. However this is not documented anywhere in the public domain.

Additionally, there is some controversy and confusion surrounding the calculations for routes taken by services that operate in one direction only. ATOC have stated their opinion that the shortest route can be different in alternative directions.
3.3.5 Routes no more than 3 miles longer than the shortest route
The Routeing Guide in Detail further extends the definition of the shortest route to include any rule up to 3 miles longer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Routeing Guide
Journeys ...taking the route of shortest distance or a distance longer by no more than 3 miles are always following a permitted route.
3.3.6 Booking engines
Due to the inaccuracy and incompleteness of the NRT mileage data described above, all booking engines use a different data source (ie, they do not use the NRT mileages).

This can cause unexpected results in booking engines such as:
  • The shortest route shown in the NRT may be deemed not valid;
  • Routes that would otherwise not be permitted may be deemed valid.
In some cases, booking engines have the shortest route defined as a route where there are no scheduled services, such as Dore to Dronfield direct. Where this occurs, easements tend to be introduced to ensure the shortest route is permitted, in this example 'Customers travelling from Dore via Edale may double back via Sheffield' but easements are not always implemented or satisfactory.

Booking engines use decimalised data (to the nearest chain), this data is generally more accurate than the NRT figures, which are rounded to quarter miles. These differences in calculations introduce a risk that booking engines will deem a route too long for the 3 mile rule, despite being within 3 miles according to the NRT data.

Therefore, booking engines allow an additional margin, in excess of 3 miles longer than the shortest route. This is generally around 5 miles longer than the shortest route.
3.3.7 Station group tickets & shortest route issues
In some cases tickets are issued from groups of stations, rather than specific stations, for example Bradford Yk Stns to Southend Stns. In these cases, it is not entirely clear whether you can apply the shortest route to any of the stations in the group.

Last edited by ainsworth74; 22nd February 2015 at 16:30. Reason: Update
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Old 25th August 2012, 22:53   #5
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3.4 Routes shown in the National Routeing Guide

It is advised that you refer to 3.14 Routes validated by National Rail journey planner in conjunction with this section.

3.4.1 Your right to take mapped routes
In addition to the methods described in 3.2 and 3.3 for determining permitted routes, you can also consult the Routeing Guide to determine permitted routes known as 'mapped routes'. The right to use the routes detailed in the Routeing Guide is detailed in the National Rail Conditions of Carriage:

Quote:
Originally Posted by NRCoC
13. The route you are entitled to take
(iii) trains which take the routes shown in the National Routeing Guide
The Routeing Guide was approved by the Rail Regulator in 1997 and the current version is available on the ATOC website. The TOCs can request changes to be made, often to restrict routes after discovery of an anomaly, but all changes should, by law, be approved by the Regulator.
3.4.2 Determining appropriate Routeing Points
The Routeing Guide contains many maps showing mapped routes between stations.

Because of the vast number of stations in the network, it is not possible to provide an individual map for every possible origin & destination. Instead, each individual station is either designated as Routeing Point (RP) in its own right, or is associated with one or more RPs.

Some RPs consist of two or more stations. These RPs are known as Routeing Point Groups.

Certain tickets are issued to a station group, for example Canterbury Stations, which consists of Canterbury East and Canterbury West. Station groups should not be confused with Routeing Point Groups; while in many cases Station groups have matching Routeing Point Groups, such as Falkirk Stations and Falkirk Group, in others, station group members may have different routeing points associated with each.

Determining the appropriate Routeing Points (RPs) for a given ticket is a two step process.

The first step is to determine the appropriate RPs for your origin. You do this by using the Routeing Point Identifier (Section B) to find the RPs relating to the origin station. If your origin is a RP itself, you do not need to take any further steps.

The second step is to repeat the process above with your destination.

If both origin & destination have any RP in common, then there are no mapped routes valid using this ticket - see 3.4.3 Where the origin and destination have a common Routeing Point for more details.

If there is no common RP, then if either the origin or destination of the ticket are not Routeing Points, you must complete a fares check, see 3.4.4 Fare-check rule.

If both the origin and destination are routeing points, then you can skip the fares check, and proceed to 3.4.5 Identifying map combinations.
3.4.3 Where the origin and destination have any Routeing Point in common
In this case there are no mapped routes, however you may take:
  • A train from the origin that calls at the common Routeing Point, and then change for a train that calls at the common Routeing Point and goes to your destination. Doubling back is not permitted, so in cases where continuing from the origin to the common Routeing Point would result in doubling back when then changing for a train from the common Routeing Point to the destination, it is necessary to change trains short of the Routeing Point.

    In certain cases there are multiple common Routeing Points. In this case, only the shortest such journey would be valid.
The following remain valid:
  • A through train from origin to destination as described in 3.2 Through Trains
  • The shortest route or any route no more than 3 miles longer than the shortest route as described in 3.3 The Shortest route
More information and examples are provided in The National Routeing Guide in Detail
3.4.4 Fare check rule
If your origin and destination are both are Routeing Points (RPs), the fares check is not applicable and you should skip to 3.4.5 Identifying map combinations.

If, however, either origin or destination, or both, are not RPs, you need to carry out a fares check to determine the appropriate Routeing Point(s) for your origin and destination stations.

The procedure for carrying out a fares check is as follows:
  • Find the single fare(s) from the origin station to the destination station
  • If the origin station is not a Routeing Point, find the single fare(s) from each Routeing Point associated with the origin station to the destination station
  • If the destination station is not a Routeing Point, find the single fare(s) from the origin station to each routeing point associated with the destination station
Routeing Points are valid if the single fare associated with that Routeing Point is the same or lower as the single fare of the same type (see list of single fare types below) for the through journey.

Where the associated Routeing Point is a Routeing Point Group, it is a reasonable interpretation that you may compare the fares to each of the stations in the group (for example, with a Routeing Point of Dorking, you can compare fares to Dorking Stations or Gomshall, since the Dorking Routeing Point Group consists of the Dorking Stations Group plus Gomshall).
No mention is made in the Routeing Guide that any station is considered a 'lead station' used for the purpose of determining appropriate RPs in the case of Group Stations, however the booking engines do have such a station defined for each group, which is used for the comparison.

You may compare tickets of any of the following types with another ticket of the same type:
  • Anytime Single (SOS)
  • Anytime Day Single (SDS)
  • Off Peak Single (SVS)
  • Off Peak Day Single (CDS)
Occasionally, there will not be any fares of the same type. In these cases, the SDS and SOS should be compared.

For some routes, one ticket type, e.g., SDS, might fail the fares check, but another ticket type, e.g., CDS, passes. If this is the case, the Routeing Point is valid, regardless of the actual ticket type you purchase.

Although no mention is made in the Routeing Guide that a particular version of the fares database should be used, booking engines carry out this fares check based on the data in a version of the fares database released in September 1996 (NFM64), and therefore any route permitted at that time is considered to have 'protected route status', as confirmed by ATOC in correspondence regarding a journey from Southport to Manchester, for which Liverpool remains an appropriate RP for Southport due to the fares check being satisfied at that time.

3.4.5 Identifying map combinations
Having identified one or more pairs of origin and destination Routeing Points, Permitted Route Identifier (Section C) shows the mapped routes between each.

Locate the origin Routeing Point in Column A and the destination Routeing Point in Column B in order to obtain the permitted map combination. For the return journey (if any), the combinations will be identical, except that where there are routes split across multiple maps, these will be reversed for the return.

You are then ready to trace the routes on the Maps in Section D.

In some cases, a route option will be shown as 'LONDON' instead of a map combination. If this applies, see 3.4.7 Where the route code is LONDON
3.4.6 Tracing routes on the maps
If a single map is shown, you may travel by any route on that map from the origin RP to the destination RP without doubling back.

Where a routeing specifies a combination of maps to be used e.g ER+PN+BD, you should trace a route as follows:
  • Start with the first map at the origin Routeing Point, and trace a route from there to a point that appears on the next map.
  • Depending on the number of maps, trace a route from the point you reached, to a point on the next map
  • On the final map, trace a route to the destination Routeing Point.
  • You must use all maps.
  • Maps must be used in strict sequence, first to last
  • Once route tracing has left a map it cannot return to it.
  • You must transfer from map to map only where the maps touch. In most cases this will be at a station or Routeing Point marked on both maps, but it is not essential - where the same stretch of rail appears on both maps, you are free to switch from one map to the next at this point.
  • Journeys may not normally double back (For exceptions, see Group station rule and easements)
In cases where either the origin or destination of your ticket are not routeing points, the routes traced above will be routes between the routeing points, rather than your actual origin and destination. Where your origin lies on the traced route, your ticket is only valid from the origin, not the Routeing Point. Likewise, where the destination lies on the traced route, your ticket is only valid to the destination, and not beyond it to the associated Routeing Point.


Where your origin is beyond the traced route, the permitted route also consists of a journey from the origin to the origin Routeing Point.

Likewise, where your destination is beyond the traced route, the permitted route also consists of a journey from the destination Routeing Point to the destination.

3.4.7 Where the route code is LONDON
If Permitted Route Identifier (Section C) lists the map combination as 'LONDON', this consists of the map combinations from the origin RP to London, plus a cross-London transfer, and then the map combinations from London to the destination.

For example, Barking to Norwich has the map combinations LONDON and TS+EA.

Looking up Barking to London, the map is TS, and for London - Norwich the maps are CN+WA, EA.

Therefore the permitted routes from Barking to Norwich are:
  • TS+Cross-London+CN+WA
  • TS+Cross-London+EA
  • TS+EA
Any route you take must also adhere to any route restriction printed on the ticket.

For example the route restriction may be routed via London (ie, you must go via a London Group station) or not via London (ie, you must not go via a London Group station), though where a choice of route restrictions is available, an excess can be obtained to use an alternative route.

The more expensive ticket is also valid via lower priced routes, however it is advisable to obtain a zero-fare excess in cases where it is cheaper to go via London, otherwise you may encounter difficulty crossing London.

Last edited by ainsworth74; 22nd February 2015 at 16:32. Reason: update
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Old 25th August 2012, 22:53   #6
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3.5 Doubling back

Doubling back is defined as passing through the same station more than once on a single leg of a journey.

There is no blanket prohibition on doubling back defined within the NRCoC, and therefore on some occasions it may well be the case that when travelling on a permitted route by either travelling on a through train or taking the the shortest route, doubling back occurs.

However mapped routes described in the Routeing Guide explicitly prohibit doubling back, except where permitted by an easement or by the group station rule.

Another scenario where doubling back is explicitly prohibited, is in the case of common routeing points, except where permitted by an easement or within a station group.

Last edited by yorkie; 8th January 2013 at 23:21. Reason: updated
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Old 25th August 2012, 22:54   #7
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3.6 Tickets routed via stations that are not on a permitted route

Occasionally, tickets will be routed via a particular station that is not on a permitted route for the through journey.

In this case, permitted routes are defined as from the origin to the via point, and from via point to the destination. This was confirmed by ATOC when a customer enquired about a Sheffield to Blackburn ticket routed via Burnley.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ATOC
The Routeing Guide lists the permitted routes for a particular flow. The actual routes that the customer can use, is sometimes limited by the route shown on the ticket, which may stipulate that the journey must go via a particular location. In some cases however, the opposite applies and the particular “via” location is outside the range of the usual permitted routes and travel via that location would not normally have been permitted. But because a flow specifically routed via that location has been priced by the Train Company , travel is permitted via that location. It appears that this is the case for Sheffield – Blackburn, via Burnley.

In this instance you are correct and you should look up the permitted routes for Sheffield-Burnley and Burnley-Blackburn.
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Old 25th August 2012, 22:54   #8
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3.7 Group stations

Some stations are grouped together as a common origin/destination, for example a ticket from Wakefield to London would not be issued from & to the specific stations but instead the groups, namely Wakefield Stns to London Terminals.

Note that Group Stations for origin & destination purposes are not to be confused with routeing group stations, although in some cases the members of each group may be the same.

It is generally accepted that a ticket routed via, or not via, a group refers to the Group Stations used for origin/destination purposes, for example a Blake Street to Walsall ticket routed "Not via Birmingham" is valid via Aston, but not Birmingham New Street, as although Aston is a member of the Birmingham routeing group, it is not a member of the Birmingham Stns group.

Please see the attached PDF document reproduced from The Manual, with permission from ATOC.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf GroupStations.pdf (64.4 KB, 648 views)

Last edited by yorkie; 16th January 2014 at 23:52. Reason: updated
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Old 25th August 2012, 22:54   #9
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3.8 Inter-available origins & destinations

In some cases, tickets with a particular origin/destination may additionally be used at an alternative nearby station on another line, which would otherwise not be permitted. In some cases this inter-availability only extends to particular ticket types (e.g. Season tickets).

For example, a ticket from London to Fishguard could be used to travel to Pembroke Dock or Milford Haven.

Also see local easements.

Please see the attached PDF document reproduced from The Manual, with permission from ATOC.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf InterAvailabeOriginsAndDestinations.pdf (130.2 KB, 1051 views)

Last edited by yorkie; 16th January 2014 at 23:52. Reason: updated
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Old 25th August 2012, 22:54   #10
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3.9 Routes permitted by easements

Easements (Section E) may permit journeys which the Routeing Guide may otherwise forbid and must be consulted after the rest of the guide. Easements are updated regularly.

The definition is as follows:
Quote:
Originally Posted by National Routeing Guide
Easements are relaxations of Routeing Guide rules to allow journeys that strict adherence to the rules would forbid. Some previously published easements are no longer exceptions to Routeing Guide rules and have therefore been deleted as unnecessary.
Local easements

Local easements, notably those in Scotland, may also permit a route which would otherwise not be permitted. Sometimes they also allow tickets to be used on a parallel line which does not lead to the origin/destination and are intended to give passengers extra flexibility. The ScotRail local easements are not published by Scotrail but are available as an attachment to this post. Not all staff will be aware of these.
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

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ID:	13295  

Last edited by ainsworth74; 22nd February 2015 at 16:34. Reason: update
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Old 25th August 2012, 22:54   #11
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3.10 Routes prohibited by negative easements

The easements section of the National Routeing Guide appears to prohibit certain routes from being valid that would otherwise be defined as valid in the National Routeing Guide.

However the Routeing Guide contents page describes the easement section as "A list of easements, where Routeing Guide rules have been relaxed for certain routes" which some people believe does not offer any facility for negative easements to prohibit routes that are defined as valid in the Routeing Guide.

Negative easements cannot prevent direct trains or the shortest route from being valid as the validity of these is defined in the NRCoC. According to NRCoC Article 13 the Routeing Guide - in which Easements (Section E) can be found - needs only be consulted when the route concerned is not permitted by a direct train or as the shortest route.

Last edited by ainsworth74; 22nd February 2015 at 16:35. Reason: update
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Old 25th August 2012, 22:54   #12
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3.11 Engineering work

On occasions due to short notice engineering work and disruption, services may be diverted from their normal routes or customers asked to use alternative routes. In these circumstances operators are required to make special provision to allow extra permitted routes. They should advise other operators and retailers of the extra provisions made to convey customers by routes other than those which are normally permitted. This provision should also apply to connecting services which are not directly affected.

Unfortunately in some cases provision is not made, and this can lead to booking sites not offering itineraries for some journeys during times of engineering work. In these cases it is best to contact the relevant Train Company and seek advice. It may be necessary to book through telesales or at a station rather than online.

Any through train diverted from its usual route will count as a permitted route between the stations it is normally scheduled to call at. This does not apply to additional stops on the diversionary route, unless specially advised or they are on the permitted route for the journey being made. For example, a York to Edinburgh service diverted via Newcastle and Carlisle, would be considered to be taking a permitted route. Therefore, a passenger holding a Preston to Edinburgh ticket would be valid on this train, as York is on a permitted route and the route taken by this train counts as a permitted route.

Tickets routed via specific stations that are on the route a train would normally take, remain valid.

Tickets routed via specific stations that are on the diverted route, additionally become valid, on the diverted trains.
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Old 25th August 2012, 22:55   #13
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3.12 Routeing Group Station rule

When using mapped routes, doubling back is not usually permitted, however for some journeys it is either necessary or desirable to do so, and in many of these cases the Group station rule makes it possible.

The Routeing Guide defines Group Stations as follows:-
Quote:
Originally Posted by Routeing Guide
GROUP STATIONS

The stations listed at the bottom of this page are grouped together to improve interchange between trains by offering customers access to a wider choice of train services and station facilities.

A customer may travel via any station in a group, including doubling back, provided that the group is on one of the permitted routes between their origin and destination stations.

This extended availability is for interchange purposes only and does not apply where the origin or destination stations are part of a group.
A list of Group Stations is available as a PDF download on the ATOC website.

For example, Leeds Group consists of:
  • Leeds
  • Cross Gates
  • Garforth
  • East Garforth
  • Micklefield
This means that a ticket from Hull to York may be used for a journey that involves doubling-back within Leeds Group, ie doubling back through the stations listed above.

However a ticket from Hull to Micklefield may not, as the destination Micklefield, is a member of Leeds Group.

Note that this rule is for "interchange purposes only" and is therefore intended not to allow a break of journey at the interchange station. However this is not made clear, and in any case customers may use station facilities.
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Old 25th August 2012, 22:55   #14
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3.13 Other rules affecting routeing

In some cases the rules to determine permitted routes may not be entirely clear, for example in the case of a ticket from Swindon to Belfast, routed 'Cairnryan Stena'. A logical interpretation could be to take any permitted route to the railway interchange station, Ayr.

When crossing London, it is worth remembering that London Underground accept tickets on the basis that it is a 'reasonable route', for more information see 'Crossing London'.

Oyster PAYG journeys are based on a 'Zonal' pricing system, for more information see Oyster


Last edited by yorkie; 8th January 2013 at 22:31. Reason: updated
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Old 25th August 2012, 22:55   #15
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3.14 Tickets that booking sites won't sell

Booking engines are typically designed to sell tickets on a 'point to point' basis, therefore many of tickets described in Excesses, Upgrades & Supplements, Multi-Journey Tickets and Integrated fares will not be available from booking sites. See the relevant section for details of availability.

In some cases the rules to determine permitted routes at the time the customer wishes to travel may cause the electronic booking engines not to offer any tickets. For example, West Horndon to Witham on a Sunday. A logical interpretation would be that the passenger is entitled to travel via Southend, but the ticket would need to be purchased from a ticket office/machine.

Last edited by yorkie; 8th January 2013 at 22:37. Reason: updated
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