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2T or now not 2T, that is annoying

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11 Mar 2013
Egremont Cumbria / Northampton
I have just been on national rail site to check the fare of off peak return Whitehaven (WTH) to Northampton (NMP) as I have some rail vouchers I need to use and as there are no decently priced 1st class advances available (well not in my opinion anyway) then I don't need the web only half the return fare single for my return trip (my return is a monday morning and I regard the chance of not making the first train as too high to risk advances) then a trip to the station booking office with the RTVs seems the best option, Okay, so far so what is your point, now for what seems to be a change to the detriment of the passenger and also one that does raise a possible contradiction.

My journey intention is Outward Friday 12:05 from WTH via Lancaster and Birmingham International (BHI) to Northampton (NMP).
Return Monday 07:55 from NMP via BHI and Carlisle to WTH.

In the past when I have had off peak returns for this journey then the restriction code has been 2T, which meant that if I just missed the 07:55 then I could hop on the 08:05 to Euston and change at Milton Keynes (MKC) (taking advantage of easement 700438) to the Holyhead service meaning I could pick up the train I would have got on at BHI at Crewe.

I noticed on the national rail site that the 08:05 was blanked, if however I was trying for the 08:55 to birmingham and just missed it then the 09:05 to euston then milton keynes and crewe would be an option.

It would appear that the ticket would now have restriction code 3A.

Seemingly the reason the 08:05 is blanked is due to the following on the Return.

Not valid on trains timed to depart:

London Euston after 04:29 and before 09:05;
Watford Junction after 04:29 and before 09:00;
Milton Keynes Central after 04:29 and before 09:00.

However, if I get the 07:55 as intended then my connecting train at BHI leaves there at 08:53, and as it originates from euston then surely it would be barred as it must have left euston in the barred times? Or, is it just my misunderstanding the wording and it is intended to bar you from boarding a train leaving those stations between those times? Clearly if the latter then it would apply to the holyhead train from MKC in my scenario of using the 08:05 from NMP to euston.

In any case this change from 2T to 3A is to the passengers detriment, and in fact I can see a situation where it wouldn't help the rail industry either.

Imagine I arrive at NMP to see that the 07:55 is either cancelled or delayed so that I will miss my connection at BHI, under restriction 2T I just get the 08:05 end up at WTH with no delay, under 3A I would end up delayed and hence delay repay claim.
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RailUK Forums


Veteran Member
28 Aug 2011
I could be wrong, but as long as you have an itinerary that was valid, then you are excepted from the restrictions on following services in the event that you are delayed due to late running trains.


Veteran Member
Associate Staff
Senior Fares Advisor
27 Apr 2011
Seems VTWC have changed this restriction from 2T to 3A with effect from 5th September.

They really should've done is introduce a 'via Long Buckby' with a 2T restriction and a more expensive 'Any Permitted' with 3A restriction in line with what they do on other flows they price.
Last edited:


15 Apr 2011
Yup, one of the big changes for September is Virgin removing the last few 2T restrictions on "Any Permitted" tickets from Northampton to stations south of Carlisle (Chester, Blackpool North, Manchester Airport etc).

Where there is a "Via Long Buckby" on restriction 2T, that remains unchanged.

John @ home

Established Member
1 Mar 2008
I have just been on national rail site to check the fare of off peak return Whitehaven (WTH) to Northampton (NMP) as I have some rail vouchers I need to use
What are your proposed outward and return travel dates?
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