A few routeing questions

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ABB125

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I had a read of the forum ticketing guide earlier today for the first time in a few years. In the routeing guide section, I found the following which I don't remember seeing before, in section 3.4.6:
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.
How does the bit in bold work? How is it possible for a line on the map to be shared, yet not share one (or both) routeing points for that bit of track? Are there any examples? I'm sort-of imagining something where (this is hypothetical; I don't know if any map combinations exist like this) there's a direct line between Wolverhampton and Crewe (NOT via Stafford routeing point) on one map, and on the next map is Stafford to Chester (NOT via Crewe); because they share a common section of track (Stafford to Crewe), is this an example of this rule?

The other thing I would like clarification on is doubling back: I've always assumed that you cannot pass through the same station more than once (unless permitted by an easement) on a single journey. However, reading section 3.5:
However mapped routes described in the Routeing Guide explicitly prohibit doubling back within the maps, except where permitted by an easement or by the group station rule.
gave me the impression that it might only be that you cannot pass through the same station twice on a single map. Is this incorrect? For example, using a made-up routeing in order to illustrate the point, if I were to travel between Birmingham group and Lichfield group using map combination BI+TV (just to reiterate, I know this isn't a valid combination), could I travel to Rugby on BI, then go to Lichfield on TV via Coventry, rather than the direct route to Nuneaton (and thereby double back between Coventry and Rugby)?

Thanks :)
 
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yorkie

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I had a read of the forum ticketing guide earlier today for the first time in a few years. In the routeing guide section, I found the following which I don't remember seeing before, in section 3.4.6:

How does the bit in bold work? How is it possible for a line on the map to be shared, yet not share one (or both) routeing points for that bit of track? Are there any examples? I'm sort-of imagining something where (this is hypothetical; I don't know if any map combinations exist like this) there's a direct line between Wolverhampton and Crewe (NOT via Stafford routeing point) on one map, and on the next map is Stafford to Chester (NOT via Crewe); because they share a common section of track (Stafford to Crewe), is this an example of this rule?
York to Stockport on DO+HO

Map DO York to Doncaster or Sheffield
Map HO Doncaster or Sheffield to Stockport

It makes no difference in this case whether you pick Donny or Sheffield.

The other thing I would like clarification on is doubling back: I've always assumed that you cannot pass through the same station more than once (unless permitted by an easement) on a single journey. However, reading section 3.5:

gave me the impression that it might only be that you cannot pass through the same station twice on a single map. Is this incorrect?
The fares guide is correct.

For example, using a made-up routeing in order to illustrate the point, if I were to travel between Birmingham group and Lichfield group using map combination BI+TV (just to reiterate, I know this isn't a valid combination), could I travel to Rugby on BI, then go to Lichfield on TV via Coventry, rather than the direct route to Nuneaton (and thereby double back between Coventry and Rugby)?

Thanks :)
Without looking at your example (sorry!) I will give a simple example I prepared earlier ;)

Cambuslang to Watford Jn. using Glasgow Group and London Group as your origin & destination routeing points, respectively.

You may travel to Glasgow and then you are on mapped routes to Euston, then Euston to Watford Jn.

Cambuslang to Watford Jn
example fare:
example itinerary:
Cambuslang 1109​
Glasgow Central 1122​
Glasgow Central 1140​
London Euston 1609​
London Euston 1630​
Watford Jn 1646​
This is also valid. The origin RP is Glasgow Group. The fact that Cambuslang lies on the Glasgow-London main line is not relevant. Cambuslang-Glasgow is a permitted local journey. We then use the mapped routes from Glasgow to the destination RP.

As the ticket has a maltese cross, we can do the split route check to/from London Group. This means all permitted routes to London (in this case we are simply using map LM for that purpose) and all permitted routes from London (map EN in this case).

Although the customer would be entitled to use a multitude of routes which do not require a double-back (e.g. via Birmingham, Reading and Paddington), there is absolutely nothing preventing them from doubling back between Watford Jn and London Euston as the split route check has no doubling back on each of the component legs. The rules allow for it.
 

ABB125

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York to Stockport on DO+HO

Map DO York to Doncaster or Sheffield
Map HO Doncaster or Sheffield to Stockport

It makes no difference in this case whether you pick Donny or Sheffield.
Ah right, so effectively you are changing at a routeing point, but there are multiple common ones in a line to choose from (as opposed to going via Wakefield on that route, where only the Wakefield routeing point is common to both maps)?
The fares guide is correct.
I would expect nothing less! :D
Without looking at your example (sorry!) I will give a simple example I prepared earlier ;)

Cambuslang to Watford Jn. using Glasgow Group and London Group as your origin & destination routeing points, respectively.

You may travel to Glasgow and then you are on mapped routes to Euston, then Euston to Watford Jn.
In that example, that's because of the "LONDON" route, isn't it? So any route to London, then any route to Watford. My question was more along the lines of (using this example), if using maps GK+LM (although quite why this is an option when GK doesn't add anything that LM doesn't have, unless what I'm trying to explain is true!), could I go Netwon Lanark group -> Motherwell group -> Glasgow group on GK, then switch to LM and do Glasgow group -> Motherwell group -> beyond? Ie: double back between Motherwell and Glasgow, when I could've just gone direct to Glasgow in the first place?
 

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York to Stockport on DO+HO

Map DO York to Doncaster or Sheffield
Map HO Doncaster or Sheffield to Stockport

It makes no difference in this case whether you pick Donny or Sheffield.
Unless I'm missing something, can't you change maps at Swinton or Meadowhall too? I can't see why it needs to be at a routeing point that the train calls at.
 

yorkie

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Unless I'm missing something, can't you change maps at Swinton or Meadowhall too? I can't see why it needs to be at a routeing point that the train calls at.
Absolutely; there is nothing in the instructions to suggest an intercept point has to be a routeing point.

Sorry, I didn't meant to imply it was only at those points.
 

ABB125

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I've thought of another example for my second question: Rugeley to Bolton, using WM+BM. Could I do the following: Rugeley-Birmingham-Rugby-Nuneaton on WM, then Nuneaton-Stafford-Manchester-Bolton on BM (and by doing so passing through Rugeley again)? I've always assumed not, because it involves passing through Rugeley twice (although in this case, it's not a double-back, just a superfluous extra loop).
 

yorkie

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You cannot pass through any location more than once using the maps.
 

ABB125

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You cannot pass through any location more than once using the maps.
I thought so; it's just for some reason the thought came into my head that it might only be "no passing through the same location on the same map twice", but clearly not! :D

On a related note, group stations all count as the same don't they for the purposes of this, ie: I could have a ticket from Rugeley Town, but not be able to take the itinerary I suggested above because Rugeley Town is associated with Rugeley Trent Valley, and I'd therefore be (as far as the maps are concerned) passing through Rugeley Trent Valley twice (despite only physically passing through once)?
 

Watershed

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I thought so; it's just for some reason the thought came into my head that it might only be "no passing through the same location on the same map twice", but clearly not! :D

On a related note, group stations all count as the same don't they for the purposes of this, ie: I could have a ticket from Rugeley Town, but not be able to take the itinerary I suggested above because Rugeley Town is associated with Rugeley Trent Valley, and I'd therefore be (as far as the maps are concerned) passing through Rugeley Trent Valley twice (despite only physically passing through once)?
No, the doubling back "rule" is only concerned with whether you're passing through the same physical station again, so there's nothing to stop you doing that. In fact doubling back within a station group is one of the exceptions to the "rule".
 

ABB125

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No, the doubling back "rule" is only concerned with whether you're passing through the same physical station again, so there's nothing to stop you doing that. In fact doubling back within a station group is one of the exceptions to the "rule".
Aha! I didn't know that (or if I did, I'd forgotten!), thanks. This might come in useful...
 

yorkie

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A good example is Aberdeen to Birmingham would be valid to double back between Haymarket & Waverley.
 

ABB125

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A good example is Aberdeen to Birmingham would be valid to double back between Haymarket & Waverley.
I see, it's obvious when you think about it! All this routeing stuff gets complicated after a bit... :D
Going back to the Rugeley to Bolton via Rugby and Rugeley scenario: Rugeley Town is associated with Rugeley Trent Valley and Walsall. If I go from Rugeley Town to Rugby via Birmingham, I have to travel through Walsall; does this mean I have to use Walsall as the origin routeing point, rather than Rugeley Trent Valley (because I didn't actually go to Trent Valley, and won't until I pass through a few hours later)? I'm pretty sure I don't need to use Walsall as the origin, but I've spent too long with the routeing guide today and can't think straight!

One final question (for now!): what happens when there's a line on the map, but no trains along the line? For example, Walsall to Wolverhampton: on many West Midlands maps, a line exists between the two routeing points; however, despite the presence of this line, the only way to get between the two is via New Street. Can I do this, even if I've been through New Street earlier? Taking an arbitrary route across map BM, would this be permitted? Bromsgrove - Birmingham - Lichfield - Rugeley - Walsall - (forced to go via Birmingham again) - Wolverhampton

Sorry about all the questions!
 

yorkie

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I see, it's obvious when you think about it! All this routeing stuff gets complicated after a bit... :D
Going back to the Rugeley to Bolton via Rugby and Rugeley scenario: Rugeley Town is associated with Rugeley Trent Valley and Walsall. If I go from Rugeley Town to Rugby via Birmingham, I have to travel through Walsall; does this mean I have to use Walsall as the origin routeing point, rather than Rugeley Trent Valley (because I didn't actually go to Trent Valley, and won't until I pass through a few hours later)? I'm pretty sure I don't need to use Walsall as the origin, but I've spent too long with the routeing guide today and can't think straight!
Yes

One final question (for now!): what happens when there's a line on the map, but no trains along the line? For example, Walsall to Wolverhampton: on many West Midlands maps, a line exists between the two routeing points; however, despite the presence of this line, the only way to get between the two is via New Street. Can I do this, even if I've been through New Street earlier? Taking an arbitrary route across map BM, would this be permitted? Bromsgrove - Birmingham - Lichfield - Rugeley - Walsall - (forced to go via Birmingham again) - Wolverhampton
No
 

Watershed

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For example, Walsall to Wolverhampton: on many West Midlands maps, a line exists between the two routeing points; however, despite the presence of this line, the only way to get between the two is via New Street
There is a service, it's just extremely infrequent! Currently the direct line (via Darlaston) is served by the 05:43 Wolverhampton to Rugeley Trent Valley service on Saturdays. Stations at at Darlaston and Willenhall are in the process of being built, so it's not an entirely superfluous link.

However, there are other cases where there are links which don't have any regular train service, for example on map RB there is a direct link from Basingstoke to Romsey, not passing through Winchester. This is intended for use on diverted XC services that run via the Laverstock curve (which avoids Salisbury), but there are no regular services over that curve.

In that case, the permitted route simply can't be used if there's not a passenger service!
 

ABB125

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Ok, clears things up!
There is a service, it's just extremely infrequent! Currently the direct line (via Darlaston) is served by the 05:43 Wolverhampton to Rugeley Trent Valley service on Saturdays. Stations at at Darlaston and Willenhall are in the process of being built, so it's not an entirely superfluous link.

However, there are other cases where there are links which don't have any regular train service, for example on map RB there is a direct link from Basingstoke to Romsey, not passing through Winchester. This is intended for use on diverted XC services that run via the Laverstock curve (which avoids Salisbury), but there are no regular services over that curve.

In that case, the permitted route simply can't be used if there's not a passenger service!
Thanks very much.
 

ABB125

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A few more questions: :D

  • What happens when the shortest route between two routeing points doesn't appear on the routeing maps, AND doesn't come up in journey planners?
  • How do "not via" routeing restrictions work? For example, Bromsgrove to Redditch is "not via UNI/BHM", which clearly means you cannot go via University or Birmingham New Street (in this case, because it's a significant double back). Could I, however, double back as far as Selly Oak?
  • Some fares, however, simply have "not via Birmingham" as the restriction. This is quite vague: does it mean Birmingham as a conurbation, Birmingham New Street station, or Birmingham routeing group? Take the example of a ticket for which a double back between (for example) Barnt Green and New Street is permitted on the "Any Permitted" route; could I double back between Barnt Green and University on a "not via Birmingham" routed ticket for the same journey?
  • Some easements are phrased as "customers travelling from X to Y and beyond" or "travelling from X via Y". Others simply state "customers travelling from X to Y". If, in the latter case, Y is a routeing group station, does the easement also apply to journeys to any station within the routeing group/associated with that routeing point?
If any of that isn't very clear (which is highly likely!), please let me know.

Thanks :)
 

Watershed

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What happens when the shortest route between two routeing points doesn't appear on the routeing maps
Nothing - the maps are not used in the calculation of distances.

In fact, as the shortest route is something automatically defined as permitted in the 'main' NRCoT (as opposed to just being in the Routeing Guide), but the NRCoT does not state how to determine distances, you could use any method you liked to determine distances - so long as it's accurate!

AND doesn't come up in journey planners?
This just means you won't get an itinerary. In most cases taking the shortest route will be eminently reasonable so you shouldn't need one anyway. There have been many cases of inaccurate distances in the data feeds that journey planners must use to calculate shortest routes.

How do "not via" routeing restrictions work? For example, Bromsgrove to Redditch is "not via UNI/BHM", which clearly means you cannot go via University or Birmingham New Street (in this case, because it's a significant double back). Could I, however, double back as far as Selly Oak?
Doubling back via Selly Oak wouldn't be prohibited by that restriction. However, as Selly Oak isn't a Routeing Point, in most cases you wouldn't be able to double back to it. Doubling back is usually only going to be part of a permitted route if it involves travel to/from an origin/destination Routeing Point, or if it's within 3 miles of the shortest route. As you can see, it gets very complex very quickly!

Some fares, however, simply have "not via Birmingham" as the restriction. This is quite vague: does it mean Birmingham as a conurbation, Birmingham New Street station, or Birmingham routeing group?
I'm not aware of any route restriction that is based on a conurbation. The second definition would be plausible, and indeed named stations are probably the most common form of route restriction, but the restriction doesn't contain "New Street" so that's not it either.

There have been some threads on this subject before, including on this sort of issue around Birmingham, but it's my understanding that the restriction is intended to apply to the station group (i.e. Birmingham Stations - just New Street, Moor Street or Snow Hill) rather than the Routeing Point Group (which includes a wider set of stations).

The existence of fares such as Walsall to Sutton Coldfield, route "not via Birmingham", lends credence to this interpretation. That is obviously intended to be used by changing at Aston, however Aston is a member of the Birmingham Routeing Point Group, so the restriction must mean "not via Birmingham Stations" - or else the fare could not be used to undertake the journey (though that wouldn't be a first!).

Take the example of a ticket for which a double back between (for example) Barnt Green and New Street is permitted on the "Any Permitted" route; could I double back between Barnt Green and University on a "not via Birmingham" routed ticket for the same journey?
See above re: Selly Oak. "Not via Birmingham" doesn't stop you doubling back, but the general rules surrounding permitted routes and double backs may do. In other words, if it were an Any Permitted fare, on what basis would you be valid to double back?

And do those still apply if you only actually double back as far as University? There are circumstances where you can double back, but only if you do so to/from a specific point, say New Street in this example.

Some easements are phrased as "customers travelling from X to Y and beyond" or "travelling from X via Y". Others simply state "customers travelling from X to Y". If, in the latter case, Y is a routeing group station, does the easement also apply to journeys to any station within the routeing group/associated with that routeing point?
When you are interpreting the Routeing Guide as a human, in most cases the answer will strictly speaking be "no". However, journey planners may interpret it more liberally - this is where you need to know how to make the 'best use' of the various tools out there!
 

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Nothing - the maps are not used in the calculation of distances.

In fact, as the shortest route is something automatically defined as permitted in the 'main' NRCoT (as opposed to just being in the Routeing Guide), but the NRCoT does not state how to determine distances, you could use any method you liked to determine distances - so long as it's accurate!

This just means you won't get an itinerary. In most cases taking the shortest route will be eminently reasonable so you shouldn't need one anyway. There have been many cases of inaccurate distances in the data feeds that journey planners must use to calculate shortest routes.
In the example I came across which prompted the question, the shortest route is around 10 miles less than the route generated by journey planners, and shouldn't really take any longer, hence my confusion. However, is it the case that the shortest route is always valid?
Doubling back via Selly Oak wouldn't be prohibited by that restriction. However, as Selly Oak isn't a Routeing Point, in most cases you wouldn't be able to double back to it. Doubling back is usually only going to be part of a permitted route if it involves travel to/from an origin/destination Routeing Point, or if it's within 3 miles of the shortest route. As you can see, it gets very complex very quickly!
:D
I'm not aware of any route restriction that is based on a conurbation. The second definition would be plausible, and indeed named stations are probably the most common form of route restriction, but the restriction doesn't contain "New Street" so that's not it either.

There have been some threads on this subject before, including on this sort of issue around Birmingham, but it's my understanding that the restriction is intended to apply to the station group (i.e. Birmingham Stations - just New Street, Moor Street or Snow Hill) rather than the Routeing Point Group (which includes a wider set of stations).

The existence of fares such as Walsall to Sutton Coldfield, route "not via Birmingham", lends credence to this interpretation. That is obviously intended to be used by changing at Aston, however Aston is a member of the Birmingham Routeing Point Group, so the restriction must mean "not via Birmingham Stations" - or else the fare could not be used to undertake the journey (though that wouldn't be a first!).
That thread is quite useful, thanks.
See above re: Selly Oak. "Not via Birmingham" doesn't stop you doubling back, but the general rules surrounding permitted routes and double backs may do. In other words, if it were an Any Permitted fare, on what basis would you be valid to double back?

And do those still apply if you only actually double back as far as University? There are circumstances where you can double back, but only if you do so to/from a specific point, say New Street in this example.
In the example I'm thinking of, the fare is routed "not via Birmingham", but depending on how you interpret the easements (as below), it's valid for a double back to University.
When you are interpreting the Routeing Guide as a human, in most cases the answer will strictly speaking be "no". However, journey planners may interpret it more liberally - this is where you need to know how to make the 'best use' of the various tools out there!
I think a better explanation of my question might be this: the destination station is beyond the routeing point. There's an easement which permits a double back when making a journey between the origin and the destination routeing point station (ie: a shorter journey than the one I'm intending to make). Does the easement still apply when I have a ticket to the further destination, whose routeing point station has the easement?

Thanks for your comprehensive reply.
 

Watershed

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In the example I came across which prompted the question, the shortest route is around 10 miles less than the route generated by journey planners, and shouldn't really take any longer, hence my confusion.
I wouldn't be too surprised at data inaccuracies; sometimes these inaccuracies are deliberate, to make particular routes show as either valid or invalid.

However, is it the case that the shortest route is always valid?
Subject to any route/TOC restriction printed on the ticket, yes, it's always valid.

In the example I'm thinking of, the fare is routed "not via Birmingham", but depending on how you interpret the easements (as below), it's valid for a double back to University.
If you are relying on an easement then it's going to be down to the wording as to whether "not via Birmingham" qualifies.

I think a better explanation of my question might be this: the destination station is beyond the routeing point. There's an easement which permits a double back when making a journey between the origin and the destination routeing point station (ie: a shorter journey than the one I'm intending to make). Does the easement still apply when I have a ticket to the further destination, whose routeing point station has the easement?
As I say, I think the answer is likely to be no on a strict reading of the easement. However, if the easement is merely permitting something that is reasonable given the timetable, I imagine staff would accept it either way. Most staff are totally unaware of the existence of the Routeing Guide, let alone familiar with the easements list!
 
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