Advance fare query: taking a different train

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yashicamat

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Hello,

I have done a fair bit of searching (both within this site and others) to try and establish an answer to this, but I'm struggling to get a definitive one! Seeing as plenty of useful info seems to be located on this forum, I reckon you guys are probably the best ones to ask.

I have an advance 1st class ticket booked for next month from Glasgow to Macclesfield, with the leg from Glasgow to Manchester Piccadilly being a booked seat on a TPE. The second leg is from Manchester to Macclesfield, but the automatically generated train is a little local commuter train (with no first class provision and also no reserved seat). As this is a non-reserved train, can I legitimately wait until the next service arrives with first class provision? The ticket says 'VWC & Connections' but my interpretation of the NRE website on advance ticket T&Cs suggests any non-reserved train is OK within a 'valid travel itenary'.

Does anyone know the answer to this, please? If possible, I'd like to complete the last half hour of my journey in first class!

Thanks.

Rob.
 
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DaveNewcastle

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If I am right in understanding that your booking has not specified a specific time for train for the Manchester - Macclesfield train, then you are right. You may wait for a reasonable length of time for a slightly later service, and if that has First Class accomodation then of course your First Class ticket will allow you to sit there.

The 'valid travel itinery' that you refer to will probably have been displayed when you booked the ticket on-line and may be in the confirmation email. What you are doing is changing that itinery. But as it did not involve a Reservation and if the additional wait at Manchester is 'reasonable' then you should have no problem.
 

yashicamat

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Thanks, much appreciated. Yes, the only reserved part of the journey is Glasgow to Manchester, the part after that is unreserved (presumably the NR train was selected in the interests of time efficiency rather than cost). The wait isn't excessive (about 45 minutes I think and would be welcome after 3.5 hours on the TPE train) and I am fairly sure my ticket should get me into the first class lounge too (as it is a VWC ticket, plus I am also getting a VT from Manchester to Macclesfield), so the wait wouldn't be umpleasant either!

Thanks.

Rob.
 

Robinson

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Hello,

I have done a fair bit of searching (both within this site and others) to try and establish an answer to this, but I'm struggling to get a definitive one! Seeing as plenty of useful info seems to be located on this forum, I reckon you guys are probably the best ones to ask.

I have an advance 1st class ticket booked for next month from Glasgow to Macclesfield, with the leg from Glasgow to Manchester Piccadilly being a booked seat on a TPE. The second leg is from Manchester to Macclesfield, but the automatically generated train is a little local commuter train (with no first class provision and also no reserved seat). As this is a non-reserved train, can I legitimately wait until the next service arrives with first class provision? The ticket says 'VWC & Connections' but my interpretation of the NRE website on advance ticket T&Cs suggests any non-reserved train is OK within a 'valid travel itenary'.

Does anyone know the answer to this, please? If possible, I'd like to complete the last half hour of my journey in first class!

Thanks.

Rob.
VWC & Connections? That seems more than a tad flawed, especially if your actual reservation is on TPE...
(I'm assuming V in this case stands for Virgin.)
 

yashicamat

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VWC & Connections? That seems more than a tad flawed, especially if your actual reservation is on TPE...
(I'm assuming V in this case stands for Virgin.)
My mistake, I was looking at the outward ticket (which does include a booked portion on a VT); the return journey is 'AP TPE & Connectns', but presumably the connections bit still applies if I'm intending to catch a VT?
 

island

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I seem to remember from the depths of... somewhere deep that you can't use the "&connections" bit of a ticket on a reservable train unless you have a reservation, or it's EC between Kings Cross and Stevenage. That would put paid to using Virgin in this instance, wouldn't it?
 

cuccir

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From The Manual, as posted by Hairyhandedfool

"
Q25. Can passengers on an advance ticket travel on earlier connecting trains?

A. Yes if it is non-reservable, no if it is reservable.

An exception that benefits customers: Where East Coast is a connecting TOC from Stevenage via London and vice versa e.g "AP London Reading" or "VWC & connections", East Coast waives the need for travel on the exact East Coast train booked on this relatively short journey Stevenage-Kings Cross, even though retail systems will force a reservation to be made."

FWIW - While I know it's clear that if a leg doesn't carry a reservation, it is possible to switch to another non-reservable train, I'm not clear if a passenger can switch from a non-reservable train to a reservable train? Has this been established somewhere?
 

DaveNewcastle

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Yes, that information (including its specific Stevenage-London exception) applies to a passenger choosing to travel on an earlier service than the one originally offered.
In this question, the OP is enquiring about travel on a later service than the one originally offered and the Advance FAQs are silent on that matter.
In my opinion, if no Reservation has been offered for the '& connections' leg of the journey and that train is unreservable, then the passenger is not bound to that service.
[The next section of my post has been described as a 'grey area', so I have editied it to appear in grey.]
They are merely bound to the broader condition to complete the booked journey.
By choosing to wait for a train which provides the booked Class of Accomodation then it should be enough to explain to anyone challenging them that they are seeking to travel in the booked Class of Accomodation.
 
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John @ home

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While I know it's clear that if a leg doesn't carry a reservation, it is possible to switch to another non-reservable train, I'm not clear if a passenger can switch from a non-reservable train to a reservable train? Has this been established somewhere?
No. My view is that you can't normally switch, so I would not recommend that the OP plans to wait until there is a train with First Class accommodation.

But the non-reservable train may be late. At that point, the passenger's rights are:
Advance ticket terms and conditions

If delays occur while travelling, you will be allowed to take the next available train(s) to complete your journey.

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/advance_conditions.html
 

yorkie

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It's a bit of a grey area (and yes it has cropped up before, and no we never get a complete agreement on this matter). In the event of a ticket check before Macclesfield and the guard not accepting to the ticket, then a new Anytime Day 1st Single from Manchester to Macclesfield would cost £9.70. But I would think that is unlikely to happen.
 

John @ home

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In my opinion, if no Reservation has been offered for the '& connections' leg of the journey and that train is unreservable, then the passenger is not bound to that service.
Agreed They may choose to travel by a different non-reservable train.

They are merely bound to the broader condition to complete the booked journey.

By choosing to wait for a train which provides the booked Class of Accomodation then it should be enough to explain to anyone challenging them that they are seeking to travel in the booked Class of Accomodation.
The difficulty with this view is that the cheaper First Advance tickets are often available only by specifying a "via" point which avoids a reservable train with no First Advance quota for that flow.

The example I encounter most frequently is St Pancras - Leeds. Relatively cheap First Advance tickets are available on the xx55 each hour if you specify "via Barnsley". From Sheffield, this routes you on the yy18 semi-fast non-reservable Nottingham - Leeds service, which is overtaken by the yy21 reservable Plymouth - Edinburgh service. There is a zero quota of First Advance St Pancras - Leeds tickets on the yy21 services.

Train managers on the Plymouth - Edinburgh service appear to have been briefed that they must accept St Pancras - Leeds First Advance tickets when the Nottingham - Leeds service has been delayed and is following the yy21. But they are also clear that such a passenger who chooses to travel by their service in other circumstances will be charged a First Class Anytime Day Single fare.

My expectation is that yashicamat may encounter similar difficulties if choosing to wait for a reservable Manchester to Macclesfield train.
 

34D

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Agreed They may choose to travel by a different non-reservable train.

The difficulty with this view is that the cheaper First Advance tickets are often available only by specifying a "via" point which avoids a reservable train with no First Advance quota for that flow.

The example I encounter most frequently is St Pancras - Leeds. Relatively cheap First Advance tickets are available on the xx55 each hour if you specify "via Barnsley". From Sheffield, this routes you on the yy18 semi-fast non-reservable Nottingham - Leeds service, which is overtaken by the yy21 reservable Plymouth - Edinburgh service. There is a zero quota of First Advance St Pancras - Leeds tickets on the yy21 services.

Train managers on the Plymouth - Edinburgh service appear to have been briefed that they must accept St Pancras - Leeds First Advance tickets when the Nottingham - Leeds service has been delayed and is following the yy21. But they are also clear that such a passenger who chooses to travel by their service in other circumstances will be charged a First Class Anytime Day Single fare.

My expectation is that yashicamat may encounter similar difficulties if choosing to wait for a reservable Manchester to Macclesfield train.
A suggestion to circumvent the point that john quite rightly makes would be to simply ask the VWC conductor at piccadilly "is this the right train for macclesfield" with tickets in hand. Chances are he'll just say yes anyway.
 

David Goddard

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This discussion backs up a discussion I had with ScotRail a few years ago. we travelled from London to Glasgow for the Modelrail Scotland event at the SECC, booking Advance tickets from Kings Cross (and the next year from Euston) through to Exhibition Centre, and again for our return trip. The tickets arrived preprinted with times for the Low Level service from Glasgow Central to Exhibition Centre and back, with connection times of around fourteen minutes.

As we were using long distance services from London, there was potential for delays, plus we were wanting to spend a while at Central station to watch the trains, use the facilities etc, on each leg. This was especially the case on our return, to make sure that we had plenty of time to board the London service.

I telephoned National Rail Enquiries first, to ask whether we would be bound to the trains printed on the ticket, and they did not have a clue what I was talking about, so I then phoned ScotRail, where after consulting with one or two of his colleagues, advised me that this was not a problem and we could use any train that day as a connection. Given that this was only verbal and not written, we remained prepared to be challenged on the day, but thankfully we were not.
 

yashicamat

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Thanks for the responses. The connection is 15 minutes (the NR train won't be late as it starts the journey in Manchester . . . although it has been known to be cancelled!) so that gives me enough time to find someone to ask the question of.

Rob
 

yashicamat

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True, although I've not known this train to be late (local service and it sits at Piccadilly for a while before returning south again so plenty of catch-up time). Who knows though, for once I might be praying for a late train!:lol:
 
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