Advance Ticket Connections

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27 Jan 2015

If want to purchase a TOC+Connections Advance ticket. The 'connection' part of the journey has a mixture of reservable and unreservable services.

If I want a bit of flexibility and book so that I do not get a reservation, can I only use it on unreservable services or can I use it on any of the services including the reservable ones?

Many Thanks
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RailUK Forums


Established Member
Fares Advisor
23 Jan 2009
North of the rivers
The Terms and Conditions say this:

If the ‘Route’ also states ‘and Connections’, travel is allowed on appropriate connecting trains where shown on the ticket(s) or other valid travel itinerary.

My interpretation: you may use any connecting train shown in a journey planner (if no reservation held).

The NRCoC says:

If you purchase an Advance ticket, you must use that ticket in the train specified when you book your ticket.

My interpretation: you may only use the train shown when booking your ticket, whether you have a reservation for it or not.

Non-public (well, semi-public as permission was given to publish on this forum) industry documents state:
Q25. Can passengers on an advance ticket travel on earlier connecting trains?

A. Yes if it is non-reservable, no if it is reservable.
My interpretation: You may travel on other connecting services if they are not listed as being reservable in the NRT (NB: some trains such as with LM or Northern are not "reservable" but you can be given reservations).

Summary: Official line is that you may only use non-reservable connecting services. If it were me, I would take any convenient train and in the unlikely event of being challenged, point out that I am using an "appropriate connecting service" as per the T&Cs of the ticket, which is as far as a reasonably diligent normal person would look.


Established Member
28 Oct 2010
Wherever I lay my hat
London Midland used to allow an earlier connection from Crewe to Liverpool, but now they generally say no you have to wait for the later one as shown on your ticket.

Just saying, as it can be quite embarrassing being refused :( .
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