Advance tickets on cancelled EMR train. Journey now impossible without using other operators.

dmncf

Member
Joined
4 Sep 2012
Messages
175
I have purchased tickets Advance Single (1st Class) tickets from East Midlands Railway (EMR) for this Saturday 23 May 2020 for:
06:33 - London St Pancras International to 11:12 - Scarborough and
16:55 - Scarborough to 21:10 - London St Pancras International

I made the effort to book in advance and reserve seats. I actually chose this particular train because EMR were offering reservations, whereas LNER were still unsure of their timetable for this Saturday and hence weren't offering reservations. I also chose this train because it avoids changing and chose first class because I thought it would be less crowded. EMR only operate this train once per week on summer Saturdays.

Now I have found that this train has disappeared from the timetable; if you look on the National Rail website or EMR website, the train no longer exists. Should I go to the ticket office at St Pancras this evening? What are staff likely to suggest? What are my rights? Regardless of whether I travel on an EMR service as far as I can (and change trains twice incurring a delay ruining my day trip) or I travel on LNER from London King's Cross, my journey is impossible without using other train operators' services.

My kids are up in Scarborough and I share parenting and will have them for the day. I am down in London during the week for work, and this trip is important to me - I'm quite emotional about seeing my kids. Thank you for your advice.
 
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Kilopylae

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9 Apr 2019
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According to National Rail Enquiries (www.nationalrail.co.uk/advancetickets):

"If the train you purchased a ticket for is cancelled or is delayed and you still decide to travel, special arrangements will be made to accommodate you on another train (although a seat cannot be guaranteed)."

I would be very surprised if you were not given permission to travel using other operators' trains to complete the journey in good time. In the event that you weren't given permission it would be up to EMR to sort something out for you—this would traditionally mean either a taxi or them paying for Anytime tickets to allow you to use other operators' trains.

There are some real experts on this forum who I imagine will be along soon to confirm this or offer more detailed advice.
 

bunnahabhain

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Joined
8 Jun 2005
Messages
1,811
I have purchased tickets Advance Single (1st Class) tickets from East Midlands Railway (EMR) for this Saturday 23 May 2020 for:
06:33 - London St Pancras International to 11:12 - Scarborough and
16:55 - Scarborough to 21:10 - London St Pancras International

I made the effort to book in advance and reserve seats. I actually chose this particular train because EMR were offering reservations, whereas LNER were still unsure of their timetable for this Saturday and hence weren't offering reservations. I also chose this train because it avoids changing and chose first class because I thought it would be less crowded. EMR only operate this train once per week on summer Saturdays.

Now I have found that this train has disappeared from the timetable; if you look on the National Rail website or EMR website, the train no longer exists. Should I go to the ticket office at St Pancras this evening? What are staff likely to suggest? What are my rights? Regardless of whether I travel on an EMR service as far as I can (and change trains twice incurring a delay ruining my day trip) or I travel on LNER from London King's Cross, my journey is impossible without using other train operators' services.

My kids are up in Scarborough and I share parenting and will have them for the day. I am down in London during the week for work, and this trip is important to me - I'm quite emotional about seeing my kids. Thank you for your advice.
Your ticket will be accepted by other operators, this arrangement has been in place for the entire lock down to cover for eventualities such as this.
 

Class800

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5 Feb 2020
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32
Location
West Country
I have had a look on EMR website and cannot find anything specifically on this. You should be OK in terms of getting to destination without having to get this ticket refunded (which EMR are offering) and get another - but delay repay may be a bit more complex with a temporary timetable in place - from my experience).

Normally, I would say turn up to St Pancras 20-30 minutes early and ask at the EMR desk for approval in writing for alternative services to fulfil your contract since this is an essential journey for shared parenting reasons - and to minimise delay where possible for these reasons.

And that can remain an option. However, looking at the journey planner, you will need to be authorised for LNER services (unless EMR want to give you road transport), and LNER are operating reservation only now, so it may be difficult to get this approved on day.

So, if it were me (experienced traveller but not 'senior expert'), I would be phoning EMR today and asking them what they propose and ask them if possible to contact LNER for you to get the reservation sorted - and ask EMR to send confirmation of the arrangements by email to avoid issues. Ensure the use of the TPE service from York is listed on the sheet - so no issues with them.

The best option if the can get this approved would be

London Kings Cross 06.15
York 08.33
York 09.00
Scarborough 09.49

The back up choice if they can get this approved but not the other way is

London Kings Cross 07.30
York 09.32
York 10.00
Scarborough 10.51

If they can't get this sorted, they are likely to push towards cancelling journey with refund, but you don't have to accept this.

This is because lengthy road transport would seemingly be needed - according to running information - unless I am missing something.

There is a 06.20 from St Pancras, getting to Sheffield at 08.55 - and then it's 2 hours by road if they have something waiting for you. They could suggest road from Chesterfield too - as might be a quicker get away. If they do this - you are still likely to get in ahead of your scheduled train!

Do let us all know how you get on if you can!
 

221129

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21 Mar 2011
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4,821
Location
Sunny Scotland
If you can get a reservation for LNER then just do this,
London Kings Cross 06.15
York 08.33
York 09.00
Scarborough 09.49

If not then use an EMR service up to Sheffield then an XC or TPE to York or Leeds and then TPE to Scarborough.
 

221129

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21 Mar 2011
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4,821
Location
Sunny Scotland
Thank you all for your replies.

Although this is no guarantee that my ticket will be accepted by LNER, I have been able to make outward (06:15) and return seat reservations on LNER trains for free using the reservations feature on LNER's website: https://www.lner.co.uk/travel-information/coronavirus-travel-information/#Seatreservations

So that's one less thing to worry about.
There is general ticket acceptance with every TOC for any reasonable route at the moment. You'll be fine.
 

robbeech

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11 Nov 2015
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2,952
I assume this all went ok, most operators are doing what they can to get people where they need to be.
 

dmncf

Member
Joined
4 Sep 2012
Messages
175
Thank you again to those who replied to my query.

I arrived at London St Pancras early, at 05:45. My 06:33 train to Scarborough was not shown on the departure boards. There were no staff at the gateline to advise me about alternative travel arrangements. I went to the EMR ticket office, where the door was locked and there was one staff member who would not move from her desk. She was able to hear me asking about my train to Scarborough, and she replied by pointing her finger and saying to go to Kings Cross. So after my failed attempts to get my tickets endorsed by EMR staff, I kept my head down and made my return journey on LNER and TPE, starting with the 06:15 from Kings Cross. I didn't encounter any ticket barriers or tickets checks at any points during my return journey.

I felt a real contrast between LNER and EMR. Because I had made free seat reservations on LNER, they texted me the platform numbers for my train. Despite having booked my Advance tickets directly through EMR, they sent me a standardised "Important information ahead of your journey" email and didn't think to connect the dots between cancelling a train and customers who had booked Advance tickets on that train. I'm undecided whether to complain to EMR. I didn't suffer any loss of time with my kids, but did suffer a stressful journey despite making the effort to book in advance; I'm not sure what benefit I got from having paid my fare to EMR.
 

superjohn

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Joined
11 Mar 2011
Messages
256
It’s good to hear that everything went without incident.

I really don’t believe a complaint is called for. Ultimately EMR could have done things differently but these are unprecedented times and a bit of leeway is in order.

Did you contact EMR for advice on the situation? The emergency timetable effectively cancelled all train bookings made prior to the crisis. Contacting every single passenger with a booking would be a tall order at the best of times, let alone when call centre staffing levels are reduced.

I would let this one pass.
 

dmncf

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Joined
4 Sep 2012
Messages
175
Did you contact EMR for advice on the situation? The emergency timetable effectively cancelled all train bookings made prior to the crisis. Contacting every single passenger with a booking would be a tall order at the best of times, let alone when call centre staffing levels are reduced.
I wasn't totally clear in my first post. I bought my tickets less than a week before travel. EMR were still selling Advance tickets for the Saturdays-only Scarborough train until around Thursday I think, before it disappeared from their website.
 

yorkie

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The only risk here was if LNER staff had not accepted the ticket at the gateline if it had been in operation. But even that would have been unlikely and resolvable. LNER and TPE are not carrying out on board checks at present (as far as I know)

I'm assuming you arrived in Scarborough early ( around 90min early I believe) so can't see any grounds for complaint.
 

Haywain

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3 Feb 2013
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4,388
Whilst I don’t think a complaint is justified, I do think it would be appropriate to formally comment if you feel that the comms from EMR could have been better.
 

dmncf

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Joined
4 Sep 2012
Messages
175
The only risk here was if LNER staff had not accepted the ticket at the gateline if it had been in operation. But even that would have been unlikely and resolvable. LNER and TPE are not carrying out on board checks at present (as far as I know)

I'm assuming you arrived in Scarborough early ( around 90min early I believe) so can't see any grounds for complaint.
I'm certainly not proposing to apply for Delay Repay. :D

I don't share forum members' total confidence that my EMR-only Advance ticket would have been accepted by LNER and TPE staff. I think it 90% likely, perhaps 99% likely, but it's hard to shake off the thousands of on-train announcements I've heard about the dire consequences of travelling with an Advance ticket that's for a different train. I did find my journey stressful and I travelled armed with a printout of the www.nationalrail.co.uk/advancetickets webpage quoted above by Kilopylae.

I have emailed EMR, explaining that because this EMR London St Pancras to Scarborough return train operates just once per week, customers with booked Advance tickets are in a particularly difficult position if EMR does not operate the train. I have highlighted that I hope that EMR will not repeat this mistake next Saturday (although I am personally not travelling next Saturday).
 

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