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Advanced Tiers - confused

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New Member
16 Dec 2015
I'm a little confused by advance ticket quotas. I thought I understood them. This guide on the forum here: http://www.railforums.co.uk/showpost.php?p=1179552&postcount=7 (which is from 2010 so something may have changed) states "For a through Edinburgh to London advance fare at a particular price tier to be available on this train, quota for that price tier must be available on every segment of the journey. If even just one segment has run out of quota for that tier, an advance for the through journey at that tier cannot be offered. Instead, booking engines will offer the lowest-priced advance tier for which quota is available for every segment of the journey."

My confusion is that I can find examples where this seems not to be true. e.g I just checked Edinburgh to London, 4th April East Coast leaving at 6:55. It stops at (amongst other places) York, then Doncaster. However a 'BPS' ticket is available from Edinburgh to Doncaster at £17.40 but Edinburgh to York which is a subset of Edinburgh to Doncaster (York is the previous stop on this train) only has a 'BTS' fare available (at £34.50). But surely following Indigo2's logic Edinburgh to Doncaster should be forced to sell 'BTS' fares as 'BPS' is not available for every sub-segment?

Appreciate input from the experts!
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Established Member
14 Apr 2008
I honestly don't know how quotas are set, I just know they exist, but on occasion I have found similar things to yourself.

On one occasion I traveled out of Birmingham to Sandwell and Dudley to get a train through Birmingham New Street to Euston, rather than go straight from New Street, because the fare for the latter was twice the price on the very same train. To this day I can't explain it.


Veteran Member
18 May 2012
Your experience is not atypical for East Coast quotas. A lot of it is to do (I think) with their wishes to separate and influence medium and long distance passengers (as well as connecting passengers) differently.


26 Sep 2011
Not sure how the current NRS works but the old CRS (upto about 1999) allowed journies to be barred / restricted.

So, Kings Cross to Inverness:-
£20 tickets are available for journeys to Perth and north thereof
If you go from Kings across to Edinburgh the fare is £35.

You could also limit the amount of tickets. 10x £20 tickets shared between York, Newcastle and Edinburgh. 20x £10 tickets available to stations north of Edinburgh.

You used to be able to say no Advance to Pitlochry - but available to any other station (because it was the Pitlochry Highland Games) on that day.
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