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voyagerdude220

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Hi all,

Does anyone have any ideas, for trains i could use in half term (23rd-27th October) between Preston and Bristol Temple M, either on the way there, or on the return?

Basically, I want to get Value First tickets, but also want to travel on one or two Pendos. The most obvious way is Preston-Euston-Birmingham-Bristol, but this would cost my Dad aproximately £60-80, compared to the usual £30-£40 return for a child's Value First return.

I also welcome any other ideas apart from Pendos, and would like to book my tickets very soon, as I've been "umming and erring" for a while about it now.

Thanks for your ideas.
 
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CallySleeper

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Why London, but why London - Birmingham instead of London - Bristol?

Preston - Bristol:
Must go through Crewe [either via Manchester or Warrington]
Then Crewe - Newport - Bristol OR
Crewe - Birmingham - Bristol via either Tamworth, Lichfield or Wolverhampton.
Mixture of Voyager/Pendolino traction, plus Crewe - Newport is ATW [175 or 158], Birmingham - Bristol non-direct will be 170 between Tamworth/Birmingham and Gloucester.

That is, if you WANT to go an unusual route and pay through the nose for seperate tickets - if it's a weekday 2 weeks away then it is reasonably unlikely you'll find anything going cheap, such is how the system works, let alone in First.
 

yorkie

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The Virgin site should look specifically for Virgin Value availability, if you choose that option. You just specify morning/afternoon/evening and it searches all trains at a suitable time.

It seems odd to go into London and back out again, unless you take FGW (a far superior route to take! ;)) from Paddington.

If you can afford to travel First Class but want to take an unusual route, it may be better to get an "Any Permitted" route saver and get weekend first instead by travelling on a Saturday?
 

voyagerdude220

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The Virgin site should look specifically for Virgin Value availability, if you choose that option. You just specify morning/afternoon/evening and it searches all trains at a suitable time.

It seems odd to go into London and back out again, unless you take FGW (a far superior route to take! ;)) from Paddington.

If you can afford to travel First Class but want to take an unusual route, it may be better to get an "Any Permitted" route saver and get weekend first instead by travelling on a Saturday?
Good idea.

I didn't mean i want to go an unusual route, i just want to do some Pendo bashing in FC, because the snack boxes on Voyagers are crap, especially when your only allowed one!

But how long would it take to get across London on the tube? I personally don't like using the underground. I'd be willing to have a short trip on it though, less than 1/2 an hour.
 

Nick W

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As Yorkie said, FGW is a far superior route. Brunel's creation and ratable traction.

If you walk to Euston square it *should* be no more than 15 minutes to Paddington.

As you are choosing first class, be sure to check out Paddinton's First class lounge, which is very very good for snacks and drink, and you get to sit in Queen Victoria's ex-room.
 

voyagerdude220

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Thanks for all posts.

I'm afraid i'm just going to do Preston-Euston-Birmingham-Bristol this time, because I don't want to get lost in London.

I might, instead, vary the route on the way back, and do Weston-Super-Mare - Reading- Preston or something like that..
 

yorkie

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Assuming he isn't going through London, or if he is buy seperate tickets?
Avoiding London, a "Not London" ticket will be cheaper.

Bizarrely, if you head anywhere west of Bristol Parkway (ie, to Wales) then "Not London" is the only available option. So I can get a York to Bristol "Any Permitted" but York to Cardiff there is no any permitted :|


Good idea.

I didn't mean i want to go an unusual route, i just want to do some Pendo bashing in FC, because the snack boxes on Voyagers are crap, especially when your only allowed one! (And no alchoholic drinks are complimentary on Voyagers :()

.
Ah, so you just want better food than a snack box? Then why not get food at the station? It's crazy to spend £££s extra on tickets instead of buying a packet of biscuits. BTW, if it's Primo you're after - there should be no cheap FC tickets on those trains. And this is why GNER is better - you get what you pay for instead of spending ££££s extra on tickets for "free" meals. (York-London FC + the cost of a meal = less than Manchester-London FC which includes a so-called "free" meal).


But how long would it take to get across London on the tube? I personally don't like using the underground. I'd be willing to have a short trip on it though, less than 1/2 an hour
Probably about 20 minutes by tube. But it's quicker, as Nick W said, to walk to Euston Square where you can get a proper train (not tube) to Paddington on the Circle or H&C lines. You need to allow approx 1 hour for this, but it can be done in as little as 15 mins (if you arrive by H&C then you end up on the footbridge - where you can join your train directly on to the platform without having to go to the station front).

What are you worried about? the actual tube is cramped and involves loads of escalators, I can understand why people don't like that. But that doesn't apply to to the Euston-Paddington line, and the stock is bigger and more spacious than stock on the NR system, and as for being "underground", it's less underground than various tunnels your Pendo will go through!

Walk 1.5 miles in 15 minutes ... of course Nick... of course...

I'd say Tube in 15 minutes...
No, he said walk to Euston Square, which is not 1.5 miles - more like a few hundred metres. And that is far quicker than taking the tube, and if you want I'll race you some time. Consider all the escalators at Euston and Paddington and the need to change trains....

Thanks for all posts.

I'm afraid i'm just going to do Preston-Euston-Birmingham-Bristol this time, because I don't want to get lost in London.

I might, instead, vary the route on the way back, and do Weston-Super-Mare - Reading- Preston or something like that..
Why is there more chance of being lost in London than in, say, Reading or Weston-super-Mare?

You won't get lost walking from Euston to Euston Square. You don't even need to cross a road! http://local.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&cp=51.52716~-0.13263&style=h&lvl=18

Are you saying you're double-backing through Rugby-London just for the extra 'free' food?!
 

CallySleeper

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Avoiding London, a "Not London" ticket will be cheaper.

Bizarrely, if you head anywhere west of Bristol Parkway (ie, to Wales) then "Not London" is the only available option. So I can get a York to Bristol "Any Permitted" but York to Cardiff there is no any permitted :|
Voyagerfan, if you want Pendolino then why are you going all the way to London when you can get it to Crewe or the West Midlands? It will be cheaper, I haven't looked but VF this close to the event is unlikely to be available on Preston - Crewe, let alone to London and back. Also, be aware that the food service may not be available to it's fullest extent if you're not on a Primo train!
 

yorkie

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Voyagerfan, if you want Pendolino then why are you going all the way to London when you can get it to Crewe or the West Midlands? It will be cheaper, I haven't looked but VF this close to the event is unlikely to be available on Preston - Crewe, let alone to London and back. Also, be aware that the food service may not be available to it's fullest extent if you're not on a Primo train!
I think it's the thrill of the "free" food on the more costly tickets.

It's a definite phenomenon that exists - I've seen it - where people will pay more in train ticket prices than the value of the 'freebies', and some have been known to get upset on weekends when no 'freebies' were available ;)

I believe that sufferers are cured automatically on their 16th birthday and then realising that Y-P railcards don't offer a discount in 1st class ;) Unfortunately when they turn 60 and get a discount with a Senior railcard, the condition is likely to return... ;)

Maybe bashers should provide an unofficial 1st class, which involves charging a £10 supplement, and handing out £4 worth of food and putting a cheap antimacassar on the seat ... the profit going towards their travel costs, allowing them to get more haulage ;)
 

voyagerdude220

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Ah, so you just want better food than a snack box? Then why not get food at the station? It's crazy to spend £££s extra on tickets instead of buying a packet of biscuits. BTW, if it's Primo you're after - there should be no cheap FC tickets on those trains. And this is why GNER is better - you get what you pay for instead of spending ££££s extra on tickets for "free" meals. (York-London FC + the cost of a meal = less than Manchester-London FC which includes a so-called "free" meal).
Yorkie- Can you please specify your examples for price- GNER V VT?

A quick search by myself has found that:

The average main course costs £15 onboard in the restaurant on GNER. York to London Kings Cross child's Value First GNER single is £34.50! (cheapest when available- £32.50!)- Far more compared to say VT Preston to Euston which is £15.50 child /£31 Adult !! For Manchester, minus around £5.

At this stage(off peak child fares in all cases)

GNER- £15+£34.50 = £59.50 (and transfer across to Euston)
VT- £20 from Preston on the 09:49, with the light breakfast included.
-or- £14 from Manchester.

= GNER via ECML ( including train to York) £60-£70, VT via WCML (including train to Manchester) £15-30 if that.
 

Nick W

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I'm sure that Euston - Euston Square involves crossing one road but then there might be another way. It's nice and signposted and you can easily ask someone. It might not be as convenient as the H&C at Paddington. If you really wanted to you could use the Victoria and Bakerloo lines to burn more time than using the H&C, but it's the long way round a triangle.

The H&C interchange at Paddington is probably one of the best examples of intergration in London, along with Stratford. If you go first class, you can use the footbridge to get to Platform 1 the other side of the station to top up grub in the lounge.

Anyway it's a shame you're missing out on the GWR.

As for buying first class class for the grub, you might as well just visit tesco, asda etc before hand, but the FC lounge at Paddington is even more convenient.

Maybe bashers should provide an unofficial 1st class, which involves charging a £10 supplement, and handing out £4 worth of food and putting a cheap antimacassar on the seat ... the profit going towards their travel costs, allowing them to get more haulage
ONE don't even give you free tea in FC, perhaps this is a golden opportunity.
 

voyagerdude220

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I think you do have to cross a road, but it's very minor, iirc.
Well, like i said before, I've allready booked the train tickets, after Tom said it's 1.5 miles (!!) from Euston to Euston square, which put me off the idea of going to Paddington.

Yorkie- Are you going to specify the GNER trip-off tickets which are 50% more than VT?
 
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I misinterpreted what was said - its really about 1.5 miles from Euston to Paddington!

GNER tickets reflect the cost and financial problems of the company. :)
 

yorkie

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Advance Purchase
All your comparisons have shown is that Virgin provide Child discounts - this is because they have huge amounts of First Class subsidised by taxpayers, to the detriment of the majority of passengers. As a result, the subsidised Virgin can afford to allow child discounts. If you compare adult fares they are roughly similar. To use this as an argument against GNER is, frankly, ludicrous. I am not happy at subsidising your FC fares, but soon you'll be 16 and will be charged a more appropriate fare for occupying a FC seat.

Walk on
The majority of FC passengers will probably be on walk-on tickets, these are actually cheaper on GNER.

Leeds-London 'Route Any Permitted' (priced by GNER) FOR 257.00GBP
Leeds-London 'Route Manchester' (priced by Virgin) FOR 317.00GBP
Leeds-Manchester 'Route Any Permitted' (priced by Virgin) FOR 311.00GBP
Edinburgh-London 'Route Any Permitted' FOR 301.00GBP
Preston-London 'Route Any Permitted' FOR 314.00GBP

So, Virgin are so extortionately priced, that it is actually cheaper to buy a ticket from Edinburgh for use from places like Preston. This is because Virgin cannot force the fare from destinations in Scotland to be extortionately high.

It's quite shocking that a subsidised company that has much less standard class than a company that is forced to pay a premium, has such high fares. Just where does all this money go? Into some sort of black hole or into Branson's pocket? Hmm..
 

yorkie

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GNER tickets reflect the cost and financial problems of the company. :)
You mean they charge too little? I think Virgin charge too much!!

GNER could bump up their prices to Virgin levels to alleviate some financial problems, but it would drive passengers away if they did that. It would make no sense. You'd then end up with a situation like you have on the West Coast where, whenever I travel, there are about 4 first class coaches that are almost completely empty.
 

theblackwatch

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It's also worth noting that on GNER you do not need a First Class ticket to use the restaurant car although FC passengers do get invited first, and SC if there is space after. On a York-London trip, it's possible to spend well over half of it in the FC dining car if you have full breakfast, as I have done in the past.

I can't find anything on the VT site to say whether or not SC passengers can use the restaurant car - if it does say it, it's well hidden!
 

yorkie

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Didn't realise Pendos has Buffet cars! And i always thought child fares were 50% off?
The normal discount rules do not always apply in the case of advance purchase tickets or rovers. GNER do not offer discounts from Advance1-3 but do offer the full range of discounts for Advance4.
 

voyagerdude220

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The normal discount rules do not always apply in the case of advance purchase tickets or rovers. GNER do not offer discounts from Advance1-3 but do offer the full range of discounts for Advance4.
When i did the price comparison myself, Yorkie, I deliberately checked on the price breakdown, that the GNER was a child's discounted fare.

It showed up as: "Child's full fare" (or something along the lines of that- not adult ful fare) .

I then assumed it was double that for adult fares, giving me the idea that the GNER value fares were far more than VT.

As for restaurant cars- I'm aware that GNER allow SC pax to use the restaurant car. I don't know about FGW though. VXC catering is crap as usual.

As for VWC- I don't think there's a specific restaurant car available on Pendos. On Pendolino Primo services, the FC hosts just do the normal at-seat service, bringing the food along from the kitchen in coach K.
 

voyagerdude220

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I doubt fGW will allow you to sit in the buffet, as they are First Class seats.
I know, I meant when the service has a proper restaurant facility onboard, although the menu wasn't very good when i got one one the way back up from Penzance last time.

Is it just me, or are FGW bacon rolls awful?! Has anyone tried the VT bacon toll? They're great!
 

voyagerdude220

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You do realise they're exactly the same roll just packaged differently...
Well in that case FGW need to change how long they microwave them, or something or other.
They aren't the exact same though, because FGW have burger bap kind of bread, whilst VT has a proper roll, if you understand what i mean.
 

yorkie

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The average main course costs £15 onboard in the restaurant on GNER. York to London Kings Cross child's Value First GNER single is £34.50! (cheapest when available- £32.50!)- Far more compared to say VT Preston to Euston which is £15.50 child /£31 Adult !! For Manchester, minus around £5.
No, it's not "far more", the fare is roughly the same. £32.50 is for a GNER 1st Advance1. The £34.50 fare you quote is actually GNER 1st Advance4, which has a higher quota and allows child/railcard discounts as per 'normal' tickets. You can then knock 10% off by buying the ticket from the GNER site, so the cheapest ticket becomes £29.25 - marginally cheaper than Virgin.

So, in actual fact, your figures show that GNER are roughly the same as Virgin, your only complaint is that you can't get an (unwarranted, IMO) subsidised discount for the next few months until you turn 16 ;) :p.
At this stage(off peak child fares in all cases)

GNER- £15+£34.50 = £59.50 (and transfer across to Euston).
Erm, what do you mean by "transfer to Euston" - you are assuming King's Cross is less convenient than Euston and that Euston will be the ultimate destination of people arriving at KGX? I highly doubt that at all! Indeed, KGX is more convenient, with a far wider choice of lines to interchange to, as well as an easier interchange with the Met.

It's also a bit sneaky to equate a £15 meal on GNER with a "free" meal on Virgin, for several reasons:-

1. The GNER meals are higher quality, and you get what you pay for.
2. Virgin's "free" meals are subsidised by taxpayers - how is that a good thing? why should we pay for you to have a meal? Yes we pay a premium that goes almost directly to paying your subsidy so you can have freebies.
3. You are also assuming that you can get the cheapest virgin advance on a "Primo" train. How likely is this in reality?
VT- £20 from Preston on the 09:49, with the light breakfast included.
-or- £14 from Manchester.

= GNER via ECML ( including train to York) £60-£70, VT via WCML (including train to Manchester) £15-30 if that.
Not sure what you're saying here, what costs £60-70? If you're saying it would cost that for someone to go from Manchester, via York to London, then yes maybe it would - but there would be no sense in that.

You could compare Manchester-London with Leeds-London, as they are similar routes (although bear in mind Manchester is closer!), but if you want to compare from a common point use somewhere like Huddersfield, Hexham, etc - from places like this you'll find GNER is actually cheaper - at least on walk-on tickets (which is what most passengers, especially FC business-types will actually use).

Basically, your argument is that a 15-year-old who wants to get loads of 'free' meals at the expense of taxpayers is better off with Virgin than GNER. And, you're right, although there are very few people who would take advantage of that and I do have to question whether it's a good thing at all to be honest, and I certainly think that it is highly questionable whether it is fair - it's certainly not a level playing field between the West and East coast (and I'm not just talking about VT vs GNER, with the Great Northern franchise going to FCC who have to also try to pay a premium and whose trains are considerably more overcrowded than Silverlink. It's just ludicrous)
 

devon_metro

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The West Coast seems to get all of the best treatment. They get payed. fGW, GNER and One have to pay. Not sure about anybody else. Although i don't personally find fGW fares bad.

Anyany, You pay less to sit upright, have tiny windows sit on hard seats etc ;)
 

87015

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It's not all rosy on the West Coast, especially if you don't use Virgin's new shiny increased frequency services or believe the PR campaign...
Less seats on nearly all services than say five years ago (think 350s/390s vs 321s/hauled sets). Any "quality improvements" dont count if you're wedged in a doorway with five others...

Local passengers, at least on the southern part, have generally lost more than gained. For Leighton-slower, less frequent services. Loss of Brum services, fare hikes and i'm sure i'll think of a few more later.

On the one plus side we got a year of hauled cobblers and the VWC hauled sets lasted longer than anticipated-neither of which your average punter is as excited as i am about!

Add endless blockades, cock-ups, general farces and you get the picture. Do i need to add Euston is currently shut at weekends!?
How many millions, billions even have/are being wasted lining the pockets of Virgin, Balfour Beatty, Fraser Eagle.....?

end rant!
 
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