Ashford International to Yeovil puzzle!

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Kentish Paul

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I travel this route to Yeovil Junction fairly often. I usually pay £76.60 for an off peak return. Tried to find something cheaper (e.g. splits etc, but no luck).
I then tried Pen Mill as the destination and got some wierd results. (N.B. all this done on Southeasterns website).

With Pen Mill I was offered a super off peak return at £72.00 via Waterloo and Yeovil Junction (as above) and a bus to Pen Mill. However it stated that this was valid on the 06:45 and 07:45 ex Ashford despite the fact that the off peak return (above) is not valid until the 09:33 ex Ashford (to connect with 11:20 ex Waterloo).

Is this a glitch or reality?

P.S. All this dated for a journey on 20th September, returning a week later.
 
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soil

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Restriction code YU on the Pen Mill ticket:

JOURNEYS TO/FROM/VIA LONDON/READING

Available as listed below MONDAYS to FRIDAYS. (By any train on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays)

OUTWARD TRAVEL:

On services timed to depart London Waterloo between 0815 and 1559, and from 1901.

Super Off-Peak_tickets from stations not listed are valid for connections into trains departing as shown above.


Whereas Yeovil Junction Off-peak return has the much simpler restriction 4A, which is simply


By any train except those
timed to depart Mondays -
Fridays before 0930.



So in the first case you can travel from Ashford International to London at any time you like but must travel from Waterloo at 08:15 or later.

So the Pen Mill ticket is effectively valid 2 hours earlier, since with 4A you cannot leave Ashford till 09:30 or later, whereas with YU you can leave Ashford at any time ready to catch the 08:20 from Waterloo to Yeovil
 

cjohnson

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Looks like 'reality' - the Pen Mill fare has a less strict restriction code:

OUTWARD TRAVEL RESTRICTIONS
apply_from the stations listed
below. Tickets are valid:

On services timed to depart
London Paddington between 1010
and 1501, and from 1901.

On services timed to depart
Reading between 1030 and 1530,
and from 1901.

On the 1506 departure from
London Paddington / 1533 from
Reading (Penzance service)
with tickets to/from PEWSEY
only.

On services timed to depart
London Waterloo between 0815
and 1559, and from 1901.

On services timed to arrive at
Salisbury between 0930 and
1740, and from 1901.
The Yeovil Junction fare instead has a blanket ban on any journey starting before 0930.
 

soil

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Easement 31 states:

Journeys to Yeovil Pen Mill may not go via Yeovil Junction and journeys to
Yeovil Junction may not go via Yeovil Pen Mill. This prohibition applies in
both directions.


However this does not apply as Ashford - Pen Mill via Yeovil Junction is the shortest route, 3.5 miles shorter in fact.

Hence the fare/terms differential SWT are operating the faster line to Yeovil Junction and place more onerous restrictions than FGW who just have the less desirable line through Pen Mill.
 

SickyNicky

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Easement 31 states:

Journeys to Yeovil Pen Mill may not go via Yeovil Junction and journeys to
Yeovil Junction may not go via Yeovil Pen Mill. This prohibition applies in
both directions.
Good point. The only way to defeat that would be to claim the journey as the shortest route, which would probably mean going through Redhill, Dorking and Guildford.
 

LexyBoy

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If you can hold off leaving until after 0959 then a Network Railcard will net you a 34% discount, making it £50.55 to Junction. Not sure if it would be usable to Pen Mill as you'd have to travel via Dorchester/Upwey which I'm not sure is a Permitted Route.
 

Kentish Paul

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Thanks everybody. I thought it would be something as described. I would be met on arrival so any Yeovil station would be fine. Its still wierd that I can travel to basically the same place in peak hours for £4.60 less than an off peak ticket. Ho Hum, our wonderful fare structure.

Thanks again.
 

soil

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Good point. The only way to defeat that would be to claim the journey as the shortest route, which would probably mean going through Redhill, Dorking and Guildford.
It seems a bit complicated to me.

The route is marked ✠ANY PERMITTED

The non-London route is Ashford-Tonbridge-Redhill-Reading via maps CS+WE

Map WE shows the route from Paddington.

I am not really sure how they determine a cross-London transfer by underground in this case, since you could get a couple of trains from Ashford International to Lewisham then DLR + Tube from there to Ealing Broadway and then pick up the train there to Reading and change at Reading towards Pen Mill.

The CS+WE route is unambiguous enough
Ashford-Tonbridge
Tonbridge-Redhill
Redhill-Reading
Reading-Bath Spa
Bath Spa-Yeovil Pen Mill

and comes to 184 miles.

Ashford-Waterloo East is 54.37 miles and Waterloo-Yeovil Junction is 122.89 miles, so it's shorter than that route, at just around 177 miles.

The most logical via London route specifically to Pen Mill is Ashford-Charing Cross at 55 miles, Charing Cross-Paddington by Bakerloo, then Paddington-Yeovil Pen Mill at 127 miles. So that's 182 miles, which is still longer than the Ashford-Waterloo East, Waterloo-Yeovil Junction routeing.

So basically it's the fact that the Waterloo-Yeovil Junction line is shorter than the Paddington-Yeovil Pen Mill route that cancels this easement out.

So you can typically buy a ticket to Pen Mill for any destination that requires travel via London and use it to travel to Yeovil Junction not withstanding the easement that says otherwise.....
 

Indigo2

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The thing about using the shortest route is that it is permitted by the NRCoC alone and can't be rescinded by an easement. If you are using mapped routes, then any easements apply as they are part of the Routeing Guide.

The shortest route is, as SickyNicky says, via Tonbridge - Redhill - Dorking - Guildford - Woking - Basingstoke - Andover - Salisbury. That looks to be 173 miles 30 chains. That is allowed. But note that it doesn't go anywhere near London. The Maltese Cross on a ticket routeing doesn't mean you have to go via London, if there are other permitted routes available that avoid London. If you are going via London in this case you need to use a mapped route, to which the easement will apply, barring travel via Yeovil Junction.
 

swt_passenger

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Just a thought that may or may not be relevant to this, is Yeovil Pen Mill considered outside or inside the 'Network area'? Or is it on the boundary?

Doesn't that usually affect details of offpeak ticket validity?
 

Kentish Paul

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On a slightly off thread note, my eventual destination is half way between Yeovil and Castle Cary. I used to go via Castle Cary (FGW) until the fares went up (£68.00 to £82.00 super off peak.) which made SWT cheaper.

It is still the case that the super off peak ticket from Ashford to Castle Cary offers travel out via Bath and return via Dorchester and SWT and HS1 at £72.00. OK times are restricted and the return is 5.20hrs (10:00 ex Castle Cary). Just looked and seems to be the same.

Not quick trips but they cover a lot of scenery.
 

soil

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The thing about using the shortest route is that it is permitted by the NRCoC alone and can't be rescinded by an easement. If you are using mapped routes, then any easements apply as they are part of the Routeing Guide.

The shortest route is, as SickyNicky says, via Tonbridge - Redhill - Dorking - Guildford - Woking - Basingstoke - Andover - Salisbury. That looks to be 173 miles 30 chains. That is allowed. But note that it doesn't go anywhere near London.
There are no tracks between Yeovil Pen Mill and Yeovil Junction.

So routeing Ashford -Woking via Redhill and then joining the Waterloo-Yeovil Junction line at Woking does NOT determine the shortest route to Yeovil Pen Mill.

The shortest route to Yeovil Pen Mill is theoretically something like Ashford-Lewisham and then underground/dlr to Ealing Broadway and then stopping train to Reading, then Reading-Castle Cary-Yeovil Pen Mill but that is absurd, the more reasonable route via Charing Cross and Underground to Paddington is still longer, as is the route via Ashford-Redhill-Reading.

The Maltese Cross on a ticket routeing doesn't mean you have to go via London, if there are other permitted routes available that avoid London. If you are going via London in this case you need to use a mapped route, to which the easement will apply, barring travel via Yeovil Junction.
Unless it's shorter, which it is, excluding the ludicrous Lewisham-Ealing Broadway by DLR/tube routeing, which is incidentally valid:

http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types/crossing_london.html#travelling_connect and counts as zero miles between the two. But I don't think it should determine the shortest route.

FWIW, Ashford-Lewisham is 50 miles 18 chains and Ealing Broadway - Yeovil Pen Mill is 121 miles 29 chains, so that's less than 172 miles, and is logically 'shortest'.
 

LexyBoy

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Just a thought that may or may not be relevant to this, is Yeovil Pen Mill considered outside or inside the 'Network area'? Or is it on the boundary?

Doesn't that usually affect details of offpeak ticket validity?
It's the last station in the Network area - if using a NSE discounted ticket, all travel must be within the mapped area which rules out the usual route to Pen Mill from London.

Not sure what you mean re ticket validity - maybe you're thinking of the rule which applies to tickets where the origin is within the Network area and the desination outside it (or vice-versa), in which case only the leg to the non-Network area station is restricted from London.

I've made that sound a lot more complicated than it needs to I think!
 

Indigo2

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There are no tracks between Yeovil Pen Mill and Yeovil Junction.
This thread seems to indicate that there are occasional passenger services between the two stations, although not necessarily stopping at either of them. So there must be a connection there.

The official ATOC-supplied mileage data used by all booking engines has Yeovil Junction to Yeovil Pen Mill down as 2 miles. ATOC don't seem to like fixing this data to account for errors such as stations that don't have a regular passenger service between them, or don't have platforms on certain lines - so I guess the point of the easement stems from this - it is a kludge.
 

Kentish Paul

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@soil

There are tracks between Pen Mill and Junction but they are not used buy scheduled passenger services, mainly diversions and engineering trains, and the night riviera etc.
 

johnnycache

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It might be worthy trying a few splits as Southern fares (I work for Southern) are often much lower than other operators

Ashford International
Yeovil Junction

Off-peak return £76.60 route London not Underground (ie Waterloo/Waterloo East)

Ashford International
Yeovil Pen Mill

Super off-peak return £72.00

Ashford International
Salisbury

£29.00 Off-peak return route Barnham plus

Salisbury
Yeovil Junction

£25.10 Off-peak return

Total £54.10

Ashford International
Weymouth

£29.00 Off-peak return route Barnham plus

Weymouth
Yeovil Pen Mill

£8.10 x 2 singles = £16.20 (slightly less from Dorchester)

Total £45.20

All the above are full adult fares and can be discounted with railcards
 

pitdiver

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Was this thread written in a foreign language. I lost track of what it was all about during the second post. No wonder the ordinary rail traveller doesn't stand a chance in getting good value.
 

SickyNicky

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Was this thread written in a foreign language. I lost track of what it was all about during the second post. No wonder the ordinary rail traveller doesn't stand a chance in getting good value.
It does seem that way, doesn't it. Basically the OP has found a ticket available online for £72 that has very lax time restrictions. This ticket is probably technically not valid on the route he wants to take because of the easement mentioned and that's what most of the discussion has been focused on, but if the OP buys it with an itinerary, he should be fine.

It might be worthy trying a few splits as Southern fares (I work for Southern) are often much lower than other operators
An even cheaper option would be:

Month Return, Off-Peak
£42.70

ASHFORD INTL to WOOL
OFF-PEAK R
£29.00
Route: VIA BARNHAM

WOOL to YEOVIL PEN MILL
OFF-PEAK R
£13.70
Route: VIA DORCHSTR WST
 
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swt_passenger

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Not sure what you mean re ticket validity - maybe you're thinking of the rule which applies to tickets where the origin is within the Network area and the desination outside it (or vice-versa), in which case only the leg to the non-Network area station is restricted from London.
That's exactly what I was thinking of, but if Pen Mill is inside the area it's not relevant I guess...
 

yorkie

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It's the last station in the Network area - if using a NSE discounted ticket, all travel must be within the mapped area which rules out the usual route to Pen Mill from London.

Not sure what you mean re ticket validity - maybe you're thinking of the rule which applies to tickets where the origin is within the Network area and the desination outside it (or vice-versa), in which case only the leg to the non-Network area station is restricted from London.

I've made that sound a lot more complicated than it needs to I think!
It's worth mentioning though. If the journey is within the Network Area (e.g. via Basingstoke on SWT), then yes the Network Railcard can be used and the Network Area validity rule via London does not apply.

However if the journey is made via Castle Cary using FGW, then the Network Railcard discount does not apply, but the ticket can be used at any time from Ashford to London and restrictions then apply out of London, as per the Network Area validity rule.

As for which is best for the customer, it depends on various factors including the time of travel, whether a Railcard is held, etc.

Was this thread written in a foreign language. I lost track of what it was all about during the second post. No wonder the ordinary rail traveller doesn't stand a chance in getting good value.
The ordinary rail traveller is supposed to simply ask for a ticket from A to B and be charged the going rate, which may be very expensive. But rail fares are not supposed to offer good value in all cases, some fares are deliberately priced high to stifle demand (e.g. on routes that are very busy) and/or to milk the lucrative business market.

If it is cheaper to "split" then that is not intentional, though there is nothing to stop passengers doing that. However some TOCs appear to view the cheaper shorter distance tickets as the "anomaly" and see them as being "too good value". Of course, we will take a different view, that the longer distance fares are too poor value and that the higher fares are the anomaly!
 

Kentish Paul

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Thanks for all your replies. Never thought about the Southern route via Barnham. I'm never in much of a hurry so may try that next time and spend the saved £30 on good ale!!

Thanks again.
 
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