Blackfriars to Waterloo through rail tickets

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Norfolk25, 8 Aug 2015.

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  1. Norfolk25

    Norfolk25 Member

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    I have recently joined this forum and have a peculiar route/ticketing question that I hope someone can answer.
    I live in North Norfolk and often travel from Kings Lynn to Kings Cross and then onwards to the south coast (Portsmouth/Bournemouth/Weymouth etc). I always attempt to buy the cheapest tickets, whilst varying the route using split or single advance tickets if possible.
    As part of a recent 'circular' journey from Kings Lynn to Bridport and back, I bought an advance single from Dorchester South to St Albans. I was quite surprised that the National Rail suggested journey was Dorchester South to Waterloo and then 'make your own way to Blackfriars' (40 minutes allowed for the walk!), and then Thameslink to St Albans. I have bought cross London through tickets for many years and there has always been a suggested underground connection before. I realise that they are probably saying you can take the underground if you want but in this case it is probably quicker walking between the two stations.
    On a sunny day this is a lot pleasanter than catching the Victoria and Bakerloo lines and you are also able to have a quick pint in the Black Friar- all within the suggested 40 minute transfer time.
    Is the Thameslink route from Kings Cross to Blackfriars (for Waterloo) an acceptable through London link? ie if I buy an off peak return from Kings Lynn to Portsmouth or Bournemouth, can I travel from Kings Lynn to Kings Cross, Thameslink to Blackfriars and then walk to Waterloo for a train to Portsmouth?
     
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  3. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Yes, that's fine. You should also be able to walk through Southwark and Waterloo East should the weather not be so good.
     
  4. Norfolk25

    Norfolk25 Member

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    Thanks for the prompt reply; I will travel via Blackfriars in future as I am not very keen on the deep tube lines. Too many people in confined spaces.
     
  5. maniacmartin

    maniacmartin Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    It's undoubtedly a permitted route, however I suspect there may be some disagreement as to how long you should leave to make such a transfer. I would like to seek other members' views on is to whether going via City Thameslink in the case means that the itinerary now has two 'Fixed Links' or not.

    Fixed Links is an ATOC term which is used to describe any part of an itinerary on a through ticket that is not by National Rail services but by a bus, ferry, tube, DLR or by foot that on a an officially recognised list. Fixed links are detailed for various types of transport, and in London they often vary by time of day.

    To calculate the amount of time you need to allow to have a valid itinerary, and thus be allowed on later trains if you miss a connection on an Advance, you add the time of the fixed link, plus the minimum connection at each end of it.

    Ordinarily, transferring between Kings Cross and Waterloo is allowed 28 minutes by tube between 0700 and 2359, and 33 minutes of undefined 'transfer' otherwise, plus the minimum connection time for each end, which is 15 minutes in both cases. This gives a total of 28+15+15 = 58 minutes, or 1h03 in unsocial hours.

    If you don't take the tube, I would argue that you are not using the 'tube' fixed link, thus the only option is to use a fixed link at each end of your Thameslink train as tube is the only type of fixed link in the database during the day. You need to allow 1+15+15 = 31 minutes to get from your Kings Cross train to your Thameslink train at St Pancras. Then allow 20+5+15 = 40 minutes to get from Blackfriars to Waterloo. The booking engines take these times into account, so if you specify via City Thameslink, you should get a valid itinerary.

    By my interpretation,9 going via Thameslink, you need to allow much longer to make the transfer than had you opted for the tube, in order to maintain your rights to take a later train in case of a missed connection. However I'm almost certain that in practice, staff on the ground will be absolutely fine with you taking this route and would not penalise you for doing so.
     
  6. Norfolk25

    Norfolk25 Member

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    You have now made me think:

    -A suggested future journey date of 25th August:

    The cheapest single ticket from Kings Lynn to Bournemouth via Blackfriars is an Anytime single for £81.00. Even though I have requested 'via Blackfriars' the recommended journey across London is on the underground.

    A much cheaper journey is an Anytime single from Kings Lynn to Cambridge (£9.70), and then an Advance single from Cambridge to Bournemouth via Blackfriars (£31.50). The recommended route is now via Blackfriars as requested.

    I find it quite annoying that that the fare system can give varying results for what is basically the same journey. An acceptable route from Cambridge does not seem to be an acceptable route from Kings Lynn even though it may involve catching exactly the same the same train at the same time.
     
  7. maniacmartin

    maniacmartin Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    I use the term 'via City Thameslink' as it doesn't have an Underground station, so it is more likely to yield the route you want. One of the problems with booking engines is that they will discount routes that take too long, assuming that is what you want. In the case of an Anytime ticket though, it doesn't really matter as you are entitled to travel at any time, regardless of any reservation that you may have been issued with.

    Anomolies arise because of the way the Routeing Guide is structured, as unlike the system under BR, it is not done in an additive way, but with each permitted routeings for each pairing of Routeing Points individually defined. However, in your specific example, both are permitted via Blackfriars, its just that the booking engines are not displaying it.
     
  8. Norfolk25

    Norfolk25 Member

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    Via 'City Thameslink' gives the same result as via Blackfriars.

    You have told me what I need to know - the ticket is valid by this route regardless. Thank you for you help.
     
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