BR 80s: would tickets always be available on direct trains?

nickw1

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Before the days of TOC-specific tickets, in BR days (let's say the 1980s, as a whole) would tickets from A to B always be available on direct trains of a certain category (InterCity or local) even via a highly roundabout route, if the ticket wasn't marked 'ROUTE XXXX' ?

I can think of some journeys in which through trains operated via a roundabout route. For instance, from 1988 to 1991 there was an hourly through service Guildford-Waterloo via Aldershot, Ascot, Staines and Richmond. Would a normal Guildford-Waterloo CDR be available on such a service outside the peak hours?

On one occasion in 1988 I wanted to travel this way, as I had not used the 'Windsor' lines before so wanted to sample them (Guildford to Clapham Junction rather than Waterloo, but same principle), and split-ticketed at Richmond because I didn't think a normal Guildford-CJ would be valid that route. Maybe it actually would have been?

Plenty of other examples elsewhere, I'm sure.
 
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Bletchleyite

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I don't know if it was actually true or not, but when there used to be, in late BR days when Reasonable Routes were still a thing, through Liverpool-Chester via Warrington services, I had at least one guard tell me that there was no ticket to go that way as it was assumed everyone would use Merseyrail in response to my request for an excess when he said my regular ticket was not valid. In the end he just accepted it.

I guess the issue was that one person's reasonable route isn't another's.
 

30907

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I think you were wise to split! I will dig out a NFM when I get home and see what it says.
 

Bletchleyite

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I think you were wise to split! I will dig out a NFM when I get home and see what it says.

If the ticket had no route, it was valid by "Any Reasonable Route", which tended to give quite a lot of freedom to staff on the ground to determine if it was reasonable or not. Reasonable routes were not written down as such.
 

Gloster

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I think the attitude by guards, and probably TTIs, was that the passenger was allowed a fair amount of leeway, so long as they weren’t obviously trying to pull a fast one. Travelling on a direct train, even one going by an indirect route, would probably be accepted unless it was a ridiculous one: Clapham Junction to Earlsfield on a Kingston roundabout via Richmond would probably raise a few eyebrows. There were some odd routes that were permitted: Salisbury-Exeter was permitted via Bristol due to the sparse direct service, particularly on Sundays, and the way that many Portsmouth-Bristol services missed Westbury.
 

Bletchleyite

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I think the attitude by guards, and probably TTIs, was that the passenger was allowed a fair amount of leeway, so long as they weren’t obviously trying to pull a fast one. Travelling on a direct train, even one going by an indirect route, would probably be accepted unless it was a ridiculous one: Clapham Junction to Earlsfield on a Kingston roundabout via Richmond would probably raise a few eyebrows. There were some odd routes that were permitted: Salisbury-Exeter was permitted via Bristol due to the sparse direct service, particularly on Sundays, and the way that many Portsmouth-Bristol services missed Westbury.

I think there were quite a few Sunday examples. I was for example never refused Ormskirk to Preston via Liverpool on a Sunday (even though it was cheaper than Ormskirk to Wigan), and I did it on a weekday a few times too. Nowadays there is no through ticket at all valid on a Sunday, you have to split (which is really quite silly; I don't get why there isn't a ticket routed Liverpool at the same price as to Wigan, thus avoiding the anomaly).
 

WesternLancer

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Hasn't a through train (however odd the route) between points A and D, via B and C. always been valid ticket from A to D, even now, or have I misunderstood the question? And still are as per Nat Conds of Travel?

I recall for a period in early 1990s there was a Sunday only (I think) through train Derby to Brighton via Brum New St, Worcester, Oxford, Guildford and Gatwick. I traveled on this once with a Derby to Brighton through ticket. Probably a super saver with Y-P railcard I suspect. Obv no way this was a direct route, but there were no issues with it - service as per here:
http://www.1s76.com/1S76 1990.htm

I would not have gone and bought split tickets or such like for this. I regret my youthful budget did not stretch to Weekend First at the time...

Don't recall it being very busy when I took it, either with through passengers like I was or for that matter people on legs of the route.

So that is a direct train of a certain category (IC) via a very roundabout route!
 

Snow1964

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I am pretty certain that back in 1980s it was accepted that unless specified otherwise, could use any train that went from start to end station. Technically it was any reasonable route and most accepted not changing was reasonable (even if considerably slower or less direct).

From memory any routing to avoid a bus substitution on weekends was generally also accepted within reason.
 

The exile

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Travelling on a direct train, even one going by an indirect route, would probably be accepted unless it was a ridiculous one: Clapham Junction to Earlsfield on a Kingston roundabout via Richmond would probably raise a few eyebrows.
Would such a train not have been advertised as a train to Kingston until about Twickenham and "Waterloo" from then onwards - so not strictly speaking a "through train"?
 

alistairlees

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Hasn't a through train (however odd the route) between points A and D, via B and C. always been valid ticket from A to D, even now, or have I misunderstood the question? And still are as per Nat Conds of Travel?

I recall for a period in early 1990s there was a Sunday only (I think) through train Derby to Brighton via Brum New St, Worcester, Oxford, Guildford and Gatwick. I traveled on this once with a Derby to Brighton through ticket. Probably a super saver with Y-P railcard I suspect. Obv no way this was a direct route, but there were no issues with it - service as per here:
http://www.1s76.com/1S76 1990.htm

I would not have gone and bought split tickets or such like for this. I regret my youthful budget did not stretch to Weekend First at the time...

Don't recall it being very busy when I took it, either with through passengers like I was or for that matter people on legs of the route.

So that is a direct train of a certain category (IC) via a very roundabout route!
I think Hull to Brighton via Birmingham would be an even better example. And that came off a Paddington to Hull (via Birmingham) service!
 

Failed Unit

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I must admit the some guards used to allow you to pass routes if you asked nicely.

Rosyth - Edinburgh via the circle didn’t seem to be an issue back then if you asked. I have even had a ride to Grimsby to keep warm (by offer of the guard) when changing at Barnetby.

some staff took the view what harm is it doing?

not sure if Sheffield - Cleethorpes via Lincoln was allowed back in the 1980s but when loco-hauled stock was used lots of people did it. (Some making the journey especially)
 

WesternLancer

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I think Hull to Brighton via Birmingham would be an even better example. And that came off a Paddington to Hull (via Birmingham) service!
Indeed it would, but I would not have been able to cite personal experience! :lol:

Looks like contrary to my earlier message the Nat Conds of Travel now do not permit this anymore. Unsure when that change came in. (bolding by me)


16.3. Generally, you may start, or break and resume, a journey (in either direction in the case of a return Ticket) at any intermediate station, as long as the Ticket you hold is valid for the trains you want to use. However, this may not be the case with some through services that take an indirect route. You may also end your journey (in either direction in the case of a return Ticket) before the destination shown on the Ticket.
 
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Bletchleyite

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Indeed it would, but I would not have been able to cite personal experience! :lol:

Looks like contrary to my earlier message the Nat Conds of Travel now do not permit this anymore. Unsure when that change came in. (bolding by me)


No, that refers to specifically to Break of Journey, not using those routes in the first place, which is because if a route is only Permitted because of it being a through train, you can't take a connectional journey by the same route as if you could it would create masses of anomalies.
 

ainsworth74

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Looks like contrary to my earlier message the Nat Conds of Travel now do not permit this anymore. Unsure when that change came in. (bolding by me)
Wrong section you need Section 13 which covers routeing:

13. THE ROUTES YOU MAY USE

13.1. Your Ticket may show that it is valid only on certain train services, such as those of a particular Train Company, or on trains travelling via a certain route or routes. If no specific route or Train Company is shown, then (subject to any time restrictions for the type of fare you have purchased) it will be valid on:

13.1.1. any direct train service between the station(s) shown on your Ticket;
13.1.2. by any services (including any change of trains) over the shortest route which can be used by scheduled passenger services between the stations shown on your Ticket;​
13.1.3. any other routes as shown in the ‘National Routeing Guide’​
Emphasis added.
 

Failed Unit

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Wrong section you need Section 13 which covers routeing:


Emphasis added.
On the extreme example, you were OK to use the Scunthorpe - Lincoln via Sheffield (in the past as it doesn't exist anymore) service because it was direct? I know in reality only a track basher would want to spend that long on a pacer or 153.
 

ainsworth74

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On the extreme example, you were OK to use the Scunthorpe - Lincoln via Sheffield (in the past as it doesn't exist anymore) service because it was direct? I know in reality only a track basher would want to spend that long on a pacer or 153.
Absolutely. You're on a direct train between the two therefore a Scunthorpe to Lincoln ticket is valid. Guard would probably try and convince you to get off their train and change to a quicker option and then consider you to be a lunatic if you insisted. But it's valid. An even more extreme example would be when the Fife Circle loco hauled was advertised on the timetable as being a Edinburgh to Edinburgh service it was valid to use an Edinburgh to Roysth return ticket on board (outward portion to Roysth, return to Edinburgh via the loop). Though in that case it would lead to arguments with onboard train crew. It is believed that this is one of the reasons why it was eventually changed to be an Edinburgh to Glenrothes and Glenrothes to Edinburgh service in the timetable as at that point you closed the loophole.
 

WesternLancer

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No, that refers to specifically to Break of Journey, not using those routes in the first place, which is because if a route is only Permitted because of it being a through train, you can't take a connectional journey by the same route as if you could it would create masses of anomalies.
Thanks - that will teach me to look in a hurry!

Wrong section you need Section 13 which covers routeing:


Emphasis added.
Thanks!
 

LNW-GW Joint

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There was generally more flexibility under BR, but there were fewer services of course, and the added flexibility helped fill the gaps in services.
There are still some remnants of that policy.
From stations on the WCML in England to Edinburgh, fares were (and are) valid via Glasgow, but not the other way round.
That's because Edinburgh had a poorer service from the WCML than Glasgow did.
Today (bar Covid) there are hourly services to Edinburgh, but the Glasgow concession still applies.

One that didn't survive was Manchester-London via Reading and Staines into Waterloo.
Today the best you can do is via Reading and Slough to Paddington.

Another BR feature was the grouping of local stations around a city for the same fare as the city itself.
So London-Altrincham was the same fare as London-Manchester (and also for much of greater Manchester, eg Rochdale, Bolton).
So it mattered not which route you took to your destination, or even what your destination was, as the fares were the same.
All that stopped when the local TOC wanted its pound of flesh on top of the inter-city fare.
"XXX and Connections" is roughly what is left of that principle, with the TOCs sharing the revenue.

All that was based on the BR "single till" principle, where it didn't matter who took the money as it was all BR.
Sectorisation began to unpick all that, as BR became 3 passenger operators with their individual bottom lines, and the private TOCs have since taken it to extremes.
I presume GBR will go back to a sector setup, but with geographic rather than IC/NSE/Regional differences.
 
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Bletchleyite

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Another BR feature was the grouping of local stations around a city for the same fare as the city itself.
So London-Altrincham was the same fare as London-Manchester (and also for much of greater Manchester, eg Rochdale, Bolton).
So it mattered not which route you took to your destination, or even what your destination was, as the fares were the same.
All that stopped when the local TOC wanted its pound of flesh on top of the inter-city fare.

It didn't. Walk-up fares are still priced on a "grouped" basis - indeed, in the specific example you cite, Altrincham to London and Manchester to London are both £94.50 Off Peak Return. And as a really curious one, Aughton Park (Merseyrail) to London is £94.40, but Liverpool Lime St is £94.50 - I wonder how that came about?

Advances are different, but near enough the entire concept of how present-day Advances work is a post-privatisation thing based on work done by Virgin Trains. BR did have quota controlled Apex fares but they were very limited in scope.
 

Taunton

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Tickets were also valid via alternative company routes which had been a pre-Nationalisation way.

Prominent railway writer Cecil J Allen once wrote that a ticket from Swansea to London could be used to arrive at Liverpool Street. Because the LNWR way from Swansea was via Shrewsbury and Stafford. When you got to Stafford, the old Great Northern way was their obscure route from there through Nottingham and Grantham. At Peterborough an alternative was the Great Eastern via Cambridge. And thus to Liverpool Street.

Reading to London via Guildford and Redhill was allowed because that was the old South Eastern Railway's route. There were even through trains until the 1960s.
 

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I had to make a journey from Manchester to Cambridge in the late 1980's and there was a much cheaper BR fare if I had chosen to "not go via London".

I think the actual wording was "not valid via London" or similar?
 

D6975

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'Not London' always used to be cheaper on journeys from Bristol to many places, in some cases drastically so. This is now largely reversed as XCs overpricing of tickets that go via New St - Cheltenham mean that many NE destinations can be reached more cheaply via London.
 

alistairlees

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'Not London' always used to be cheaper on journeys from Bristol to many places, in some cases drastically so. This is now largely reversed as XCs overpricing of tickets that go via New St - Cheltenham mean that many NE destinations can be reached more cheaply via London.
It's reversed because of the relative pricing of Advance fares. Walk up fares from (e.g.) Bristol TM to Newcastle are cheaper "not via London" than they are "Any Permitted".
 

61653 HTAFC

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'Not London' always used to be cheaper on journeys from Bristol to many places, in some cases drastically so. This is now largely reversed as XCs overpricing of tickets that go via New St - Cheltenham mean that many NE destinations can be reached more cheaply via London.
The "not London" option was a lifesaver for Kingston/Surbiton to Taunton journeys at the end of term... changing at Clapham Junction or Twickenham, and then Reading was a damn sight easier than getting from Waterloo to Paddington with luggage, as well as being cheaper!
 

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