Brighton to London

planetf1

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14 Jan 2014
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I plan to travel from Brighton to London on the next two weekends. I've done the journey before, though now I live in - Hove, actually ;)

As far as I can see there is still a Thameslink only ticket for this route, costing £8.70 return with a Network Railcard. My terminus would be London Bridge (though I'm flexible). This is valid Sat/Sun & none of the time restrictions I see on brfares seem to be of any concern (I will be arriving in London around 10am, leaving around 8pm) (there are other regular ticket options valid also on southern at £17.40, and which I could take from my closest station, Portslade)

However, none of network rail app, thameslink website, train pal, seem to list this thameslink only ticket.

From memory it's easy/quick to get at a station with machines (or office) so I plan to visit prior to my trip(s) -- and also see if plusBus is valid to add. Shame that isn't eticketable yet :( I may also get a ticket portslade<->Brighton return instead). I've not
done this journey for a year or two now though, so perhaps something's changed?

Any ideas on whether the base train ticket can be bought online? Any sites better at this, or tricks? I presume plusBus can't yet?
Or have I been caught out by misunderstanding the ticket validity
 
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planetf1

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14 Jan 2014
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Thanks. That’s good to know.
Oddly I can now see the same price on network rail too and TrainPal. I’m sir they weren’t showing earlier. May be user error….

though I likely have to head to the station in any case to investigate plus bus
 

Alex365Dash

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I presume plusBus can't yet?
You can buy PlusBus tickets online with your journey from the majority of retailers - I don’t have an exhaustive list, but GWR, Thameslink and Southern should all be able to sell PlusBus with your journey.

If you do buy it online, you will need to collect your rail and PlusBus ticket at a ticket machine if you haven’t chosen the postage option, so do make sure you pop over to Portslade station (with your card you used to buy the ticket) to pick up your ticket before you hop on the bus.
 

AlbertBeale

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I was able to get https://tickets.gwr.com/gw/en/journeyplanning/mixingdeck to offer the 8.70 fare by specifying London Thameslink as the destination

There are two different "Thameslink" tickets - both equivalently cheaper than the ones valid on Southern too - which (even) some ticket clerks get confused about. Note that - unlike used to be the case, and perhaps still is, with London-Brighton unrestricted tickets - at least one of these cheaper ones wouldn't be valid to/via Hove. (NB - I'm ignoring here the point often discussed in these forums about how restrictions based on brand - as opposed to based on TOC - aren't, ultimately, legally enforceable anyway.)

One of these cheaper tickets is between Brighton and London Terminals routed via Thameslink services only. Hence you can only actually use terminals such as London Bridge, Blackfriars and (I think) City Thameslink, which are London terminals from the south which are served by Thameslink. (And maybe, if you could find a way of shuffling around on interconnecting T'Link services in South London, Elephant and Castle might work too!). This is the one you normally get sold if you go to a south London terminal and ask for the cheapest cheap day return between London and Brighton, and insist that there's one which is cheaper than the "any route" one. And I presume a ticket office at the Brighton end would do the same for a journey starting at that end.

The other cheaper ticket is the one between Brighton and Thameslink-as-a-destination rather than a route (which seems to be the one James h is referring to) - ie it's valid to/from anywhere on the line between London Bridge and St Pancras (but not by using the Underground) and Brighton. This isn't restricted as to what trains you can use at the Brighton end, though obviously, closer to London, ticket checkers might expect you to be on a T/Link train in order to reach London Bridge [and onwards to St P as required]. However, there seems absolutely no reason why, eg, a Southern service from East Croydon to London Bridge couldn't be used. Furthermore, since a ticket between London Bridge and Brighton is valid via Waterloo East / Waterloo / Clapham Junction, as well as on the direct line between London Bridge and East Croydon, then this sort of cheaper London-Brighton ticket can be used - as I have done - for a journey from Waterloo to Brighton (starting short at Waterloo on this London Bridge to Brighton routing).

And yes, PlusBus can be added onto any of these tickets.
 

yorkie

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There are two different "Thameslink" tickets - both equivalently cheaper than the ones valid on Southern too - which (even) some ticket clerks get confused about. Note that - unlike used to be the case, and perhaps still is, with London-Brighton unrestricted tickets - at least one of these cheaper ones wouldn't be valid to/via Hove. (NB - I'm ignoring here the point often discussed in these forums about how restrictions based on brand - as opposed to based on TOC - aren't, ultimately, legally enforceable anyway.)
Indeed it is unlawful for GTR to differentiate by brand name and GTR look set to be in big trouble for this:


Anyone who pays extra for "any permitted" fare, where an unlawful brand restricted fare would be valid, will be entitled to a refund of the difference, if this claim succeeds.

My advice would be to buy the Thameslink Only fare, use it on whatever Govia Thameslink brand you want, and any excess/additional/penalty fare charged should be contested. Most people are not charged anything and anyone who disputes it is refunded in my experience.
 

planetf1

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14 Jan 2014
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Thanks for the advice..
As to plusBus - I was aware I can order the ticket online, it was more the order & have the ticket completely online I was referring to ie full tickets. That's what I can't do with plusBus sadly.

Today I'll probably go all by train, though if the rain continues I may skip the 20 min walk and buy the regular bus price premium! I note that by rail I have two sensible routes - via Brighton, or via Preston Park

Is a Portslade-Brighton ticket also valid Portslade-Preston park out of interest ? For now I'll probably buy my ticket last minute

I presume not - the reason I'm asking - to see if I can get a single 'eticket' in an app valid either via Brighton or Preston park (depending on when I arrive at the station - as I'll need to decide which my first leg is, Portslade-Brighton or portslade-preston park -- and the latter appears not to offer etickets).
 
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Alex365Dash

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Is a Portslade-Brighton ticket also valid Portslade-Preston park out of interest ?
Portslade - Brighton tickets are valid via Preston Park as it’s less than three miles longer than the shortest route, meaning you can end your journey short at Preston Park (and pick it up off the Brighton - London ticket).
 

planetf1

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14 Jan 2014
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69
Thanks for all those tips- I came across that 3mile rule, so good to know. Apologies for the long questions and rambles. First time getting back into travelling to places since moving home... so I'll be making more use of this in future for sure.

I thought I'd update as I may have found another solution.

Thameslink have the key (itso smartcard) and offer 'key go'. This appears to
- Work on Brighton & Hove buses, Thameslink, southern
- Allows a railcard to be added
- applies the usual B&H bus daily contactless cap OR plusbus (if combined with a rail journey)
- can have other tickets loaded via app (including iOS now)

The main gotchas I see are:
- Card to carry I wish one could do all this from an app - ideally on my apple watch (as regular contactless works on tfl, or indeed on B&H buses). I often don't carry card or wallet!
- A travelcard needs to be explicitly added to get the best prices (at weekend it's around £4 extra with network railcard/thameslink which is amazingly cheap)
- To get best price portslade-london would require tapping out and in and Brighton station. I've not checked yet to see if there's the equiv of pink route readers at brighton, if not it's out the gates and back

I've ordered one. Having read the info, I don't see why this won't cover most of what I've been asking for, which is pretty cool, in particular avoiding the upfront purchase & decision of bus vs train ....

For the record I ended up getting a bus into brighton yesterday before thameslink to london. No plusbus but B&H duo day ticket at £8 is good value. Also got a travelcard, easy from the machines at brighton station, which can't be a full eticket anyway. Why? Heavy rain when we left, and bus stop is 3 mins away (<1 on return) vs 20 min walk! Also south coast trains were delayed. Similarly to get around London.

Oh mh gosh though, london was so much quieter than I'd expected. First visit since 2019. Really wishing it gets busier to get our economy back on the rails...
 

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