Caledonian Sleeper: Walk on Fares

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Colin M, 26 May 2019.

  1. Colin M

    Colin M Member

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    Hello,

    Could someone please confirm wether or not it is still possible to buy a walk on ticket to travel between Glasgow and Fort William on the sleeper?

    Thanks.
     
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  3. 221129

    221129 Established Member

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    Yes it is.
     
  4. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    It's not easy to get a seat reservation though, even their own website won't do it. Trainsplit will do it though.
     
  5. A Challenge

    A Challenge Established Member

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    Reservations are compulsory for this service
     
  6. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    That doesn't mean you're going to be denied access to the train; it just means compulsory from the point of view of expecting a seat, and that there is no expectation of unreserved seating being available.

    In practice I've only ever known the Fort William it to be full once out of maybe a dozen trips; it was a Bank Holiday in August shortly before the Class 37s finished, and a number of people were stood up or sat on the floor. No-one was actually denied travel.
     
  7. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Not in practice for local journeys.
     
  8. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    But it’s not unreasonable to want a reservation for a journey of this length.

    Online ticket sites won’t sell a ticket, even without a reservation, for this train (Trainsplit excepted). While those of us in the know on this forum would simply select another journey and travel anyway a ‘normal’ passenger isn’t going to realise this and take a risk, especially when all the publicity says reservations are compulsory.

    It’s long been my view that Serco are trying to kill of the use of the sleeper as a ‘day train’ by stealth.
     
  9. route101

    route101 Established Member

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    I used a Glasgow to Fort William return and phoned CS for a reservation
     
  10. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Did they do it without quibble?

    Last Summer it took me to make two telephone calls, and I was on hold for ages, and the person I spoke to was very reluctant to do it.

    They initially told me I had to get it done at a station, yet a friend who works in a ticket office told me that CS had made it impossible for them to do this.
     
  11. reb0118

    reb0118 Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Seat reservations are only compulsory for journeys beyond Edinburgh & south thereof.
     
  12. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    That's not what the timetable says though...
    In any case it's not unreasonable to want a seat reservation for 4+ hour journey
    Journey planners won't sell a ticket, even without a reservation, for the seated sleeper between Edinburgh/Glasgow and Fort William.
    Next they'll claim there's no demand.

    All this adds to my view that Serco are trying to kill off day use of the sleeper by stealth.
     
  13. reb0118

    reb0118 Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I take your point. However I don't think that there is a mechanism to show that a train is only reservation compulsory in part - although it would be easy to introduce by use e.g. of a footnote in the timetable.
     
  14. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Probably also the only case of a TOC not selling a ticket on it’s own website for one of its own services. To make matters worse they even sell Advance tickets between FTW and GLQ. Purchasing one is next to impossible (thankfully Trainsplit sells them).
     
  15. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    There is certainly that feature in the timetable data, and so it could show that reservations are compulsory EUS-EDB and available thereafter.
     
  16. kieron

    kieron Established Member

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    A couple of corrections:

    1. Merseyrail don't sell any tickets on their web site, for their own TOC or any other. They'll tell you how much their tickets cost, but you can't actually buy anything there. That's probably just as well, as their planner appears to ignore tickets they don't price themselves.

    2. Caledonian Sleeper sell tickets for a wide range of services on this page. That said, I can't see a link to this page from their homepage, although they used to have one by where they sold tickets.

    With regard to reservations, if I select to buy Glasgow-Fort William tickets on the CS site for their trains, it brings up a screen with tick boxes annotated with "reserve seats (optional)". I don't think insisting on reservations would be very practical, whatever is printed in the timetable.

    On another note, NRE have two issues with selling these tickets (for instance, from here*). The only tickets they offer for the 05:48 are an anytime return and a "Fixed Seated Ticket" (a sort of advance ticket), where you can actually buy an off peak day return or an anytime day single for this journey. And the click-through thing for Caledonian Sleeper just goes to www.sleeper.scot.

    * You may need to delete any nationalrail.co.uk cookies you have for this link to open correctly
     
  17. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    Ah, I knew they used to sell tickets other 'National Rail' tickets but I couldn't see that link from their homepage. It definitely used to be there until their website was recently redesigned.
     
  18. 158820

    158820 Member

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    Can I avail of this thread to ask this question.

    I am planning on using the seats to make 1 trip from London to Fort William. I will have a Britrail pass. Do I actually need to have received the pass before I can book a seat?
     
  19. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    The Scottish Ministers actually required in their 2014 Agreement that the company conveys passengers with valid tickets even if they do not have a reservation on this part of the route:
    Of course, if someone joins the train without a reservation, there may be no seat for them, just the same as any other train.
     
  20. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The wording of that would seem to allow them use of the lounge car, wouldn't it? I bet that isn't actually allowed.
     

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