Cambridge-Haslemere routeing question

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by HughT, 7 Sep 2019.

  1. HughT

    HughT Member

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    This question relates to a CBG-HSL Off-Peak Return. Restriction Y4 applies, but that limits only the timea of travel and on weekdays (no weekend restrictions. The routeing guidance is that travel is permitted by "any permitted route".

    My question relates to a HSL-CBG journey on Sunday morning, 15 Sept.

    According to the NRJP, I can only use the return portion of my return ticket on the XX42 services from HSL, and then not on the direct service to WAT. (NRJP amusingly suggests changing at Guildford, Leatherhead or Epsom, Carshalton and Farringdon or Blackfirars or Farringdon - depending which hour you're travelling. This adds almost an hour to the journey time).

    Raileasy suggests XX42 journeys via Clapham Junction, Victoria and Kings Cross. This cuts the journey time, compared to the NRJP's suggestion. But if you want to travel on the direct (fast) train to WAT, Raileasy says you need to pay more. In other words, they (and NRJP) seem to think that the OPR isn't valid on the direct/fast trains from HSL-WAT (but they both permit it on the outward leg). (Raileasy also has possibilities starting on the XX17 from HSL, which the NRJP doesn't offer...)

    Over on TrainTickets.com, that site sees no problem with using the XX42 fast trains to WAT. Which cuts the overal HSL-CBG journey time to 3h 15m (includng the recommended cross-London travel time).

    So can anyone suggest a good reason why neither NRJP nor Raileasy suggest/allow the fastest journey, using a direct service into WAT with the return portion of an OPR on a Sunday morning?
     
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  3. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    It’s perfectly valid via Waterloo.

    The reason that journey planners won’t usually route via Waterloo is because the cross London transfer time between Kings Cross and Waterloo is disproportionately higher than if you change at some of the other stations you quote. To be fair the Underground from Kings Cross to Waterloo does require a change but this is a simple cross platform change at Oxford Circus.

    As your using a flexible ticket then just take the best route for you. The will almost certainly beat the connection time and get a train ahead. The only downside is that claiming delay repay is a bit harder as you'll normally manage to do the journey quicker than planned, even with a delay!
     
  4. HughT

    HughT Member

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    Thanks for that, Hadders. Two things puzzle me: (1) even with the full cross-London "connections" allowance, the Waterloo route is still faster, so it's not a question of the NRJP "preferring" the fastest journey (quite the opposite); and (2) the NRJP displays the Waterloo option, but doesn't have "Select" alongside it when the OPR is chosen for the outbound leg. Which I've always taken to mean that the ticket isn't valid on that journey for some reason (rather like not allowing KGX-CBG if the outbound is on a "Greater Anglia only" ticket).

    Serves me right for needing to venture south of the river. Anything south of Elephant & Castle is a closed book to me in rali terms...
     
  5. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    I can’t check as I’m out and about at the moment but I travel a couple of times a year from Stevenage to Exeter via SWR’s service from Waterloo. The most straightforward way is to go to Finsbury Park (or Kings Cross) and take the Underground to Waterloo, changing at Oxford Circus.

    Whatever I do I can’t get journey planners to show the route via Waterloo, I don’t even think Journey planners are set up to offer a Finsbury Park - Waterloo interchange via the Underground even though it’s a very reasonable interchange. The normal route I get offered is From Victoria changing at Clapham Junction. I ignore this and just go to Waterloo.
     
  6. gaillark

    gaillark Member

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    Just a suggestion. Put your same journey details in NRJP and click on advance settings in search. Under route try travelling via WAT (waterloo ) and it will show you journies via waterloo.
    To be honest people rely too much on online journey planners and adhere to its results religiously with some weird results. TfL is notoriously crazy with its results.
    The moto of story is that you need to have an idea of route beforehand to get the right answer!
     
  7. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    This might work but for me I often find it then tries to send me to Moorgate or Blackfriars rather than Kings Cross. It seems to do anything to avoid a Finsbury Park/Kings Cross - Waterloo interchange via the Underground!
     
  8. HughT

    HughT Member

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    It's not that the Waterloo route doesn't show up in the results, rather than the NRJP thinks the OPR isn't valid on those services. I've double-checked the routeing maps and the ticket validity code, and I can't see any reason not to come that way. And the strange thing is that it's clearly showing up as valid for the outbound trip. Surprising that Raileasy also doesn't offer that routeing, even though it's fastest overall (even with the recommended WAT-KGX connection).
     
  9. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    SWR trains are being diverted due to engineering work that Sunday, and some of the diverted trains do not follow permitted routes for travel to London. If you were only going to Waterloo it would be fine as all travel would be on a through train, but as you are going beyond London, it needs to be within 3 miles of the shortest route or a mapped route, and neither of those apply to the xx42 trains, which are diverted via Staines. SWR should have put in an easement to allow this route. If traintickets.com is offering the route, it indicates a bug in its journey planner which should be investigated by RDG!
     
  10. HughT

    HughT Member

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    Thanks so much for that. Not being familiar with the SWR network, I hadn't realised that the route taken that day north of Woking wasn't the regular/direct/mapped route. Now all is clear. But, as you say, if I can buy a ticket that claims the XX42 is a permitted service (making sure to keep a copy of the itinerary!), then I feel I'd have a good enough case if someone were to challenge me.

    No sign of any easement in the version on the RDG routeing guide web page (current version of the easements doc is dated 27 Aug). But it seems a bit harsh for passengers forced to take a diversion to not only have to endure the longer journey but also to pay more for the (doubtful) pleasure... ;)

    Your help is much appreciated.
     
  11. JB_B

    JB_B Member

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    I agree - there are no mapped route via Staines.

    However, the xx:42 departures from Haslemere to Waterloo (via Staines) on 15/9 are direct trains (as far as London) and journeys from Haslemere to Cambridge and v.v. are yellow pages: LONDON.

    I thought yellow pages: LONDON implied that permitted routes (including through train and shortest routes) to/from London should be evaluated separately (not just mapped routes) - is that not the case?
     
  12. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    I had wondered about that myself at one stage, but a detailed discussion with a number of routeing guide experts from the forum a few years ago confirmed in my mind that it's only a short cut to reduce the number of map combinations that need to be listed, i.e. it only applies to mapped routes. This is the interpretation followed by all the established and well-tested electronic implementations of the routeing guide.
     
  13. HughT

    HughT Member

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    From page F9 of The National Routeing Guide in Detail:

    If there is a route “LONDON” as one of the permitted routes in the Routeing Guide,
    the range of permitted routes via London is discovered by the following method:
    1. Look up the permitted routes from the origin routeing point to London.
    2. Look up the permitted routes from London to the destination routeing point.
    3. Work out the range of permitted routes for the whole journey by combining any
    route found in (1) with any route found in (2). All possible combinations are
    permitted routes for the journey except those with a repeated map.
    My reading of the instructions relating to permitted routes suggests that travelling via Staines isn't a permitted route between HSL and WAT as it fails the test at bullet (2) above. BUT... on the next page there's this:

    Journeys between the stations shown on the ticket by direct trains; or by the
    shortest route which can be used by scheduled passenger services (including
    change of trains); are always following a permitted route.​

    For a "via London" journey I'm inclined to agree with JB_B - any rule should be applied to each section of the journey separately. And as some of the XX42 departures are direct trains between HSL and WAT (the 1142 requires a change at Woking), the route it takes to get there is immaterial. In effect, a diverted (or even a scheduled) direct train is, de facto, on a permitted route.

    Now, as JB_B knows from personal experience, I'm the novice in this discussion, so I might have got the wrong end of the stick on this one. Happy to be contradicted - so long as you explain why (otherwise I don't learn!).
     
  14. JB_B

    JB_B Member

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    Thanks, indigo2. I don't recall seeing that discussion - presumably the broader interpretation introduces inconsistencies or allows outrageously wrong routes - is that right?

    ( In this particular case I think the wider interpretation produces a more sensible result than the narrow but I can easliy imagine there will be cases which go the other way. )

    Supposing HughT had been travelling on an (imaginary) route:Via London ticket would you apply the split-routeing rule and so validate his journey via Staines?
     
  15. JB_B

    JB_B Member

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    I'm afraid I'm very much a novice too, HughT.

    (Tongue in cheek) I sometimes think that understanding the routeing guide is a little like theological exegesis.

    We've been left a set of texts from earlier times ( routeing guide A, routeing guide F and the internal guidance for developers.)


    Some of the text is unclear, self-contradictory or open to multiple interpetations as you've noted.

    Parts of the text are clearly wrong and no sane person believes in them (e.g RGF p4 bullet point 2).

    Some parts are very clear and unambiguous (e.g RGF section D page 9) but apparently considered apochryphal and no journey planner developer takes any notice of it.

    Developers (as a heiratical class) are forced to make so sense of it so it's not surprising they impute rules to impose some order on this.
     
  16. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    Off the top of my head I can't think of any - it would reduce problems and is certainly a sensible interpretation. BUT I still don't think it's correct by the letter of the rules of the routeing guide.
     
  17. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    Yes, definitely. I suppose one way of looking at it is that "via London" has been invoked at a higher level of the routeing calculation, and is more overarching. Whereas if the permission via LONDON only becomes apparent once you start to look at mapped routes, which is at a much deeper level, it only applies to mapped routes.

    I had never heard of the word exegesis before but yes I agree; that's exactly what we're doing!
     
  18. HughT

    HughT Member

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    "Exegesis" is exactly the right word. Now all we need are some Jesuits to interpret and teach it to us and we'll be all set...
     

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