Canadian nephew causing me a headache - (Virgin/London Midland validity)

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Bedpan

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Our nephew, who is a football coach in Vancouver is visiting England next week. He will be going to Chelsea v Copenhagen on Wednesday 16.3, then travelling to Stoke City on 17.3 and staying with them until Saturday 19.3. The problem is that he says he will either be going to see Stoke on Saturday afternoon, or going to meet a freind at West Brom on Saturday afternoon, and see the game there, returning to London on Saturday evening after the whatever game he goes to.

There don't seem to be any cheap advance tickets from Stoke on Saturday evening anyway (even if he did stay to watch the game there) , so I was wondering whether to tell him that the best ticket to buy would be an off peak return to Stoke (which he could then buy from whatever will be his local station in London), but if he goes to West Brom, I'm not sure whether returning via Birmingham is a valid route, and if so, whether he can break his journey there. The Virgin website, on ticket validity says "Break of journey is generally permitted unless prohibited for the journey that you are making" which must rate as a contender for a prize for gobbledegook, and in the back of my mind I have a feeling that Virgin's rules re a break of journey are different to other TOCs.

If via Birmingham is not a valid route, I was going to tell him to break his return journey at Rugby and get a return from there to the Hawthorns so as to get to West Brom, but again, that would depend on whether a break is allowed.

The other thing I was going to mention was that he could save a fair amoubnt of cash by getting a "London Midlalnd only" ticket £22.50 as opposed to £57.70 - would this have the same validity as far as validity of route and break of journey are concerned? And lastly, when I looked up the travel options for London Midland only" ticket on the London Midland website, the last available train back to London from Stoke on 19.3 is shown as 16.54, whatever I do I can't get it to show the 18.33 which admittedly would involve a change and a wait fo nearly half an hour at Northampton. Could it be that this train won't be running for some reason?

Many thanks to anybody who can help.
 
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yorkie

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West Brompton - Stoke on Trent
SVR £57.50
Rte: +Any Permitted
(ie valid via London or direct along West London Line, on any TOC, any permitted route)

He can get as far as somewhere like Milton Keynes, Birmingham, Wolverhampton after the Chelsea game but not to Stoke. Or he could travel from London the next morning if he stays there. The next morning the restrictions are that he can depart Euston between 0926 and 1500 and at or after 1845, please let us know where he is staying for specific advice about valid trains on that ticket.

Return travel is at any time on Saturdays and it is perfectly valid via Birmingham including break of journey.


or

Oyster PAYG between West Brompton & London.

London Euston - Stoke on Trent
OPR £22.50
Rte: Ldn Midland Only

This is not valid to depart Euston until 1030, and also not between 1630 and 1930. Break of journey is not permitted (in small print, not visible to the consumer. I will leave you to imagine how enforceable that is)

No time restriction applies at weekends.

You are allowed to walk between, say, stations in Birmingham, and also allowed to use station facilities, but if you deviated from this and entered a shop outside railway premises (anyone know where that is defined as at Birmingham New St? Which shops do you become invalid if you enter, I wonder?) or something like that, then the ticket conditions are broken. I make no comment as to how enforceable this is, you can imagine that for yourself...! ;)
 

Bedpan

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Cheers Yorkie, I've just phoned him to see where in London he could stay after the Chelsea game, and it looks like he may come up to stay with us, in which case I'd take him to Hemel Hempstead (or Milton Keynes if I'm feeling particularly generous) and he can start his journey from there. If he stays in London, looks like it would be with my brother in law whose nearest station is St Mary Cray.

Doesn't look as though the LM only ticket would be a very good idea as if its checked and stamped on the way to Birmingham, then he'd have to explain away why a change of trains has taken him about four hours whilst he's been at the match.
 
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