Cardiff-York - what are the permitted routes?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Rhydgaled, 2 Feb 2020.

  1. Rhydgaled

    Rhydgaled Established Member

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    At the end of Feb I'm planning to head from Cardiff to York going on TfW via Lydney to Cheltenham then the XC125 through to York. However, I've not yet decided how I'll come back (which will be on the 2nd of March). One option is fairly simple, XC IC125 to Bristol Parkway and then GWR through the Severn Tunnel. The other option is TPE to Manchester (to ride the new mark 5 coaches) and then to Cardiff on TfW, either direct or via Chester (this will only be if TfW have introduced the mark 4s on the Manchester LHCS by then). How many of these are permitted routes for a Cardiff-York return? If not all of them are allowed, would a ticket from Swansea, Carmarthen, Whitland or anywhere in between be more flexible? (My journey would be starting from Carmarthen or Whitland anyway - I'm assuming the split ticket at Cardiff would be benifical but maybe it wouldn't).

    The 'yellow pages' say York Cardiff Central CY MN+BM+CB MN+BM+WB MN+MC but I have no idea what that means.
     
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  3. _toommm_

    _toommm_ Established Member

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    There are a couple of combinations available:

    Map CY:
    This allows travel via the Bristol Station Group (Temple Meads and Parkway) principally. It allows you to get there via Leicester (and then across to Birmingham and Bristol via Nuneaton). It also allows via Worcester (with West Midlands Trains). You could also travel via Cheltenham Spa, changing there and going via Gloucester and Severn Tunnel Junction

    Maps MN + BM + CB:
    Nothing much extra, but this map combination allows a more circuitous route of York to Leeds via Harrogate (highly recommended if you have the time).

    Maps MN + BM + WB:
    Nothing glaringly obvious sticks out there that isn't covered by the other combinations

    Maps MN + MC:
    Same as above really.

    You could also obviously break the journey down into slightly more circuitous bits e.g. York to Sheffield via Pontefract Baghill; Leeds to Manchester via Hebden Bridge, Manchester to Crewe via Warrington Central and the walk to Bank Quay.

    There may be one or two routes I've missed out, but all of these I've validated with journey planners and it's bringing up one through ticket as opposed to allowing these routes but only with split tickets.
     
  4. JB_B

    JB_B Member

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    The attached pdf should give you an overview of the mapped routes you can take between York and Cardiff (and attempts to show how the routeing guide maps relate to actual rail routes.)

    This won't necessarily be 100% accurate (for example, it only checks for double-backs at map level and it doesn't take account of negative easements ) so it's important to check any route you're planning to take with a journey planner.
     

    Attached Files:

  5. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    These are the map combinations used by journey planners

    The best thing to do is to plan your journey and see if you can obtain an itinerary on a single ticket; if you can then - barring a mistake on the journey planner's part - it is a permitted route.

    If you need multiple via/avoid points you could use www.trainscanbecheaper.info (which is the same as Trainsplit but without splits, and includes a seat selector); before you try it though, you may want to have a go at www.fastjp.com to generate the itinerary without a fares check first.
     
  6. Envoy

    Envoy Established Member

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    If you have a Wales Travel (Bus) Pass, until the end of March, you can travel for free on the Heart of Wales Line. So, if you want to go to/from Whitland or Carmarthen, you could go to Llanelli and then use the Heart of Wales Line to Shrewsbury for free. Alternatively, to save time, get someone to drop you off/pick you up at Llandeilo - or use a bus if available & convenient for the trains at Llandeilo. (From Llanelli, the Heart of Wales Line to Shrewsbury takes only about 30 minuets longer than The Marches route via Cardiff & Hereford due to the HoW taking a ‘short cut’.)

    So, having got to Shrewsbury for free, you now only have top pay for Shrewsbury to York and back - which I have managed to get a sample railcard fare (with splits at Manchester) of £30.30. (Can’t be bad to get from Carmarthenshire to York & back for only £30.30)! So, you may well wish to travel on the routes that you suggested in your post - but, it will cost you dearly compared to my suggestion. Even if you are not a senior, you will still find it far cheaper to go via the Heart of Wales Line than any other route. Pre book advance singles from Shrewsbury to Manchester (as low as £8.90) & Manchester to York (as low as £6.25). Of course, you may have to pay slightly more if the lowest priced trains are not convenient. All prices quoted are for travel with railcard discount.
     
    Last edited: 3 Feb 2020
  7. Rhydgaled

    Rhydgaled Established Member

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    Thanks for all the replies so far.

    Thanks for the recomendation, if I had time I was considering doing York - Harrogate and return during the weekend so I will definately try to fit that in now. Alternatively to get the Harrogate-Leeds bit in I might do a circle York - Leeds - Harrogate - York over the weekend and then come back to Cardiff via Harrogate on my return trip.

    Thanks, looks like the only part of my possible plan B that I would need seperate tickets for is Warrington - Chester - Shrewsbury - although I'm not clear on whether TfW from Manchester to Warrington (Bank Quay) is valid or only the Warrington Central route.

    That said I'd need a new ticket for TPE anyway since I've realised that to get to Manchester in time for the 09:52 Manchester - Holyhead would need an 'Anytime' ticket. What are the chances of getting a seat on the Nova 3 set that gets into Manchester Victoria at 08:50 (think it's about 07:30 from York)? I assume that train would have been packed when it was a 185, but have the extra two coaches created sufficient capacity?

    Thank you! The XC site was being a real pain not allowing me to go via Gloucester and change at Cheltenham onto the IC125, I think partly because the IC125 is overtaken by a Voyager so it wants me to change onto the Voyager at Birmingham. I'm really surprised by the existance of a non-TOC seat selector, I thought seat-selectors were a TOC-exclusive thing to try and get pepole to use their site for bookings. Even better, it allows me to set different outbound and return routings and reserve seats for just exactly what I'm planning to do (although there still remains the possibility of a last minute change of plan for the return journey if TfW introduce their first mark 4 set by 2nd March). Seems too good to be true; I'm guessing the catch is that trainscanbecheaper will charge a booking fee?

    Nice tip. I'm not a senior but do have a bus pass (on disability grounds). I'll bear it in mind for future trips, although it would mean paying full fare for my mother (guessing our two-together railcard isn't valid if one of us gets a free ride with a bus pass) so the saving isn't as large as it would otherwise be. I've looked at the bus timetable between Carmarthen and Llandeilo before (for a previous holiday) in order to take the short cut but if I recall correctly couldn't find a sensible itinerary. For that reason my preference for trips to Birmingham and north thereof is the bus to Aberystwyth (the Cambrian is much faster than going via Cardiff (2hrs in the wrong direction)), but my mother normally vetos bus travel (I try to minimise car use on my holidays, and Aberystwyth is bad for car parking anyway so Whitland it frequently is).
     
  8. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    There is no booking fee :)

    As for a TPE departure from York at 0730, firstly you may be able to get a seat reserved on it (though of course there are no guarantees reservations will be honoured) but in any case even if you didn't get a seat at York, there is a very large turnover of passengers at Leeds, with many people getting off there, so you will easily get a seat at Leeds. I would be surprised if it departs York full and standing as there are loads of other trains people can get to Leeds at the time. It also picks up commuters from two intermediate stations between York and Leeds.
     

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