Changing at different point to Advance itinerary - same train

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trainophile

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I have an Advance for Southport to Leeds which states “Specified trains & Northern connections”. The only timed connection on the ticket is the 1027 from Salford Crescent to Leeds. However this means waiting at SLD for 40 minutes.

My first train passes through Wigan Wallgate at 0911, and the same Leeds train that I am booked on from SLD departs Wigan North Western at 0954. I would much rather have a wait in Wigan than 40 minutes at SLD, given the lack of facilities and icy platforms.

As it’s all on Northern, and the same trains as per my ticket, would I be allowed to change at Wigan instead of Salford Crescent? Would I have a problem exiting Wallgate barriers? Or if there’s a blockade across the road at North Western?

Wonder why the Northern website split at SLD anyway. Perhaps because a 40 minute wait there is slightly more acceptable to the system than a 43 minute connection (including crossing to the other station). I know which I would prefer!
 
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JonathanH

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No, your ticket is valid for the trains specified when you bought it. If you wanted to make the change at Wigan, you should have specified the change at Wigan North Western when you booked it.

I note that the WebTIS system used by GWR / TPE etc does the change at Wigan Wallgate / Wigan North Western instead of Salford Cresent on this particular journey.
 
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trainophile

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Oh okay fair enough. I’d never used the Northern website before and didn’t realise what it had given me until I collected the tickets (there were several making up the trip - I was having payment problems with Trainsplit so had to find an alternative).

Next question then - are there barriers at SLD or can I go for a walk to keep warm while I wait?
 

yorkie

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Oh okay fair enough. I’d never used the Northern website before and didn’t realise what it had given me until I collected the tickets (there were several making up the trip - I was having payment problems with Trainsplit so had to find an alternative).
Only Trainsplit allows you to specify the changing point, as far as I know. Did you post details of the problem so it could be investigated?

Next question then - are there barriers at SLD or can I go for a walk to keep warm while I wait?
I don't think it's a case of one or the other?

I've had no issue using intermediate gatelines using any of my tickets lately, though this may in part be due to me switching over to e-tickets where possible. But even if the gates don't let you through, I'd be surprised if staff denied you this opportunity!
 

trainophile

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Yes I had ”conversation“ exchanges with our forum Trainsplit administrator who was very helpful and it’s now sorted out. Was some bug in the payment authorisation link-up apparently - too technical for me!

As for the earlier reply, theoretically I would be on the train specified on my ticket, i.e. the 1027 SLD-LDS. The rest of the itinerary isn’t specified so am I not permitted any leeway? It’s the same two trains, same TOC, just a different connection point. The ticket doesn’t say I may not already be on it upon arriving at SLD, only that I have to be on it (rather than a different one) from that point onwards, which I would be.
 

JonathanH

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The itinerary is Southport to Leeds leaving at 0839. On the Northern website with a via point of Rochdale, I get two itineraries
Southport 0839 -> Salford Crescent 0947 - 0953 -> Manchester Victoria 0959 - 1021 -> Leeds 1144
and
Southport 0839 -> Salford Crescent 0947 - 1027 -> Manchester Victoria 1204

The OP has gone for the second of these.

Specifying via Wigan North Western does appear to give the desired itinerary without any further intervention
Southport 0839 -> Wigan Wallgate 0910 -> Wigan North Western 0954 -> Leeds 1204

but this is the sort of thing that should be sorted out at the booking stage rather than when the ticket has already been purchased.

If this had not come up, the other option on the Trainline derived booking engine used by Northern is to "click here to check if slower routes with cheaper tickets are available" and work down the list, having first specified via Wigan North Western at the earlier stage.
 

trainophile

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Does it actually make any difference to Northern where I change over from one of their trains to another? I could understand it if seat reservations were involved.
 

JonathanH

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The ticket doesn’t say I may not already be on it upon arriving at SLD, only that I have to be on it (rather than a different one) from that point onwards, which I would be.
The train doesn't first become reservable at Salford Cresent, it is reservable all the way from Wigan North Western, so strictly for the advance ticket to be valid, you need a reservation for it between Wigan North Western and Salford Cresent and don't have one.

The terms of the ticket, as shown on the Northern website are:
Validity
You must travel on the date, time and trains specified. You may not start, break and resume, or end your journey at any intermediate station except to change to/from connecting trains as shown on the ticket(s) or other valid travel itinerary.
Clearly a guard and the gateline staff at Wigan Wallgate could apply their discretion and allow a change at a different point. The risk is that the guard doesn't do so.

Does it actually make any difference to Northern where I change over from one of their trains to another? I could understand it if seat reservation were involved.
No, it doesn't matter to Northern at all but, unfortunately, the terms and conditions of the ticket are clear.
 

yorkie

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It's only valid as booked but in practice, staff are highly likely to show discretion
 

SickyNicky

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Yes I had ”conversation“ exchanges with our forum Trainsplit administrator who was very helpful and it’s now sorted out. Was some bug in the payment authorisation link-up apparently - too technical for me!
Actually this was a bug in earlier versions of Safari that do not implement the fetch spec correctly. We've worked around it.
 

Haywain

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Does it actually make any difference to Northern where I change over from one of their trains to another? I could understand it if seat reservations were involved.
If the second train starts short of Wigan for some reason you would have a problem on your hands.
 

trainophile

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Yeah I thought of that, was planning to check online just before I got to Wigan. I will ask the guard on this first train if I see him, if he says it’s okay I’ll bail at Wallgate.

As it happens it’s not such a bad day so I might just stick with plan A. Although with the silly shutting off entire coaches it would be easier to get a seat at Wigan.
 

trainophile

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Well to update - my ticket worked the exit barrier at Wallgate, which I took as a good sign, and now just out of WGN I’ve had a ticket check on the Leeds train (admittedly a quick glance) and “thanks that’s fine”.

Not recommending this to others but it certainly hasn’t caused any problems today for me.
 

kieron

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Oh okay fair enough. I’d never used the Northern website before and didn’t realise what it had given me until I collected the tickets (there were several making up the trip - I was having payment problems with Trainsplit so had to find an alternative).
On Northern, the "Please review your journey" doesn't automatically tell you which trains you have selected, but it does have a few links in the left side of the page (with something like "3h 5m", "2 changes" and "Seat info" which you can click on to check). Annoyingly, there is text on previous pages which says "2 changes", but clicking on that does nothing.

And it's probably of no help now, but something I notice is that you could have got to Leeds 20 minutes sooner if you had changed twice, and probably for the same price. One possible itinerary is:

Southport 8:39 - 9:47 Salford Crescent 9:53 - 9:59 Manchester Victoria 10:21 - 11:44 Leeds

It shows up on nre.co.uk* if you say to "go via Rochdale". If you'd rather change trains in Bolton, you could do that*, but would select "avoid Huddersfield" and "change at Bolton" instead. If you click on "buy now", it redirects correctly to the Northern site.

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

Starmill

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There's indoors seating at Salford Crescent (assuming it hasn't been removed or something silly because of Covid) i.e. a warmer place to wait if the weather isn't good the next time you're travelling. Go up the stairs or use the lift to reach the footbridge and then enter the building. The seats were outside of the ticket gates but I'm sure if you explain you're catching a particular train you'll be allowed out then back in.

so strictly for the advance ticket to be valid, you need a reservation for it between Wigan North Western and Salford Cresent and don't have one.
Technically this isn't actually written down in this way.
 

JonathanH

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Technically this isn't actually written down in this way.
I agree. However, if your reservation starts later on the same journey, it is obvious to whoever is checking the ticket that you are not travelling on your actual booked train if you are aboard it earlier in its journey. Tell me how you are not breaking the conditions I copied in message 9 if you change at Wigan North Western instead of Salford Cresent.

I suspect 99% of guards wouldn't care.
 

trainophile

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Thanks everyone. On my way back today and there was no escaping the SLD wait - well ironically there nearly was as my train into Man Vic was 5 minutes late on a 10 minute connection time, I just made it (platform 1-6 as well), otherwise I was wondering how I would stand with getting on the Southport train at Vic.

I didn’t even attempt to leave the platforms as I have far too much to carry, and got a set of seats to myself, the weather was quite pleasant and the 41 minutes passed fairly comfortably.
 

Gathursty

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Do both trains on leaving Wigan go through AND call at Hindley or Bolton? Hindley does offer some shelter and you can at least walk out without hitting a barrier or a ticket check.
 

daveo

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Do both trains on leaving Wigan go through AND call at Hindley or Bolton? Hindley does offer some shelter and you can at least walk out without hitting a barrier or a ticket check.
Be careful. You'll upset some people by suggesting ways a passenger could do things how they want to, rather than how the TOCs try to make you do!!!
 

trainophile

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Do both trains on leaving Wigan go through AND call at Hindley or Bolton? Hindley does offer some shelter and you can at least walk out without hitting a barrier or a ticket check.

No, that 0954 WGN-LDS is a strange one, it doesn't go through either of those stations, preferring the scenic route...

Daisy Hill (my fave station name), Atherton, Walkden, Swinton, two Salfords and Man Vic, then all stops to Leeds. I enjoyed the route once I was on the way and ticket had been checked (glanced at). There were probably three other people in my coach until MCV.
 
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