Chiltern Railways Family Travelcards - advance purchase?

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Bletchleyite

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Hello all.

I'm currently working out fares for a group of Scouts who have to do a slightly odd journey. It seems that for them the cheapest way to get from their accommodation in London to Solihull will be to buy some of these:

http://www.brfares.com/#faredetail?orig=SOL&dest=1072&grpd=0035&rte=305&tkt=FTC

and effectively bin the outward half, using the Travelcard then the return half only.

However, I suspect being as this is not intended to be done, they may have some difficulty buying them in London, and they are not available online.

How far in advance may they be purchased? I seem to recall something about tickets involving Travelcards only being available the day before?
 
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Simon11

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I'm slightly confused, where exactly do they wish to go to/from?

What day & time do they wish to travel, how many adults & children will there be?
 
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Bletchleyite

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The journey is quite complex, it is as follows:-

Friday afternoon: Hampton in Arden - Euston (LM) - Bowes Park (or the Picc Line Tube station that's right next to it).

Sunday evening: Canary Wharf - Marylebone - Solihull.

So far as I can tell, because of the need for intra-London travel (Oyster Zip is not an option, it's too much hassle to obtain them for non-London kids) the cheapest way will be to do the outward on a Family Off Peak Travelcard (because of the kids for a quid), and for the return to do the same (using a Travelcard starting at Solihull but binning the outward half).

Hence my very specific question (no need to address the rest of it unless you can find a better option!)

7 adults, 21 children age 11-14 (so free travel is not relevant).
 

Hadders

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I've a suspicion that these tickets can only be purchased from a station. I can get Chiltern's website to show family group tickets for point to point tickets but not the travelcard varient.

As far as I am aware there's no restriction on how far in advance you can purchase a travelcard (I purchased one for a Saturday in July just last week as I had an evoucher that needed to be used up)
 

Romilly

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We offer a range of special tickets for families (adults and children in the group need not be related). You can purchase these from the booking office on the day of travel.

Family tickets
Family Ticket to London
Available from any station between Kidderminster and Leamington Spa and Oxford Parkway inclusive: up to 2 adults and 2 children can travel together (at least 1 child must travel). Valid on any train arriving London Marylebone after 1000 on Mondays to Fridays, any train on Saturdays and Sundays. Return within one month on any train. Also available from London to stations between Leamington Spa and Kidderminster. Valid from London Marylebone on any train, returning within one month on any train arriving London Marylebone after 1000 on Mondays to Fridays, any train on Saturdays and Sundays.

Family Travelcard to London - prices vary from station to station - all offer Big Savings
Available from any station between Kidderminster and Denham, or Aylesbury and Great Missenden.
Same-day return travel to London and as many rides as you like on London's tubes, buses and trains.
Available for groups of between 1 adult and 1 child and up to 2 adults and 4 children.
Valid every day on trains scheduled to arrive into London Marylebone after 1130, leaving Marylebone anytime before 1600, and after 1900. No restrictions at weekends..
Restrictions apply even if you are travelling only for part of the journey.
Available from Chiltern Railways booking offices.

In view of this extract from the Chiltern website, it would seem that they can be bought only on the day of travel (see second sentence quoted) and only from a Chiltern booking office such as Marylebone (see last sentence quoted).
 

Bletchleyite

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I've a suspicion that these tickets can only be purchased from a station.

This is definitely true, the question is if they can be purchased in advance to allow one to be used in the reverse direction (i.e. not making the outward journey).
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
In view of this extract from the Chiltern website, it would seem that they can be bought only on the day of travel (see second sentence quoted)

It might mean that, or it might mean you don't have to buy in advance. It's that that I want to clarify. Will give Chiltern a tweet and post the reply here, thinking on.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Failing this I think the best option is going to be for them to rejig their journey to go to *and* from the same station, ideally Hampton in Arden, and just use Super Off Peak Returns. Family Railcards may also be useful.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
And a reply from Chiltern (sorry, should have thought to ask them first before wasting peoples' time on here):

The Family Travelcard will need to be purchased at the station booking office. It can be purchased up to 7 days in Advance.

So this will work as an option as they will be able to purchase from Solihull in advance. Unless anyone can think of anything better - but with a group that size I think the "kids for a quid" throws it...
 
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kieron

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However, I suspect being as this is not intended to be done, they may have some difficulty buying them in London, and they are not available online.
The Chiltern site (for one) sells both "LM only" and "via High Wycombe" versions of the travelcard (I selected 1 adult + 4 children for this).

The other option would be Hampton-in-Arden-London Zones 1-3 returns (which are available on the routes you mentioned), but I haven't tried to work out how the cost would compare.
 

Bletchleyite

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The Chiltern site (for one) sells both "LM only" and "via High Wycombe" versions of the travelcard (I selected 1 adult + 4 children for this).

I can't get it to show that at all - I get GroupSave but that isn't quite as cheap. And it was my understanding that these were ticket office only (same for LM).

Any chance of a screenshot to see what selections you made?

Cheers.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
The other option would be Hampton-in-Arden-London Zones 1-3 returns (which are available on the routes you mentioned), but I haven't tried to work out how the cost would compare.

That shows "no fares available" when I try on BRfares. But I think the kids for a quid thing will throw it.
 

kieron

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I can't get it to show that at all - I get GroupSave but that isn't quite as cheap. And it was my understanding that these were ticket office only (same for LM).
Sorry; when I tried again, the only family travelcards I could get it to show were the via High Wycombe ones, and that was only if I selected a smaller number of passengers than I put before.

NRE will show both (and it does redirect correctly to the ticket sites I tried), although getting a London Midland only itinerary on there is quite complicated. It also offers a Chiltern Railways Family Ticket for £49 if you select (say) 2 adults and 2 children.
Any chance of a screenshot to see what selections you made?
You don't get much information from a WebTIS screenshot, but I've attached one with 2 adults and 2 children.

I think it would be a good idea to speak to someone before buying, as the tickets the web sites offer are not the same as the tickets they say are available (for instance, NRE says the Family Ticket costs £5 for additional children, but doesn't add extra children to it at any price).
That shows "no fares available" when I try on BRfares. But I think the kids for a quid thing will throw it.
I don't know what exactly you're looking at, but brfares.com only offers journeys to an underground station if you select an underground destination. Where a station is used by both underground and national rail services, it usually has a different code for each.

This means that Birmingham-London has a different range of tickets to Birmingham-London.
 

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Bletchleyite

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You don't get much information from a WebTIS screenshot, but I've attached one with 2 adults and 2 children.

I think it would be a good idea to speak to someone before buying, as the tickets the web sites offer are not the same as the tickets they say are available (for instance, NRE says the Family Ticket costs £5 for additional children, but doesn't add extra children to it at any price).

Thanks for that, but it is a different ticket - the Family Ticket is £5 per extra child, it is the Family Travelcard (one adult at a given price, up to 4 kids at £1 each) that is what I need in this case - and TfL travel is required. Chiltern have confirmed it cannot be purchased online, but can be purchased in advance at a ticket office.
 

James H

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Friday afternoon: Hampton in Arden - Euston (LM) - Bowes Park (or the Picc Line Tube station that's right next to it).

Worth noting that trains to Bowes Park now go from Moorgate (not KX) all day every day, meaning a change at Finsbury Park is required if travelling from KX.

For completeness, Bounds Green is the relevant Piccadilly line station.

James
(Scout Leader very familiar with Scout Park)
 

kieron

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Thanks for that, but it is a different ticket - the Family Ticket is £5 per extra child, it is the Family Travelcard (one adult at a given price, up to 4 kids at £1 each) that is what I need in this case - and TfL travel is required.
I know.
Chiltern have confirmed it cannot be purchased online, but can be purchased in advance at a ticket office.
I'm surprised they would say that given that the ticket can be purchased on-line (or, at least, you can get as far as the point where the retailer starts asking for payment).

I understand that you will need tickets for the underground. I don't know whether it would be better value to buy these separately or with the long distance tickets.
 

Bletchleyite

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I know.

I'm surprised they would say that given that the ticket can be purchased on-line (or, at least, you can get as far as the point where the retailer starts asking for payment).

The Family Travelcard cannot be purchased online. What you found was this other ticket - I tried with the same inputs and that is what I got.

I understand that you will need tickets for the underground. I don't know whether it would be better value to buy these separately or with the long distance tickets.

For the specific situation (which is a slightly odd one), the Family Travelcard is the best value ticket, and still would be even without the TfL element, and is what I will be using. The other ticket is not as good value because of the group sizes.
 

kieron

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The Family Travelcard cannot be purchased online. What you found was this other ticket - I tried with the same inputs and that is what I got.
I hear what you say, but I stand by what I wrote in this post.

If you believe there is a mistake in there, please let me know what it is, and why you believe it to be mistaken. I can't help you if you don't tell me what your problem is.
 

Bletchleyite

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I hear what you say, but I stand by what I wrote in this post.

If you believe there is a mistake in there, please let me know what it is, and why you believe it to be mistaken. I can't help you if you don't tell me what your problem is.

Are you saying it is possible to purchase the Family Travelcard online?

No other ticket whatsoever is relevant to my requirement so there is no need for me to restate it; I have already determined that this ticket is the best value for the requirement.

My understanding is that this ticket cannot be purchased online and may only be purchased at a staffed ticket office. Doing so is feasible so there is no need to find another suitable combination purchaseable online (though it would have been slightly easier were this one purchaseable online).

For avoidance of doubt I refer to this ticket, and this ticket alone, and not to other tickets or offers with similar names.

http://www.brfares.com/#faredetail?orig=SOL&dest=MYB&grpd=0035&rte=305&tkt=FTC
 
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