Crystal Palace - London Terminals (via Norwood Jn?!)

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handsomelife

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Hello, hoping someone can clear something up for me. Basically I own an annual season ticket between Crystal Palace and London Terminals, so I tend to go direct to either Victoria or London Bridge, however sometimes when I'm at London Bridge the National Rail journey planner phone app tells me that the quickest route is a fast train to Norwood Junction, change there and come back to Crystal Palace.

Is this valid? Because this would mean I can board/alight at any station along that route (Penge West is equally as close as Crystal Palace so this is convenient when there's engineering work)

A season ticket from Norwood Junction costs more but why is the National Rail website telling me it's valid?

Help!
 
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sonic2009

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A ticket from London Terminals to Crystal Palace via Norwood Junction is perfectly valid.

To determine the validity we have to look at routeing guide.

London Bridge is part of the London Group
Crystal Palace is a routeing point.

The following are always permitted routes :

Direct trains from London Bridge to Crystal Palace
The shortest route with a regular train service between London Bridge & Crystal Palace which is 7.46 miles :

London Bridge - New Cross Gate - Brockley - Honor Oak Park - Forest Hill - Sydenham - Crystal Palace

Also the following are permitted unless a routeing guide easement prevents them :

Any route which is 10.46 miles or less ( within 3 miles of the shortest route above)

London Bridge - Crystal Palace via Norwood Junction is 10.16 miles so is a valid route

Mapped routes are also valid :

LK
LB
SC
SL + LB

And any other route allowed by an easement.
 

handsomelife

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So I got collared at Penge West today and told my ticket from Crystal Palace to London Terminals isn't valid and had my details taken "to be investigated"

Surely they can't do anything here right?
 

handsomelife

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Oh yeah sorry, I was actually entering the station at Penge West to board a Southern train to London Bridge. He was a London Overground Revenue Protection officer who was telling me my ticket isn't valid because I'm in the wrong zone (surely this isn't relevant with a point to point ticket?!)
 

soil

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Oh, well in that case he's wrong, talking about zones is nonsense.

Assuming you were on the Caterham - LBG service, which runs:

East Croydon
Norwood Junction
Anerley
Penge West
Sydenham
Forest Hill
Honor Oak Park
Brockley
New Cross Gate
LBG

then that's permitted by map SC:
http://www.atoc.org/clientfiles/File/Maps.pdf#page=95

which permits all manner of routes to LBG, including:

Crystal Palace - Streatham via Gypsy Hill
Streatham - Wimbledon via Tooting
Wimbledon - Sutton
Sutton - West Croydon
East Croydon - LBG (via Penge West)

The map shows a link Crystal Palace to Croydon not via Norwood Junction. I am not sure what that is supposed to be, but nonetheless you can still come up with a simpler valid route not doubling back, e.g.,

Crystal Palace - Streatham (via Gipsy Hill)
Streatham - West Croydon (via Thornton Heath)

then East Croydon - LBG via Penge West.

and therefore valid to travel Penge West - LBG

The Crystal Palace - London Terminals has very extensive validity within South London between many different points/
 

RJ

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Well done for pointing that out.

In response to your query handsomelife, yes, your ticket was valid for what you were doing. Ultimately, you won't be any worse off, though you might find yourself having to explain yourself to London Overground in order to prove the ticket's validity. The downside is that this course of action can lead to loopholes being closed so make the most of it while you can.

 
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handsomelife

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It was actually the 08:02 which starts at Norwood Junction and terminates at London Bridge so it was definitely valid.

So frustrating because I missed my train and was made to feel like I was in the wrong, is it worth complaining over this and suggesting to LOROL that they retrain their revenue staff?

He took my details, called someone to confirm my address was valid, I wasn't given any kind of penalty fare though, just a 'London Overground Revenue Protection Dept Authority to Travel Following a Travel Irregularity' :rolleyes:
 

RJ

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It was actually the 08:02 which starts at Norwood Junction and terminates at London Bridge so it was definitely valid.

So frustrating because I missed my train and was made to feel like I was in the wrong, is it worth complaining over this and suggesting to LOROL that they retrain their revenue staff?

He took my details, called someone to confirm my address was valid, I wasn't given any kind of penalty fare though, just a 'London Overground Revenue Protection Dept Authority to Travel Following a Travel Irregularity' :rolleyes:
I'd advise you to swallow it up and let it go. You should balance the pros and cons of the potential consequences making noise about it. At best, you might get a pathetic stencil apology. More likely it will accelerate the rate at which the validity of the ticket will be reduced by way of negative easements or NRG alterations. We already have unhelpful forum members who are very keen to have this done by elucidating on the details for no apparent reason, last thing you want is the pricing department getting on the case!

Trust me, I've been there and done the whole "validity manipulation" thing, that is exploiting unintentional but legitimate all the same validities of tickets. I try to keep it quiet for as long as possible before inevitably having to reveal everything. In my case, I had to because I had hundreds of pounds of UFNs stacking up against me. Obviously issued by staff who didn't have a clue what they were doing but I refrained from lodging impassioned complaints against them.

Even when I revealed my working, the TOC in question disagreed with my explanation, from the Pricing Manager downwards, so to get the UFNs cancelled, I had to get ATOC involved to make the TOC see sense. Final result was a very good attempt to close the loophole completely!
 
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handsomelife

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I'd advise you to swallow it up and let it go. You should balance the pros and cons of the potential consequences making noise about it. At best, you might get a pathetic stencil apology. More likely it will accelerate the rate at which the validity of the ticket will be reduced by way of negative easements or NRG alterations. We already have unhelpful forum members who are very keen to have this done by elucidating on the details for no apparent reason, last thing you want is the pricing department getting on the case!
Very fair point, I can just see this becoming an issue again and again, they've had revenue blocks quite frequently over the last few weeks but this is the first time I've had a problem!
 

RJ

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Very fair point, I can just see this becoming an issue again and again, they've had revenue blocks quite frequently over the last few weeks but this is the first time I've had a problem!
I do sympathise with you. I used a season ticket under very similar principles at Forest Hill
. The gateline assistant refused to let me through without paying extra money, so I called the BTP to come and deal with him.

I know exactly how it feels, being hassled despite holding a perfectly valid ticket. But you have to consider that Penge West does not lie on the most obvious routes for a Crystal Palace to London, which involve going direct to Sydenham or Gipsy Hill and continuing in a northerly direction.

Although it doesn't actually mean anything due to the way mapped routes can be abused, point to point season tickets in London loosely follow a zonal fare structure. London - Crystal Palace falls under the Zone 1-3 price bracket, whereas London - Penge West falls under the Zone 1-4 bracket. As you've found a way to venture further south without paying the intended fare, you have to accept that staff will hassle you and be prepared to argue your case - not necessarily with them, but with the Penalty Fares appeal people or TOC's prosecution department.
 
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yorkie

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Oh yeah sorry, I was actually entering the station at Penge West to board a Southern train to London Bridge. He was a London Overground Revenue Protection officer who was telling me my ticket isn't valid because I'm in the wrong zone (surely this isn't relevant with a point to point ticket?!)
The training for Overground staff regarding ticketing is known to be extremely inadequate.

It does not surprise me one bit. Not at all.

In fact, it would absolutely shock me if an Overground RPI actually understood the Routeing Guide (if there are any that do, then give yourself a pat on the back for going well beyond your training and using your initiative and doing research in your own time!)
 

Solent&Wessex

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The training for Overground staff regarding ticketing is known to be extremely inadequate.

It does not surprise me one bit. Not at all.

In fact, it would absolutely shock me if an Overground RPI actually understood the Routeing Guide (if there are any that do, then give yourself a pat on the back for going well beyond your training and using your initiative and doing research in your own time!)
The same applies Nationwide, I am sure. Amongst my onboard colleagues, including RPOs, I could probably count on the fingers of one hand those that have even heard about the Routeing Guide, let alone understand it. I would be extremely shocked if this pattern isn't repeated across all TOCs. I occasionally mention the RG in mess room discussions and I might as well be talking a martian language.

Quite simply it isn't considered as relevant nowadays (although we all know it is) and copies of it aren't available anywhere for staff to peruse. Those that know about it are generally "keen" and do homework in their own time.

Whilst I appreciate the frustration at this to those getting hassle for doing odd or bizzare routeings, it should be remembered that in many cases the lack of knowledge isn't the fault of the staff concerned. By quoting the RG to staff that haven't even heard about it would be like going into a carpet shop and start talking to the staff about washing machines. I know this isn't the fault of the passenger, and the passenger shouldn't be unduly hassled because of it, but some staff may simply be following instructions or their training - which is what they believe to be correct. Like most people I do not like people start telling me how to do my job, and I am sure others are the same.

I know RJ has said before that he expects staff to do homework in their own time to better themselves, but that is a load of nonsense. While interested parties such as enthusiasts may do so, the majority will not, and really shouldn't be expected to.
 

paul1609

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The same applies Nationwide, I am sure. Amongst my onboard colleagues, including RPOs, I could probably count on the fingers of one hand those that have even heard about the Routeing Guide, let alone understand it. I would be extremely shocked if this pattern isn't repeated across all TOCs. I occasionally mention the RG in mess room discussions and I might as well be talking a martian language.

Quite simply it isn't considered as relevant nowadays (although we all know it is) and copies of it aren't available anywhere for staff to peruse. Those that know about it are generally "keen" and do homework in their own time.

Whilst I appreciate the frustration at this to those getting hassle for doing odd or bizzare routeings, it should be remembered that in many cases the lack of knowledge isn't the fault of the staff concerned. By quoting the RG to staff that haven't even heard about it would be like going into a carpet shop and start talking to the staff about washing machines. I know this isn't the fault of the passenger, and the passenger shouldn't be unduly hassled because of it, but some staff may simply be following instructions or their training - which is what they believe to be correct. Like most people I do not like people start telling me how to do my job, and I am sure others are the same.

I know RJ has said before that he expects staff to do homework in their own time to better themselves, but that is a load of nonsense. While interested parties such as enthusiasts may do so, the majority will not, and really shouldn't be expected to.
Can't staff to some extent check route availability on advantix machines? Ive recently had a Southern Guard query a Portsmouth to Ashford International ticket via redhill but he then played with his machine for a while, smiled and then said thats fine-you learn something new everyday!



 

BOBmcbob

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It was actually the 08:02 which starts at Norwood Junction and terminates at London Bridge so it was definitely valid.

So frustrating because I missed my train and was made to feel like I was in the wrong, is it worth complaining over this and suggesting to LOROL that they retrain their revenue staff
?

Probably the best thing you can do is to try to make friends / explain the rules the chap on the gate line in a sympathetic way, give him a copy of the relevant buts of the routing guide/nrcoc as well.

I had a similar issue at Sydenham and the guy on the gate got to know me and would let me in every day.

Don't waste your time contacting southern/loral, you're get nothing from them, and they wont re-program the gate lines. I have been down this route, total waste of time
 

Solent&Wessex

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Can't staff to some extent check route availability on advantix machines? Ive recently had a Southern Guard query a Portsmouth to Ashford International ticket via redhill but he then played with his machine for a while, smiled and then said thats fine-you learn something new everyday!



No.

Avantix Mobile machines have no routeing information. The timetable search only gives the quickest possible journey, and makes no check of whether that journey is actually valid.

In the case of that journey he may be looking at the different fares available - there are 3 different possible routeings on the tickets for that flow and sometimes you may not be aware of them all. Or he just misunderstood the machine was actually giving routeing information.
 

maniacmartin

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If any TOC has people running gatelines or revenue protection who haven't heard of the routeing guide, then the TOC should be ashamed of themselves. How else can they determine if customers have valid tickets? :|
 

RJ

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If any TOC has people running gatelines or revenue protection who haven't heard of the routeing guide, then the TOC should be ashamed of themselves. How else can they determine if customers have valid tickets? :|
It's pointless because it is not possible for them to check for themselves, unless you expect them to carry laptops around.

The real problem is the moronic staff who either think they know everything, or are too cowardly to admit that they don't know. The only thing that needs fixing is their attitude to customer service.
 
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Solent&Wessex

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It's pointless because it is not possible for them to check for themselves, unless you expect them to carry laptops around.
And then spend 5/10/15 minutes sitting down to work it all out!

What is needed is for staff (and public) to have access to some sort of computerised version of the guide which can show permitted routes on maps in seconds.

Sadly what I think will happen is that such a thing will become available for the public, but staff won't be given the technology to use it - just how it works at my TOC where on board Guards are not provided with a phone or any equipment that is capable of accessing the internet or live train running or disruption updates etc. Meanwhile the passengers on their smartphones have access to far greater information in the public domain than the Guards do. Yes I can access said information on my own personal phone, and I do, I can even access more information than the public because I have obtained passwords for some other more detailed sources, but these are not provided routinely to us and why should I use my own phone and my own contract allowances and contraband passwords to get information that I should be provided with to ensure that I can give information to the passengers? Without doing so they know more than me most of the time!

The real problem is the moronic staff who either think they know everything, or are too cowardly to admit that they don't know. The only thing that needs fixing is their attitude to customer service.
Whilst I don't defend staff who take a confrontational attitude with passengers immediately, I can sort of understand some of the reasons why. Lets say you had got a job somewhere, you had done all your training, had read all your briefs and notices, and were following all the instructions and training you had been given by your employer - i.e. doing as you were told - and then some joe bloggs comes up and starts telling you that you are wrong, and starts to say "I can do this because it says so in the routeing guide", yet in all your training and briefs you have never even heard of anything called a routeing guide, and neither have your colleagues, then you might be slightly annoyed - and perhaps even think that the joe bloggs is trying to pull the wool over your eyes - especially if the ticket does seem quite odd, or is against everything you have ever been taught or told.

At various times I have been told, by managers and those who conduct retail training: "The Routeing Guide doesn't exist nowadays", "The RG is irrelevant", "The RG hasn't been updated since xxxx (choose any date more than 5 years ago)" "Why does it matter, if it [a route some is taking] looks reasonable it probably is, if it doesn't it probably isn't".
 
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sheff1

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Whilst I don't defend staff who take a confrontational attitude with passengers immediately, I can sort of understand some of the reasons why. Lets say you had got a job somewhere, you had done all your training, had read all your briefs and notices, and were following all the instructions and training you had been given by your employer - i.e. doing as you were told - and then some joe bloggs comes up and starts telling you that you are wrong, and starts to say "I can do this because it says so in the routeing guide", yet in all your training and briefs you have never even heard of anything called a routeing guide, and neither have your colleagues, then you might be slightly annoyed - and perhaps even think that the joe bloggs is trying to pull the wool over your eyes - especially if the ticket does seem quite odd, or is against everything you have ever been taught or told.

At various times I have been told, by managers and those who conduct retail training: "The Routeing Guide doesn't exist nowadays", "The RG is irrelevant", "The RG hasn't been updated since xxxx (choose any date more than 5 years ago)" "Why does it matter, if it [a route some is taking] looks reasonable it probably is, if it doesn't it probably isn't".
I would be annoyed, but not with 'joe bloggs'. I would be annoyed with the trainers/managers who had failed to brief me properly on the job I was employed to do.

I would tell 'joe' that I was not aware of the RG, but now it had been brought to my attention I would make further enquiries. Then, low and behold, a one second Google search brings up the official ATOC Routeing Guide as the first result.

How anyone, never mind an alleged 'manager', with responsibility for ticket related issues can claim the RG dosen't exist beggars belief :roll: . If you have never heard of it when someone first mentions it, it could hardly be easier to find .... understanding it once you have found it - that is a different matter all together !

Of course, if 'joe' had been pulling wool over my eyes and the 'thing' they were quoting really did not exist, then I would certainly be ready for them the next time :D
 
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kieron

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Whilst I don't defend staff who take a confrontational attitude with passengers immediately, I can sort of understand some of the reasons why.
While I can sympathise with people trying to do the best they can with inadequate training, the fact remains that LOROL make good money out of it. If a RPI treats someone like a criminal one day, that person is quite likely to do something different the next day, and likely something more expensive.
 

RJ

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then some joe bloggs comes up and starts telling you that you are wrong, and starts to say "I can do this because it says so in the routeing guide", yet in all your training and briefs you have never even heard of anything called a routeing guide, and neither have your colleagues, then you might be slightly annoyed - and perhaps even think that the joe bloggs is trying to pull the wool over your eyes - especially if the ticket does seem quite odd, or is against everything you have ever been taught or told.

What would you do?

1. Say it's early in the morning and you were the TM barriering a service about to leave St Pancras, where the ticket offices are shut. Someone who looks like me rocks up with an Off Peak ticket that's out of date, routed Not Via London and you have no idea where either the origin or destination is? They tell you the ticket is valid.

2. Someone gets on your train at a station where the ticket office was unexpectedly closed. They ask you for a ticket between two stations you have never heard of, neither of which they are going anywhere near (starting/ending short.) It is routed Not Via Doncaster. Your train is going via Doncaster, which is the next stop. The customer says the ticket is valid for that journey. Furthermore, they are making payment by a combination of card, cash, a Postal Order, quite a few RTVs and a couple of National Transport Tokens.

I'm not implying that this is the kind of thing I have done in the past but as a passenger could be entirely legitimate in doing all of the above, it does bear thinking about!
 
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maniacmartin

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You should note that I said the TOC should be ashamed of themselves, not the employee. Hopefully once ATOC finish with base maps it will be easier to determine what is and isn't a valid route, but only if staff have a practical means of consulting them.

RJ, you have caught my curiosity. I can't come up with any examples where a Not Via X ticket used on its own is valid to or from X. Can you elaborate on the examples you posted? I presume the tickets are valid due to easements?
 

RJ

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You should note that I said the TOC should be ashamed of themselves, not the employee. Hopefully once ATOC finish with base maps it will be easier to determine what is and isn't a valid route, but only if staff have a practical means of consulting them.

RJ, you have caught my curiosity. I can't come up with any examples where a Not Via X ticket used on its own is valid to or from X. Can you elaborate on the examples you posted? I presume the tickets are valid due to easements?
The Not Via London one is famous - can be used if the only route given in the NRG is London and there is no route avoiding London traceable via those maps. Another way may involve a complex fares check under certain circumstances which is quite hard to explain.

What I do is what I call "validity manipulation." I find a ticket I like the look of, then find a way to make it valid for the journey I wish to make, making use of any and every parameter of validity available.

For example, I found a load of flows routed Not Via London, priced by EMT with restriction BT, which was simply use at any time after 04:30. I was using these in conjunction with the South London season ticket I had to commute to work to travel out of St Pancras during the morning peak. EMT didn't like this so they recently made the code more restrictive which I suspect was solely for my benefit. However, where there is a will, there's a way and I can still use those tickets during the morning peak - but for now, I have other ticketing arrangements that are just as good value which I haven't given a go yet!

 
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