Drumgelloch to Shotts via Edinburgh

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railman73

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Hi,

Here's an interesting one (hopefully not covered already!) With the new Airdrie Bathgate line you can travel to Shotts now via Glasgow and Edinburgh. The ticket says "Any permitted route" and if you look on Scotrail's own web site and "thetrainline.com" both show this route as "permitted route". The problem? in a nutshell - PRICE! Tickets from drumgelloch to Edinburgh are £15.40, however go to Shotts (via haymarket) and the price FALLS to £8. So you can buy a cheaper ticket from drumgelloch to shotts cheaper than one to edinburgh even though you go through same station.
Now i was told about this by a ticket examiner after i was talking about the inflated prices on the Edinburgh lines. Now a different ticket examiner Who was being a bit of an idiot (to put it politely) is now saying this is not a valid route.... how can this be when ticket says any permitted route and scotrail's own website is saying it is? Why would you want to go through glasgow anyway when you have to get from queen st station to central station and vice versa when you can go the other way and change at haymarket?

if the ticket said "via Glasgow" then fair enough.... but it doesn't!
 
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yorkie

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Welcome to the forum :)

Permitted routes are defined in the Routeing Guide (available on the ATOC website at http://www.atoc.org/about-atoc/rail-settlement-plan/routeing-guide )

Drumgelloch and Shotts share a common Routeing Point (Edinburgh Group). This means that only the shortest route, plus routes that are no greater than 3 miles longer, are valid.

If a booking site gives you an itinerary, and you book a ticket with a given itinerary (obtaining reservations where available - not applicable in this particular case), and bring the itinerary (and/or reservations if applicable) then you have evidence of a contract to convey you by a particular route.

Sometimes the booking engines do suggest routes that are not permitted. These errors are usually 'fixed' when they are discovered / published, though not always.

Some booking engines have been known to issue tickets for relatively short journeys but booked the passenger a total distance of around 1000 miles, and this phenomenon was mentioned in Private Eye a few months ago. The itineraries are still valid and must be honoured - but only if the customer books the ticket with that itinerary and brings evidence of the contract with them.
 

p123

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Interesting find!

Although I doubt this fare is (or I should maybe say "should be") valid via Edinburgh.

The reason is down to funding for the rail services. ScotRail price all fares on this route... however rail journeys within the SPT area are subsidised by SPT (a fair chunk, I do believe, used to be around 50% I once heard!).

So you're leaving from Drumgelloch and arriving into Shotts... both within the SPT fare subsidised area only if you go via Glasgow. However, going via Edinburgh you're outwith the SPT area.

I've not checked, but I'd imagine that departing from Caldercruix will yield an equally cheap fare (as it too is within the SPT area), but Blackridge, Armadale etc won't as they're all outwith it.

Anyway, maybe this is an interesting anomaly that ruins the great pillar that is the Routing Guide. Journey Planner might say it's OK, so might Routing Guide, but if it is - it probably shouldn't be!
 

yorkie

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So you're leaving from Drumgelloch and arriving into Shotts... both within the SPT fare subsidised area only if you go via Glasgow. However, going via Edinburgh you're outwith the SPT area.
Just in case there's any doubt, that does not determine validity.

There are some cheap fares where the origin/destination are both within West (& South) Yorkshire, but permitted routes go outside of that area. Such tickets are considered rather useful by some people! I'll give an example that I don't think matters if I publish it, and that's Micklefield to Pontefract Stns. There is absolutely no doubt that via Church Fenton is permitted as that is the shortest route. People can say what they like about the fact this route involves going outside of West Yorkshire but, as far as validity is concerned, it's utterly irrelevant.
 

bb21

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Drumgelloch has four associated routeing points: Edinburgh Group, Falkirk Group, Glasgow Group and Inverkeithing Group.
Shotts has two associated routeing points: Edinburgh Group and Motherwell Group.

There is a routeing point in common.

The National Routeing Guide in Detail (Section F of the NRG) states on Page F7 that:

Page F7 said:
If there is a common routeing point, the permitted route is the shortest route or a route which is longer by no more than 3 miles.

The shortest route between Drumgelloch and Shotts is 33 miles.

[Table 226] Drumgelloch - Glasgow Queen Street Low Level: 12.5 miles;
[Table 225] Glasgow Central - Shotts: 20.5 miles;

[Table 226] Drumgelloch - Haymarket: 30.5 miles;
[Table 225] Haymarket - Shotts: 25.5 miles;

[Table 226] Drumgelloch - Edinburgh: 31.75 miles;
[Table 225] Edinburgh - Shotts: 26.75 miles;

Drumgelloch - Edinburgh / Haymarket - Shotts is clearly more than 3 miles longer.

However on the same page, it also states that:

Page F7 said:
Also permitted is the route followed by direct trains to and from the common routeing point if the journey is made on those trains.

This would imply that a passenger travelling from Drumgelloch to Shotts is permitted to travel on direct trains between Drumgelloch and Haymarket / Edinburgh (both members of Edinburgh Group routeing point) and change there for a direct service between Haymarket / Edinburgh and Shotts. Indeed the illustrated example permitting the passenger to travel on direct services between Stratford and Birmingham, and Birmingham and Solihull confirms this analysis.

Finally we look at easements. Easement 700225 appears relevant.

Easement 700225 said:
Customers travelling from Coatbridge Sunnyside, Coatdyke, Airdrie or Drumgelloch to Shotts may not travel via Edinburgh. This easement applies in both directions.

In conclusion, I do not believe you are permitted to travel via Edinburgh, nevertheless I do believe that you are permitted to travel via Haymarket.

Some people will disagree and argue that Edinburgh here refers to Edinburgh Group, which includes Haymarket, although I disagree with that interpretation.
 

John @ home

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Section B of the National Routeing Guide (NRG), the Routeing Point Identifier, tells us that
  • Routeing Points (RPs) for Drumgelloch are Edinburgh Group, Falkirk Group, Glasgow Group and Inverkeithing Group
  • RPs for Shotts are Edinburgh and Motherwell Group.
Therefore Drumgelloch and Shotts have one (and only one) RP in common, Edinburgh Group.
Drumgelloch and Shotts share a common Routeing Point (Edinburgh Group). This means that only the shortest route, plus routes that are no greater than 3 miles longer, are valid.
I agree that the shortest route, and routes no more than 3 miles longer, are permitted routes. But the NRG also says
Finding a permitted route when the origin and destination stations have a routeing point in common.

If there is a common routeing point, the permitted route is the shortest route or a route which is longer by no more than 3 miles. Also permitted is the route followed by direct trains to and from the common routeing point if the journey is made on those trains.

http://www.atoc.org/clientfiles/File/RSPDocuments/nrg_detail.pdf
Therefore travel by a direct train from Drumgelloch to any station in Edinburgh Group (Dalmeny, Edinburgh, Haymarket or South Gyle), followed by travel by a direct train from that station to Shotts, is travel on a Permitted Route. In practice, only Edinburgh and Haymarket have direct trains to and from both Drumgelloch and Shotts, and Easement 700225 mentioned by bb21 above restricts usefulness to Drumgelloch - Haymarket - Shotts.
 

railman73

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Hi to everyone - and many thanks to all who have contributed so far. This obviously has had everyone hitting the rule books! I suspect this will rage on until Scotrail actual do something about it. I suspect, however that there's not much they can do and it would involve actually changing the NRG.

From what i read from everyone's response is that as far as the rules go - Drumgelloch and Shotts have only one routing point in common (Haymarket) since to go through Glasgow it would actually mean leaving Queen st station and walking round to Glasgow Central and boarding another train on another line (which is how you would have to do before they open the Aridrie/Bathgate route back up). By doing this they have created a common routing point in Haymarket and as bb21 points out the NRG clearly states that "any route is permitted by direct trains to and from a common routing point".

I think Scotrail are telling the ticket examiners that they should tell customers this is not a valid route (because they don't want people to use this route - for obvious reasons!), but i don't see how they can enfore this when they are breaking rules set out in the NRG. Actuallly there's only one ticket examiner saying this - the same one that told me off for calling him a "conductor" :) Every other ticket examiner doesn't give it a second look and my ticket gets check about 4/5 times daily!
 

bb21

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Judging by the negative easement barring travel via Edinburgh, I would venture a guess that it is not meant to be valid via Haymarket either, for a number of obvious reasons, including those mentioned by p123. Though as things stand, my interpretation is that it is valid via Haymarket.

That said, I would not be surprised if a negative easement comes into force with the next revision of the easements section.
 

railman73

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Hi,

How that for quick moving -- Scotrail has taken the route off the website, so now when you request Drumgelloch to Shotts - the only route it shows is through Glasgow. Intesresting if you try Armadale to Shotts to takes you now through Waverly (not Haymarket) which means you are doubling back though Haymarket.

Even though they have removed the route - it doesn;t change the rules set down in the NRG that any route is permitted through a common routing point ie Haymarket.

I feel this route is going to get tougher......! :(
 

michael769

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I expect that a corrected easement that does what 700225 (mistakenly I suspect) fails to do, will soon follow!
 

motherwell334

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As a ticket examiner on this route, our marketing and retail departments have said that travelling on this route to get into Edinburgh is NOT valid although the ticket says Any Permitted Route it must be done by the quickest route possible, ie into glasgow queen street etc ..
 

reb0118

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As a ticket examiner on this route, our marketing and retail departments have said that travelling on this route to get into Edinburgh is NOT valid although the ticket says Any Permitted Route it must be done by the quickest route possible, ie into glasgow queen street etc ..

I'm a guard and I regularly work the EGS (Edinburgh - Glasgow via Shotts) route. You've been given duff advice from your supervisors - the time a journey takes has no relevance to its validity. (Although, and for another thread, I think passengers do wish to travel via the fastest route as well as the shortest or on a through train).

This journey even though not the shortest would be valid on direct trains to and from the common routing point - Edinburgh Group - however this journey is not valid via Edinburgh because there is a negative easement (I hate this term - why not call it a restriction?) prohibiting it. Note in this case the difference between Edinburgh Group as a routing point and Edinburgh as a station. No negative easement prohibits travel via Haymarket at present so I agree with bb21 and state my belief that via Haymarket is vaild.
 
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