East Croydon to Lincoln Return

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AndyMe

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I wonder if anyone can help me please?

I am travelling from East Croydon (ECR) to Lincoln (LCN) later this week. I can use a Super Off-Peak Return (£77.50) which is fine going out but returning (after 17:00) it doesn't allow me to catch the 17:22 changing at Retford (RET). The next train is the 18:18 so quite a wait.

I could buy a London to Lincoln Super Off-Peak Return and use Oyster PAYG for the ECR to KGX. If I look at tickets for this there is a Super Off-Peak Return Any Permitted Route for £71.40 and a Super Off-Peak Return ravel via Retford (RET) for £76.00. The more expensive fare would enable me to return using the 17:22 changing at Retford but not the other routes so if I don't make the 17:22 I would have to wait until 20:27.

Does anyone know if there is a ticket I could buy that would allow travel either changing at RET or elsewhere?

Alternatively, could I buy a Super Off-Peak Return from ECR to LCN and, if I get to LCN in time to catch the 17:22, buy a single from LCN to RET and a single from RET to Grantham (GRA) and continue from GRA using the Super Off-Peak Return back to London? It would cost me a bit but would get me back home earlier.

Hopefully that all makes sense and any other options would be gratefully recieved.
 
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maniacmartin

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Tickets for a more expensive routeing between two points are also valid for the permitted routes of cheaper-routed tickets between the same points. One place this is eluded to is page F17 of the National Routeing Guide in Detail, with an example involving a Via Manchester fare.

Retford is not a permitted route between London and Lincoln as there are no mapped routes and it is also not the shortest route. However, when there is a ticket routed through a via point that is not on a permitted route, you should combine all of the permitted routes between the origin and the via point with the permitted routes from the via point to the destination.

Combining these two facts produces the oddity of the Any Permitted ticket having a subset of permitted routes of the Via Retford ticket! The Via Retford ticket would also cover travelling via Swinderby.

A cheaper way would be to buy the Any Permitted ticket from London Terminals to Lincoln, and if you do decide to return via Retford in the evening, obtain a change of route excess at Lincoln ticket office or from the guard on board. It should be calculated at half the difference in fares if you are only changing one portion of the return.

Note that for the above you would have to use Oyster or another ticket to get to Kings Cross and get the ticket issued originating at London Terminals. Because an East Croydon to Lincoln Route Via Retford ticket does not exist, there is no way you can travel via Retford on an East Croydon to Lincoln ticket, and no applicable excess that can be sold.
 

yorkie

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I wonder if anyone can help me please?

I am travelling from East Croydon (ECR) to Lincoln (LCN) later this week. I can use a Super Off-Peak Return (£77.50) which is fine going out but returning (after 17:00) it doesn't allow me to catch the 17:22 changing at Retford (RET).
There is no evening restriction heading southbound on this ticket, but via Retford apparently isn't a permitted route.

Can someone check to see if via Retford used to be a permitted route? If it originally was, the DfT would have had to authorise its removal.

In NFM64 fares (1996) I note that Lincoln - London SOS routed Any Permitted was £34 (there was no 'via Retford' routeing) while Retford - London SOS routed Any Permitted was also £34. So it looks like it was valid.

If it was permitted then I suggest you send an FOI request to the DfT asking whether they approved the change and, if they did, why they did.

If it was valid and the DfT have no record of approving this change, then it's an illegal change and as far as I can see, you should be able make the journey regardless. If challenged, the disputed route procedure can be invoked.

This is a good example of the rail industry denying us what I believe should be our right to the fastest route :(
 

maniacmartin

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Note that with the Disputed Route Procedure, you still have to pay today's fares and would only receive a refund after the fact if it is adjudicated in your favour. I suspect that this process would be drawn out and not worth the hassle if you are only making the journey once.
 

Romilly

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According to the Virgin Trains East Coast website (which I am having difficulty replicating on National Rail Enquiries), one option might be to buy a super-offpeak return to Retford (£76 from London, £83.30 from Croydon). According to VTEC it is valid for travel via Lincoln as well as for travel straight up the East Coast Mainline from Kings X to Retford. Those tickets have no restrictions on break of journey.

So the OP travels from Kings X to Lincoln on the outward part of the ticket and then either:

(a) breaks their journey in Lincoln before continuing their outward journey to Retford on the 1722, and then starts their return journey from Retford on a direct train to Kings X, or

(b) stops short at Lincoln on their outward journey, and then instead of starting their return journey from Retford, starts it short at Lincoln.

According to the Routeing Guide, one permitted route from London to Retford is on the combination of maps LN & JL, which covers London to Lincoln via Peterborough, Spalding & Sleaford (but not via Newark & Swinderby), and then Lincoln to Retford.
 
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maniacmartin

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According to the Virgin Trains East Coast website (which I am having difficulty replicating on National Rail Enquiries)

I didn't look at VTEC or NRE. However, according to the routeing guide PDFs, it's only mapped via Lincoln if you leave the mainline at Peterborough and rattle around on EMT via Spalding and Sleaford. You can't stay on the ECML until Newark, then go to Lincoln on that ticket.
 
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Romilly

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I agree with that. And NRE will offer the super offpeak returns to Retford on itineraries via Peterborough, Spalding and Lincoln if one uses the Advanced NRE options to specify "via Spalding" and "avoid Grantham" and "avoid Nottingham".
 
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