Euston - Birmingham Saturday

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Rouge

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I'll soon be having to do a same day return from Euston - Birmingham International.

I can pick the outward train and therefore reserve a seat but I don't know what time I'll be heading back. Anytime between Noon and 16:00 most likely.

I'd rather travel on Virgin for the faster travel time but am worried about trying to get on a packed train with no seats coming back. Is this concern justified for a Saturday service?

So I may be considering to go 1st class with LM so at least I should get a quiet seat to myself on the "longer" journey home.

On either operator am I allowed to bail at an earlier station coming home, say at Watford or Harrow & Wealdstone rather than go all the way to Euston
 
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Bletchleyite

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Saturday is not a mega-busy day for VT. I would be surprised if you failed to get a seat at those times, it's just about the quietest time of the week. The shopper rush tends to be quite a bit later - 5-7pm or so.

Break of journey is permitted on the return half of the journey on all interavailable walk-up fares (all fares not for specific trains only valid on both LM and VT), so yes, you may get off early as you wish. It is also available on the SVH if you get an Advance outward and SVH for return.

If you decide to go with a VT Advance but a LM walk-up single for the way back and buy one of their discounted singles (Off Peak or Super Off Peak) these do NOT permit break of journey[1]. However, I wouldn't do this unless it works out far cheaper - the LM trains are far more likely to be overcrowded, and respect for First Class (which is 2+2) is low - people just sit there and it is barely enforced.

Chiltern may be worth considering as another option if VT is a bit pricey? I think I'd do that, or just go on VT both ways. (Edit: removed reference to Super Off Peak as it has Saturday restrictions which mean it is unlikely to suit you).

[1] There is some debate as to whether ending short = break of journey or not. In practice the worst any barrier staff could do is say "no, you'd have to pay extra up to the higher interavailable fare to leave, or you can get back on the train". You can use your judgement as to whether that is acceptable or not.
 
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causton

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[1] There is some debate as to whether ending short = break of journey or not. In practice the worst any barrier staff could do is say "no, you'd have to pay extra up to the higher interavailable fare to leave, or you can get back on the train". You can use your judgement as to whether that is acceptable or not.

Most people at Watford would say yes (if you ask the security officer manning the barrier) and at Harrow would be Underground staff, so I am unsure they even recognise an orange ticket so would let you out regardless ;)
 

boyaloud

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Don't forget Virgin do a super off-peak return on that route, and on Saturday it's only £10 to upgrade to 1st class (each way).
 
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