Fare imbalances: Why are fares on the Midland Mainline between London and Kettering/Corby much more expensive than comparable routes?

Metal_gee_man

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Moderator note: Split from
Clacton mp 69m 56ch, Ipswich 68m70ch versus Kettering mp 72m 01ch and Corby mp 79m40ch.


mp - mile post (distance from London termini)

Edited to correct typo
I genuinely didn't know such a fare imbalance would be in place:

Clacton to Liverpool Street anytime rtn £58.90
Ipswich to Liverpool Street anytime rtn £84.20

Northampton to Euston anytime rtn £64.10

Kettering to St Pancras anytime rtn £109.00
Corby to St Pancras anytime rtn £113.00

How the hell can the pricing on the MML be so high, equally Ipswich and Clacton being so different when they run parallel and similar distances up the GEML
 
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Ianno87

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I genuinely didn't know such a fare inbalance would be in place:

Clacton to Liverpool Street anytime rtn £58.90
Ipswich to Liverpool Street anytime rtn £84.20
Northampton to Euston anytime rtn
£64.10
Kettering to St Pancras anytime rtn £109.00
Corby to St Pancras anytime rtn £113.00

How the hell can the pricing on the MML be so high, equally Ipswich and Clacton being so different when they run parallel and similar distances up the GEML
Presumably a combination of Corby/Kettering being priced to represent an "Intercity" quality service, and (in Ipswich's case) the legacy of historic fares competition between Anglia Railways and First Great Eastern.
 

Metal_gee_man

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Presumably a combination of Corby/Kettering being priced to represent an "Intercity" quality service, and (in Ipswich's case) the legacy of historic fares competition between Anglia Railways and First Great Eastern.
Normally I'd agree but Northampton on a Class 390 Avanti 'intercity' service is much cheaper which completely debunks that idea, Ipswich maybe but to me it's pure profiteering

It's funny if you split Ipswich to Chelmsford and Chelmsford to Liverpool Street it's £56 anytime rtn
 
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Lewlew

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Is it due to reduced capacity on the trains (not long enough and not frequent enough due to franchise restrictions) so they increase the prices to suppress demand? Similar to CrossCountry?
 

RailWonderer

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If only...
A few 390s a day used to stop at Northampton, if you look at old timetables posted on DPSimulation, now it’s one Voyager in the early morning and one in the late evening.

I genuinely didn't know such a fare inbalance would be in place:

Clacton to Liverpool Street anytime rtn £58.90
Ipswich to Liverpool Street anytime rtn £84.20
Northampton to Euston anytime rtn
£64.10
Kettering to St Pancras anytime rtn £109.00
Corby to St Pancras anytime rtn £113.00

How the hell can the pricing on the MML be so high, equally Ipswich and Clacton being so different when they run parallel and similar distances up the GEML
It’s a legacy from NSE days vs Intercity, Maningtree and Northampton were NSE, Ipswich and Corby were IC.

Now it’s split into regulated and unregulated fares, which was why Ipswich had the FGE fast London train, as a lower priced alternative to an Anglia class 170/class 86/90 Intercity service because ToCs had pricing freedom the way Avanti and LNR do today.
 

dk1

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Presumably a combination of Corby/Kettering being priced to represent an "Intercity" quality service, and (in Ipswich's case) the legacy of historic fares competition between Anglia Railways and First Great Eastern.
It precedes the privatised era. Anything South of Manningtree & the Harwich branch was Network Southeast whereas Ipswich was Intercity. At Colchester NSE Gold Cards where not accepted on Intercity departures for Liverpool St.
 

Merle Haggard

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A few 390s a day used to stop at Northampton, if you look at old timetables posted on DPSimulation, now it’s one Voyager in the early morning and one in the late evening.
The late evening one is an Up Birmingham (00.05s) and is very often replaced by a bus Rugby-Northampton.
The only other one I recall was a Down Manchester late morning - so not much use for a day trip. I tried to catch it twice. The first time, attempting to board coach J (nearest the footbridge) I was helpfully directed to the front of the train (no-one from Northampton can possibly have a first class ticket, obviously) and on the second occasion, the signaller forgot it went via Northampton and the driver didn't query the route. 'Helpfully', passengers were directed to the next all-stations Birmingham for reasons I couldn't follow.
Generally, not impressive service for one of the biggest towns in England.
 

A0wen

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Normally I'd agree but Northampton on a Class 390 Avanti 'intercity' service is much cheaper which completely debunks that idea, Ipswich maybe but to me it's pure profiteering

It's funny if you split Ipswich to Chelmsford and Chelmsford to Liverpool Street it's £56 anytime rtn
It's a legacy dating back to BR days.

You need to also look at the situation in the early 80s to unpick it all.

Basically on the MML the electrification ended at Bedford - prior to that there had been a mix of 'Inter City' and some DMU services to Wellingborough & Kettering. I believe BR did contemplate electrifying to Kettering (remember Corby didn't have a passenger service in those days) but it couldn't justify the cost, so Bedford it was. That meant Wellingborough and Kettering had to have a service - I guess the options were a DMU shuttle between Kettering and Bedford or what they did, which was the Inter City stops. As a result Wellingborough & Kettering fell under the Inter City ticket pricing.

Ipswich was similar in that originally the electrification ended at Colchester (and then headed off to Clacton, not along the mainline). So the main services to the south again were the Inter City ones from Norwich - so I guess the same fare structure.

I think 2+2 360s will actually offer quite a nice passenger environment for the Wellingborough and Kettering services, certainly comparable to the Meridians and HSTs they currently have. If they'd ended up as an extension of Thameslink services with the 700s (which are very much 'suburban' in their internal layout, then the fare levels would be a problem - but that's not what's being offered and from a service perspective those stations are retaining a regular limited stop service into St P.
 

CyrusWuff

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I think it's partly down to the (former) Network SouthEast/InterCity boundary being so much closer to London on the MML than it is on most other routes:
  • St Pancras - Bedford : 49¾ miles
  • Paddington - Didcot Parkway : 53¾ miles
  • Kings Cross - Huntingdon : 58¾ miles
  • Liverpool Street - Manningtree : 59½ miles
  • Euston - Northampton : 65¾ miles
  • Marylebone - Banbury : 68¾ miles

Looking at fares from NFM64 (1996) gives an interesting comparison. There are no Standard Open Returns for most of the former Network SouthEast flows, so I've added the cost of two Standard Day Singles together to get the equivalent price in such cases. Figures in brackets are the equivalent in today's prices when adjusted for inflation:
  • Northampton : £35.00 (£67.31)
  • Rugby : £42.50 (£81.73)
  • Bedford : £27.40 (£52.69)
  • Wellingborough : £31.00 (£59.61)
  • Kettering : £33.00 (£63.46)
  • Didcot Parkway : £29.60 (£56.92)
  • Swindon : £42.00 (£80.77)
  • Banbury : £27.00 (£51.92)
  • Leamington Spa (IC) : £47.50 (£91.34)
  • Leamington Spa (NSE) : £29.00 (£55.77)
  • Huntingdon : £32.00 (£61.54)
  • Peterborough : £40.00 (£76.92)
  • Manningtree : £29.20 (£56.15)
  • Ipswich : £35.00 (£67.31)
 

JonathanH

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Rugby : £42.50 (£81.73)
Swindon : £42.00 (£80.77)
Wellingborough : £31.00 (£59.61)
Kettering : £33.00 (£63.46)
It is worth noting that the fares from Rugby and Swindon are another level removed even from the Wellingborough and Kettering ones.

There is some kind of positive relationship between speed of journey and price together with the obvious relationship to distance with these fares.
 
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Starmill

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The price of a ticket from Corby to London at the weekend is instructive for what the Off Peak price would be if it had been in the NSE area.

A day trip from Kettering to London leaving on the 1001 for shopping and sightseeing and coming back on the 1847 costs £30.90 on a Saturday, and £79 Monday to Friday. For reference, the same times of day Monday to Friday cost £34 return from Northampton, and the ticket from Northampton has no afternoon time restriction while the ticket from Kettering at twice the price does.

My understanding is that they had to cut the prices at the weekend because too many people were buying Bedford to London tickets, which are a genuine bargain at the weekend at £16.10 return.
 
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yorkie

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While I appreciate you can't get rid of every BR legacy I would have thought that BR pricing legacies would have been easy to eliminate - apparently not it seems!
The problem is, no-one wants to reduce prices.

The DfT don't want to fund additional capacity while reducing revenue and TOCs don't want to take the hit.

Therefore, the overpriced fares continue to be overpriced, and in many cases become even more overpriced over time.

The exceptions to this tend to be on high capacity services, such as those operated by GTR, who may reduce prices at certain times, notably weekends. So the fact that Wellingborough is operated by short trains and priced by a company who wishes to price people off trains immediately puts it at a disadvantage to (say) Huntingdon, which is served by longer trains and priced by a company who wishes to encourage weekend and off peak travel.

The new electric service to Corby will provide more capacity so does give the opportunity to redress the balance somewhat, but I doubt it will go as far as it would need to eliminate any imbalances.
 

A0wen

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I think it's partly down to the (former) Network SouthEast/InterCity boundary being so much closer to London on the MML than it is on most other routes:
  • St Pancras - Bedford : 49¾ miles
  • Paddington - Didcot Parkway : 53¾ miles
  • Kings Cross - Huntingdon : 58¾ miles
  • Liverpool Street - Manningtree : 59½ miles
  • Euston - Northampton : 65¾ miles
  • Marylebone - Banbury : 68¾ miles

Looking at fares from NFM64 (1996) gives an interesting comparison. There are no Standard Open Returns for most of the former Network SouthEast flows, so I've added the cost of two Standard Day Singles together to get the equivalent price in such cases. Figures in brackets are the equivalent in today's prices when adjusted for inflation:
  • Northampton : £35.00 (£67.31)
  • Rugby : £42.50 (£81.73)
  • Bedford : £27.40 (£52.69)
  • Wellingborough : £31.00 (£59.61)
  • Kettering : £33.00 (£63.46)
  • Didcot Parkway : £29.60 (£56.92)
  • Swindon : £42.00 (£80.77)
  • Banbury : £27.00 (£51.92)
  • Leamington Spa (IC) : £47.50 (£91.34)
  • Leamington Spa (NSE) : £29.00 (£55.77)
  • Huntingdon : £32.00 (£61.54)
  • Peterborough : £40.00 (£76.92)
  • Manningtree : £29.20 (£56.15)
  • Ipswich : £35.00 (£67.31)
But those boundaries were drawn because that's where the 'London & South East' division's services ran to - and on the MML you're back to the point I made which was when the decision was made to electrify it only ran as far as Bedford and all services north of it were handed over to Inter City as they were the sole provider of services north of Bedford to Leicester. Had a service to Corby been in existence throughout that time, I suspect there would have been a DMU shuttling back and forth and Wellingborough, Kettering and Corby would have ended up as part of NSE as stations between Hitchin & Huntingdon or Royston and Cambridge did.
 

SargeNpton

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Even prior to electrification, commuter services out of St Pancras only went as far as Bedford - that being the extent of the coverage of London Midland's Euston divisional manager and also the extent of the London & South East fares area. So many BR legacy issues still exist as a consequence of the way that the industry was privatised.
 

Thomas31

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The problem is, no-one wants to reduce prices.

The DfT don't want to fund additional capacity while reducing revenue and TOCs don't want to take the hit.

Therefore, the overpriced fares continue to be overpriced, and in many cases become even more overpriced over time.

The exceptions to this tend to be on high capacity services, such as those operated by GTR, who may reduce prices at certain times, notably weekends. So the fact that Wellingborough is operated by short trains and priced by a company who wishes to price people off trains immediately puts it at a disadvantage to (say) Huntingdon, which is served by longer trains and priced by a company who wishes to encourage weekend and off peak travel.

The new electric service to Corby will provide more capacity so does give the opportunity to redress the balance somewhat, but I doubt it will go as far as it would need to eliminate any imbalances.
I wonder if due to current affairs fares will start to come down due to lack of custom, I’m not holding my breath...
 

ForTheLoveOf

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Looking at fares from NFM64 (1996) gives an interesting comparison. There are no Standard Open Returns for most of the former Network SouthEast flows, so I've added the cost of two Standard Day Singles together to get the equivalent price in such cases. Figures in brackets are the equivalent in today's prices when adjusted for inflation:
  • Northampton : £35.00 (£67.31) £65.00 - 3.4% drop
  • Rugby : £42.50 (£81.73) £146.00 - 78.6%
  • Bedford : £27.40 (£52.69) £56.20 - 6.7%
  • Wellingborough : £31.00 (£59.61) £103.00 - 72.8%
  • Kettering : £33.00 (£63.46) £109.00 - 71.8%
  • Didcot Parkway : £29.60 (£56.92) £69.40 - 21.9%
  • Swindon : £42.00 (£80.77) £142.00 - 75.8%
  • Banbury : £27.00 (£51.92) £84.70 - 63.1%
  • Leamington Spa (IC) : £47.50 (£91.34) £166.00 - 81.7%
  • Leamington Spa (NSE) : £29.00 (£55.77) £116.00 - 108.0%
  • Huntingdon : £32.00 (£61.54) £56.80 - 7.7% drop
  • Peterborough : £40.00 (£76.92) £118.20 - 53.7%
  • Manningtree : £29.20 (£56.15) £71.20 - 26.8%
  • Ipswich : £35.00 (£67.31) £84.20 - 25.1%
Indeed. I've added the current equivalent prices, along with the real-terms increases they represent, in bold.

The question of fare disparities isn't just one of historical background and former sector, as the above demonstrates, though the sector in question clearly has a large impact. [Especially so if making a peak-time day trip to London, where cheaper SDRs are available for nearly all of the former NSE flows above.]

In terms of stations where the tickets have improved in value the most, I'd say Bedford, Huntingdon and Northampton have to be pretty high up the list. All now see very respectable service frequencies, both peak and off-peak, with limited-stop services to London.

That said, journey times themselves haven't reduced much, so it's mostly a question of the Generalised Journey Time reducing - i.e. total door-to-door time incorporating the average wait for the next service. Bedford probably clinches it with the Thameslink service that's now on offer, though Huntingdon is a close second.

Rugby, Leamington Spa (IC) and Wellingborough/Kettering have probably done the worst here. The first because it still has just one IC service per hour, so even the WCML revamp hasn't reduced the GJT much: in reality you'd just go for the LNR service, which is much more competitively priced. The second because there's only one non-overtaken itinerary per hour and it involves a tight connection (vs the 2tph direct service via High Wycombe). Obviously it's difficult to price that lower than Coventry without causing an anomaly.

Banbury and Leamington Spa (NSE) have seen revoluntary service improvements, with GJT reducing massively, but peak-time prices have also skyrocketed (I'm surprised at how Chiltern were allowed to raise the price of the BAN SDR, now SOR, so much more than inflation?). So it's hard to say that the current peak prices represent good or bad value for money. LMS (NSE) is overpriced vs splitting at BAN, where all but one service calls, but most of the peak-time customers probably wouldn't consider that option.

Coming back onto the thread topic, WEL/KET get a pretty poor deal (in the current timetable) with journey times much the same as the last 40 years, and both trains per hour bunched up within 10 minutes of another. I suspect that the reason prices rose so massively despite a mediocre service is a mixture of "because they could get away with it", and the ever-increasing traffic from Leicester and northwards having to be served on pint-sized 4 and 5 car Meridians.
I remain to be convinced that replacing their IC services with electric commuter EMUs is going to work unless the fares are commensurately dropped, but we'll see.
 

Starmill

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It's always seemed to me that the plan for EMR Corby services had much more to do with Bedford and Luton to London passengers than Wellingborough or Kettering ones. I don't think EMR and DfT were overly bothered if they were very very lightly loaded proportionally between Bedford and Corby, provided that they restored the link at peak times (the loss of was politically very embarrassing for them) and took the load off the Thameslink fast services to allow them to be withdrawn. Post Covid-19 there's more opportunity for a revolutionary approach, but I'm not holding my breath.

For Lemington Spa, my guess would be that what is today the route Banbury SOR was never captured by Regulation. One very small thing, Huntingdon doesn't have fast trains off peak, as Bedford and Northampton do, which gives rise to the oddity that Peterborough to London has shorter journey times than Huntingdon.
 

Merle Haggard

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The problem is, no-one wants to reduce prices.

The DfT don't want to fund additional capacity while reducing revenue and TOCs don't want to take the hit.

Therefore, the overpriced fares continue to be overpriced, and in many cases become even more overpriced over time.

The exceptions to this tend to be on high capacity services, such as those operated by GTR, who may reduce prices at certain times, notably weekends. So the fact that Wellingborough is operated by short trains and priced by a company who wishes to price people off trains immediately puts it at a disadvantage to (say) Huntingdon, which is served by longer trains and priced by a company who wishes to encourage weekend and off peak travel.

The new electric service to Corby will provide more capacity so does give the opportunity to redress the balance somewhat, but I doubt it will go as far as it would need to eliminate any imbalances.
I accept what you say about the DfT, but...

The replacement of 4 or 5 car Meridians with 8 car 360s will increase the standard seating accommodation on each service by 2.5 or 3 times, and there will be twice the frequency which takes the factor to 5 or 6, and there'll be times when there will be 12 car services - up to 8 times the present capacity.

But. occasionally travelling to Corby I've seen no signs of overcrowding on the present service - far from it.

So, for the prospective passenger from Corby, the benefit will be a doubling of frequency and this factor alone will massively increase passenger numbers? But the slower journey times have no effect? The reason few travel now is because there's only one train an hour, not because the fares are high? I am genuinely puzzled why.

To comment on another post, if the aim is to gain the London - Luton Airport/Luton/Bedford business there's two obvious questions - why was all the investment North of Bedford - including reinstatement of the 4th track /2nd track north and electrification of the slow lines North of Bedford - but none to the South; the electric line speed South of Bedford remains below that of EMR trains that will use it? And wasn't Thameslink built to avoid the need to travel via St Pancras - will passengers really desert Thameslink?







.
 

Starmill

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To comment on another post, if the aim is to gain the London - Luton Airport/Luton/Bedford business there's two obvious questions - why was all the investment North of Bedford - including reinstatement of the 4th track /2nd track north and electrification of the slow lines North of Bedford
Because this upgrade work needed to be done before electrification, and it was originally part of a major scheme to electrify London to Sheffield. Unless services were to be split at Bedford, electrification to Corby was required to allow 8 and 12 car EMUs to run.
And wasn't Thameslink built to avoid the need to travel via St Pancras - will passengers really desert Thameslink?
I don't think this makes sense. And nobody claimed Thameslink would be deserted, only that the plan had been to reverse the Bedford / Luton <> London peak flow switch from Thameslink to EMR that took place in 2018.
 

ForTheLoveOf

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For Lemington Spa, my guess would be that what is today the route Banbury SOR was never captured by Regulation.
I don't doubt that - probably only the current OPR or SVR is regulated. I was more surprised at the massive hike to the BAN SOR (former SDR), which would surely have been a regulated fare from the time of privatisation.
 

Starmill

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Perhaps they'd managed go abolish it, then giving them free rein to introduce an SOR at about twice the price of the SDS. Good question though
 

Merle Haggard

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Because this upgrade work needed to be done before electrification, and it was originally part of a major scheme to electrify London to Sheffield. Unless services were to be split at Bedford, electrification to Corby was required to allow 8 and 12 car EMUs to run.
I don't think this makes sense. And nobody claimed Thameslink would be deserted, only that the plan had been to reverse the Bedford / Luton <> London peak flow switch from Thameslink to EMR that took place in 2018.
I take your point about the upgrading being part of the Sheffield electrification - further discussion abut the logic for speed limited but electrified slow lines is really for another thread!

When I wrote 'passengers deserting Thameslink' perhaps I should have written (less briefly) 'passengers transferring to EMR from Thameslink' - I didn't say Thameslink would be deserted! With EMR providing an additional 1500 seats per hour in the peak (12 car 360s), could this realistically be all new business, or will it abstract from Thameslink? And I don't follow on how it reverses a switch from Thameslink to EMR - but perhaps it was a typo and you meant the other way?
 

tbtc

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There's some good reasons given above regarding the legacy of BR's fare structure, and obviously there's an element of things being difficult to "unpick" (a point which is often ignored when people suggest ripping up timetables to create some utopian solution), there's also the opportunity cost for every seat out of London.

If you have a north bound 700 heading along the MML then a Bedford passenger is paying the biggest price, so is potentially more important than a St Albans/ Luton passenger (on the assumption that there's going to be relatively smaller demand for non-London journeys like Luton to Bedford).

A passenger on a Northampton bound 350 out of Euston is paying more than most of the people on board (given the churn there, and the fact that people paying for the slow train to the West Midlands are doing so cheaply).

However, a passenger from St Pancras to Kettering is taking a seat that a Leicester/ Nottingham/ Sheffield passenger might otherwise use (and there's not going to be many passengers boarding at Kettering for Leicester/ Nottingham/ Sheffield in comparison).

So I could see why it it may be tempting from a revenue perspective to price Kettering higher (than Northampton etc), if you are looking at optimising £££ per seat.
 

Merle Haggard

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There's some good reasons given above regarding the legacy of BR's fare structure, and obviously there's an element of things being difficult to "unpick" (a point which is often ignored when people suggest ripping up timetables to create some utopian solution), there's also the opportunity cost for every seat out of London.

If you have a north bound 700 heading along the MML then a Bedford passenger is paying the biggest price, so is potentially more important than a St Albans/ Luton passenger (on the assumption that there's going to be relatively smaller demand for non-London journeys like Luton to Bedford).

A passenger on a Northampton bound 350 out of Euston is paying more than most of the people on board (given the churn there, and the fact that people paying for the slow train to the West Midlands are doing so cheaply).

However, a passenger from St Pancras to Kettering is taking a seat that a Leicester/ Nottingham/ Sheffield passenger might otherwise use (and there's not going to be many passengers boarding at Kettering for Leicester/ Nottingham/ Sheffield in comparison).

So I could see why it it may be tempting from a revenue perspective to price Kettering higher (than Northampton etc), if you are looking at optimising £££ per seat.

I looked for the cheapest fare, 14 days from now, off peak (around 11.00) with the following results:-

Luton Airport Parkway £15.50
Bedford £11.30
Wellingborough £20.50
Kettering £23.50
Leicester £27.00
Nottingham £27.50
Derby £52.00

Leaving aside the curious Derby fare and also Bedford (matching Thameslink) it does seem to take the logic that the cost is that of providing a seat from Notingham or Sheffield, as you suggest, with only a slight reflection of distance.
But when the trains start at Corby instead, the same logic should result in a lower fare from Kettering/Wellingborough than at present - you're occupying a seat that was only vacant from Corby. and a Corby train can make two trips (up and down) in the same time as a one way trip from further North.
Northampton is an interesting comparison as trains serving there generally continue onwards - Rugeley via Birmigham, Crewe and Liverpool and, in a similar fashion to EMR, the Northampton fares to London aren't much cheaper than fares from stations twice the distance.

By the way, does anyone know what happened to market pricing?
 

Camden

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I think it's partly down to the (former) Network SouthEast/InterCity boundary being so much closer to London on the MML than it is on most other routes:
  • St Pancras - Bedford : 49¾ miles
  • Paddington - Didcot Parkway : 53¾ miles
  • Kings Cross - Huntingdon : 58¾ miles
  • Liverpool Street - Manningtree : 59½ miles
  • Euston - Northampton : 65¾ miles
  • Marylebone - Banbury : 68¾ miles

Looking at fares from NFM64 (1996) gives an interesting comparison. There are no Standard Open Returns for most of the former Network SouthEast flows, so I've added the cost of two Standard Day Singles together to get the equivalent price in such cases. Figures in brackets are the equivalent in today's prices when adjusted for inflation:
  • Northampton : £35.00 (£67.31)
  • Rugby : £42.50 (£81.73)
  • Bedford : £27.40 (£52.69)
  • Wellingborough : £31.00 (£59.61)
  • Kettering : £33.00 (£63.46)
  • Didcot Parkway : £29.60 (£56.92)
  • Swindon : £42.00 (£80.77)
  • Banbury : £27.00 (£51.92)
  • Leamington Spa (IC) : £47.50 (£91.34)
  • Leamington Spa (NSE) : £29.00 (£55.77)
  • Huntingdon : £32.00 (£61.54)
  • Peterborough : £40.00 (£76.92)
  • Manningtree : £29.20 (£56.15)
  • Ipswich : £35.00 (£67.31)
That's interesting. I take it the above represent peak fares?

I had an aunt in Kettering who I was close to and used to visit frequently in the days before privatisation. The fare cost at that time was trivial (as was the cost of day return to Leicester which we would often get together for a day out, well under £10 return).

Once it became clear the government intended to privatise the fares seemed to shoot up. Presumably this was to make the route attractive for a potential bidder. Since then, a combination of cumulative inflation and certain operators who haven't been shy of imposing the most they can get away with have left us with this.

From privatisation, my bi-weekly visits became monthly within a few years, down to bi-annually after 10 for certain. A big loss was the walk up and go aspect of travel, as well as reasonable fares.

It was a poor show as well. It used to take under an hour to get to Kettering. I also remember when the then operator decided to "improve" the service by using turbostars... Plus, in typical fashion, once Midland Mainline was running things halfway acceptably, they were dumped, and things went downhill again.

If price is supposed to represent quality of service, it's a rip.
 

Starmill

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I take your point about the upgrading being part of the Sheffield electrification - further discussion abut the logic for speed limited but electrified slow lines is really for another thread!

When I wrote 'passengers deserting Thameslink' perhaps I should have written (less briefly) 'passengers transferring to EMR from Thameslink' - I didn't say Thameslink would be deserted! With EMR providing an additional 1500 seats per hour in the peak (12 car 360s), could this realistically be all new business, or will it abstract from Thameslink? And I don't follow on how it reverses a switch from Thameslink to EMR - but perhaps it was a typo and you meant the other way?
A rather large proportion of the pre-2018 peak load between Bedford and London was with EMR, but it was all moved by the May 2018 timetable onto services terminating at Bedford, a small number of which additional fast services were added. The upcoming change just moves back a similar proportion of those people onto the Corby services and permits the faster trains which terminate at Bedford to be abolished. This restores the 'missing' Bedford - Wellingborough journeys, and makes a more efficient use of capacity between London and Bedford. Clearly Coronavirus has interrupted this. Almost no new demand would have been created anyway, except in line with baseline population and employment growth, because the service isn't quicker or cheaper because of the 360s, just somewhat less uncomfortable to be onboard at peak times.
 

Ianno87

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3 May 2015
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7,780
That's interesting. I take it the above represent peak fares?

I had an aunt in Kettering who I was close to and used to visit frequently in the days before privatisation. The fare cost at that time was trivial (as was the cost of day return to Leicester which we would often get together for a day out, well under £10 return).

Once it became clear the government intended to privatise the fares seemed to shoot up. Presumably this was to make the route attractive for a potential bidder. Since then, a combination of cumulative inflation and certain operators who haven't been shy of imposing the most they can get away with have left us with this.

From privatisation, my bi-weekly visits became monthly within a few years, down to bi-annually after 10 for certain. A big loss was the walk up and go aspect of travel, as well as reasonable fares.

It was a poor show as well. It used to take under an hour to get to Kettering. I also remember when the then operator decided to "improve" the service by using turbostars... Plus, in typical fashion, once Midland Mainline was running things halfway acceptably, they were dumped, and things went downhill again.

If price is supposed to represent quality of service, it's a rip.
Pre-pivatisaition, the MML had about 3 long distance trains every 2 hours most of the day.

The first Midland Main Line TOC made this 4 trains per hour. Now 5 and soon to be 6.

But sure, it's a "rip" and you get nothing for your money.
 

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