"Feasibility" of a Route - ahead of timetable

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Allwinter_Kit

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Hello all,

Myself and the good Lady Allwinter are hoping to travel to St Ives in Cornwall in September. We're not too precious about dates right now, but we are interested to see whether the train journey is even vaguely feasible / affordable or if we should just drive.

A couple of issues with this:

A) we're well ahead of the cheap ticket window
B) I believe that trains are still running at reduced frequency which might make the current timetable not useful as a reference for the future.

We'd be departing from Steeton and Silsden in Yorkshire, travelling with our two together railcard - and would aim to be arriving to arrive and see friends in the evening, if not actually have dinner.

So, bearing all that in mind, I tried looking at some dates a way off and got a few errors or no tickets available yet (I presume due to the changing timetable)?

I thus stuck in dates for June and got an answer, but an absurdly expensive one (see attached image or my tweet here: https://twitter.com/KitAllwinter/status/1389570201235202051?s=19 )

Now this is obviously well ahead of any split ticketing shenanigans and all of that, but it made me realise two things:

1) if anyone knows how cheap this journey could reasonably be for 2 people (either standard or first) then that would be great

2) it shouldn't be this difficult to ascertain whether or not a trip is even vaguely affordable.

Anyway. I felt rather disheartened and gave the whole job up as a bad lot. But now I'm back and seeking the counsel of far wiser heads than I.

Any advice as to how I can go about getting a reasonable guess of what this journey "should" cost if I split ticket/book in advance/have a full timetable in operation? Or, ideally, the answer to that question?

Many thanks!
 

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alistairlees

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Hello all,

Myself and the good Lady Allwinter are hoping to travel to St Ives in Cornwall in September. We're not too precious about dates right now, but we are interested to see whether the train journey is even vaguely feasible / affordable or if we should just drive.

A couple of issues with this:

A) we're well ahead of the cheap ticket window
B) I believe that trains are still running at reduced frequency which might make the current timetable not useful as a reference for the future.

We'd be departing from Steeton and Silsden in Yorkshire, travelling with our two together railcard - and would aim to be arriving to arrive and see friends in the evening, if not actually have dinner.

So, bearing all that in mind, I tried looking at some dates a way off and got a few errors or no tickets available yet (I presume due to the changing timetable)?

I thus stuck in dates for June and got an answer, but an absurdly expensive one (see attached image or my tweet here: https://twitter.com/KitAllwinter/status/1389570201235202051?s=19 )

Now this is obviously well ahead of any split ticketing shenanigans and all of that, but it made me realise two things:

1) if anyone knows how cheap this journey could reasonably be for 2 people (either standard or first) then that would be great

2) it shouldn't be this difficult to ascertain whether or not a trip is even vaguely affordable.

Anyway. I felt rather disheartened and gave the whole job up as a bad lot. But now I'm back and seeking the counsel of far wiser heads than I.

Any advice as to how I can go about getting a reasonable guess of what this journey "should" cost if I split ticket/book in advance/have a full timetable in operation? Or, ideally, the answer to that question?

Many thanks!
A very good bet is likely going to be Advance tickets to / from Kings Cross (or Zone 1, to get you to Paddington), and Advance tickets from Paddington to St Ives. Plus contactless in London if your Advance tickets are only to Kings Cross.

You should be able to get Advance tickets for around £30 each between S&S and London (so £120 for the return), but it will depend very much on the time and day.

From Padd to St Ives Advance tickets are more likely to be around £40 each, so the Super Off-Peak Return for £82 each might be better (but it depends when you are travelling).

In any case, about £280 to £300 doing that. Still not cheap, and there are probably cheaper options. But it's a start.

All prices are assuming you are using your 2TR railcard.

You will need to wait until a bit nearer the time to book everything. However, LNER are doing bookings up to six months ahead, but only for their own routes, so you could (for example) book Leeds to London Kings Cross now.

For Friday 3rd September on the 08.15 Leeds to Kings Cross LNER are offering £58 (£29 each) for the two of you with your 2TR Railcard. So it turned out to be a good guess. This appears to be as far forward as they go at the moment.
 

paul1609

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Eastern fly direct from Leeds/ Bradford to Newquay three times a week and are priced at around 160 to 180 gbp pp return.
Taxi to Thurso Station (its about 20 miles then train from there).
Loganair fly daily from Manchester, Easyjet three times a week.
 

akm

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Any advice as to how I can go about getting a reasonable guess of what this journey "should" cost if I split ticket/book in advance/have a full timetable in operation? Or, ideally, the answer to that question?

This doesn't even start to be an answer to all that, but I note that there do exist fares in the database as low as 34.30pp one way, with that railcard. Whether it is now or will ever be possible to actually obtain those fares for the time you want to travel, I can't say.
 

30907

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Eastern fly direct from Leeds/ Bradford to Newquay three times a week and are priced at around 160 to 180 gbp pp return.
Taxi to Thurso Station (its about 20 miles then train from there).
Loganair fly daily from Manchester, Easyjet three times a week.
Thurso is an interesting detour - Truro presumably :)
I cant' find FGW fares beyond 5 June, but as alastairlees has already said, the SuperOffPeak Return looks a better bet - though First Advances are competitive too.
SON-KGX is available mid morning at £19.
For comparison, the (Super)OP all the way is £161.20 each via London, £153.30 each via Birmingham, so the maximum you should look to pay is £322 - 2Tog is only valid after 0930 of course, so the 0819 ex SON is out.
 

Allwinter_Kit

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12 Jul 2017
Messages
138
Brilliant thanks all. I suspect what we might do to enable the journey to happen earlier would be to buy it from Leeds and then just pay the SON - LDS bit on the day.

£34.30 per person each way sounds incredible (in every sense of the word).

It may be we go via London one way (as it seems cheaper) and then via XC the other. Not because we're masochists (9 hours of Voyager fun!) but because we also have friends in Cheltenham so it might be we break the journey. But at around £300 that's kind of what I had been expecting - although I'd been hoping to maybe get a little bit of 1st Class in there too for that price!

Thanks again.
 

30907

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Brilliant thanks all. I suspect what we might do to enable the journey to happen earlier would be to buy it from Leeds and then just pay the SON - LDS bit on the day.

£34.30 per person each way sounds incredible (in every sense of the word).

It may be we go via London one way (as it seems cheaper) and then via XC the other. Not because we're masochists (9 hours of Voyager fun!) but because we also have friends in Cheltenham so it might be we break the journey. But at around £300 that's kind of what I had been expecting - although I'd been hoping to maybe get a little bit of 1st Class in there too for that price!

Thanks again.
There are HSTs via Cheltenham at certain times :)
If you want to use both routes, but don't want Advances, then a competent booking office can issue a change-of-route excess so you can use an Offpeak Return out one way, back the other (overnight BOJ being easier to manage on the return). With Advances, you would have to split at Cheltenham anyway - might even save money!
 

ChrisC

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There are HSTs via Cheltenham at certain times :)
If you want to use both routes, but don't want Advances, then a competent booking office can issue a change-of-route excess so you can use an Offpeak Return out one way, back the other (overnight BOJ being easier to manage on the return). With Advances, you would have to split at Cheltenham anyway - might even save money!
I’ve got a week booked in Penzance in October. I will be travelling down from Nottingham and it certainly seems that I will be able save quite a bit by splitting at Cheltenham, Bristol and Tiverton Parkway. From the May timetable change there appears to be a daily XC HST running right through to Penzance. It arrives in Penzance a bit late in the evening and so I will probably travel down as far as Plymouth on the mid morning HST from Derby and change there. The return train very conveniently leaves Penzance just before 0930 so a very good time. Splitting tickets enables use of that train as through tickets are not valid before 0930. I’m actually going to use an 8 Days in 15 Devon and Cornwall Rover from Tiverton Parkway onwards as that will also give me train travel in Cornwall during my stay. With my railcard it works out at about £125 including the rail rover.
 

paul1609

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I’ve got a week booked in Penzance in October. I will be travelling down from Nottingham and it certainly seems that I will be able save quite a bit by splitting at Cheltenham, Bristol and Tiverton Parkway. From the May timetable change there appears to be a daily XC HST running right through to Penzance. It arrives in Penzance a bit late in the evening and so I will probably travel down as far as Plymouth on the mid morning HST from Derby and change there. The return train very conveniently leaves Penzance just before 0930 so a very good time. Splitting tickets enables use of that train as through tickets are not valid before 0930. I’m actually going to use an 8 Days in 15 Devon and Cornwall Rover from Tiverton Parkway onwards as that will also give me train travel in Cornwall during my stay. With my railcard it works out at about £125 including the rail rover.
As your staying in Penzance Id cost that out carefully a Cornwall Rover covers everything up to Plymouth including all the branches and Gunislake for £8.90 a day with a railcard. Plymouth is 80 miles 2 hrs plus east from Penzance. Theres ride Cornwall Rail bus tickets too.
 

ChrisC

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As your staying in Penzance Id cost that out carefully a Cornwall Rover covers everything up to Plymouth including all the branches and Gunislake for £8.90 a day with a railcard. Plymouth is 80 miles 2 hrs plus east from Penzance. Theres ride Cornwall Rail bus tickets too.
Thanks for that. They are both options that I have considered whilst doing lots of research.

With a railcard and split tickets from Nottingham, including the Devon and Cornwall Rover from Tiverton, works out at about £125. This will also give me 6 days rail travel whilst there.

A through ticket from Nottingham to Penzance is £119 but doesn’t allow travel back before 0930 so rules out the through train from Penzance to Derby at 0925.

With split tickets the whole journey I can get it down to about £98 and can also travel back on the 0925 train.

Therefore with a combination including the rover I get 6 days of rail travel whilst there for about £27.

The only problem I’m finding is the price of bus travel in Cornwall for when I want to visit places not accessible by rail. The increase in price of the Ride Cornwall and no railcard reduction has made that ticket very expensive. Even getting 7 day bus tickets could work out cheaper. To be quite honest I’m not desperate to save just a few pounds it’s the flexibility and convenience that I’m after.
 
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