Ffestiniog Round Robin

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by IanD, 17 Nov 2011.

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  1. IanD

    IanD Established Member

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    Hello

    I'm planning on doing a Ffestiniog Round Robin trip next year and I'm not sure about where I can travel with the ticket. Is doubling back allowed?

    I'm planning on travelling from Milton Keynes to Crewe/Warrington early doors Wednesday (06:20) and then on to Llandudno for the Blaenau train as I have previously found that the best seats have already been taken by the time the Conwy Valley service get to the Junction.

    Also, when I get to Porthmadog can I make a return trip to Pwllheli? When I get to Machynlleth can I make a return trip to Aberystwyth?

    The info on ATW website says "Ffestiniog Round Robin Ticket (ATW Services) are valid on these routes on the Arriva Trains Wales Network" and shows all of the above plus Holyhead! (I would link but the ATW website does not seem to want to load at the moment).

    But the National Rail website shows a different map where Pwllhelli and Aberystwyth are extensions and Llandudno does not appear at all!

    http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/manag...8accb393ae920/areaMap/Ffestiniog Circular.jpg

    Cheers!
     
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  3. Rover

    Rover Member

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    No.

    No.

    No.

    It is a circular ticket for travel in one direction only which can be accessed from Aberystwyth, Pwllheli and Holyhead and back at no extra charge but they don't form part of the circular route.

    http://railrover.org/pages/ffestiniog-round-robin.html
     
  4. IanD

    IanD Established Member

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    That's what I thought and that's what the NR website implies but the ATW map and wording are not very clear.
     
  5. lyndhurst25

    lyndhurst25 Member

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    I'm not sure if the Ffestiniog Round Robin map is definitive. For example, NFM08 gives fares for this ticket from as far as:-

    Hightown/Maghull/Kirkby/Huyton/any station between Liverpool & Warrington,

    Walkden/Clifton/Guide Bridge/Reddish North.


    I haven't investigated the West Midlands.


    What does the secret book that we aren't supposed to see have to say about that?
     
  6. 507 001

    507 001 Established Member

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    When I did it last year it didn't cover Huyton, I had to get a normal return from here to chester.

    I seriously doubt that you would have time to fit in an aberystwyth return or a pwllhelli, especially if your dealing with connections between the cambrian and the FR.
     
  7. IanD

    IanD Established Member

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    I did it in August on advance tickets from [stn]MKC[/stn] - Llandudno and Machnylleth-[stn]MKC[/stn] and a Cambrian Day Rangerr. According to the National Rail website I was supposed to be able to get a 'special' Ffestiniog add-on ticket from Llandudno which would have given half price travel on the FR but no-one knew how to find it so I ended up having to pay the full fare which was a bit annoying as I would have bought the Llandudno-[stn]BFF[/stn] portion from redspottedhanky using my Tesco vouchers. Anyway, I complained to both National Rail and ATW, who refunded the difference so I didn't lose out in the end although the Ffestiniog add on info has since been removed from the National rail website.

    This was the timetable:

    Arr Dep
    Milton Keynes Central 06:22
    Warrington Bank Quay 07:49 08:24
    Llandudno 10:06 10:22
    Blaenau Ffestiniog 11:36
    Blaenau Ffestiniog (FR) 11:50
    Porthmadog Harbour (FR) 13:00
    Porthmadog 14:53
    Pwllhelli 15:18 15:34
    Dovey Junction 17:49 17:54
    Machynlleth 18:03 18:48
    Aberystwyth 19:25 19:30
    Wolverhampton 22:09 22:45
    Milton Keynes Central 00:23

    Obviously there were problems on the Camrian line to mess the timings up but a good recovery saw us arrive at Wolverhampton at 22:21. Then we were delayed again and didn't get back to [stn]MKC[/stn] until 00:50.
     
  8. Smethwickian

    Smethwickian Member

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    Yet another bus/shipping/private settlement company add-on or through fare that's become impossible to find, and yet another ticket (the round robin itself) where different websites (NRES and TOC) give different amounts of information with differing wording in differing formats, just to confuse the average passenger completely.

    Oh, but I forget, according to some forum contributors the National Rail Enquiries website is supposed to be all-singing, all-dancing, all-perfect and we aren't supposed to ask after 'secrets' that used to be in the Rail-Links Manual...

    So everything is always crystal clear, unambiguous and nobody ever needs to pose questions like the OP's and this thread is obviously a figment of our imagination.
     
  9. button_boxer

    button_boxer Established Member

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    Not so much that as the fact that the NRE website itself claims to be "the definitive source of information for all passenger rail services on the National Rail network in England, Wales and Scotland", so in cases where it disagrees with other information (public or otherwise) the NRE website should have the final say.
     
  10. Smethwickian

    Smethwickian Member

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    So the vast majority of the bus-rail and other links which used to be available are no longer available, correct? Because NRE lists hardly any of the non-rail destinations which used to be in the Rail-Links manual (and those that do, even local PlusBus zones, are in an obscure 'special offers' listing that hardly inspires people to regard them as a long-term, integral part of the public transport network). So much for all the talk about encouraging integrated transport.......

    And returning to the OP's subject, presumably NRE is right and the Ffestiniog Railway is wrong (http://www.festrail.co.uk/gethere.htm?mn=6) when it suggests the through fares still exist? Anyone actually have a categorical answer?
     
  11. IanD

    IanD Established Member

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    Through fares still exist you just don't seem to get any discount (on a single at least) over buying two seperate tickets.
     
  12. lyndhurst25

    lyndhurst25 Member

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    Avantix Traveller NFM08 has the following destinations listed but is out of date -

    PORTHMADOG FR 2505 PMG (couldn't find any fares to this one)

    BLAENAU FFEST FR H07G

    FFEST ROUNDROBIN J293

    Apparently holders of the £23 all-zones North Wales Rover get half-price fares on the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland railways. (Didn't the FR used to be included free?) The FR isn't mentioned on the NR website but I found the information on the Arriva Trains Wales site. ATW's downloadable leaflet says for the Rover that "discounts are available to holders of railcards" but doesn't say which railcards or how much the discount is, for that information you have to go back to another Terms and Conditions page on ATW or to NR (34% for 16-25, senior and disabled cards only). The T&C page on ATW says "The North Wales Rover is valid on routes shown on the North Wales Rover Map" but the map is 404 not found.

    Who said that the old NFM Links manuals aren't needed anymore?
     
    Last edited: 18 Nov 2011
  13. Andrew99

    Andrew99 Member

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    Hi,

    I'm a Ffestiniog Railway guard, so I can maybe add on the National Rail tickets that we regularly see and accept.

    Through tickets are available to MINFF/PTHMDG FR (H074) if coming via the Conwy Valley or BLAENAU FFEST FR (H075) if coming via the Cambrian. We see the former very reguarly - usually Day Returns from Llandudno or Betws-y-Coed.

    The Ffestiniog Round Robins are the only option that allows a round trip via the Conwy Valley and Cambrian Coast connections, and are only sold as day tickets. I see a couple of these a year, usually from Chester.

    The following rovers currently give a 50% discount on both the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland railways:
    • North Wales Day Rover (All Zone only)
    • Explore North and Mid Wales Flexi Rover
    • Explore Wales Flexipass

    The All Line Rover is currently accepted without additional charge.
     
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