Group stations & TOC-specific fares

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lyndhurst25

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A quick question:

Liverpool Stations to London Terminals, SOR Anytime Return, Route "London Midland only" £79. (as listed on brfares.com)

Is it valid on Merseyrail between James Street and Liverpool Lime Street Low Level?
 
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lyndhurst25

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Liverpool Stns is Lime Street, Central, James Street and Moorfields, so yes.

However, there was a recent debate as to whether the same ticket would be valid due to the via London Midland only:

http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=67696
Thanks. That's exactly the question I was asking myself. So does the right to travel within the Liverpool stations group indicated in the ticket trump the TOC-specificity of the ticket? The previous thread didn't seem to reach a definite conclusion.

If it is valid on Merseyrail then shouldn't the ticket say "London Midland + connections"? If it isn't then shouldn't it say "Liverpool Lime Street" rather than "Liverpool Stations"?
 

Solent&Wessex

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There are many such tickets in existence.

For example there is a "Manchester Stations" to "Liverpool Stations" FOR which is "Rte TPE Only"

If the ticket is restricted to travel on the trains of a specific TOC then that would mean you could not travel on any other TOC, which by default means that you could not, in the case of the OP, use it on Merseyrail.

NROC said:
10. Tickets valid only in trains of particular Train Companies
The validity of a ticket may:
a) be restricted to; or
b) prohibit
travel in the trains of a particular Train Company or Train Companies. Any such restriction or prohibition will be shown on the ticket.
Why on earth would a ticket marked "London Midland Only" be valid on Merseyrail?

The routeing on the ticket would take preference over the actual destination / origin station name shown on the ticket.
 

hairyhandedfool

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Thanks. That's exactly the question I was asking myself. So does the right to travel within the Liverpool stations group indicated in the ticket trump the TOC-specificity of the ticket? The previous thread didn't seem to reach a definite conclusion....
There is nothing trumping anything else, It is valid from any of the Liverpool Stations, provided that you only use London Midland services.

....If it is valid on Merseyrail then shouldn't the ticket say "London Midland + connections"? If it isn't then shouldn't it say "Liverpool Lime Street" rather than "Liverpool Stations"?
If it is to valid on Merseyrail there would have to be something on the ticket to denote that validity (NRCoC condition 10), however I would have thought it more likely to be something along the lines of 'LM + Mrail Only', but even that could indicate validity that is not wanted.

There seems little point in a new destination being used purely for a TOC restriction (which would have to be printed on the ticket anyway). Changing that one thing could make excess fares rules quite complex also.
 

calc7

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IMO it is not valid any further than Liverpool Lime Street.

As hairyhandedfool points out, "LM & MRAIL ONLY" would give validity on the services from Hunts Cross via Liverpool South Parkway.
 

lyndhurst25

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I think there is some trumping going on!:oops:
The TOC restriction is trumping the ability to use all but one of the stations in the Liverpool group because LM don't serve James Street,Central or Moorfields. I'd call that "trumping by stealth".:)

I suspected that this was the case. I'd say that this is a potential source for confusion amongst passengers and, as shown in the previous "Liverpool Stns" thread, railway staff.

Quoting Wikipedia on the reason BR introduced station groups-
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Station_group_(railway)

"In the ticketing system of the British rail network, tickets are normally issued to and from individual stations. In some instances, when there is more than one station in a town or other locality—especially where these are on different routes—it may be desirable for passengers to be able to travel to one station and back from another, or more generally to be able to choose which of the stations they wish to travel to. To accommodate this requirement, British Rail introduced a series of station groups: notional "common locations" to which tickets from stations outside that group would be issued."

Which was fine in the days of the joined-up railway without TOC-specific fares. But what we have now is a ticket that implies that it is valid from a group of stations by stating "Liverpool Stns" but then goes against this by specifying "LM only" meaning that in reality it can only be used at Lime Street.

For the sake of clarity and to prevent passengers from being done for not having a valid ticket on the Merseyrail loop, shouldn't these "LM only" tickets say "Liverpool Lime Street" rather than "Liverpool Stns"?

I know that it has been mentioned that this would complicate excess fares. Could someone explain how? Thanks.
 

calc7

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The fact that you are happy to tie yourself to (a) specific operator(s) for a lower price means you should expect your travel options in respect to group stations are also limited IMO - it follows logically.

IMO, it's no different to Crewe-Manchester Any Permitted being valid to start at Goostrey should you wish, but the Virgin Trns Only ticket would mean you have to start from Wilmslow (or, obviously, Crewe).
 

exile

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Presumably a ticket from A to B valid by for travel only by a TOC that doesn't actually serve one of the 2 stations is not valid at all.....
 
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Imo the TOCs should operate the services, paint their wagons in their colours if they have to! That's their business!
As far as the passenger is concerned the railway should be run as a seamless National Railway.
Eg This ticket is not valid on FCC? Taken for a ride?
 

Indigo2

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For the sake of clarity and to prevent passengers from being done for not having a valid ticket on the Merseyrail loop, shouldn't these "LM only" tickets say "Liverpool Lime Street" rather than "Liverpool Stns"?
I would agree with that. Some TOCs already do something similar, e.g. Grand Central Only tickets are issued between London Terminals and Wakefield Kirkgate specifically (rather than Wakefield Stations) - have a look here and look at the fares that don't have "To: WAKEFIELD STNS" printed to the left.

Seems a bit daft though that they haven't done the same and printed London Kings X specifically rather than London Terminals! It was noted in another thread recently that GC may be doing something similar with BRADFORD INTERCH instead of BRADFORD YK STNS, although this seems to be a more recent change and isn't showing up on BR Fares.
 

MikeWh

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Seems a bit daft though that they haven't done the same and printed London Kings X specifically rather than London Terminals!
That might be because there is a separate easement allowing use of LU between Kings Cross and Moorgate (but not intermediately) on any London terminals ticket.
 

Indigo2

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That might be because there is a separate easement allowing use of LU between Kings Cross and Moorgate (but not intermediately) on any London terminals ticket.
Hmm, but that won't be valid on a GRAND CTRL ONLY ticket, will it? (bringing us nicely back in a circle to the start of this thread :))
 

SS4

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Presumably a ticket from A to B valid by for travel only by a TOC that doesn't actually serve one of the 2 stations is not valid at all.....
There is a Coleshill Parkway - London Terminals ticket routed LM only despite the origin only being served by XC.
 

hairyhandedfool

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....I know that it has been mentioned that this would complicate excess fares. Could someone explain how? Thanks.
Certain excess fares have certain rules. If you were to change TOC specific fares to read as a specific station you start to have issues. In the case of Liverpool Lime Street, if a passenger were to travel at a time at which their ticket was not valid and the next cheapest fare was Rte any permitted, currently you could issue an excess fare provided the passenger still used the specific TOC.

However, a rule of this excess is that the original and destination remain the same, so if the destination was Liverpool Lime Street it could not be changed to Liverpool Stns. The only way to do that is with an overdistance excess, but here we hit another problem, we cannot excess the ticket for use on another TOC and the only way to go beyond Lime Street is on another TOC.

So you either have a situation where over distance excess fares are issued where there is no overdistance traveled, or you can change the destination on the ticket except where the destination changes. Clear as mud.

Why not just leave it as it is?
 
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