Help finding the cheapest Fare from Zone 6 to Bedford/Milton Keynes (Return)

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ticketfinder

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Hi All,

First post on here so hello to all members!!!

I currently have a zones 1-6 Annual Gold Card costing £2136 per year. So far this has been great as I often commute to either Orpington to Surbiton, essentially giving me acces to zone 6.

Destination
I will soon need to start making occasional trips to Bedford Station or Milton Keynes Central Station (whichever is cheapest) in order to get to Cranfield University (probably once or twice a month in the next year).

Time of Travel
My time of travel would be either Friday evening (after 18:00) or Saturday morning (cheapest fare time available - off peak if avaialble). Ultimately if it is cheaper to go on either Friday eve or Sat morning I can choose this time. My return time will normally be 17:00 on the same Sunday.

Given that I already have a Zone 1-6 travel card, is anyone able to help me with the cheapest return fare from Zone 6 to Bedford (return)? Also is there much difference between this and first class?

Also is anyone able to help with what station is Zone 6 in this journey that is used to calculate the ticket price? (I struggled to find this myself online without asking the ticket staff :|)

I could buy a 16-25 Railcard if this will make a considerable difference over the course of 15 or so journeys.

Thank you so much in advance for any comments or help and apologies if this is a basic question :oops:

Cheers!
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Oscar

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One option would be a ticket between Boundary Zone 6 and Bedford or Milton Keynes. These fares are essentially "add-ons" to Travelcards including zone 6 and are only valid in conjunction with such a Travelcard. You can look up fares and restrictions at www.brfares.com .
 

Deerfold

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One option would be a ticket between Boundary Zone 6 and Bedford or Milton Keynes. These fares are essentially "add-ons" to Travelcards including zone 6 and are only valid in conjunction with such a Travelcard. You can look up fares and restrictions at www.brfares.com .

This should receive a discount with your Gold Card - a 16-25 card would give no further discount.
 

ticketfinder

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Oscar and Deerfold - thanks so much for the link (very useful!).

From that website it appears the cheapest fares using the Network Gold Card option is £18.70 (Anytime) and £11.15 (Off-Peak) [Return].

Is there any reason why there are no tickets for First Class when using the 'Network Gold Card'?

In general is it not normally possible to get any discounts on First Class tickets?

Final question - is there any easy way of telling what Boundary Zone 6 is? When purchasing the ticket on National Rail i'm assuming you would need to know this or is there a better place to buy the tickets?

Many thanks again for the help and sorry for multiple questions!!
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yorkie

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Final question - is there any easy way of telling what Boundary Zone 6 is?
I don't follow? Boundary Zone 6 is the origin of the ticket, that is applicable when you already hold a Travelcard that includes Zones 1-6.
When purchasing the ticket on National Rail
The National Rail website doesn't sell tickets. It will re-direct you to another vendor, but...
i'm assuming you would need to know this or is there a better place to buy the tickets?
...these tickets cannot be bought from any website that I know of. As for where you can buy them from...
With regards to the sale of Boundary Zone x tickets, you can buy them from ticket offices, telesales and ticket machines operated by Southern.
... however the Boundary Zone 6 to Bedford fares are identical to the Elstree & Borehamwood ([stn]ELS[/stn]) fares, so you could just buy the tickets with the origin ELS. The only downside is that the ELS ticket would restrict you to the Midland Main Line route out of St Pancras and would not be valid via Watford Junction.
 

BigVince76

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One option would be a ticket between Boundary Zone 6 and Bedford or Milton Keynes. These fares are essentially "add-ons" to Travelcards including zone 6 and are only valid in conjunction with such a Travelcard. You can look up fares and restrictions at www.brfares.com .

Is this a new site? it is very handy so thanks for posting.
 

yorkie

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Is this a new site? it is very handy so thanks for posting.
It appeared a few months ago, it's been mentioned a few times here, along with trainscanbecheaper.info which can give some good tips too.
 

ticketfinder

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Hi yorkie,

Thanks for the quick reply! I believe Elstree & Borehamwood (ELS) was the station I was after when i said 'Boundary Zone 6'.

On the web link http://www.brfares.com/#faredetail?orig=0072&dest=BDM&grpd=0410&rlc=NGC&rte=0&ldn=0&tkt=CDR the Return ticket price is £11.15 with the Network Gold Card Discount.

However, when looking at ticket prices on National Rail it only allows you to buy 2 singles coming to £18.95 - http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/timesandfares/ELS/BDM/040812/1200/dep/050812/1600/dep - same discount applied.

Both are off peak times - am I missing anything as I would ideally like to buy these tickets in advance?

Thanks again!
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yorkie

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In the first link, you have selected an Off Peak Day return.

In the second link, you are searching to return a different day.

There isn't a fare to return a different day. A London Terminals to Bedford Stations Off Peak Return (SVR) might meet your needs. This is priced at £20.60 with a Network Gold Card.

If Milton Keynes is suitable, and you can restrict your travel to Virgin Trains, then a London Terminals to Milton Keynes Central Off Peak Return (SVR) routed: Virgin Trnsonly is £13.00 with a Network Gold Card.
 

Deerfold

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From Elstree and Borehamwood to Bedford you can get an Off Peak Single for £11.10 on either Friday or Saturday. There are no evening peak restrictions on this ticket.

Coming back on the Sunday there is a £7.85 Super off peak single to Elstree and Borehamwood.

And to reiterate your train does not have to stop at Borehamwood when these tickets are paired with a Travelcard season ticket (but does have to pass through).
 

ticketfinder

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Makes sense :D!

Looks like £18.95 (return) is the cheapest return for me which isn't too bad and will be a lot cheaper than driving!

First Class is £55.80 (return) eek! - Will be avoiding this then..

I'm sure I read somewhere the Network Gold Card gives you a discount on first class or allows you to upgrade to first class for only a small amount? Do you know if this is the case at all? (this might not make sense in that i'mlooking for the cheapest fares, but more for interest!!)

Thanks for the help guys!
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tannedfrog

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From Elstree and Borehamwood to Bedford you can get an Off Peak Single for £11.10 on either Friday or Saturday. There are no evening peak restrictions on this ticket.
On the Sat you could use the return portion of a Bedford to Elstree Super Off Peak day return for £7.90.

(Ideally not so early that you could not have used the outward)

I think the 0224 on Sat morn from London St Pancras would be earliest you could use the return portion of the Super Off Peak day return
 
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Brucey

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When choosing your destination station, give some consideration as to how you will get to Cranfield. I've lived there for the last ten months and it's a pain to travel to.

A taxi from Bedford costs between £17 and £25, in my experience. From Milton Keynes, between £9 and £11.

The bus from Bedford is over £7 for a return (once per hour, none on Sunday).

The university operate a three-per-day free shuttle bus from MK. I cannot quote the public bus fares (once per hour, no Sunday service) as the operator has recently changed.

If someone picks you up, the journey from MK is much quicker and easier (provided you enjoy roundabouts).
 

island

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In my experience it is very difficult to get a clerk to sell the £5 gold first class upgrade.
 

ticketfinder

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Brucey - thanks for those details that is actually important.I will most likely getting a lift from the station but anything to reduce the distance will be taken into account.

Do you know what station Boundary zone 6 is on the London Midland Line?

This route also looks to be much cheaper - £5.60 for standard return??

http://www.brfares.com/#fares?orig=0072&dest=MKC&rlc=NGC&expert=on

I don't fully understand all of the 3 letter codes on that website yet lol!

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Brucey

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ticketfinder

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Ok that makes sense - I thought that was a bit cheap :roll:.

Do you know what the station is at 'Boundary Zone 6? It's more so I know what station to say when buying the ticket.

Thanks!
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Brucey

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Ok that makes sense - I thought that was a bit cheap :roll:.

Do you know what the station is at 'Boundary Zone 6? It's more so I know what station to say when buying the ticket.

Thanks!
ticketfinder

A ticket can be issued from "Boundary Zone 6" (and this will be printed on the ticket). You just theoretically swap tickets when passing through the boundary.
 

island

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Right. Such tickets cannot be issued online, nor from most ticket vending machines.
 

bb21

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A ticket can be issued from "Boundary Zone 6" (and this will be printed on the ticket). You just theoretically swap tickets when passing through the boundary.

... or to Boundary Zone 6.

Boundary Zone 6 does not refer to any station. It is an imaginary line forming the edge of Zone 6 enclosing all stations within Zones 1-6. This ticket can only be used in conjunction with a Travelcard (and equivalent) covering validity extending to the edge of Zone 6.

The last station within Zone 6 is either Elstree & Borehamwood or Hatch End depending on your route, going towards Bedford / Milton Keynes.
 

wellhouse

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If you are considering First Class on FCC to Bedford, you should be aware that on Class 319 stock, there is a clear distinction in comfort and ambience (2+1 seating with tables in a segregated compartment compared with cramped2+2 seating in Standard), while on Class 377 stock, the accommodation is virtually identical (2+2 seating throughout, superior to that offered on Class 319)

There is one declassified First Class section at one end of each Class 377 4-car set which has no antimacassars, but does offer sockets for charging laptops. The timetable identifies services diagrammed for Class 377 operation by indicating the availability of facilities for disabled passengers.
 

ticketfinder

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Hey Wellhouse,

Thanks for the info! I had my first return trip from bedford this weekend and was not too bad a journey, and the cost of the ticket was exactly as Deerfold had said £18.95 :).

Interestingly, I think I was on Class 319 stock on the way to Bedford from London Bridge (older looking train, fairly noisy), and on the return I was on a Class 377 stock (much newer and quieter ambience train). The latter I MUCH preferred!

Do you or anyone else know any websites or ways of finding out what class of stock (e.g. in this case 319 or 377) are running for the different times?? You noted disability facilities, but I couldn't identify this on the national rail website.

Basically:
Outward Journey (London Bridge to Bedford): 08:45 on Sat was class 319 stock
Return Journey (Bedford to London Bridge): 14:50 onSun was class 377 stock

Where possible I want to ensure I am on the more modern, nicer trains :D

Many thanks for your help!
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MKD

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If you have decided Milton Keynes Central is worth trying, then just looking at a Euston-MKC ticket from Saturday am to Sunday pm via Virgin is only £13 Off Peak Return (with a Gold Card), with 30-40 minute Pendolino journeys [ie without any Zone6 extension ticket obtaining complexity]

The MKC to Cranfield bus services are listed on MK Council website at:
http://www.milton-keynes.gov.uk/transport/displayarticle.asp?id=57102

MKD
 
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Brucey

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Just posting here in case you don't already know, but the buses to Cranfield from both MK and Bedford have completely changed now. Full details of the new services and special price for students can be found on the university intranet.
 

ticketfinder

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Thanks guys,

I went from London Bridge to Bedford in the end as I can get to LB real quickly from my home location, and when at the other end i have a lift from the station ;)

Any ideas on Wellhouse's point regarding the actual train stock i.e. is there a way to see before travelling whether the train is 377 stock vs 319? I much prefer the 377!!!

Yorkie I know you sent link but I couldn't find anything specific on this. If anyone knows thats great, if not I will keep searching! :oops:

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bb21

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Yorkie I know you sent link but I couldn't find anything specific on this. If anyone knows thats great, if not I will keep searching! :oops:

Ticketfinder

If you can't find an existing thread then you are more than welcome to post the query in a new thread. Not everyone reads every forum so if you can get a question requiring specialised knowledge posted in the right area, you are more likely to get an answer.
 
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