If a train is missed as RPI is examining railcard

Gloster

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This is about the sister of the subject of my post Under 25 - proof of age, so again is somewhat irrelevant as I have lost contact. I am less certain about many of the details this time, but think the most important ones are correct.

The young woman was travelling on a Monday morning back to university in Newcastle using a 16-25 Railcard. For the London-Newcastle leg she had an Advance ticket on what I think was East Coast Trains that was tied to a specific departure. On reaching London on the outward journey from Newcastle, she had bought a return ticket for the last leg home: I think it was St Pancras-Haywards Heath; it was certainly a Brighton line station in that area. On arriving at the station (say Haywards Heath) on Monday morning to catch the train to London there were a large number of RPIs checking tickets, so she showed her ticket and railcard. The RPI took the card from her, looked at it carefully and then went to speak to another RPI. After a few words the first RPI started making what seemed to be several ‘phone class while reading details off the the card. The other RPI came over and said they would only be a few minutes: she pointed out that she had a connection at Kings Cross. At all times both RPIs were polite.

She started to get worried because, although she had arrived in time to get an earlier train than the last one due to arrive at St Pancras in time to have the minimum recommended connection time (she was studying law), this train was approaching and she hadn’t got her card back. She asked again to have her card back, but again was met with a,”Won’t be much longer,” type of answer. Eventually she did get the card back with a,”Sorry to have kept you,” apology. At this point a train that, if it arrived in St Pancras on time, would give her just enough time to dash across to Kings Cross, although far less than the required allowance, was running in to the station.

Her choice was to delay at Haywards Heath while she got a note from the RPIs saying she had been delayed by them and use it to persuade East Coast Trains to allow her to travel on a later train. Or to make a dash for the train and hope that it ran on time. The question is: which is better?

She chose to make the dash for it and just - only just - made it: she had to jump on one of the rear coaches as the doors were being closed (that might have been dramatic licence).
 
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yorkie

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Can you edit the thread title to avoid all-CAPS please?

This sounds most odd.

Providing she allowed sufficient interchange time, then any delay is the railway's responsibility and it would be up to GTR to pay delay compensation, based on the whole journey. LNER would be obliged to honour the ticket, of course.

If the relevant company (GTR in this case) refused to pay appropriate compensation, there is the option to involve the Rail Ombudsman. If the tickets were bought in one transaction as part of a through journey, the retailer may be willing to assist too.

I'd recommend using a ticket splitting website for such a journey; this will ensure that a through itinerary is held, which is evidence of the contract to be conveyed for the whole journey from Haywards Heath through to Newcastle.

If any train is re-timed, delayed, cancelled or deleted; or if the customer is delayed boarding a train, the evidence of a through itinerary could be extremely useful in the event of any dispute.
 

Gloster

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This is purely a matter of interest as it is more than five years ago and I have lost contact with those who asked the question. I did promise at the time to find out, but didn’t before losing contact with the girls.

EDIT: I think she was concerned that, as she hadn’t gone through the barriers before the departure of the last train with a connection, she would have no way of proving that she had arrived in good time. And it was split ticketing from different places, I think (I don’t know where she bought the tickets, but I presumed it was different places).
 
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yorkie

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I'm a bit confused by this:

"...she had arrived in time to get an earlier train than the last one due to arrive at St Pancras in time to have the minimum recommended connection time ..."
So, if they had made her miss one train, she still had a valid connection.

...this train was approaching and she hadn’t got her card back. She asked again to have her card back, but again was met with a,”Won’t be much longer,” type of answer. Eventually she did get the card back with a,”Sorry to have kept you,” apology....
So, she got it back before the train she originally intended to catch had departed? It's unclear if she missed one or more trains; I would read the above to suggest she didn't miss a train. But...

...At this point a train that, if it arrived in St Pancras on time, would give her just enough time to dash across to Kings Cross, although far less than the required allowance, was running in to the station.
This suggests she missed her intended train, and the one after (which provided the minimum interchange time) and ended up on (presumably) the third train?
 

Gloster

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Sorry, she didn’t arrive intending to get the very last valid connection, instead she intended to get an earlier train. However, the RPIs were so long checking the card that she missed not just the train she had turned up to catch, but also the last valid connection. She then just caught a train that to St Pancras that wasn’t a valid connection, but might just let her catch the Newcastle train if it was on time and she dashed (as it did happen).
 

yorkie

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That's most odd, but if this happened to me (which I am struggling to imagine) I would have required a note and made a strongly worded complaint to GTR.
 

MikeWh

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Given that 5 years ago Thameslink trains from the Brighton line to St Pancras only ran 4 an hour at most, it seems that the inspectors must have delayed her by about half an hour. If that was the case then I'd certainly have written to the train company and complained. In fact I'd be demanding to know just what they were querying and how such a delay could be justified.
 

yorkie

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This may have been in the morning rush-hour.
I doubt there was a time when there were more than three (fast) trains within a half hour period direct to St Pancras.

Also if she allowed the train before the minimum interchange time but ended up dashing across with much less than the minimum interchange time, this would also suggest a time period of around half an hour.

It's difficult to believe someone would be detained for half an hour under these circumstances.

Yes we know of someone who was detained by the defunct First Capital Connect for a lengthy period but that was under rather different circumstances

The story doesn't really add up.
 

island

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With all due respect I think memories of an incident from over five years ago are likely to have faded and become a little muddled, and/or become embellished with each retelling. Not a lot about the story seems to hang together and given the elapsed time I suspect any attempt to get to a useful conclusion will be unsuccessful.
 

Gloster

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Fair enough. It was probably summer 2014, but might have been 2013, and I was asked about it not long after. I think what I have written is a fair report of what she said and she was saying what she remembered, but she was a law student with no interest in railways. As said at the beginning, as I lost contact with the woman and her family, it is not important, it is just that I have wondered what the answer was since I was asked.
 

scrapy

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A lot would surely depend on the reason the RPI needed to inspect the Railcard further. For example if the Railcard was defaced or damaged by the passenger that it looked like it could either be forged or altered, or the passenger has altered there appearance drastically since the photo was taken that they are unrecognisable from it then I would argue that it is the passenger who has broken the T&C's and should have had the railcard replaced before making the journey. Whereas if for example it's just down to lack of training for the RPI or the RPI wanting to check the Railcard against a database of suspicious use and the passenger totally innocent then the railway is to blame and should compensate accordingly.
 

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