Is the Marylebone 8:37am departure to Oxford an off-peak train?

apacker83

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Is the Marylebone 8:37am departure to Oxford an off-peak train?

Chiltern rules say no:
Please note that Off Peak tickets to Oxford (only) are not valid on weekday departures from Marylebone before 0900 . This is because the fare is set and controlled by Great Western Railways.
(source: https://www.chilternrailways.co.uk/off-peak-ticket)

But Chiltern's website will sell it to you, see first attachment. And Trainline will sell it to you as well, see second attachment.

This past Friday, one suddenly could not buy this ticket, which I complained to Chiltern about on Twitter:
They were convinced this rule had always been in place. It has been on the website for a long time (at least since 24 Sept 2020, as far back as https://archive.org/web/ goes for the relevant website) but apparently not properly enforced.

For a short but very frustrating time recently, it was not possible to buy ANY tickets from MYB -> OXF, see thread here: https://www.railforums.co.uk/thread...948-mustnt-go-via-oxford.218904/#post-5187505 Now that it is possible to buy tickets at all again, one can again buy the 8:37am departure as an off-peak train.

My question is: given Chiltern will sell me the ticket, is it OK for me to use it? My opinion is that they sold me an off-peak ticket as an option explicitly for this departure time. If they didn't want me to use it for this train, they shouldn't have sold it to me!

I hope they don't read this forum too closely and close whatever possibly strange loop hole (unenforced rule?) I've found. At least one station manager at Marylebone was convinced most ticket agents at the station were not aware of the rule given most Chiltern trains are off-peak after 8:30; it is just the Oxford route that is special...

I also wonder if it might somehow be related to the 'negative easement' uncovered by @yorkie in the thread mentioned above? Could they have been trying to code this in some 'embuggered' way (to borrow a term used by @Nicholas43 on that thread), bungled the whole job, and just went back to the way things were? I am aware they seem like very unrelated topics.
 

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CyrusWuff

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The Off-Peak Day Return is valid from Marylebone from 0830 (and to arrive at Marylebone from 1000), in line with flows priced by Chiltern themselves.

The Off-Peak Return carries a blanket "Not valid before 0930" restriction.
 

yorkie

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Welcome to the forum :)
Is the Marylebone 8:37am departure to Oxford an off-peak train?
There is no such thing as an off peak (or peak) train as such; it depends on what ticket you have.

(For example a Norwich to Oxford Off Peak Single or Return would be valid on literally any train between Marylebone and Oxford during the period of validity)

Chiltern rules say no:

(source: https://www.chilternrailways.co.uk/off-peak-ticket)

But Chiltern's website will sell it to you, see first attachment. And Trainline will sell it to you as well, see second attachment.
As others have said, above the CDR is valid whereas the SVR is not.

So all retailers should be selling the CDR and not selling the SVR, and if that's the case, all is well and working as intended.

This past Friday, one suddenly could not buy this ticket, which I complained to Chiltern about on Twitter:
They were convinced this rule had always been in place. It has been on the website for a long time (at least since 24 Sept 2020, as far back as https://archive.org/web/ goes for the relevant website) but apparently not properly enforced.
I wouldn't trust anything any TOC twitter feed says about ticket validity :lol:

For a short but very frustrating time recently, it was not possible to buy ANY tickets from MYB -> OXF, see thread here: https://www.railforums.co.uk/thread...948-mustnt-go-via-oxford.218904/#post-5187505 Now that it is possible to buy tickets at all again, one can again buy the 8:37am departure as an off-peak train.

My question is: given Chiltern will sell me the ticket, is it OK for me to use it?
Yes :)

If you are sold a ticket with an itinerary, that itinerary is evidence of the contract, and validates the ticket, regardless of what the restrictions say.

My opinion is that they sold me an off-peak ticket as an option explicitly for this departure time. If they didn't want me to use it for this train, they shouldn't have sold it to me!

I hope they don't read this forum too closely and close whatever possibly strange loop hole (unenforced rule?) I've found.
I can guarantee they do read this forum closely! ;)

At least one station manager at Marylebone was convinced most ticket agents at the station were not aware of the rule given most Chiltern trains are off-peak after 8:30; it is just the Oxford route that is special...
I don't understand what the station manager is saying!

I also wonder if it might somehow be related to the 'negative easement' uncovered by @yorkie in the thread mentioned above? Could they have been trying to code this in some 'embuggered' way (to borrow a term used by @Nicholas43 on that thread), bungled the whole job, and just went back to the way things were? I am aware they seem like very unrelated topics.
They are unrelated topics; one is related to (time) restriction data (in the fares data feed) while the other is related to [negative] easement data in the routeing guide feed, and the associated rules relating to application of the routeing guide (the routeing guide does NOT need to be consulted for through trains and/or the shortest route and so the journey planners that were applying negative easements to a direct Marylebone to Oxford train were acting incorrectly irrespective of the coding of any negative easements)
 
Last edited:

apacker83

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23 Jun 2021
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Thanks for the very helpful responses @CyrusWuff and @yorkie !

I was going to ask how @CyrusWuff determined the distinction with the Off-Peak Day Return specifically, but @yorkie's link to the fare cleared it up.

It also appears that a Network Railcard, which would not normally apply to an Off-Peak Return ticket, would apply to an Off-Peak Day Return, at least according to Chiltern's Terms and Conditions. Would you agree? If so, it makes for a pretty good deal!

My end goal is to get to Oxford from London preferably by 9am. If I buy far enough in advance, I can get on the 734am train with a decent return pretty cheaply e.g. around £33. Sometimes I can't plan far enough in advance and/or I can get to Oxford as late as 10am, making the Off-Peak Day Return an option I sometimes take.

Thanks again to you both for your careful and clear responses!
 

Haywain

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It also appears that a Network Railcard, which would not normally apply to an Off-Peak Return ticket, would apply to an Off-Peak Day Return, at least according to Chiltern's Terms and Conditions. Would you agree? If so, it makes for a pretty good deal!
The Network Railcard has a separate restriction meaning it cannot be used before 10:00. The Off Peak Day Return is valid from 08:30 without the Network Railcard discount but not until 10:00 with the discount.
 

yorkie

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It also appears that a Network Railcard, which would not normally apply to an Off-Peak Return ticket, would apply to an Off-Peak Day Return, at least according to Chiltern's Terms and Conditions. Would you agree? If so, it makes for a pretty good deal!
Sadly not (though a Senior Railcard or 16-25 Railcard would be valid! Note: these are just two examples, not an exhaustive list)

My end goal is to get to Oxford from London preferably by 9am. If I buy far enough in advance, I can get on the 734am train with a decent return pretty cheaply e.g. around £33. Sometimes I can't plan far enough in advance and/or I can get to Oxford as late as 10am, making the Off-Peak Day Return an option I sometimes take.

Thanks again to you both for your careful and clear responses!
You're welcome :)
 

mirodo

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7 Nov 2011
Messages
587
They are unrelated topics; one is related to (time) restriction data (in the fares data feed) while the other is related to [negative] easement data in the routeing guide feed
May I suggest “squeezement” as a single word alternative to this phrase?
 

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