LNER reservation compulsory from 18 May! (Update: other TOCs limiting capacity but not requiring reservations)

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Grumbler

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How will this work if your journey involves two TOCS, each insisting on reservations, involving a tube journey across London? You catch the first train but it runs late, or there is a delay on the tube, so you miss your connection? Do you get turned away by the second TOC?
 
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Bletchleyite

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How will this work if your journey involves two TOCS, each insisting on reservations, involving a tube journey across London? You catch the first train but it runs late, or there is a delay on the tube, so you miss your connection? Do you get turned away by the second TOC?
You go to the ticket office (or online if you prefer) and rebook a reservation on the next available service, same as if you missed a flight connection or a TGV connection in France.
 

Bikeman78

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They are actually considering this in New York
Possibly one of the most insane ideas I've seen. We use the A line to get from JFK to Manhattan. Impossible to predict what time we will get to the subway platform. We just get on the first train that turns up. Again, how will this be enforced? And why bother if people are allowed to sit a metre apart for seven hours to cross the Atlantic?
 

317 forever

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I have seen several Advance fares not just on LNER but also Avanti and Great Western. This will provide some clarity to these TOCs about some of the passengers due to travel, to help monitor numbers.

The availability of Advance fares, shops due to reopen, change of message to "stay alert" etc suggest that the government want to encourage more activity in the economy, but are doing so in such a way as to avoid looking callous and make it look entirely our choice.
 

ChiefPlanner

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Possibly one of the most insane ideas I've seen. We use the A line to get from JFK to Manhattan. Impossible to predict what time we will get to the subway platform. We just get on the first train that turns up. Again, how will this be enforced? And why bother if people are allowed to sit a metre apart for seven hours to cross the Atlantic?
We had this debate earlier on - ironically using the 8th Avenue Express (aka the "A") , as a worked example. About the stupidest example of a daft idea I can think of. NYC subway use is about 10% of normal - and whilst the state is opening up , the city remains "tight" ......
 

Jonny

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A EDB to GLQ non stop an vv could be policed by allowing only a limited number of people on it, but that's it really.

This is a passenger self-policing exercise and with people's different tolerance levels to 2m and other characteristics, the potential for arguments and flare ups is much heightened.
Especially since this really enables the cult of social distancing, and it is in danger of becoming like a religious cult.
 

philthetube

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Even I wouldn't suggest it for the NYC Subway, the Tube, Merseyrail or anything like that. I would say the maximum overall frequency for which it could or would work is probably 3tph/3bph. Most stations in the UK have a service of that frequency or less when it comes to services that are actually useful for a given journey, and a good many bus services (including almost all non-urban ones) too.
I think it would be a much bigger issue on infrequent services with loads of unstaffed stations, sorry we have our 50 passengers, there is another tomorrow, unpoliceable.
 

WesternLancer

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Unsure how this is playing out in practice now it has been up and running for a bit on LNER etc, but I just booked a ticket with EMR for some unavoidable travel in about 10 days time and purchased Advance as secured a significant discount.

The online EMR booking went through the steps of asking me what type of seat I wanted (window, table etc) but when the actual ticket booking confirmation came through although it makes clear I need to be on that train is states that:

"The passenger is free to sit in any vacant unreserved seat for the class of travel specified on the ticket"

Not collected the actual ticket yet so not sure what it will say on that.

I assume that this is because EMR's software for seat allocation is not up to sitting people in seats dotted about with suitable distance from each other (and obv I realise EMR is not making services reservation compulsory)

I guess LNER / WC etc are able to do this (or does the reservation system just allocate people first come first served so everyone is all sitting in coach A and the rest of the train is empty....:D)
 

Hadders

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LNER were saying to ignore the seat number on the reservation and sit in a vacant seat leaving suitable distance etc.

From 17th June you should sit in the specified seat as their system has been updated and will allocate seats taking social distancing into account.
 

railfan99

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I hope this is only very short term, because when I visit with a BritRail Pass, I love the flexibility of being able to hop on and off at extremely short notice where I choose without the hassle of having to book a reserved seat.

On one London - Darlington journey a few years ago, the train was crowded (and even more so when the train in front failed) but as I was in first class, I still had a comfortable seat.
 

island

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LNER were saying to ignore the seat number on the reservation and sit in a vacant seat leaving suitable distance etc.

From 17th June you should sit in the specified seat as their system has been updated and will allocate seats taking social distancing into account.
I wonder how that will work as respects families or groups desirous of travelling and sitting together.
 

tiptoptaff

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As the title suggests really...

I travelled with them last week and I had no ticket check and the lone dispatcher I saw didn't question if I had a reservation for the train (I didn't)

Just curious, as can't imagine they're checking every ticket or reservation at every station
 

duncanp

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They are not enforcing their "compulsory reservations" policy at all, gonig by the two journeys I have made on their trains since it was introduced.

It is designed to discourage people from travelling, and I think it is just for show really.
 

ForTheLoveOf

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Reservations aren't compulsory at all on Avanti, just recommended. It's only LNER that have made them compulsory. Clearly they think they're somehow different to Avanti and every other TOC. I suspect it's just a ruse so that they can be the guinea pigs for introducing this nasty practice across all intercity services, along with the abolition of flexible walk-up tickets.
 

Bletchleyite

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It is designed to discourage people from travelling, and I think it is just for show really.
Like an unenforced pick up/set down only policy, such as that operated by TPE at Bolton, it's intended to keep a handle on what most people do which avoids the crowds. Most people will comply. If one person sees fit to ignore it, it'll make barely any difference.

Evening peak Euston-MKC Virgin trains used to be similar. Unlike Watford Junction, they mostly weren't enforced, but you would still only see maybe 10 commuters get off at MKC anyway, not enough to cause the train to be overcrowded, as against hundreds if the stop was "open".

It's not there to be fair for everyone, it's there to manage overcrowding, which it will largely do. That the odd enthusiast knows it's not enforced and so ignores it is neither here nor there. I think most people using Avanti and LNER at least reserve a seat anyway these days.
 

Jayden99

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Reservations aren't compulsory at all on Avanti, just recommended. It's only LNER that have made them compulsory. Clearly they think they're somehow different to Avanti and every other TOC. I suspect it's just a ruse so that they can be the guinea pigs for introducing this nasty practice across all intercity services, along with the abolition of flexible walk-up tickets.
I thought they were compulsory on Avanti, certainly many shouty announcements to that effect at Euston, and the woman in the ticket office told me I'd need a reservation before I dared to think of setting foot on my Glasgow train on Saturday, not that she could do me a reservation, of course
 

ForTheLoveOf

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I thought they were compulsory on Avanti, certainly many shouty announcements to that effect at Euston, and the woman in the ticket office told me I'd need a reservation before I dared to think of setting foot on my Glasgow train on Saturday, not that she could do me a reservation, of course
Shouted nonsense is to be expected at Euston regardless of the cause, accuracy or circumstances.
 

tiptoptaff

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I thought they were compulsory on Avanti, certainly many shouty announcements to that effect at Euston, and the woman in the ticket office told me I'd need a reservation before I dared to think of setting foot on my Glasgow train on Saturday, not that she could do me a reservation, of course
I travelled last weekend from Preston to Crewe and there was nothing to say I needed a reservation. Nor was I indeed asked for one.
 

Huntergreed

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I believe it's simply a system of once the limited capacity has been reached, the train is removed from the booking engine, as far as Avanti is concerned.
 

Bletchleyite

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But they're not policing that capacity, it appears?
No (though the Euston barrier line staff probably will if they're about at the moment). However, if most people are told reservations are compulsory and there aren't any left, they will just accept it and choose another train - every other mode of intercity public transport works that way. Only the odd few will just get on anyway, and will have little actual impact on the distancing situation.

Like with most measures, you just need most people to comply, not everyone.
 

route101

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Reservations aren't compulsory at all on Avanti, just recommended. It's only LNER that have made them compulsory. Clearly they think they're somehow different to Avanti and every other TOC. I suspect it's just a ruse so that they can be the guinea pigs for introducing this nasty practice across all intercity services, along with the abolition of flexible walk-up tickets.
Strange , as theres announcements at Glasgow Central that they reservation only services.
 

Huntergreed

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Strange , as theres announcements at Glasgow Central that they reservation only services.
According to the Avanti website:

We have reduced the seating capacity on our trains. Therefore, we strongly recommend you book your place on your preferred train by using our website or app. Once a train reaches the social distance seat capacity set, we remove it from booking our booking platforms.

If you have not booked a place, we’ll do our best to help at the station, but we can’t guarantee you’ll be able to board your preferred train. In this instance, we’ll do our best to get you on the service immediately before or after your preferred train. If you have any questions when boarding, then our station team are on hand to help.
 

Hadders

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I travelled from Doncaster to Stevenage today with LNER.

Seat reservations weren't marked so although they were insisting on passengers sitting in their allocated seats the reality was people were sat all over the place and unless many of the people in the carriage were from the same household (which I suspect they weren't) there wasn't much social distancing in place.

The train I caught was a 225 so I nipped into a completely empty coach B intending to sit in my preferred seat. Train Manager stopped me and said that coach B was not in use, I was asked if I had a reservation and I said I did and I had to sit in my reserved seat. I said someone else was sitting in it so I was told I could sit anywhere buy other than Coach B. I sat in a completely empty coach C which I suspect is for use by passengers without reservations.

The Train Manager was using Coach B so it seems as though this has become a defacto Train office. Not sure if this is actual policy or just what happened on this particular train.
 

Bayum

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When I phoned assisted travel for LNER to explain my situation and ask some questions, they told me that their reservations were compulsory and the electronic onboard system doing this had been set up to maintain the 2m distance between passengers. We shall see how that progresses!
 

Mainline421

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On Avanti 25% of the "Socially distanced" seats are kept for passengers without a reservation. On LNER they are holding the seats in coach C without reservation, but I gather these are primarily intended for passing TOC staff etc. Either way this isn't being enforced thankfully.
 

43094

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My understanding is where possible, coach B is being kept for sole use of the Train Manager, on Southbound services only.
 
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