London - Birmingham; peak time advice

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by daniel78, 9 Aug 2015.

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  1. daniel78

    daniel78 Member

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    Hi,

    My dad needs to travel from London - Birmingham tomorrow morning, as early as possible. Around 6.40 is about the earliest he can get to Euston. He has a senior railcard. He'll also need to get the fastest train as he ideally needs to be there by about 8am

    The anytime single fare is £84, reduced to £55.45 with railcard.

    Now, something weird seems to be happening in that when I do the initial search for trains, I see the anytime fare of £84 being offered, but when I amend the search to add the railcard, I suddenly see an off-peak fare of £33.45 (inc r/c discount).

    I've looked on brfares which tells me the off-peak fare is only available after 9.30. I'm getting used to the fares system now and have lurked this forum a fair bit, but I don't recall hearing of peak-time restrictions being waived for railcard holders.

    I've done searching on the NRE site, Virgin trains site, and Virgin EC site, so I've covered all the various search/booking engines, and I seem to get the same results. I've got a far as the payment screen with a seat reservation for the 06.43 train.

    Grateful for any input. I'd gladly take the £33.45 if it's valid, but don't want to leave my dad in trouble if it's a glitch in the system.
     
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  3. Rail Ranger

    Rail Ranger Member

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    Virgin West Coast allow railcard holders to use a discounted Off-Peak ticket on any of their trains provided that the journey is between two of their stations. They don't publicise this anywhere except in their printed fares booklet.
     
  4. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Forum Staff Staff Member Global Moderator

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    Virgin trains have an easement which allows railcard holders to travel using Off-Peak tickets even when they would usually be barred.
     
  5. alastair

    alastair Member

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    However,although fine for Senior r/c, I believe the easement does NOT apply to 2-together railcard.
     
  6. LNW-GW Joint

    LNW-GW Joint Veteran Member

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    If your dad is returning within a month, he'll find the return fare is only 70p dearer than the single at £34.15 (travel on any VT service with senior railcard).
    It's just another of the railway's little idiosyncracies.
    No need to book in advance, it's a walk-up ticket.
     
  7. daniel78

    daniel78 Member

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    Thanks for the responses everyone. I never would've figured an easement like that was the reason for the off-peak fare being available.

    Phew! Thanks for reminding me of that. I'm familiar enough with that concept, but having checked the anytime return was double the single fare, and then getting confused with the railcard fare, I'd forgotten to check the off-peak return. Good job I didn't check back on the thread for a few hours.
     
  8. CyrusWuff

    CyrusWuff Established Member

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    If he doesn't mind a slightly slower journey (0715, arriving 0853; vice 0643, arriving 0808), Chiltern from Marylebone is a slightly cheaper alternative at £31.70 Single/£32.35 Return (£19.10/£19.15 if he could make the 0605 from Marylebone).
     
  9. 30907

    30907 Established Member

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    http://www.virgintrains.co.uk/railcard-discount/
    And on their website - not sure if that's always been there!
     
  10. Rail Ranger

    Rail Ranger Member

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    Good, I did lobby Virgin to advertise the offer on their website.
     
  11. suzanneparis

    suzanneparis Member

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    Thanks a very interesting piece of information. Is there a list of 'Virgin' stations? And..... does the 'easement' apply if going from a station on the West coast line to a station on the East coast line?
    Thanks
     
  12. Rail Ranger

    Rail Ranger Member

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    The easement applies to journeys on Virgin Trains West Coast where the fare is set by Virgin West Coast. Off the top of my head this includes journeys between: London Euston and Stafford, Coventry, Birmingham New Street, Wolverhampton, Crewe, Wilmslow, Stockport, Manchester Piccadilly, Stoke-on-Trent, Macclesfield, Liverpool Lime Street, Warrington Bank Quay, Wigan North Western, Preston, Lancaster, Oxenholme the Lake District, Penrith, Carlisle, Glasgow Central, Edinburgh Waverley and vice versa. Others may be able to refine/add to this list.
     
  13. CyrusWuff

    CyrusWuff Established Member

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    The wording of the easement on BRFares is that the easement applies where all travel is on VTWC services, except journeys between Euston and Milton Keynes/Northampton.

    For example: Euston - Manchester is valid, but a TIS will show that Euston - Bolton (via Manchester) isn't.
     
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