London Terminals ticket for HS1 valid for cross-London?

boiledbeans2

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Let's say I buy a London Terminals to Margate ticket, valid on HS1.

When I buy this ticket on Southeastern's website, right below the "Add to basket" button, it explains the ticket conditions:


Std Super Off-Peak Day Return £36.20

Flexible ticket valid for travel on off-peak trains only
London Terminals*
Margate

In addition to the normal permitted routes, this ticket is also valid for travel on Southeastern high speed services.
[...]
*Valid from

Your ticket is only valid for travel from the following London Terminal stations:

London St Pancras
London Victoria
London Waterloo
London Cannon Street
London Charing Cross
London Blackfriars
London Waterloo East
Vauxhall
London Bridge
City Thameslink
London Liverpool Street

So it seems both north and south London Terminals are a valid origin.
I believe the reason is that there are trains from both Victoria and St Pancras to Margate.

But can I make the following cross-London journey on that ticket?

Vauxhall to Waterloo on SWR
Waterloo East to London Bridge on SE
London Bridge to St Pancras on Thameslink
St Pancras to Margate on SE HS1
 
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BluePenguin

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Yes, that is completely fine. Tickets not valid on HS1 include validity to Vauxhall. Plus high-speed tickets also allow you to additionally travel between St Pancras and London Bridge inclusive
 

paul1609

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Yes, that is valid. However from Waterloo theres often no time advantage in using HS1 and its £10 cheaper going via Tonbridge.
Basically Ashford is 71mins from London Bridge via Tonbridge. If you get a direct train from Waterloo East to Ashford you get there in time to see the arrival of the official connection via HS1 changing at London Bridge!
 

boiledbeans2

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Thanks to both for your replies!
I made the journey twice last week.

I found another cheaper "not via Ashford" HS1 ticket

Std Super Off-Peak Day Return £29.00​

Flexible ticket valid for travel on off-peak trains only
London Terminals* - Margate
Only valid for travel on services, including Southeastern high speed, passing through or changing at Herne Bay.
The ticket is also valid for both north and south London Terminals.

Here are my observations from the trips:
Yeah, there was no time advantage in this cross-London journey, but I wanted to ride the Class 395s for the first time. :D

For a relaxed trip, you should give 1h to do the Waterloo - London Bridge - St Pancras cross-London journey. When I did the journey last week, there were quite a few cancelled Thameslink trains probably due to COVID staff shortages. I took about 40mins for the journey, including walking and waiting time.

As paul1609 mentioned, there are faster ways. In fact, while at London Bridge waiting for my Thameslink service to St Pancras, I saw another Thameslink service depart for Rainham. I checked RTT and the Thameslink would arrive at Rainham a few minutes before my HS1 train.

Anyway, regarding the ticket. The ticket failed at all London Terminals barriers except St Pancras HS1 barriers.
In other words, the ticket didn't work at:
  • Southern land
  • SWR land
  • Waterloo East (SE land)
  • St Pancras Thameslink

In all cases, I was let through manually by the staff, no questions asked. Except for one, who asked where I was going. I replied 'Margate' and she let me through (even though Margate was obviously stated on the ticket).

On one of the journeys back using the Margate - Victoria route, my ticket was checked between Bromley South and Victoria. I thought that was a strange location to do a ticket check as everyone would have to pass through the ticket barriers at Victoria. It would be difficult to cheat.
 
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paul1609

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The "HS1 not via Ashford tickets" are intended to encourage passengers from Margate/ Thanet on to the North Kent route as pre covid HS1 was full and standing between Stratford and Ashford (some peak services do not call at Ebbsfleet) whereas there were seats available between Stratford and the North Kent.
The barriers don't have enough capacity to work out what is an appropriate London Terminals for a specific ticket so are just set up for the major flows its a known issue.
 

duncombec

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Although the original question has been answered, I was intrigued to see no reference to Farringdon on the list of acceptable terminals. I used to use a London terminals via HS1 ticket to get into the office on bank holidays, knowing that if train times were convenient, I could use it to travel to Farringdon at no extra cost. (There used to be large posters outside Farringdon mentioning that only via HS1 tickets were valid from that station).

Because of the way the timings worked, I often used to be on the train in the morning but have to use the underground going home because of inconvenient timings to get the xx55 high speed departure.

My biggest issue with getting through the Thameslink barriers at St Pancras was not arguing over ticket validity, but trying to attract the attention of the gateline staff to begin with - who were usually in a huddled conversation on whichever side of the barriers I wasn't.
 

AM9

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Although the original question has been answered, I was intrigued to see no reference to Farringdon on the list of acceptable terminals. I used to use a London terminals via HS1 ticket to get into the office on bank holidays, knowing that if train times were convenient, I could use it to travel to Farringdon at no extra cost. (There used to be large posters outside Farringdon mentioning that only via HS1 tickets were valid from that station).

Because of the way the timings worked, I often used to be on the train in the morning but have to use the underground going home because of inconvenient timings to get the xx55 high speed departure.

My biggest issue with getting through the Thameslink barriers at St Pancras was not arguing over ticket validity, but trying to attract the attention of the gateline staff to begin with - who were usually in a huddled conversation on whichever side of the barriers I wasn't.
I have often thought that barriers should have a 'call for attention/help' button for that reason.
 

yorkie

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Although the original question has been answered, I was intrigued to see no reference to Farringdon on the list of acceptable terminals.
Farringdon is not a member of 'London Terminals'

I used to use a London terminals via HS1 ticket to get into the office on bank holidays, knowing that if train times were convenient, I could use it to travel to Farringdon at no extra cost. (There used to be large posters outside Farringdon mentioning that only via HS1 tickets were valid from that station).
Yes, regular tickets to London Terminals are not valid to or via Farringdon, but an easement applies for fares routed 'via HS1'

My biggest issue with getting through the Thameslink barriers at St Pancras was not arguing over ticket validity, but trying to attract the attention of the gateline staff to begin with - who were usually in a huddled conversation on whichever side of the barriers I wasn't.
I find that's a common issue at gatelines where there are surplus staff, for the customer flow, at that time.
 

BluePenguin

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The "HS1 not via Ashford tickets" are intended to encourage passengers from Margate/ Thanet on to the North Kent route as pre covid HS1 was full and standing between Stratford and Ashford (some peak services do not call at Ebbsfleet) whereas there were seats available between Stratford and the North Kent.
The barriers don't have enough capacity to work out what is an appropriate London Terminals for a specific ticket so are just set up for the major flows its a known issue.
Some tickets are routed “Not via Herne Bay” and others “Not via Ashford”.

Further round the coast from the likes of Sandwich and Deal, the latter is much more convenient as it allows you to travel in both directions - not only up through Ramsgate but Dover too. The high-speed rounder service is not running at the moment so at certain times of day there can be quite a wait.

In my opinion it would be better for these to be routed “via Faversham”. The time saving using the highspeed services is negated by travelling this way in any case

I’m curious to know whether my fellow Kent residents buy these tickets? St Pancras is not particularly central so unless heading north, I assume most people tend not to bother and go to Charing Cross or Victoria instead.
 
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paul1609

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Some tickets are routed “Not via Herne Bay” and others “Not via Ashford”.

Further round the coast from the likes of Sandwich and Deal, the latter is much more convenient as it allows you to travel in both directions - not only up through Ramsgate but Dover too. The high-speed rounder service is not running at the moment so at certain times of day there can be quite a wait.

In my opinion it would be better for these to be routed “via Faversham”. The time saving using the highspeed services is negated by travelling this way in any case

I’m curious to know whether my fellow Kent residents buy these tickets? St Pancras is not particularly central so unless heading north, I assume most people tend not to bother and go to Charing Cross or Victoria instead.
Prior to Covid HS1 had 90% of the London Traffic from Ashford. The SEML trains via Tonbridge were nearly empty leaving Ashford.
Stratford is a big destination nowadays with DLR to Docklands, London City Airport, Westfield shopping centre and the London Stadium (west ham), connections to East Anglia etc. I always go to Stansted Airport that way via the National Express Bus.
 

Haywain

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My biggest issue with getting through the Thameslink barriers at St Pancras was not arguing over ticket validity, but trying to attract the attention of the gateline staff to begin with - who were usually in a huddled conversation on whichever side of the barriers I wasn't.
In my experience of using that barrier line very regularly this is an extremely unusual problem.
 

swt_passenger

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Prior to Covid HS1 had 90% of the London Traffic from Ashford. The SEML trains via Tonbridge were nearly empty leaving Ashford.
Stratford is a big destination nowadays with DLR to Docklands, London City Airport, Westfield shopping centre and the London Stadium (west ham), connections to East Anglia etc. I always go to Stansted Airport that way via the National Express Bus.
Railway myths #99:
No one will ever want to use HS1 domestic services to St Pancras, especially with those premium fares. o_O
 

BluePenguin

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I agree, Stratford is a good destination these days for many reasons. From here only 1 hour via Ashford but at least 2 hours going via Herne Bay

Railway myths #99:
No one will ever want to use HS1 domestic services to St Pancras, especially with those premium fares. o_O
They will if it is the only fast service available. Plus if they are making a long distance journey they don’t have to pay a premium anyway

Mind you, there is also the myth that HS1 is always the fastest way
 

duncombec

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Farringdon is not a member of 'London Terminals'
[...]
Yes, regular tickets to London Terminals are not valid to or via Farringdon, but an easement applies for fares routed 'via HS1'
Ah that would explain it - Farringdon is an easement rather than a group member. Our office moved in 2018, so I was trying to mentally remember the image of the poster!
In my experience of using that barrier line very regularly this is an extremely unusual problem.
I only used to travel by train at odd times - mostly bank holidays, or random Saturdays, and to cover "office hours" - so around 9am or closer to 6pm. I wouldn't say it happened every time, but as a percentage of my (limited) journeys, it was fairly high.
 

Horizon22

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Railway myths #99:
No one will ever want to use HS1 domestic services to St Pancras, especially with those premium fares. o_O
Prior to Covid HS1 had 90% of the London Traffic from Ashford. The SEML trains via Tonbridge were nearly empty leaving Ashford.
Stratford is a big destination nowadays with DLR to Docklands, London City Airport, Westfield shopping centre and the London Stadium (west ham), connections to East Anglia etc. I always go to Stansted Airport that way via the National Express Bus.

Not to mention considerable growth in Ashford plus people specifically moving there because of the high speed connections. When you look at marginal cost the extra £2-3K a year in ticket prices yet the same journey time for maybe a £100K cheaper house helped boost passenger numbers; HS1 reached capacity around 7-8 years earlier than modelled. It's an argument I always use with HS2 doubters about how high-speed rail in the UK can transform whole regions.

"If you build it, they will come".
 

paul1609

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Railway myths #99:
No one will ever want to use HS1 domestic services to St Pancras, especially with those premium fares. o_O
In truth if you're a regular commuter to East London its not that high a premium because if you go via Stratford International you don't need zone 1. Ashford to Zones 3-6 plus HS1 (Excel, City Airport , Canning Town, North Greenwich) is £18 a week more than Ashford to Zones 1 to 6 not HS1, Ashford to zones 2-6 plus HS1 £20 (canary Wharf etc.)
You also miss the joy of having to travel via Waterloo East because you can't board the crush loaded Jubilee Line at London bridge.

I agree, Stratford is a good destination these days for many reasons. From here only 1 hour via Ashford but at least 2 hours going via Herne Bay


They will if it is the only fast service available. Plus if they are making a long distance journey they don’t have to pay a premium anyway
From Ashford to St Pancras the peak trains (first stop Stratford) are scheduled 34 mins, the current service via Tonbridge takes 71 mins. The only way to speed that service up would be to omit the 5 stops on the Ashford to Tonbridge section. That would save 10 minutes.
When HS1 opened traffic at Headcorn dropped by about 35% because commuters that were railroading to there went to Ashford instead. West of Headcorn the commuter numbers have been steadily growing to the extent that nearly all 12 coach peaks (pre covid) were standing at Tonbridge in to London. At 61 mins journey time you'd have empty trains from Ashford wizzing past packed platforms at Staplehurst, Marsden and Paddock Wood. There is no more capacity on the Line in to Charing Cross to run extra stopping services for these stations. Dropping the fast Ashford services when HS1 opened made perfect sense to me and I think the passenger flows support that.
 
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