Manchester to Middlesbrough

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Sidious

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Hi,

I have a valid return portion of my off-peak return from Middlesbrogh to Manchester.

I intend to use it tomorrow and wish to travel to Durham.

I have checked the ATOC routeing guide and this states the valid routes between the two ticketing groups as LY+NE, NH+TP, TP.

I initially thought that I would have to use the ticket Manchester to Darlington, and then buy a single from Darlington to Durham. However the NE map appears to show three possible routes between York and Middlesbrough: York - Middlesbrough Direct (via Yarm, although Yarm isn't shown on the map)
York - Darlington - Middlesbrough
York - Darlington - Newcastle - Sunderland - Middlesbrough

The latter doesn't appear to fall foul of the 'doubling back' rule of passing through the same station twice, but on face value seems to be an out of the way route to be 'permitted'.

I am seeking some clarity as to whether the York to Middlesbrough via Newcastle route is indeed permitted and that my understanding of the routing guide is correct, if anyone is able to help. As such this would allow a break of journey at Durham without having to buy a new ticket.

Many thanks.
 
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Quite clearly permitted as you say. Not sure if you'll have trouble, if a guard queries it then say you checked that it's valid via Newcastle and Sunderland in the Routeing Guide. That should indicate that you know what you're doing, and on their head be it if they charge you.

HOWEVER- be careful to travel via the Calder Valley as that is the only option on map LY.

Oh, and as you may know Durham has barriers so expect to have to explain there.
 
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Sidious

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Quite clearly permitted as you say. Not sure if you'll have trouble, if a guard queries it then say you checked that it's valid via Newcastle and Sunderland in the Routeing Guide. That should indicate that you know what you're doing, and on their head be it if they charge you.

HOWEVER- be careful to travel via the Calder Valley as that is the only option on map LY.

Oh, and as you may know Durham has barriers so expect to have to explain there.

Thanks for your prompt reply. I intended to travel TP to York then NE to Durham. Are you suggesting that if I wish to use the 'NE' bit to break my journey at Durham then I must arrive at York/Leeds having travelled via Halifax?

I know it's a bit of an odd one.
 

sonic2009

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Sidious, welcome to the forum :)

To find out which routes are valid, we do have to look the ATOC routeing guide which you have appear to have done.

The permitted routes between Manchester & Middlesborough are :

  • Direct trains between Manchester & Middlesborough

  • The shortest route with a regular train service which is 119.08 miles :

    Manchester Piccadilly, Guide Bridge, Stalybridge, Huddersfield, Leeds, York, Northallerton, Yarm, Thornaby,Middlesborough.

The following are always permitted unless an easement prevents them :

  • Any route 122.08 miles or less ( within 3 miles of the shortest route shown above)

  • Mapped routes from Manchester to Middlesborough :

  • Any additional routes provided by an easement.


For the journey you wish to undertake you must travel :

  • Manchester Victoria - Hebden Bridge - Halifax - Bradford Interchange - Leeds - York - Durham - Newcastle - Sunderland - Middlesborough ( The only permitted route for the journey you wish to undertake with a break of journey at Durham). Valid via Maps LY + NE.

Expect to be challenged at the barriers at Durham, but take a printout of the relevant pages from the routeing guide and show them if you get any problems.

Also your ticket carries restriction 8A, which doesn't allow break of journey on the outward portion, but allows break of journey on the return portion. So you are perfectly fine in what you wish to do, just expect to be challenged.
 
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Sidious

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Excellent! Many thanks for your help to both of you, for confirming what I first thought. I will however ensure I travel via Halifax on the first section.

I will let you know if I have any issues (which I am expecting).
 

sonic2009

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Excellent! Many thanks for your help to both of you, for confirming what I first thought. I will however ensure I travel via Halifax on the first section.

I will let you know if I have any issues (which I am expecting).

I'm sure if you explain to the Northern Guard, which route you are taking he could stamp or write on your ticket ' travelled via Halifax', then this would help you incase the barrier staff at Durham asked have you travelled via Halifax.

I'm sure the Northern guards on here will be able to comment if a guard can do this.
 

hairyhandedfool

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Shouldn't be any need to get the ticket endorsed. They will either accept that the route is valid, or claim that it is not.
 

General Zod

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Sonic,
I've tried to purchase a Manchester - Middlesbrough ( via Durham | Newcastle | Sunderland) ticket on the various websites but none of them oblige. Last year I had a Birmingham New St. - Middlesbrough SVR ( Any Permitted) and on return wanted to pop into Newcastle for a quick beer. Unfortunately, the ticket staff insisted that I was only allowed to travel to Birmingham via Darlington and not Sunderland, Newcastle (BOJ) , so I gave in.

The National Rail Journey Planner suggests the purchase of two separate tickets.
 
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ainsworth74

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Ok. What's the procedure if they don't accept the route is valid?

Argue your case using the documentation you have with you (I'd take the maps as well as the appropriate pink and yellow pages). If they still refuse to back down then there are a couple of things that could happen. Firstly they could try and make you buy a ticket that they think is valid (probably but by no means certainly a Darlington - Durham single), in your place I would refuse to buy this and continue to state that my ticket is valid. The will then probably try and issue you with a Un-Paid Fares Notice (UPFN), if I were in your position at this point I'd accept the UPFN then come on here and request help getting it overturned (which shouldn't be too hard). Two things to note about UPFNs they aren't a fine just a notice to say that you owe the railway money (though ignoring them can lead to criminal proceedings, but seeing as your going to be contesting it there's no need to worry about this). Secondly do not ask for one. I can't stress this enough, if you directly ask for a UPFN TOC staff will immediately assume you're up to something dodgy as the only people who should know about them are normally fare evaders. Saying that you heard about them on a forum won't help to change their mind.

Having said all that it's most unlikely that anything like this will happen as I'd expect most staff will just accept it once you starting getting pages of the routeing guide out as it's clear at that point you know your stuff.
 

yorkie

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A passenger travelled from Newcastle to Carlisle via York & Leeds, when this was a permitted route. He was challenged several times, but the ticket was accepted each time because he showed the relevant pages from the Routeing Guide.

Another passenger did the same thing, carrying no documentation. He was charged a new ticket for the portion of the journey that was on the train where the ticket was rejected. He wrote to Northern requesting a refund. The refund was given, however the routes were removed a few months later.

There are other tickets that allow similarly long routes. Passengers buying these tickets generally buy between obscure stations that are less well-known, and are far, far less likely to be challenged as a result. It's no more valid to buy to/from obscure stations, but it does reduce the probability of incorrectly being told the ticket is not valid.
 

cuccir

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Except, I'd add, that I don't think this routeing (Manchester-Middlesbrough via Newcastle/Sunderland) is all that out-of-the-way or long-winded. It seems a reasonable route to allow, even if it is one that relatively few passengers would chose to use.
 

Sidious

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Thanks for all the advice.

I travelled Victoria - Leeds with Northern, Leeds - York TPE and boarded a Crosscountry Voyager, complete with toilet smell at York. The conductor came around and checked my ticket. She told me to change at Darlington for Middlesbrough, and I told her I was actually going to Durham. She advised me there would be an excess fare, but I pointed out that I believed it to be a valid route.

She came back a few minutes later, and agreed with me. She did (helpfully) point out that if I wanted to carry on to Middlesbrough I could only do this by going on to Newcastle and then down the coast, and not travelling back south to Darlington.

So far so good.

At Durham the ticket barriers wouldn't open, but the assistant looked at my ticket and let me through. She also told me that if I wanted to carry on to Middlesbrough later, that I would have to go via Newcastle, as the ticket was no longer valid via Darlington.

All in all, no hassle, and I didn't have to show or even mention the routing guide. It must be a frequently used loophole on the East coast, as looking at the "EE" map in the routing guide, this also allows travel via Newcastle and Sunderland for Middlesbrough, which is a surprise to me as I would guess it is close to adding 40 miles on to the journey.

Once again many thanks to all who offered advice, and I shall call again for obscure ticket options!

Kind regards.
 

cuccir

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And, I think, exemplary attitudes/advice from all the staff you encountered - one willing to check when contradicted, and one providing extra assistance beyond what was required!
 

district

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And, I think, exemplary attitudes/advice from all the staff you encountered - one willing to check when contradicted, and one providing extra assistance beyond what was required!

This would be the time to write in to the TOC to congratulate them on having such well trained staff!
 

sheff1

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And, I think, exemplary attitudes/advice from all the staff you encountered - one willing to check when contradicted, and one providing extra assistance beyond what was required!

Indeed. If only all staff had similar attitudes .... this forum would then be a lot less busy.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
This would be the time to write in to the TOC to congratulate them on having such well trained staff!

Certainly. I would just suggest that you don't mention the specific ticket ... say something along the lines of 'a complicated routed ticket'.
 

neilmc

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Obvious question - given that the bizarre routing involves travelling via Halifax on the Manchester to Leeds section, but only the validity of the section north of York is in dispute, how would anyone verify that you have not gone the obvious shorter route via Huddersfield, which surely would be the norm if you were going the direct route to Middlesbrough?
 

Solent&Wessex

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Indeed. If only all staff had similar attitudes .... this forum would then be a lot less busy.
.

Indeed. Yesterday I was using a PRIV discounted Lancashire Day Ranger with my Dad who was using a SNR version. All was fine (perhaps due to the conspicuous lack of ticket inspections on nearly every Northern train I went on), until we reached Southport having come in from Wigan. There I encountered the barrier which would not accept my ticket. The staff looked at the ticket, told me it wasn't valid, and sent me to the XS fares window. I produced the map I had printed from NRES, which they inspected, and declared it was wrong. After discussions between a number of staff they begrudgingly let me out, but threatened me with a PF if I attempted to use MerseyRail services - which is exactly what I wanted to do next. Anyway a short while later I ended up in the "M to go" shop when one of barrier staff approached me and said he wanted my ticket as he had checked and it certainly wasn't valid. Then along came the Supervisor who said it wasn't valid. I asked them to check NRES or The Manual which they refused to do - even denying that The Manual existed. After a heated debate the counter clerk produced a Northern produced leaflet giving details of the Day Ranger range. They studied the map in there, looked at the map I had, muttered amongst themselves that they thought the leaflet contained the wrong map too, then without word of apology for wasting 15 minutes our time thrust the tickets and map back and stomped off in a huff.

Now I often check tickets I am not sure, as the XC guard did above, but I will always explain why, politely, and if I am wrong I will admit I was wrong, graciously and politely, whilst apologising for the delay whilst I checked something I wasn't too sure about. Why do some staff have to be so rude about it? It gives us all a bad name.
 

sonic2009

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Indeed. Yesterday I was using a PRIV discounted Lancashire Day Ranger with my Dad who was using a SNR version. All was fine (perhaps due to the conspicuous lack of ticket inspections on nearly every Northern train I went on), until we reached Southport having come in from Wigan. There I encountered the barrier which would not accept my ticket. The staff looked at the ticket, told me it wasn't valid, and sent me to the XS fares window. I produced the map I had printed from NRES, which they inspected, and declared it was wrong. After discussions between a number of staff they begrudgingly let me out, but threatened me with a PF if I attempted to use MerseyRail services - which is exactly what I wanted to do next. Anyway a short while later I ended up in the "M to go" shop when one of barrier staff approached me and said he wanted my ticket as he had checked and it certainly wasn't valid. Then along came the Supervisor who said it wasn't valid. I asked them to check NRES or The Manual which they refused to do - even denying that The Manual existed. After a heated debate the counter clerk produced a Northern produced leaflet giving details of the Day Ranger range. They studied the map in there, looked at the map I had, muttered amongst themselves that they thought the leaflet contained the wrong map too, then without word of apology for wasting 15 minutes our time thrust the tickets and map back and stomped off in a huff.

Now I often check tickets I am not sure, as the XC guard did above, but I will always explain why, politely, and if I am wrong I will admit I was wrong, graciously and politely, whilst apologising for the delay whilst I checked something I wasn't too sure about. Why do some staff have to be so rude about it? It gives us all a bad name.

I would certainly send a letter to Merseyrail about this.
 

dave4jackie

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Indeed. Yesterday I was using a PRIV discounted Lancashire Day Ranger with my Dad who was using a SNR version. All was fine (perhaps due to the conspicuous lack of ticket inspections on nearly every Northern train I went on), until we reached Southport having come in from Wigan. There I encountered the barrier which would not accept my ticket. The staff looked at the ticket, told me it wasn't valid, and sent me to the XS fares window. I produced the map I had printed from NRES, which they inspected, and declared it was wrong. After discussions between a number of staff they begrudgingly let me out, but threatened me with a PF if I attempted to use MerseyRail services - which is exactly what I wanted to do next. Anyway a short while later I ended up in the "M to go" shop when one of barrier staff approached me and said he wanted my ticket as he had checked and it certainly wasn't valid. Then along came the Supervisor who said it wasn't valid. I asked them to check NRES or The Manual which they refused to do - even denying that The Manual existed. After a heated debate the counter clerk produced a Northern produced leaflet giving details of the Day Ranger range. They studied the map in there, looked at the map I had, muttered amongst themselves that they thought the leaflet contained the wrong map too, then without word of apology for wasting 15 minutes our time thrust the tickets and map back and stomped off in a huff.

Now I often check tickets I am not sure, as the XC guard did above, but I will always explain why, politely, and if I am wrong I will admit I was wrong, graciously and politely, whilst apologising for the delay whilst I checked something I wasn't too sure about. Why do some staff have to be so rude about it? It gives us all a bad name.

what time did you come through southport at please as i work in the ticket office and we sell plenty of lancashire day rangers
 

yorkie

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I'm glad the OP experienced no problems, and most of the time, there will be no problems. But do this sort of journey many times, and you will encounter a problem eventually, and be falsely accused of being invalid and given all sorts of threats. So you must be prepared for that, and never get aggressive back, remaining assertive at all times.

There are a relatively very small number of staff who will refuse to look things up, so even if something is pretty clear, as they won't look nor listen, they refuse to budge even when wrong. These people are certainly in the minority, but can be extremely vocal and if such a person is encountered when on a ticket or routeing that is unfamiliar, problems can occur.

For example several forum members have contacted me independently about one particular (now ex-) guard who made several rules up as he went along. He's learnt the hard way that the Routeing Guide, The Manual, and the NRCoC do in fact exist and are authoritative and don't say whatever he happens to think up at the time. However it takes a huge, enormous number of serious complaints before anything is done, and for years he was able to unfairly give the entire industry a bad name in the eyes of his victims. On some occasions I did not need to be given his name, I simply asked the unfortunate passenger if it was him, and they wondered how I guessed. There's others around that are not as bad, but can come close on occasion. :|
 

34D

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They studied the map in there, looked at the map I had, muttered amongst themselves that they thought the leaflet contained the wrong map too, then without word of apology for wasting 15 minutes our time thrust the tickets and map back and stomped off in a huff.

Wow - that's bad. If this was a normal person posting on here I suspect some of us may have disbelieved them/thought they'd been arsey/etc/etc.

Do you have an internal way of raising issues like this, anyone you can send a constructive email to?
 

Solent&Wessex

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what time did you come through southport at please as i work in the ticket office and we sell plenty of lancashire day rangers

I recall the bloke on the counter telling the supervisor and barrier staff that he had sold some before, but he wasn't really involved - he just produced the leaflet from the desk. The main conversation took place to the side.

 

yorkie

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I would certainly send a letter to Merseyrail about this.
I completely agree, and a very good apology needs to be issued by Merseyrail. I'd copy Northern into the complaint (as a customer of Northern's, plus the fact that Northern market this product).

Wow - that's bad. If this was a normal person posting on here I suspect some of us may have disbelieved them/thought they'd been arsey/etc/etc.
I like to think I would have believed them, but you're right, some wouldn't.

Also, a 'normal' ;))) customer might have caved in and coughed up for a new ticket, or alternatively might have got very angry (and then of course be accused of being "abusive" - never let them use this against you as that's what they want). Some of them go for 'easy targets' - or so they think.... ;)
 

Solent&Wessex

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..... but these people 'know' they are right, even when shown evidence which proves they are not. If I had a £1 for every time I have been told "the website/leaflet/NRES/Routeing Guide etc is wrong" ......

The main argument from the staff was that it says Lancashire Day Ranger, I wasn't in Lancashire, so therefore it wasn't valid.

I have no problem with people not being sure about something, then going away to look it up, then coming back with a verdict - I've done it myself many times. It is the impolite and abrupt way they go about it, and then get in a huff when proved wrong, which annoys me both in this instance, and the countless ones reported on here regularly by others. If you are wrong, you are wrong. Admit you were wrong, apologise for the inconvenience, and offer some excuse about it being a rare ticket, something you couldn't remember or didn't see often etc.

 
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