MSE split ticketing app

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cjohnson

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Just downloaded it and gave it a go - seems to work nicely as intended (although doesn't support typing in the three letter station code which is a bit annoying!) and there are enough caveats in the app about the train needing to call at the splitting point, checking the tickets T&Cs etc.
Currently only for walkup fares, but when it finds splits the splitting point will no doubt be useful for advance journeys.
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If you don't have an iPhone you can go to the mobile site (but seems to work fine in a normal browser) which looks exactly the same as the app:

http://splitticket.moneysavingexpert.com/
 

LexyBoy

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Their FAQ I'd not be so doesn't exactly inspire confidence.
Is it legal?
Yes. Technically, they could ask you to disembark and board again, though we've only heard of this once.
:roll:

Interesting to see how they get on- it seems that (unlike other websites which used screenscrapers to get data from NRE) they are using a legitimate data feed for times and fares:
This is a three-month trial of the technology and is currently free. However, every time you search we have to pay.
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I've noticed that it seems to only look for the fastest trains, meaning that some cheap options are missed - for example, Reading to Gloucester in the afternoon peak suggests a SOS to Swindon then SSS to Gloucester on the 1711, when it is cheaper to take a slightly earlier train which stops at Didcot and split there.

Understandable though; if you start taking slower services where do you end?
 

FenMan

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Definitely a version 1.

Entering Blackwater (BAW) to Rugby (RUG), the output was the £79.50 ticket, route Via London.

It ignored the Via Oxford routeing, priced at £52, and the obvious split on this route at Banbury:-

BAW --> BAN: £14.40
BAN --> RUG: £15.60
Total: £30.00*

*Splitting twice would result in a small additional saving.

Still, early days. Good luck to the developers!
 

cjohnson

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Definitely a version 1.

Entering Blackwater (BAW) to Rugby (RUG), the output was the £79.50 ticket, route Via London.

It ignored the Via Oxford routeing, priced at £52, and the obvious split on this route at Banbury:-

BAW --> BAN: £14.40
BAN --> RUG: £15.60
Total: £30.00*

*Splitting twice would result in a small additional saving.

Still, early days. Good luck to the developers!
Try searching at different times - that gave me the split at Banbury and compared it to the via Oxford fare.
The app also says it's only currently spllitting journeys at one point at the moment.
 

Clip

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I've noticed that it seems to only look for the fastest trains, meaning that some cheap options are missed - for example, Reading to Gloucester in the afternoon peak suggests a SOS to Swindon then SSS to Gloucester on the 1711, when it is cheaper to take a slightly earlier train which stops at Didcot and split there.

Understandable though; if you start taking slower services where do you end?
But as a website that is all about money saving then if slwer journeys are cheaper then it should show them should it not? Thats the whole point of their exercise
 

LexyBoy

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But as a website that is all about money saving then if slwer journeys are cheaper then it should show them should it not? Thats the whole point of their exercise
Yes - certainly it should show some (more than it does now). But there must be a cut off somewhere otherwise it would be suggesting ridiculously slow routes and require enormous processing power (as it would have to check all possible routeings).

I think the most succesful approach would be to combine an automated split-checking algorithm with user-submitted splits and/or routeings.
 

Clip

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Yes - certainly it should show some (more than it does now). But there must be a cut off somewhere otherwise it would be suggesting ridiculously slow routes and require enormous processing power (as it would have to check all possible routeings).

I think the most succesful approach would be to combine an automated split-checking algorithm with user-submitted splits and/or routeings.
But for users of the site and therefore the app are looking for the best possible price and therefore the cheapest and if that means the slowest then so be it.

Obviously its just a test at the moment but if they want to be the first one who cracks it then they must get it down to the lowest price possible. If not then its not doing its job.
 

MarkyMarkD

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My feedback is that (a) it's very quick and (b) it provides a sensible split for a local journey. It is clever than some split generating software, in that it is actually timetable based. Other software can suggest theoretically cheaper splits but which are in practice impossible (or very difficult) to actually travel - e.g. where there are no sensible journeys between the origin and the split point.

Being restricted to singles is VERY annoying and a major flaw. I am sure that they are intending to fix this in a subsequent release.

It's also VERY annoying that they don't accept 3 letter/4 digit codes (e.g. LBG for London Bridge or 1072 for London Terminals). I know lots of people won't know them, but if they returned them in the results, it would not take long for users to learn the relevant ones and hence make the app easier to use.
 

Oscar

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Software like this seems to be good to use as a tool for finding a fare which is better value than the obvious one but it is only one of several tools to use. It could be a good starting point for someone unfamiliar with the fares in a certain area. It certainly cannot however do the whole job for you as some people seem to think! When considered as just another tool available, I think it works reasonably well but should show slower but cheaper routes rather e.g. York - Hartlepool - Newcastle as well as York - Durham - Newcastle rather than using the fastest trains as its starting point.
 

MarkyMarkD

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The FAQ is not so hot.

MSE FAQ said:
ALWAYS check advance fares first
If you're buying the day before travel or earlier, ALWAYS check online for cheap advances first. This trial version of TicketySplit can only check walk-up fares. Even if you don’t split 'em, cheap advances are likely to beat split walk-on fares. See how at www.moneysavingexpert.com/trains
Yes, but of course advances have less flexibility.

Be careful if you change trains
Beware split-ticketing at stations where you change trains. If your service is delayed and you've a time-specific ticket, you may need to pay extra. Non-advance fares listed in this tool shouldn't specify a certain train. But if you purchased an off-peak ticket that requires you to travel at specific times of day, and the delay takes you outside those times, you'll have to pay again.
This section is complete tosh. If you have two offpeak tickets, and a delay means that you have to make your second leg on a train which is not valid with an offpeak ticket, that is not your problem.

Trains must call at the stations
The train MUST call at all the stations you buy tickets to and from. This tool only splits tickets at stations where trains stop, but watch out if you're finding splits for yourself on booking sites.
To be fair, this is the best thing about their application - it provides actual workable splits, for actual journeys, not theoretical ones which don't work in practice.
 

Indigo2

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This section is complete tosh. If you have two offpeak tickets, and a delay means that you have to make your second leg on a train which is not valid with an offpeak ticket, that is not your problem.
Is that true? I've wondered about that from time to time. It seems logical that it should be valid, but off the top of my head I'm not aware of any written evidence such as there is for advance fares in the ATOC memo from a while ago.
 

MarkyMarkD

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This old Railforums thread: http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=32311 suggests that there isn't an issue when going from a delayed non-Advance leg to an Advance leg. By extrapolation, I'd suggest that this also should apply therefore to going from a delayed non-Advance leg to another non-Advance leg.

Passenger charters include words like:
Southern passenger charter said:
We will make every effort to get you to your destination station or provide other arrangements and our staff can help you to plan the rest of your journey when trains are seriously delayed.
It's down to interpretation whether you think that means "at no extra cost to you" (but I think it obviously does) and therefore whether they should allow you to travel in (say) an evening peak when the only reason you didn't travel off-peak is that their train was delayed (again, I'd say it's obvious that they should).
 
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All Line Rover

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Overall, I am mildly impressed with the app. It needs improving, and the idea that the app will save me having to check split-tickets manually is far, FAR away. Nevertheless, any new tool is a useful tool. :)

Some of the advice in the FAQ is poor, but then MSE aren't train ticket experts, nor do they claim to be.

What I don't understand is why MSE only have a "3 month free trial," as it is a non-commercial app (Martin Lewis makes most of his money through referral links on his website and television appearances - the actual advice on the MSE website is free). ATOC data is free for non-commercial use, so why can MSE only use it for free for 3 months?*

EDIT: Scrap that. A regular supply of fares and routeing data IS chargeable for both commercial and non-commercial use. Which leads to the question of why ATOC have granted a 3 month "free trial" of the use of their data for a split-ticketing app!
 
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LexyBoy

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This old Railforums thread: http://www.railforums.co.uk/showthread.php?t=32311 suggests that there isn't an issue when going from a delayed non-Advance leg to an Advance leg. By extrapolation, I'd suggest that this also should apply therefore to going from a delayed non-Advance leg to another non-Advance leg.
I can use an Off Peak ticket costing £40 on any of the services that day for which this fare is displayed. By extrapolation, I would expect to be able to use a £35 Advance fare on any service where that fare is available...

I would hope that TOCs would allow travel in this situation, but I'd certainly not rely on it. I expect most TOCs would refund an excess issued due to delays they had caused though.
 

All Line Rover

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I would hope that TOCs would allow travel in this situation, but I'd certainly not rely on it. I expect most TOCs would refund an excess issued due to delays they had caused though.
I'm in total agreement, for for MSE to suggest that would be foolish.
 

Simon11

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I think the issue with them planning to charge in the future is not with being able to get the data from ATOC, but rather to do with server/processing power.

Even with such a basic app, I'm sure there are lots of calculations and routes to check, which mean more back office equipment.

Enhancing the app with Advance fares etc, will only make it worse
 

MarkyMarkD

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I can use an Off Peak ticket costing £40 on any of the services that day for which this fare is displayed. By extrapolation, I would expect to be able to use a £35 Advance fare on any service where that fare is available...

I would hope that TOCs would allow travel in this situation, but I'd certainly not rely on it. I expect most TOCs would refund an excess issued due to delays they had caused though.
Your extraopolation doesn't make sense, whereas mine does!

NRCOC clearly states that a combination of tickets may be used for a journey.

The Advance ticket guidance issued to TOC staff is clear that the normal conditions applicable to Advance tickets are disapplied, if the customer suffers a delay at an early stage in a through journey, even if the tickets are split.

It would be very unreasonable, indeed, if this same disapplication did not apply to flexible offpeak tickets.

This is another issue which would be worth asking ATOC or one or more rail operators to clear up. Indeed, I'll gladly do so if you like as this issue could affect me very regularly (as I often buy connecting tickets to London, because through Advances are not always available, and the same could apply to through non-Advances).
 

All Line Rover

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I think the issue with them planning to charge in the future is not with being able to get the data from ATOC, but rather to do with server/processing power.

Even with such a basic app, I'm sure there are lots of calculations and routes to check, which mean more back office equipment.

Enhancing the app with Advance fares etc, will only make it worse
But then how have they obtained, as they put it, a "free-trial?" Free server use for three months, maybe?
 

MikeWh

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But then how have they obtained, as they put it, a "free-trial?" Free server use for three months, maybe?
This is a three-month trial of the technology and is currently free. However, every time you search we have to pay.
I read that to suggest that they are paying per search. They are probably making it free to use to start with so they can get a feel for what searches are being done etc. Maybe they can fine-tune their processes when they see how the real world uses the app. As mentioned elsewhere, MSE gets quite a bit of money from affiliate links, so perhaps they figure that this is a better way to test the software, rather than pay testers who might not do what real people do.
 

Ivo

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This might be useful for the average passenger with no means of assistance, but the FAQ needs to be improved first. I would much rather rely on what I know and can find (and ditto what you guys can find) though.

Partly courtesy of one certain member on here whose name I shall not reveal, I know a way to get from Bath to Southend with a Railcard for less than £25. The MSE thing is suggesting splitting at Fenchurch Street, which is daft at best...

Booking in advance is usually cheaper
Oh really? They should at least state that only certain TOCs sell Advance fares. I would also suggest saying "often" and not "usually".
 

All Line Rover

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Gaztynan said:
About time these fares wern't "hidden" although i fear it will push prices up!
Ideally it will push prices DOWN as customers will come to realise how much of a rip off tickets priced by certain TOC's (*cough* XC *cough*) are. As was mentioned a few weeks ago, some TOC's benefit from split-ticketing, because since they price the split-ticket they get a higher percentage of the revenue even though you won't even be using them! These TOC's have absolutely no incentive to raise prices. In most instances they can't anyway because of regulation. It's those rip off TOC's who need to lower their unregulated peak tickets.

Split-ticketing won't have much of an impact on "express" TOC's (VT and EC), because they don't have many useful splitting points! (Obviously things change when Condition 19 is taken into account, but I can't imagine MSE promoting such complicated tactics).
 

Cundy66

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A frequent journey I take from Sheffield to Skegness to visit family is coming up as an invalid route, how can it be invalid when it is very easy to do??? Also tried searching from Derby to Skegness as I will be doing that route late July and I thought I'd see if splits where available and it comes up with only one train (with connections) at 1905 but as far as I knew the last EMT to Skegness from Nottingham is before 1900 believe its the 1845???

How can you send them feed back?
 

Clip

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A frequent journey I take from Sheffield to Skegness to visit family is coming up as an invalid route, how can it be invalid when it is very easy to do??? Also tried searching from Derby to Skegness as I will be doing that route late July and I thought I'd see if splits where available and it comes up with only one train (with connections) at 1905 but as far as I knew the last EMT to Skegness from Nottingham is before 1900 believe its the 1845???

How can you send them feed back?
They were asking for feedback in the thread in my OP but you would have to register.

Interesting you mention about them giving one train for a journey - when I tested it for a trip from London to Newcastle the other day they would not give me any other route apart from a train departing at 1700 and using a SOS for half the journey to York and splitting there. Never mind that I had asked for 1400 :oops:

Still its in testing and it seems some people are having some luck so I guess when they put in the advance fares it may work a lot better,.
 

Cundy66

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Ideally it will push prices DOWN as customers will come to realise how much of a rip off tickets priced by certain TOC's (*cough* XC *cough*) are. As was mentioned a few weeks ago, some TOC's benefit from split-ticketing, because since they price the split-ticket they get a higher percentage of the revenue even though you won't even be using them! These TOC's have absolutely no incentive to raise prices. In most instances they can't anyway because of regulation. It's those rip off TOC's who need to lower their unregulated peak tickets.

Split-ticketing won't have much of an impact on "express" TOC's (VT and EC), because they don't have many useful splitting points! (Obviously things change when Condition 19 is taken into account, but I can't imagine MSE promoting such complicated tactics).
what is condition 19?
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
They were asking for feedback in the thread in my OP but you would have to register.

Interesting you mention about them giving one train for a journey - when I tested it for a trip from London to Newcastle the other day they would not give me any other route apart from a train departing at 1700 and using a SOS for half the journey to York and splitting there. Never mind that I had asked for 1400 :oops:

Still its in testing and it seems some people are having some luck so I guess when they put in the advance fares it may work a lot better,.
Yes i indeed asked for a 1030 departure and got the 1905 which is XC from Birmingham to Nottingham and then as far as I am aware there is no Nottingham to Skegness at the time that would get me there. :roll:
 

bb21

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what is condition 19?
National Rail Conditions of Carriage Condition 19, which allows passengers to travel on services which do not stop at the point where they switch over from one ticket to the next under certain circumstances.

The document is here.
 

dggar

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I started a thread asking for advice regarding Manchester _Whitby splits.

I tried using this and it sugested I split at Stalybridge!!!
 
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