National Rail Connecting Journey Times

zcacmxi

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Joined
10 Aug 2021
Messages
27
Location
Kent
I notice the National Rail journey planner when connecting 2 trains at Waterloo/Waterloo East is leaving a very large gap for the connection.
Is there a better planner out there where you can specify the time required for the connection? E.g National Rail shows:

Train
19:20Virginia Water [VIR]
London Waterloo [WAT]
20:07
Walk
20:22London Waterloo [WAT]
London Waterloo East [WAE]
20:23
Train
20:35London Waterloo East [WAE]
New Eltham [NEH]
20:55

However, there's a 20:21 departing London Waterloo East [WAE] that gets into New Eltham [NEH] at 20:44.

20:07 to 20:21, 14mins is more than adequate for the connection which takes <5mins.
 
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317 forever

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A bit like how on a Saturday at least, there is a Northern train from Heaton Chapel at 06.11 arriving Stockport 06.15 and an Avanti train to London Euston departing Stockport 06.19 with cross-platform interchange. It is touch and go whether the connection will work out and it is not advertised, but it is possible in the end on some such days.
 

Watershed

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26 Sep 2020
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UK
I notice the National Rail journey planner when connecting 2 trains at Waterloo/Waterloo East is leaving a very large gap for the connection.
Is there a better planner out there where you can specify the time required for the connection? E.g National Rail shows:

Train
19:20Virginia Water [VIR]
London Waterloo [WAT]
20:07
Walk
20:22London Waterloo [WAT]
London Waterloo East [WAE]
20:23
Train
20:35London Waterloo East [WAE]
New Eltham [NEH]
20:55

However, there's a 20:21 departing London Waterloo East [WAE] that gets into New Eltham [NEH] at 20:44.

20:07 to 20:21, 14mins is more than adequate for the connection which takes <5mins.
There are tools such as FastJP that let you search for itineraries with changes under the minimum connection time. Google Maps just seems to suggest itineraries based on its own connection times (which are quite tight in my experience, particularly for Deep Tube stations etc. where there's a lot of walking required).

You won't be able to buy a ticket in conjunction with such an itinerary, because ticket retailers must pass various forms of industry accreditation which check for compliance with these minima. Therefore you won't get Advance tickets on such itineraries.

If you have a flexible ticket you're more than welcome to try and make unofficial connections, but your entitlement to delay compensation, alternative transport in the case of disruption etc. will be governed based on the official connection times.
 

zcacmxi

Member
Joined
10 Aug 2021
Messages
27
Location
Kent
Thanks, I didnt know about FastJP. I checked it out, it's exactly what I want!

Unsure how/where the 'Minimum 16minute connection time' comes from or was arrived at. Potentially to allow some leeway in case leg 1 is delayed a few minutes, etc.

But in this instance, I think only a tortoise would take 16mins+ to get from Waterloo East to Waterloo platforms. In my example above, it shows a journey with 29mins connection time, and is not reflective of reality for majority of passengers who would easily catch the train available with 14mins connection time, and still be waiting 10mins!
 
Last edited:

miklcct

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Messages
415
Location
Bournemouth
Thanks, I didnt know about FastJP. I checked it out, it's exactly what I want!

Unsure how/where the 'Minimum 16minute connection time' comes from or was arrived at. Potentially to allow some leeway in case leg 1 is delayed a few minutes, etc.

But in this instance, I think only a tortoise would take 16mins+ to get from Waterloo East to Waterloo platforms. In my example above, it shows a journey with 29mins connection time, and is not reflective of reality for majority of passengers who would easily catch the train available with 14mins connection time, and still be waiting 10mins!

The official connection time of London Waterloo is 15 minutes, adding 1 minute of walking time into it so it is 16 minutes.

There are tools such as FastJP that let you search for itineraries with changes under the minimum connection time. Google Maps just seems to suggest itineraries based on its own connection times (which are quite tight in my experience, particularly for Deep Tube stations etc. where there's a lot of walking required).

You won't be able to buy a ticket in conjunction with such an itinerary, because ticket retailers must pass various forms of industry accreditation which check for compliance with these minima. Therefore you won't get Advance tickets on such itineraries.

If you have a flexible ticket you're more than welcome to try and make unofficial connections, but your entitlement to delay compensation, alternative transport in the case of disruption etc. will be governed based on the official connection times.

Thank you very much!!!!!!!!! This is very useful for me to squeeze the connection times if none of the official connections give me a short-enough itinerary.
 

Hadders

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Senior Fares Advisor
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Messages
8,925
Thanks, I didnt know about FastJP. I checked it out, it's exactly what I want!

Unsure how/where the 'Minimum 16minute connection time' comes from or was arrived at. Potentially to allow some leeway in case leg 1 is delayed a few minutes, etc.

But in this instance, I think only a tortoise would take 16mins+ to get from Waterloo East to Waterloo platforms. In my example above, it shows a journey with 29mins connection time, and is not reflective of reality for majority of passengers who would easily catch the train available with 14mins connection time, and still be waiting 10mins!
The minimum connection time has to account for someone who is unfamiliar with Waterloo and Waterloo East alighting from the country end of a train at, for example, Waterloo platform 1 walking at an average pace to Waterloo East.
 

zcacmxi

Member
Joined
10 Aug 2021
Messages
27
Location
Kent
The minimum connection time has to account for someone who is unfamiliar with Waterloo and Waterloo East alighting from the country end of a train at, for example, Waterloo platform 1 walking at an average pace to Waterloo East.
Using maximums / lowest common denominator may not yield the best for the majority of 'regulars'. It 'might' be fine as a default for the occasional user or those unfamiliar, etc. However, for those familiar who regularly make the journey, I prefer the FastJP approach who have exposed this variable and made it configurable. The results are then more relevant and reflective on reality.

No harm ultimately, I make my way to the other platform as quickly as possible and in the majority of cases will get an earlier train and complete my journey sooner than specified by national rail..
 

Hadders

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Senior Fares Advisor
Joined
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Messages
8,925
Using maximums / lowest common denominator may not yield the best for the majority of 'regulars'. It 'might' be fine as a default for the occasional user or those unfamiliar, etc. However, for those familiar who regularly make the journey, I prefer the FastJP approach who have exposed this variable and made it configurable. The results are then more relevant and reflective on reality.

No harm ultimately, I make my way to the other platform as quickly as possible and in the majority of cases will get an earlier train and complete my journey sooner than specified by national rail..
You are free to take your chances on a shorter connection if you are using a flexible ticket (and I have done so myself many times) but you cannot expect the railway to provide protection or pay delay replay compensation if you haven’t allowed the minimum interchange time where you change trains.

A ticket selling website must always allow the minimum interchange times.
 

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