Northampton to Birmingham validity.

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David57

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I have bought tickets for this route for donkeys years for (usually) off peak leisure travel, and the ticket has always (as far as I recall) been for B'Ham New Street.

I bought a Day return on Saturday, Ticket says 'B'Ham Stns', the TVM clearly showed validity to New St, Snow Hill, and Moor St, 'via any permitted route'..

The obvious route is via Rugby/Coventry, but would this ticket be valid via Coventry and Leamington into Moor St/Snow Hill, or via Nuneaton?
 
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maniacmartin

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This post has been edited since originally being posted

Previously the ticket would have printed to BIRMINGHAM STNS

There is new software being rolled out to TVMs that lists all of the members of groups like this, as some people don't know which stations are in each group. I doubt that it actually checks if there are permitted routes to each of the group members though.

Here's the permitted routes as per the Routeing Guide, for an Any Permitted ticket:

Northhampton to Birmingham Routeing Group is valid on maps SM or WM (page 1351 of Yellow Pages 17/02/2016), which gives the following permitted routes:

SM: Northampton - Rugby - Coventry - Birmingham Group
WM: Northampton - Rugby - Nuneaton - Birmingham Group

Also note that a route being permitted in the Routeing Guide does not guarantee it being hassle-free
 
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David57

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I appreciate your help in satisfying my curiosity, and also your last comment!!!
 

CyrusWuff

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There are three basic ways of determining route validity for "Any Permitted" tickets:
  • The shortest distance (by rail) over which a regular service operates is always a permitted route
  • A direct train is a permitted route for that journey
  • Routes shown in the National Routeing Guide

The definitive source of mileages for "shortest route" purposes is the National Rail Timetable, which can be found here on the Network Rail site.

Table 66 of the NRT gives Northampton - Birmingham New Street as being 49.5 miles. Northampton - Coventry - Leamington Spa - Birmingham Moor Street, on the other hand, is 62.25 miles, so fails the "shortest route" test by a significant margin. It's also not a direct train, so we need to undertake a routeing guide check to determine validity.

Northampton and Birmingham are both routeing points, so we don't need to do a fares check to see which to use, and can jump straight to checking combinations of maps.

This tells us that permitted routes can be found on maps SM and WM.

Map SM shows the obvious route via Rugby and Coventry to New Street, but only permits travel as far as Tyseley if you head via Leamington.

Map WM, meanwhile, shows Warwick/Stratford-upon-Avon to Birmingham via Solihull but, crucially, omits Leamington Spa - Warwick.

Therefore, we can conclude that a ticket from Northampton to Birmingham is not officially valid via Coventry and Leamington Spa. Whether it would be accepted in practice, on the other hand, is a different matter entirely!
 

David57

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Thanks for your knowledgeable input!

If (it would appear) to be the ticket is really only valid by the obvious (ie, not via Leamington Spa), why is it advertised to Moor St and Snow Hill?
 

adrock1976

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I'm slightly puzzled as to how a Coventry - Birmingham Stations ticket would be valid to Moor Street and Snow Hill, as Coventry is on the London & Birmingham Railway and Moor Street/Snow Hill on the Great Western Railway.

As mentioned, the obvious and shortest route is directly via the London & Birmingham Railway to New Street. to continue solely by rail to Snow Hill or Moor Street, the only way possible using the shortest route would be to continue to Smethwick Galton Bridge and change there to the high level platforms to continue to Snow Hill or Moor Street. However, as Smethwick GB has its own routeing point/group, this would not be allowed, and moreso if there is no mapped route. If I've interpreted the rules of the routeing guide correctly, if the destination is to a station group, then normally the ticket expires upon arrival at the first station in that group.

Perhaps somebody who is more used to the routeing points/groups could maybe explain it better than I have?
 

Haywain

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The ticket shows Snow Hill and Moor Street because they are the other 'members' of the Birmingham Stations group, and almost all fares to Brum will be priced to Birmingham Stations. In your case you could, arguably, travel to New Street then walk to Moor Street and continue on the same ticket to Snow Hill - although I'm not sure why anybody would think that a good idea!
 

sheff1

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Presumably the shortest route is only considered to the closest group station?

According to some the answer is yes, but in my view (and that of many others) the answer is no. NRCoC 13 (a)(ii) is the relevant one
NRCoC said:
13(a) You may travel between the stations shown on the ticket you hold in:
...
(ii) trains which take the shortest route which can be used by scheduled passenger services; or
...

and it does not specify that you can only travel to one station if the ticket shows 2 or more stations.


If I've interpreted the rules of the routeing guide correctly, if the destination is to a station group, then normally the ticket expires upon arrival at the first station in that group.

That cannot be the case as, if it was, no one could ever travel to Manchester Oxford Rd as to reach that station you must first pass through one of the other 'Manchester Stations' - Piccadilly or Deansgate.
 
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yorkie

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. If I've interpreted the rules of the routeing guide correctly, if the destination is to a station group, then normally the ticket expires upon arrival at the first station in that group.
Definitely not, examples include London Terminals tickets from the south retaining validity beyond Waterloo/London Bridge regardless of whether the journey is "broken" and is also regardless of whether the train calls (all do at Waterloo/Waterloo East and most at London Bridge) at either station.
 

PermitToTravel

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When arriving at one station in a group, you can carry on to any other stations in the group as long as you do not go through any stations that aren't in the group
 

maniacmartin

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Map WM, meanwhile, shows Warwick/Stratford-upon-Avon to Birmingham via Solihull but, crucially, omits Leamington Spa - Warwick

I thought Leamington Spa to Warwick was included, but now that I zoom in further I see that its actually not :roll:
I've edited my post accordingly to cull my fictitious permitted routes
 
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