On specified LNER train and connections

jthjth

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This entirely out of curiosity. A relative recently had an advance ticket, 1st class Newcastle to Brighton. It was marked as “on specified LNER trains and connections” with a Maltese cross. The specified train on the ticket was 1829 Newcastle to Stevenage.

The suggested route supplied with the booking was to change to a through train at Stevenage. But this means you end up in a slow commuter train with a significantly inferior 1st class offering. Better to stay on the LNER train to Kings Cross and walk over to St Pancras low level and pick up the commuter service there. This is, in fact what the traveller did, because the LNER service was running 50 minutes late. Presumably this is allowed with the “and connections” wording? Also given the Maltese cross, I presume it is equally allowable to get the tube from Kings Cross to Victoria and pick up a faster Brighton service from there?
 
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30907

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This entirely out of curiosity. A relative recently had an advance ticket, 1st class Newcastle to Brighton. It was marked as “on specified LNER trains and connections” with a Maltese cross. The specified train on the ticket was 1829 Newcastle to Stevenage.

The suggested route supplied with the booking was to change to a through train at Stevenage. But this means you end up in a slow commuter train with a significantly inferior 1st class offering. Better to stay on the LNER train to Kings Cross and walk over to St Pancras low level and pick up the commuter service there. This is, in fact what the traveller did, because the LNER service was running 50 minutes late. Presumably this is allowed with the “and connections” wording? Also given the Maltese cross, I presume it is equally allowable to get the tube from Kings Cross to Victoria and pick up a faster Brighton service from there?
If the train is late yes to both. If not the first is certainly OK, the tube is OK, but strictly if the Brighton train has a "reservation" (even without a specific seat) you are supposed to stick to it. However in practice....

BTW and without checking, the way cross London times are calculated means the Stevenage change tends to show up a lot.
 

jthjth

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If the train is late yes to both. If not the first is certainly OK, the tube is OK, but strictly if the Brighton train has a "reservation" (even without a specific seat) you are supposed to stick to it. However in practice....

BTW and without checking, the way cross London times are calculated means the Stevenage change tends to show up a lot.
In the case where nothing is late, is it ok to remain on the LNER into Kings Cross? There is no mention on the ticket about any specific train, other than the Newcastle Stevenage LNER. Would staying on the LNER count as “and connections”?
 

alistairlees

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In the case where nothing is late, is it ok to remain on the LNER into Kings Cross? There is no mention on the ticket about any specific train, other than the Newcastle Stevenage LNER. Would staying on the LNER count as “and connections”?
In practice I doubt there would be any problem - you are not financially gaining or anything. But I am not condoning it! Be prepared that your seat might be reserved for someone else between Stevenage and Kings Cross too. Oh, and no this section would not count as "&connections". As 30907 says, it's a common problem now as a result of Thameslink going to Stevenage (and beyond). It's not the fault of journey planners; they are just following rules and data.
 

Hadders

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LNER have an easement between Stevenage and London which allows any reasonable train to be used as a connection.
 

jthjth

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In practice I doubt there would be any problem - you are not financially gaining or anything. But I am not condoning it! Be prepared that your seat might be reserved for someone else between Stevenage and Kings Cross too. Oh, and no this section would not count as "&connections". As 30907 says, it's a common problem now as a result of Thameslink going to Stevenage (and beyond). It's not the fault of journey planners; they are just following rules and data.
If it doesn’t count as “and connections” what is the definition of what is a connection and what is not? I’m not trying to be difficult, just trying to understand the rules.
 

jthjth

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LNER have an easement between Stevenage and London which allows any reasonable train to be used as a connection.
Does that mean you can stay on the LNER to Kings Cross, subject to being asked to leave your seat by some who has reserved it?
 

yorkie

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Stevenage is a much easier change, being a cross-platform interchange.

If someone wants a particular itinerary in future, I recommend using a booking engine that has more advanced options for via points; some even have the option to change (or not to change) at a particular station.

If it wasn't for the easement, then technically you'd not normally be allowed to stay on to King's Cross (except of course if the connection was going to be missed, in which case it would be reasonable to stay on) but in this case it is valid to stay on, even if all trains are running on time.
If it doesn’t count as “and connections” what is the definition of what is a connection and what is not? I’m not trying to be difficult, just trying to understand the rules.
For the portion of the journey that is not reserved, you may take any reasonable, appropriate, alternative non-reserved train.

Does that mean you can stay on the LNER to Kings Cross, subject to being asked to leave your seat by some who has reserved it?
Yes.

But for future journeys, I advise obtaining the desired itinerary from the outset, to avoid potential problems.
 

Starmill

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If you don't want to change at Stevenage, book with a via point of London Kings Cross.
 

jthjth

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If it wasn't for the easement, then technically you'd not normally be allowed to stay on to King's Cross (except of course if the connection was going to be missed, in which case it would be reasonable to stay on) but in this case it is valid to stay on, even if all trains are running on time.
“For the portion of the journey that is not reserved, you may take any reasonable, appropriate, alternative non-reserved train”

now I’m confused!
If it were not for the easement you say it would not be allowed, but then you say you can take any reasonable alternative train. Pretending for a moment that the easement doesn’t exist, does the LNER to Kings Cross not count as a reasonable alternative train?
 

Hadders

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I think @yorkie intended to say:

‘For the portion of the journey that is not reserved, you may take any reasonable, appropriate, alternative non-reservable [my emphasis] train’.

LNER trains are reservable but the easement between Stevenage and Kings Cross over rises this. GTR trains on the Great Northern route are all non reservable.
 

jthjth

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I think @yorkie intended to say:

‘For the portion of the journey that is not reserved, you may take any reasonable, appropriate, alternative non-reservable [my emphasis] train’.

LNER trains are reservable but the easement between Stevenage and Kings Cross over rises this. GTR trains on the Great Northern route are all non reservable.
Ah - I understand. So a “and connections” train has to be non-reservable, probably what I would term a commuter train. Thanks.
 

Hadders

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Basically, yes. Although many ‘commuter trains’ are reservable these days. You don’t always get a seat but it’s a workaround so that train companies can offer Advance fares on ‘commuter trains’ that gives you what is called a counted place reservation.
 

kieron

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The London minimum connection times are definitely the issue here.
If I search for Newcastle-Brighton, it gives a change at Stevenage, reaching Brighton at 23:19.
If I say to go via Kings Cross, it uses the Underground to Victoria, and an arrival at 23:32 (13 minutes later).
It I also say to avoid Victoria, it uses a walk to St Pancras, giving an arrival at 23:45 (another 13 minutes).

You probably wouldn't need the whole 41 minutes the last route allows you to walk from a platform at Kings Cross to the Thameslink platform at St Pancras.

I'd hope LNER wouldn't hold your choice of route against you in this sort of situation, even if you do end up later than you would have been if you had changed at Stevenage.
 

maxbarnish

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The 'and connections' can be quite unusual, but I've never had any issues with doing anything that seems sensible, though the advice of the experts is of course correct to the letter. I remember once travelling from Welling to Cranbrook on an advance being given the 'advance' leg from Clapham Junction not from Waterloo. The rest was 'and connections'. I got on at Waterloo as 'and connections', using the same train to connect to itself at Clapham. Seemed a bit weird the 'advance' leg didn't start at Waterloo, but staff were happy with it, no questions at all. I suppose the alternative would have been to go via London Overground to Clapham Junction from Peckham Rye but it seemed far less obvious than Waterloo route. So, I've had no issues with any sensible connections in practice.
 

yorkie

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If delayed, seek staff advice. You can't have anything "held against you" if you follow advice and/or act reasonably.
The 'and connections' can be quite unusual, but I've never had any issues with doing anything that seems sensible, though the advice of the experts is of course correct to the letter. I remember once travelling from Welling to Cranbrook on an advance being given the 'advance' leg from Clapham Junction not from Waterloo. The rest was 'and connections'. I got on at Waterloo as 'and connections', using the same train to connect to itself at Clapham. Seemed a bit weird the 'advance' leg didn't start at Waterloo, but staff were happy with it, no questions at all. I suppose the alternative would have been to go via London Overground to Clapham Junction from Peckham Rye but it seemed far less obvious than Waterloo route. So, I've had no issues with any sensible connections in practice.
Without comparing the itinerary you were given Vs the itinerary actually taken, it's difficult to comment (but let's not do that in this thread)

However I strongly advise people ensure they are happy with the itinerary before purchasing.

If the itinerary doesn't appear to match your needs, try searching again with different via/avoid points.

Some websites allow up to 3 via points (each of which can be calling at / changing at / via) and up to 3 avoid points (avoid calling at / avoid changing at /avoid completely) as well as specifying TOCs to use or avoid.
 

swt_passenger

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The 'and connections' can be quite unusual, but I've never had any issues with doing anything that seems sensible, though the advice of the experts is of course correct to the letter. I remember once travelling from Welling to Cranbrook on an advance being given the 'advance' leg from Clapham Junction not from Waterloo. The rest was 'and connections'. I got on at Waterloo as 'and connections', using the same train to connect to itself at Clapham. Seemed a bit weird the 'advance' leg didn't start at Waterloo, but staff were happy with it, no questions at all. I suppose the alternative would have been to go via London Overground to Clapham Junction from Peckham Rye but it seemed far less obvious than Waterloo route. So, I've had no issues with any sensible connections in practice.
It’s the same principle (that Kieron mentioned) in action I think, the combination of travel and interchange times on the non-obvious LO route to Clapham Jn probably just beat the times for Via Waterloo and Waterloo East. IIRC a couple of months ago someone was surprised by a journey from somewhere or other that had him travelling round the NLL/WLL to pick up an SWR west of England line train at Clapham Jn, rather than crossing London by tube.
 

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