Plymouth to Edinburgh

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I’m trying to book a journey on Friday 18th June from Plymouth to Edinburgh on the XC HST (1227 ex PLY) but I’m having no luck.
I’ve just had an email from XC to say advance tickets are available and within under an hour they’re apparently all sold out which I don’t believe. It seems I can’t even split the tickets because it won’t offer me a journey which includes that train.
2 adults using a Two Together railcard for the record.
Any ideas?
 
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Argyle 1980

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I’m trying to book a journey on Friday 18th June from Plymouth to Edinburgh on the XC HST (1227 ex PLY) but I’m having no luck.
I’ve just had an email from XC to say advance tickets are available and within under an hour they’re apparently all sold out which I don’t believe. It seems I can’t even split the tickets because it won’t offer me a journey which includes that train.
2 adults using a Two Together railcard for the record.
Any ideas?
Very common about trains coming up as sold out online. I've found this out several times on the app so have gone to ticket office at Plymouth and been sold a ticket without a seat reservation or counted place coupon without any problems.
Also the lat time I travelled to Plymouth to Leeds last year and when I've been asked by friends to find cheap tickets for them going up north from Plymouth, for point to point advance tickets, it's always been cheaper to go via Paddington and the ECML plus you have the added bonus of avoiding the dreaded Voyagers.

When involving WCML destinations from Plymouth these often do show up cheaper than XC fares because it's my understanding that Avanti are the fare setter and the ticket is marked VTWC + connections so it might be an idea to try and route it via Carlisle and change at Birmingham. It still might be cheaper splitting the Plymouth to Birmingham leg at Taunton, Bristol and Cheltenham though and booking the Birmingham to Edinburgh separately.

Back to going via Paddington and ECML. There's singles from Plymouth to Edinburgh via Paddington and ECML including underground for £46.50 on the 0549 from Plymouth and connecting onto the 1000 from KX arriving Edinburgh 1441
Alternatively the 0652 from Plymouth connecting onto the 1100 from KX arrives Edinburgh 1522. Be quick if you want them as they are shown as the last two remaining at that price.
Trust me, XC won't get remotely close to that price.
 
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Brissle Girl

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Is the problem with seat reservations on that route that reservations for shorter journeys block the seats for the whole journey? In an extreme example, a flood of reservations for the Bristol Temple Meads to Bristol Parkway section could block any reservations from south of Bristol to north of it.
 

Argyle 1980

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Is the problem with seat reservations on that route that reservations for shorter journeys block the seats for the whole journey? In an extreme example, a flood of reservations for the Bristol Temple Meads to Bristol Parkway section could block any reservations from south of Bristol to north of it.
Shouldn't be as I've often reserved Worthing to Westbury and my seat coupon has had it further reserved Bath to Worcester.
Even pre covid, the reservations were hit and miss. Some times they didn't get the seat coupons until Havant or Cosham and before the Networker cascade it wasn't uncommon for a 150 to vice a 158 on the coastway. I had instances of having a seat reservation and a single 150 rolling into Worthing and not being able to board it even. Worthing to Bristol on a 150/1 is as bad as it gets.
 

Watershed

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Is the problem with seat reservations on that route that reservations for shorter journeys block the seats for the whole journey? In an extreme example, a flood of reservations for the Bristol Temple Meads to Bristol Parkway section could block any reservations from south of Bristol to north of it.
Another issue is that a given seat can't be reserved more than 3 times during the train's journey. Which means that even a putatively 'free' seat can't be reserved between Exeter and Bristol, if it's also been reserved between Plymouth and Exeter, Bristol and Birmingham and Birmingham and Leeds.
 

Haywain

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Shouldn't be as I've often reserved Worthing to Westbury and my seat coupon has had it further reserved Bath to Worcester.
That won't work in the same way if you want Plymouth to Edinburgh and the seats are already booked for an intermediate part of the journey. On the one hand the train may never be full but on the other hand there may not be any one seat that is free for the whole journey from Plymouth to Edinburgh.
 

Brissle Girl

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Shouldn't be as I've often reserved Worthing to Westbury and my seat coupon has had it further reserved Bath to Worcester.
Even pre covid, the reservations were hit and miss. Some times they didn't get the seat coupons until Havant or Cosham and before the Networker cascade it wasn't uncommon for a 150 to vice a 158 on the coastway. I had instances of having a seat reservation and a single 150 rolling into Worthing and not being able to board it even. Worthing to Bristol on a 150/1 is as bad as it gets.
Not quite what I meant. A reservation from BRI to BPW blocks a seat being used for any journey starting south of BRI to any journey terminating north of BPW. Thus a journey from Plymouth to Edinburgh has to have a clear seat for the full journey to be allowed.
 

Argyle 1980

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Another issue is that a given seat can't be reserved more than 3 times during the train's journey. Which means that even a putatively 'free' seat can't be reserved between Exeter and Bristol, if it's also been reserved between Plymouth and Exeter, Bristol and Birmingham and Birmingham and Leeds.
Though if your split involves more than 3 splits, then your Good to stay in the seat as you know it can't be further reserved. Remember before lockdown I booked about 6 splits Stoke to Plymouth direct and individualy and reserved the same seat 3 times through seat selector (very time consuming I know) and as you say the seat was no longer available south of Cheltenham. As it was all made up of cheap day returns I didn't have to further nominate another reservation.

Besides I wouldn't ever contemplate Plymouth to Edinburgh with XC. You can get a through advance single via Paddington and the ECML for much less than several splits and booking and ticketing hassle on direct XC services plus you don't run the risk of being on a Voyager.
 

Taunton

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"Sold out" is a common euphemism in the reservation system for never offered in the first place. There's a point for reservations to be offered, but the number offered is set to zero. A practice not just confined to the railway.
 

alistairlees

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"Sold out" is a common euphemism in the reservation system for never offered in the first place. There's a point for reservations to be offered, but the number offered is set to zero. A practice not just confined to the railway.
There are no euphemisms in the availability service response. Just numbers, such as zero. The problem is that there is nothing to indicate to a booking engine that is using this data as to whether 0 means:
- this ticket type is sold out for this journey, and no more will be offered
- this ticket type is yet to be released for this journey, but it will be
- no reservations are open at all, for any ticket type, just yet; but they will be
- something else

it gets messier on a multi leg journey where one leg has 0 availability, but others are fine.
 

Argyle 1980

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because 800s are so much nicer...
They have generous legroom and seat width. Had this question about Voyagers before where people think it's only the length of them and doubling up a 4 car is the solution ect. I'm 6ft4 and struggle sitting in the standard airline window seat of a Voyager without jamming my knees against the seat in front, the width is also poor meaning I'm playing shoulders with my neighbour.
Perhaps when the ex virgin units cascade then it might be a good idea for XC to give them their first ever refurbishment and maybe make the seating alignment and leg room slightly more generous, but I can't see it.
As a train itself, the Voyagers are good solid trains and I don't find any of the other problems people dislike such as the noise and vibration ect hazard the exhaust pipe sometimes cooking up the latrine is unpleasant but no more unpleasant than a standard train latrine that's been hammered.
It's really just is the seating that's an issue for me. I only really use XC for shorter local journeys anyway as like I've highlighted, they are extremely expensive on long distance trips from the SW to NE or Scotland compared to going via London and the ECML.
 
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voyagerdude220

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I'd be very surprised if the train has genuinely sold out completely several weeks in advance, even if there is a rush to travel now that lockdown restrictions have eased somewhat.

Looking on Journey Planner, I can make reservations on Fridays on the OP's preferred train until 21st May, but no later.


National Rail Booking Horizons page linked above (sorry admins I don't know how to short link it)

shows that Cross Country services currently open for reservations on this route until 4th June- but no idea how accurate that is.
 

Haywain

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National Rail Booking Horizons page linked above (sorry admins I don't know how to short link it)

shows that Cross Country services currently open for reservations on this route until 4th June- but no idea how accurate that is.
Good point, although the CrossCountry website shows the south-west to north-east route is only open to 23rd May at present, and says it was updated on 9th April. So the OP's problem is that nothing has yet been released.
 

Bungle

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Besides I wouldn't ever contemplate Plymouth to Edinburgh with XC. You can get a through advance single via Paddington and the ECML for much less than several splits and booking and ticketing hassle on direct XC services plus you don't run the risk of being on a Voyager.
For some people, particularly with luggage, crossing London from one terminal to another using the Underground is far worse, and the direct train wins every time, even if more expensive. The vast majority of people just aren’t interested in what sort of train it is.
 
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Egg Centric

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(sorry admins I don't know how to short link it)

The simplest way is to press the button that looks like a chain symbol (to the right of a paragraph symbol and the left of a picture symbol). It will pop up a box with URL (i.e. the address of the link) and text (how you would like to describe the link)
 

greatvoyager

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For some people, particularly with luggage, crossing London from one terminal to another using the Underground is far worse, and the direct train wins every time, even if more expensive. The vast majority of people just aren’t interested in what sort of train it is.
Most people just want to get from A to B, whichever way is easiest.
 
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