Preston-Crewe Weekend - First Class?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Sheepy1209, 26 Oct 2011.

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  1. Sheepy1209

    Sheepy1209 Member

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    Hi, I'm new to the forum so apologies if I'm asking daft questions that are covered elsewhere.

    I've got LM Great Escape tickets for Saturday November the 5th, I'll be starting from Crewe and my son and daughter will join the train at Nuneaton
    (I've posted the tickets to them just in case there's a ticket check at Nuneaton).

    My journey starts at Blackpool but I want to make an early start so I'll be riding my bike to Preston and plan to get the 06:17 to Crewe.

    First question - am I right in thinking that a walk-on return to Stockport is valid for a Preston-Crewe journey? Am I likely to get challenged?
    (saves me over £9 so well worth it).

    Second - a few years ago I used to travel in First on Virgin at weekends using a Standard Open.
    Is this concession still available and is it the Anytime Return I need?
    I recall something about having to 'approach the Train Manager' - is that really necessary or do I just take a seat?

    As the price difference for an Anytime on this ticket is only £4 I might as well go in First!


    Finally - are there any LM services between Nuneaton/Euston that are best avoided, e.g. crowded? I know the Great Escape might distort normal patterns but I'm planning to get the 09:02 outward from Nuneaton, and the 16:46 back from Euston.



    Ta!
     
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  3. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    My advice would be to get a Preston Lancs [PRE] - Wilmslow [WML] Anytime Return (SOR), this is a very reasonable price (£14.70) and looks more reasonable than Stockport. This costs more for the Off Peak Day Return (CDR) but the SOR is cheaper, because the fare is priced by Northern, who have a completely different pricing structure to Virgin in terms of the differential between off-peak and Anytime fares.

    Anytime Returns are valid in 1st class at weekends. Anytime Day Returns is debatable but my understanding is that this will be clarified by Virgin in due course, however if clarified that it is allowed it would be advisable that we do not publish this too much as if many people take advantage I can easily see it being withdrawn.

    I would expect the 16:46 to be quite busy, so arrive at Euston in good time to catch it. If you board when it's announced and walk to the very front, you should be ok.
     
  4. Sheepy1209

    Sheepy1209 Member

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    Brilliant - thanks for that Yorkie, I hadn't thought of Wilmslow so proves it was worth asking the question.

    To be honest I wish the LM extensions to Preston hadn't been turned down - if I'm not in a hurry I'd rather spend three hours in an airy 350 than two cooped up in a Pendolino - and Virgin has got a pretty tight hold over Preston.

    [Edit: I just looked that up on the Eastcoast site, and it won't give me fares for via Crewe - and if I say Avoid Manchester Stations all the routes offered involve changes at Deansgate, Altrincham and Stockport - whereas do the same with destination Stockport and it routes me via Crewe. I know the journey planners don't cover every permutation but it looks like it's only routing me where NT provides a service, i.e. avoiding West Coast]
     
    Last edited: 26 Oct 2011
  5. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

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    The vast majority of Virgin staff accept "Anytime" (but not "Anytime Day") tickets as being valid in First Class for free, so for the considerable future I would recommend that anyone wishing to take advantage of this offer buy an "Anytime" ticket to avoid an argument.

    However, if travelling on a Super Voyager (which is likely between Preston and Crewe), note that the free Anytime upgrade is "subject to availability." First Class on Super Voyagers is often full at weekends - with just 26 seats - but you shouldn't have any problem at 06:17am in the morning! :)
     
  6. Sheepy1209

    Sheepy1209 Member

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    Ta - it was always Voyagers I was travelling on when I did this before, as I was going via Birmingham and there was never an issue - and it was really satisfying when the Train Manager emptied First Class of all the people who'd gone in there because they didn't want to stand!

    The ticket will definitely be an Anytime Return, i.e. valid for a month.
     
  7. bengolding

    bengolding Member

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    The 06:17 is a Super Voyager to New St, so you'll have to claim your comp tea/coffee/water from the Shop (if it is open, that is) after the Train Manager issues you with your Weekend First upgrade.

    Good luck to your family getting on at Nuneaton on the 09:02! Being a 4 car, I expect it to be full and standing. Thankfully, I'll be getting the non-stop 08:59 VT arriving in 1 hr :).
     
  8. TTI

    TTI Member

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    Cycle to Preston? - thats a v. long way, in the dark, 20 miles plus. Risk of puncture. Few "slightly over the limit" drivers out on them unlit roads? Rather you than me.
    Why not cycle & catch the 0539 TPE Blackpool-Airport (0545 at Poulton), gets to Preston 0603 & relax?

    Preston-Alderley Edge or Chelford is also same price (£14.70 SOR) as Wilmslow, route "any permitted".

    The marketing "easement" re: SORs being "free" in First Class on weekends/bank holidays I think has been dropped by VWC. Last time I looked, the "page" on their website had 'gone' and I could find no trace of it.
     
    Last edited: 27 Oct 2011
  9. Lampshade

    Lampshade Established Member

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    Just buy it as if you were going to Wilmslow, it's definitely valid.
     
  10. John @ home

    John @ home Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I'm told the statement still appears in the internal rail industry document "The Manual". The concession applies to Anytime Singles (SOSs) and Anytime Returns (SORs).
     
  11. raildude

    raildude Member

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    Hi John

    It is still in the public domain I think.

    Restriction VW makes the upgrade "free" for Anytime Return/Single. Whether this means they are supposed to issue the supplement as "nil charge" or just save hassle and pass the ticket I'm not sure...
     
  12. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

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    The offer still exists. No supplement is issued - the Standard Class ticket is simply accepted in First Class on the train, and in First Class lounges.

     
  13. bengolding

    bengolding Member

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    In which case the fool at the New St lounge was wrong to admit me entry last Saturday on the return part of an Anytime Return to Euston, repeatedly telling me that I had to buy a Weekend First upgrade. I then watched the guy let a Standard customer in the lounge 'only on this occasion' who wanted to use the fax machine!
     
  14. Sheepy1209

    Sheepy1209 Member

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    As it happens I do cycle a lot but Preston's a bit far at that time of day - but I also have a bike with a 650cc engine, which I'm pleased to say can be parked securely and for free at Preston - very impressed by the ground anchors they've installed for motorbikes.

    Re the 09:02 at Nuneaton - what I might do is get off there and have a brew at ASDA or something, then we can all get on the 10:02 together. Probably just as full but at least I've had a break and they don't have to get up quite so early (they're 17 and 18, the poor darlings have never seen a sunrise unless they've been up all night).

    The only information I can find on weekend first using standard anytime is at national rail - states "On weekends and Bank Holidays, upgrades to First Class on Virgin Trains is free of charge if holding a Standard Class Anytime ticket by approaching the Train Manager." - interesting it doesn't mention the 'Anytime Day' question.
     
    Last edited: 27 Oct 2011
  15. bengolding

    bengolding Member

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    If you find the 09:02 is too busy, you can always alight at Nuneaton, get the 09:15 LM to Coventry then the 09:47 LM to Euston. This should join with the 10:02 at Northampton and isn't likely to be as busy plus it'll be the front set.
     
  16. Sheepy1209

    Sheepy1209 Member

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    Hmmm....I like the sound of that - also means we can meet up on the platform.
     
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