Preston - Euston Off Peak Single

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by PR1Berske, 16 Nov 2011.

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  1. PR1Berske

    PR1Berske Established Member

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    Ordered a ticket from PREston to EUSton for Thursday the somethingths of December. I booked this ticket through TransPennine's website (so therefore through whichever proxy/third-party they use) because Virgin's website caught me in some infinite time loop and I couldn't go past their profile page.

    Anyway, I notice today that the single is printed 0917 from Preston, which of course must have been the time I chose, so be it, I am flexible on that day.

    BUT, yonder sign at Preston station and on-line says that I cannot use an off-peak ticket on the 0917 to Euston, only the 0958 or whenever it is.

    So have I bought a ticket that is invalid?

    These things confuse a simple mind :oops: Any help would be very marvellous
     
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  3. OwlMan

    OwlMan Established Member

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    The offpeak single is valid an all trains that arrive at Euston Before 0720 or at or after 1129.
    The 0917 is routed via Birmingham and arrives at Euston after the 0958 departure from Preston.

    It is therefore valid but is not the earliest arrival possible at Euston (that is the 0958)
     
  4. button_boxer

    button_boxer Established Member

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    National Rail thinks that is valid, the validity code for a £73.30 off-peak single from Preston to London is 2C, valid on any train scheduled to arrive in London "Before 07:20 or at or after 11:30". So it's not valid on the 08:58 as that arrives at 11:12, but it is valid on the 09:17 either direct (it runs via Birmingham so takes ages) arriving 12:32 or change at Crewe to arrive in London at 12:04.

    Or the 09:58 from Preston goes direct to London and gets you there only 8 minutes later at 12:12.
     
  5. PR1Berske

    PR1Berske Established Member

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    [​IMG]

    Obliged.
     
  6. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Any chance of taking a photo of the sign please? We can then determine if it is misleading or not.
     
  7. tony_mac

    tony_mac Established Member

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  8. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    That is a bit confusing, but I can understand why they do not want to make it look like they are recommending a slower train to London that gets overtaken, and it is correct that the 0958 is the first train to arrive in London that is valid. I think it would make sense to keep the time of 0958 but put in brackets: tickets are also valid on 0917 via Birmingham.

    They do say the times given are the first "direct" train to London, but that can cause confusion as to what "direct" means!

    An Off Peak single for this journey is only £1 cheaper than an Off Peak Return (valid for return within 1 month), however if bought on the Virgin website an Off Peak Single is available for half the price, if bought in conjunction with a cheap Advance fare in the other direction as part of the same transaction.
     
  9. PR1Berske

    PR1Berske Established Member

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    That is why I am confused! My ticket is a single off-peak for the 0917 from Preston. I will use this thread as evidence!

     
  10. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I would never buy such an Off Peak Single, as I consider the fare to be a rip-off as it is twice the price it arguably should be! Also, this is a walk-on ticket that is the same price in advance as it is at the ticket office, or from the TVM, on the day of travel.

    The ticket restrictions are available to the guard on the train, and it is clearly based on the arrival time into Euston. I am sure the guard will be aware of this without even having to check his/her machine!

    It is unclear why you wish to take this train - are you breaking your journey in Birmingham or something? - as it is a slow train that is overtaken by the much faster 0958 service.
     
  11. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

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    It is a "temporary" service Pendolino, and often has cheap Advance tickets available.

     
  12. AlterEgo

    AlterEgo Veteran Member

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    Yes but he doesn't have an Advance ticket. I'm not sure why the OP would choose this train - unless he wants to go via the "scenic" route!
     
  13. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    But he did not buy an Advance ticket though.
     
  14. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Is the 0958 usually very busy as is sometimes the case with the first off-peak train? There are lots of other reasons - perhaps he's getting a lift in at 9 and would rather not hang around the station for a hour - but there's no argument that the ticket is valid on the 0917.

    I agree. Even if you're 95% sure you won't be returning, the Off Peak Return is better value since the 5% chance that you do return within a month pushes up the cost so much (crudely, £73.30*95%+2*£73.30*5%=£76.97, comapred to £74.30 for the Return).

    The return portion can always be combined with an Advance to make a second return journey. Also, the return portion could always be used for a shorter journey - to Manchester, Birmingham, Oxford, etc - as long as it's on a Permitted Route to Preston. As it only has a nominal value of £1 it's easy to get your money's worth.
     
  15. Sheepy1209

    Sheepy1209 Member

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    Interesting thread this as I'm booked on a business trip next week - and we've gone for First Class Advance on this service as it's not much more than an Off-Peak return (about £100 versus £75ish) - and bizarrely was cheaper than a Standard Advance.

    Last time I did this trip was on a flexible ticket and I planned to get the 09:58 but reservations were all taken and the platform was heaving so I decided to get the one an hour later.

    I'm happy to spend an extra hour on the train if it means it's not packed!
     
  16. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Quite often you will find that First Advances are cheaper than Standard ones on the same train as the cheaper tiers for Standard Class might have sold out and many people don't bother checking prices for First Class.
     
  17. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

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    I have to disagree. The purpose of those posters is to tell people the first direct Off-Peak service to London. I appreciate that the word "first" may be a bit misleading, but 99.99% of people want to know which train will get them into London at the earliest, not which trains arrives at Preston at the earliest! Displaying the [09:58] is appropriate as it arrives in London 20 minutes before the [09:17].
     
  18. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    You're pretty much agreeing with yorkie though!

    Yorkie's point was simply that the poster should also mention that the slower 0917 is off peak, to avoid confusion (as with the OP).

     
  19. All Line Rover

    All Line Rover Established Member

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    No, as I think that would caused even more confusion!

    These posters are there to tell Off-Peak tickets holders which direct train will get them into London as early as possible.

    Even though there are other Off-Peak services, these do not need to be mentioned on the poster. For example, Preston to Crewe or Preston to Rugby Off-Peak tickets are valid on any train, and even though many trains to these stations continue to London Euston, customers holding these tickets do not look at that poster and assume they can't travel before [09:58]!

    Similarly, customers travelling from Liverpool who want to arrive in London as early as possible should take the [09:04] LM service to Crewe, and the [09:56] VT service to London. But Virgin do not mention this option on the poster (and for good reason too - it would cause immense overcrowding on the [09:56]!)
     
  20. snail

    snail Established Member

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    For an extra £10 you can catch the 0714 or 0814 to Lancaster and connect there to the 0738 or 0838, both of which allow Off Peak tickets (BoJ prohibited).

    (£7.40 to Lancaster + £76.50 to Euston; £7.50 + £77.50 return)
     
  21. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    That may be so but it's no excuse for the poster being wrong. It says "When travelling to London using an Off-Peak ticket, you can only travel on the train shown below and any train thereafter.", which is not just confusing; it's incorrect. It is clear why such wording had the OP worried.
     
  22. PR1Berske

    PR1Berske Established Member

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    although I am satisfied by the responses in this thread, I will ask a member of staff at the earliest opportunity and advise the forum if something else is advised.
     
  23. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Yes, please. It would be good to know the standard of service provided.
     
  24. PR1Berske

    PR1Berske Established Member

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    I am at Preston station now. The (Virgin uniformed) ticket office woman advises that I can board the 0917......but I have to change at Crewe...
     
  25. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Did she definitely say "have to"?

    Changing at Crewe gets you into London earlier (1204 against 1232 staying on-board), but it is no way necessary. Both valid on an Off Peak ticket (you can't get an earlier VT train than the 0956 off Crewe, even if there's a late running earlier service).
     
  26. PR1Berske

    PR1Berske Established Member

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    have to. But i'm not going to ;). This thread has all the written evidence I need. Just went to see what advice I'd get.
     
  27. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Hmm. I expect she was just so used to advising people to change at Crewe on that train that the advice came out that way, rather than actually believing the ticket is only valid that way.

    Anyway, I would be very surprised if you encounter any problems with your journey.

    Just a thought that occurs to me - do the departure boards at Preston always display the final destination? If not, the 0917 might be shown as being for Watford Junction - since it's overtaken by the 0958 - which could explain some of the reluctance to suggest it.
     
  28. PR1Berske

    PR1Berske Established Member

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    Good job i'm easy going ;) Far less conflicting information if you fly :)
     
  29. Lampshade

    Lampshade Established Member

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    It's shown as 'London Euston via Birmingham New Street' and is announced as a through service.

    He was probably advised to change at Crewe due to it being quicker, and hence how it would be displayed on NRE. Should be absolutely fine to use it to London.
     
  30. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I think staff are trying to be helpful as it is very rare that anyone would want to be on a train that is overtaken and very slow via Birmingham, compared to a fast train through the Trent Valley.
     
  31. Sheepy1209

    Sheepy1209 Member

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    I used this service yesterday - excellent value first advance, full breakfast from Preston. It might be a slow service but it suited me just fine. Booked on the 1443 Thursday, same route in reverse, cheapest single is first class at 63 quid.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    as my post above - there were plenty of people on that service who were more interested in a pleasant journey than being crammed into the 0958.
     
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