Of course the OP isn't using "a different service", at least if they are using a walk-up ticket with no seat reservation. They are making a different journey, on the same service. Non-stop trains between London and Warrington (and vice versa) are by far the most frequent VTWC services to be standing room only. This is not surprising when, on "peak" trains running to/from Glasgow, perhaps half of those on board are travelling on off-peak tickets. The London to Holyhead route similarly has (virtually) no evening peak restrictions for stations west of Chester, but at least these service are formed of double-Voyagers and, even when the front unit is standing room only (as is usually the case), the rear unit which terminates at Chester has a good number of seats available for passengers travelling to Chester, who pay over triple the price of an equivalent walk-up passenger to Flint. VTWC don't do a good enough job of forcing passengers with off-peak tickets from London to North Wales to occupy the front unit, even if they have to stand (it is merely a reflection of demand versus the capacity available), but they do a reasonable job of it. A peak single to Preston is quadruple the price of an off-peak single to Lancaster, which means that one walk-up Preston passenger is paying the same amount as four walk-up Lancaster passengers. If Lancaster passengers really do form such a small proportion of passengers on board "peak" VTWC trains from London calling at Lancaster as is claimed (e.g. 30), why aren't Lancaster passengers charged peak fares so that, even if only 8 additional passengers now pay for a peak fare (regardless of whether they are travelling to Warrington, Wigan, Preston or Lancaster), more revenue is generated for VTWC overall and more seats are available for passengers travelling to Warrington, Wigan and Preston?