Problem with Preston-Aberdeen Advances and Forcing a change at Haymarket

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by gray1404, 10 Mar 2019.

  1. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    I'm booking a two singles to do a round trip. Preston to Aberdeen. 1 adult disabled persons railcard. Visiting a friend so flexible with dates and time of travel. (However catching X2 Formby to Preston and vv and would prefer to use my concessionary travel pass)

    Have used TPE mixing desk. Not find any:
    LNER and Connections advance tickets(I assume via Leeds)
    TPE and Connections advance tickets (expect for an occasion very early start)
    No Caledonian Sleeper Advances for the seated coach.
    I can find a handful of VTWC and Connections Advances. Although only about 2 or 3 departures daily they are consistent in availability which is good.

    It is exactly the same for the return leg except for I can only find 1 advance ticket option a day. That's a VTWC and Connections Advance (onto LNER) leaving in the morning. Again its consistent but only one choice!

    Something seems seriously wrong here for such limited choices given all the flows. I've entered in loads of dats from next week until the end of April and am getting very similar results. I'll have a play around with TrainSplit later to see if that gives more choice. I have changed the starting point to Liverpool and similar lack of choice.

    One final thing, for the VTWC and Connections ticket the change is at Edinburgh. On the way up its not the longest of connections given the size of Waverley. Both trains stop at Haymarket. If I want to force a booking engine to have me change trains there do I have to use TrainSplit?
     
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  3. alistairlees

    alistairlees Established Member

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    You would be best off using sleeper.scot to book your Caledonian Sleeper travel. Worldline-based booking engines don’t seem to work any more, throwing up a reservation error.

    I can see plenty of availability at £33.00 for a seat with a disabled railcard on various dates this week.

    Re your VTWC & connections question, no-one will have any issue if you change at haymarket instead of Waverley in order to ensure you make your connection and not for any other reason.
     
  4. _toommm_

    _toommm_ Established Member

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    Seems peculiar as I've done the trip before a lot, where i start from Piccadilly and split from Preston, and normally get very cheap fares with the 06:26 from Piccadilly to Edinburgh and the 10:28 LNER to Aberdeen, which gives a good hour connection at Edinburgh too.

    Randomly searching fares on the TPE app gets me this fare a lot, which is the route I mentioned, with your Disabled Railcard. Not a bad price really:

    Screenshot_20190310-075903_TPExpress.jpg
     
  5. Olympian

    Olympian Member

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    On the TPE MixingDeck, if you select "more options" under the From and To boxes and then select "Avoid" and enter Edinburgh in the box, it'll force the changes to be at Haymarket and, for example, give you 20 minutes to change there off the 0753 from Preston instead of only 10 at Waverley.
     
  6. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    I wouldn't be able to get to Preaton from Formby for that time in the morning for 0753
     
  7. Olympian

    Olympian Member

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    There's similar itineraries at 1153 and 1553 from Preston and changing at Haymarket if you use the "Avoid Edinburgh" option.
     
  8. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    Looks to me like you can't get through advances on any itinerary involving Scotrail. They are blocking their trains from being used as a connecting service on other TOCs' advances, which is probably fair enough as they see Edinburgh to Aberdeen as an InterCity service in its own right and not as a connecting service, but it really does make the case for split ticketing! LNER are allowing their trains to be used as a connecting service on Virgin West Coast advances though - those itineraries involving VTWC and LNER are by far the cheapest available.
     
  9. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    Can you not just put in Edinburgh as an "avoid" station? (EDIT: just noticed Olympian has already made that point above)

    The problem here is that to be compliant with the RDG code of practice for journey planners, the system MUST offer you the itinerary with a change at Edinburgh rather than at Haymarket, if both itineraries fulfil the minimum connection times, since Edinburgh is a higher priority interchange station.
     
  10. AntoniC

    AntoniC Member

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    Why not consider going Formby > Southport then Southport>Wigan Wallgate then walk over to Wigan NW and get the train from Wigan NW to Aberdeen ?
     
  11. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Because I can be on the X2 bus in a matter of minutes from Formby which drops me at Preston station. Walking to Formby station then travelling via Southport and Wigan is a pointless waste of time.
     
  12. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Its a shame I can't get a LNER and connections going Liverpool - Leeds or York - Aberdeen. Or have we got a situation where LNER are blocking travel on their own trains.
     
  13. Haywain

    Haywain Established Member

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    No, that will be Northern and/or TPE blocking the LNER Advances.
     
  14. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    It must only be on certain flows then. I know of an LNER & Con advance going South off Leeds were there is loads of availability from Liverpool. But this one heading North there is none.
     
  15. 47271

    47271 Established Member

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    Scotrail do offer through advances onto LNER and Virgin but the quotas are very low. My usual practice is to check quickly for a through advance full in the knowledge that it almost certainly won't be available, and then split either Edinburgh or Glasgow.

    Have you checked fares via Glasgow, you might be pleasantly surprised?
     
  16. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    Strange idea. In my view it is much easier to change at Haymarket than Waverley - cross platform in the case of a journey from the Carlisle direction to Aberdeen and, of course, it removes the risk of missing the connection due to a delay getting into Waverley.

    Even if the wait between trains is a longer one there is no shortage of catering facilities at Haymarket.
     
    Last edited: 10 Mar 2019
  17. tiptoptaff

    tiptoptaff Established Member

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    National Rail Enquiries also give a "Change At" option,
     

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