Reading to Cambridge anytime ticket - can I stay in London for a few hours halfway?

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c3947744

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Hello all,

On Wednesday I will be travelling from Reading, spending most of the morning and afternoon in central London, and then travelling to Cambridge in the early evening.

My itinerary looks like this:
- Leave READING around 08:00 on Wednesday
- Arrive at LONDON KINGS CROSS around 09:15 (via Paddington and tube)
- Leave the station on foot
- Return to LONDON KINGS CROSS on foot around 16:00
- Get the train to CAMBRIDGE
- Stay overnight
- Leave CAMBRIDGE early on Thursday morning (about 06:00/07:00)
- Travel back to READING without any break of journey

Here is my question. If I buy an Anytime ticket from Reading to Cambridge on Wednesday, will it be valid for this itinerary, and will the ticket let me exit/enter at the Kings Cross barriers? I have looked for an answer on Google and as far as I can tell the answer is "it depends on the individual ticket", so I am looking for some clarification.

(Further information: I have a 16-25 railcard, and I would prefer to get the fastest possible trains even if they cost more.)

Thank you very much, and I am sorry if this is a stupid question!

(edit to clarify: I intend to buy separate Anytime single tickets for each day of the journey. This appears to be the cheapest option - £28.25 each day with a railcard - but I'd love to be proved wrong!)
 
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Bletchleyite

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Unfortunately there is no Anytime period return for this journey.

There is however an Off Peak Return as follows:-
http://www.brfares.com/#faredetail?orig=RDG&dest=CBG&grpo=0403&ldn=1&tkt=SVR

which should suit if you can rearrange your journey so you don't need to travel in the morning peak (leaving after 9:30 in this case). If you do, you will need two Anytime Day Singles; you can break your journey on these as you wish provided this is not overnight.

Because you may not need to go all the way to Cambridge in the peak (depends on precise restrictions), you may find splitting your ticket in London to be cheaper.
 
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c3947744

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Unfortunately there is no Anytime period return for this journey.

There is however an Off Peak Return as follows:-
http://www.brfares.com/#faredetail?orig=RDG&dest=CBG&grpo=0403&ldn=1&tkt=SVR

which should suit if you can rearrange your journey so you don't need to travel in the morning peak (leaving after 9:30 in this case). If you do, you will need two Anytime Day Singles; you can break your journey on these as you wish provided this is not overnight.

Thanks for the reply! Sadly I do need to travel into London before 09:30 so off-peak isn't an option. I appreciate you clarifying that I'll be able to break my journey.

Because you may not need to go all the way to Cambridge in the peak (depends on precise restrictions), you may find splitting your ticket in London to be cheaper.

I did have a look at this, but it appears to be more expensive to split the ticket in this instance.
 

Hadders

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An Anytime Day Single from Reading to Cambridge with YP Discount at £28.25 and vv for the return will allow you to do what you wish. Total cost to beat is therefore £56.50.

You could purchase an Off Peak Return from Reading to Dullingham costing £35.05. This would allow you to:

take any train from Reading to Paddington (valid under the Network Area Rule)
travel from Paddington to Kings Cross on the Underground
travel from Kings Cross to Cambridge (it is valid on any train after 0930). 'Finish short' at Cambridge which is allowed with this ticket
cross London on your return journey using the underground
travel from Paddington to Reading on your return journey using any train (Network Area Rule)

What this ticket won't allow you to do is travel from Cambridge to Kings Cross on your return journey before 0930. For this you'll need an Anytime Day Single costing £15.30 with your railcard.

Total price £50.35
 

Romilly

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That Reading-Dullingham ticket has restriction code 4J which does not allow departures on the outward journey after 0429 and before 0930.
 

Hadders

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But surely the Network Atea rule allows travel from Reading to Paddington on any train. The restriction applies from and to Kings Cross.
 
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Bletchleyite

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I thought the Network Area rule only applied (and was thus encoded into restriction codes) where one end of the journey is *outside* the Network Area and the other inside. The connection to London wholly inside then has no restrictions generally.

This journey is wholly inside, and thus has restrictions applying from the start.
 

Romilly

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I think Dullingham is outwith the old Network South East area and outwith the current Network Railcard area.

However, it is not clear that the drafter of the restriction was intending to give effect to the Network Area rule. In particular, the exceptions to the 0930 threshold are about pre-0930 departures from non-London stations, which suggests that the drafter thought that those departures would be barred but for the inclusion of the exceptions.
 

yorkie

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The Network Area rule applies to a Reading - Dullingham ticket, allowing you to take any train from Reading.
Off-Peak tickets for journeys
starting within the Network
Area to destinations outside
the Network Area with travel
via London are valid by any
train to London, to connect
with trains from London.
Some pricing managers make mistakes, I don't think that such mistakes render the rule invalid. Doesn't it have protected status anyway?
 
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