Richmond (RMD) / Feltham (FEL) - Swindon (SWI) routeings (Advance tickets)

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Edvid, 8 Nov 2009.

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  1. Edvid

    Edvid Member

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    Before I start, let me state that I used NXEC WebTIS to collect all the fares info.

    With a 16-25 Railcard, I can travel each way (RMD - SWI) for as little as £4.30 (STD) / £11.70 (1ST) with 'unrouted' tickets. The shortest route is via Staines (SNS), but it seems I could opt to go via London (i.e. Waterloo (WAT) / Paddington (PAD)), even though STD / 1ST Advance singles for PAD-SWI are £4.95 / £13.55 min. respectively.

    I've checked the Routeing Guide and RMD / SWI are - conveniently - both routeing points with travel permitted via London as per maps WX and WR.

    So where does FEL come into this?

    Before I go on, I will state that its routeing points are Brentford (BFD), Kingston (KNG), RMD and SNS.

    If I select FEL as the origin, I can get STD / 1ST singles for as little as £3.65 / £9.90 respectively via SNS, noting that their assigned routeing is 'via Reading'. Then it gets interesting:

    * The tickets won't allow travel via either BFD or KNG if the route is also via London.
    * Advance singles for BFD - SWI are the same price (via London or SNS) as those for RMD - SWI.
    * There are no Advance tickets for KNG - SWI.
    * The tickets will allow travel via RMD and London but only if you go via Willesden Junction too.

    What do you guys make of it? (And do you get similiar results from Trainline-based TOC booking sites such as FGW?)
     
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  3. Ben

    Ben Member

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    Can we not use proper station names? If i wanted to use coding id be in IT...?
     
  4. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    If you read the post, he does actually say the name of each station. What has 3 letter station codes got to do with "IT"? Now, can you answer the OP or do you not have anything meaningful to say?

    To answer the OP, if you book it and print out the itinerary then go for it and there's nothing anyone can do. All sorts are possible with AP. I've got tickets from London to Colchester very cheaply for a friend, who was booked on NXEC to concrete town (Stevenage), then FCC from concrete town to Finsbury Park then to Highbury & Islington and Stratford.... this was a lot cheaper than to London. He asked if he could stay on Stevenage-London as otherwise he may struggle with his bike to do the route via Highbury & Islington and he'd rather cycle from King's cross to Liverpool St, and the answer was yes, so he did that. The ticket was routed "Not London" therefore not valid south of Finsbury Park, and priced accordingly.

    Also several people have taken advantage of the high availability of Doncaster-Peterborough quotas by specifying via Biggleswade, this then puts them on a stopper south of Peterborough. They pay the "correct" London fare, but for the cheapest quota despite this selling out south of Peterborough (but being available to Peterborough), guards rarely ever ask for FCC to be taken from Peterborough and the passengers stay on.

    Then there was, about 3 years ago, the Yorkshire to Bedford "MML & Connections" tickets, that allowed Yorkshire to London to be the "connection"! That anomaly lasted a few months and resulted in very cheap fares as it was at a time when MML priced their tickets a lot cheaper than GNER.
     
  5. John @ home

    John @ home Established Member Fares Advisor

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    The National Fares Manual NFM 04 CD shows that these tickets are route AP READING.
    I don't think the shortest route is particularly relevant when buying Advance tickets. I think much more important is what the vendor is willing to sell you. The shortest route, or the relevant permitted routes for any non-reserved part of the journey, may well become relevant when using an Advance ticket, but that is different matter.
    Agreed. There are none in the Fares Manual. I would advise someone wanting to use an Advance ticket for a Kingston - Swindon journey to split tickets.
    I'm not surprised. The way in which Advance tickets interact with the Routeing Guide is not defined, if indeed they interact at all. The Routeing Guide was not designed for Advance tickets. But both now exist, and the writers of the software for the journey planners have had to make some assumptions. It is not surprising that different behaviour by different booking sites demonstrate that different assumptions have been made.

    So where does this leave the passenger? If you find an Advance ticket by an unreserved train on an unusual route, and you want to travel that way, you certainly have a right to do so. I always recommend printing the journey itinerary in such cases. But it is debatable whether you must travel that way.
    The difficulty is the phrase other valid travel itinerary. The person buying the ticket is not always given an itinerary for the non-reserved part of a journey. The person buying the ticket is not necessarily the traveller. There is no requirement, or even suggestion, in the terms & conditions that the person buying the ticket should give any travel itinerary to the traveller. The person checking the ticket does not have easy access to the travel itinerary unless the traveller chooses to show it. So it is very difficult to see how a traveller using a reasonable route for the non-reserved portion of a journey with an Advance ticket can successfully be challenged.

    Ah! Have we just re-invented the concept of the reasonable route?

    John
     
  6. yorkie

    yorkie Forum Staff Staff Member Administrator

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    In a similar topic about AP fares, Glynn80 pointed out that the National Rail website can produce a "valid travel itinerary" which can be used to specify longer waiting times etc that you cannot do with the booking engines. IMO it would be impossible for a TOC to convince a court of law that the travel intinerary produced by the recommended site for obtaining travel itinerarys is somehow not a "valid travel itinerary".

    If you want some flexibility on the "connections" part of the journey I advise getting non-reservable trains so that no-one can specify which train you must get for that portion, then get NRES to produce the itinerary you want. This is the best way I can think of for allowing yourself a safer connection than the booking sites allow, while minimising any chance of being accused of breaking the terms of the ticket.
     
  7. Edvid

    Edvid Member

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    Many thanks for all your advice - now it's just a case of whether I want to do the majority of First Class travel on a HST or 458. :lol: (I intend to do 1ST one way and STD the other, and I've never been to Reading via Staines before.)
     
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