Route and validity on advance tickets

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by skyward, 29 May 2015.

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  1. skyward

    skyward Member

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    Hi everyone,

    Got this pair of advance tickets booked on an ATW train from and going back to Manchester Piccadilly, as printed on the seat reservations. Tickets are from and returning to Manchester Stns, route is AP FGW/ATW &CONN, validity BOOKDTRAINONLY and restriction code AC.

    Quick question, forgive me if it has been answered before:

    As Manchester Piccadilly is a bit of a walk, can I begin at, say, Manchester Oxford Road (one of the Manchester Stns), taking any train that shows up to Manchester Piccadilly and change there to my booked train?

    I am under the impression that the route and validity restrict me to my booked trains only. Please correct me if I misinterpreted it.

    Cheers.
     
  2. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    You should be fine to do this provided
    1. the ticket is to/from Manchester Stations and not Manchester Piccadilly
    2. the train on which you travel on between Manchester Oxford Road and Manchester Piccadilly it is not possible to make seat reservations. i.e. it is a Northern service (NOT East Midlands, Transpennine.)
    However, I think in reality no one is even going to notice if you just get on any train.

    Which trains are you booked onto exactly as you may find that you Arriva Trains Wales service stops there? In which case you could get on your ATW train at Oxford Road. Not strictly allowed but doubt you'll have any problems.
     
  3. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    The gateline staff at Oxford Road never bother to look at tickets for more than a fraction of a second so getting onto a train won't be an issue. ATW serve MCO-MAN and ticket checks are never done between these two stations.

    On top of all this, even if it was noticed, I don't think you'd get into any trouble if you travelled from Oxford Road to Man Piccadilly to pick up your booked train.
     
  4. skyward

    skyward Member

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    Thanks gray1404 and JakeF for your prompt advice.

    My question mainly comes from the restrictions. In the strictest sense, am I limited to FGW and ATW trains only if I were to make such a connection? Does the validity BOOKDTRAINONLY have any impact? And how does one interpret "& connections"?

    My booked, outward train is the first departure to Wales. The first ATW train that leaves MCO for MAN will be way too late for the connection. There are however some earlier TPE and NT trains that will make it. Just wondering if the advance is valid on these services without any misunderstanding.

    My many thanks again.
     
  5. maniacmartin

    maniacmartin Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    AP FGW/ATW &CONN
    The &CONN here means 'and connections'. You can take a train offered by another TOC within the Manchester stations group as long as that train does not offer seat reservations.

    However you usually can't start short on the booked part (seat reservation for which will be printed from Piccaddily) or double back on the same ticket.
     
    Last edited: 29 May 2015
  6. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Just follow the advise we've given you above.

    When it says FGW/ATW and Connections it means that the main part of your journey must be with those train operators. However, you are able to use connecting services of any train operator (in your case) to start and finish off (i.e. to get you to and from) the main bit of your journey.

    With advance tickets you will get a reservation coopen for each train you are traveling on for which it is possible to make a seat reservation/or train reservation (where you are not allocated a specific seat). For those trains on which reservations are not possible you can just take a connecting service.

    Booked Train Only means that you have to get that train (or start your journey allowing for the connections to get you to that booked train for which you have a reservation. Basically, you can't just get any timed train of your choosing because you do not have a flexible ticket.

    I was hoping that you would give me the time of the train you were getting along with the date of travel so I could look at the stopping pattern for you! lol However, assuming that the ATW you are getting does not stop at Oxford Road, you would be fine to get a Northern service to Piccadilly. Personally, I would jump on any of the other operators too as I know my ticket won't be checked. Likewise with your return journey either get off at Oxford Road if it stops there or just jump the next service leaving Piccadilly for Oxford Road. I am sure it will be fine.

    It your ATW train does in fact stop at Oxford Road though, just board it there on your outward.
     
    Last edited: 29 May 2015
  7. Andrew1395

    Andrew1395 Member

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    I am not sure on that. I think the actual terms of ATW/FGW & Connections is that at least one leg of the journey must be on an ATW service. Someone with access to Journey Planner could confirm
     
  8. skyward

    skyward Member

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    It seems one would need so much prior knowledge using these restrictive tickets! Pardon my many questions, how do you check whether a particular train offers seat reservation?



    I do apologize for missing some of info. I didn't realize these little details would be crucial in determining validity. I am booked on the 0630 ATW train tomorrow (or shall I say today Sat May 30 ;)), and hope to leave from MCO or DGT. Is there any service (I assume without seat reservations) that my advance is valid on?

    Really appreciated the explanations!
     
  9. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    If your ticket is issued from Manchester Stns rather than Manchester Pic, then you can use any appropriate connecting service from Oxford Road or Deansgate, with both being members of Manchester Stns and your ticket explicitly allowing a connection.

    What constitutes appropriate I leave you to work out. There is no explicit definition in the public domain AFAIK.
     
  10. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    I see your ATW was not the first departure of the day at 0630, there was an ATW to Llandudno at 0548 and this does call at Oxford Road. However, in the case of the 0630 going to South Wales then of couse this would not.

    As your journey is now past tense I tust everything went well. I see that there would not have been any trains form Deansgate but from Oxford Road there was a 0558 TPE or 0602 Northern service. BOTH of these were reservable for advance ticket purposes. It really surprised me to see this. Why on earth have Northern now made their Liverpool to Manchester services "reservable" (see BRtimes.com)?

    For future reference, you can check if a service is "reservable" by looking up the times on brtimes.com and if there is a dimond next to the service that means it is.

    I once had an Advance ticket from Manchester to Newcastle (Route: TPE Only). I saw the service I wanted from Piccadilly but then realised going out of Oxford Road would be better. So I changed the start point to Oxford Road. Same ticket with the same price. I got a seat reserved on a TPE service one stop between Oxford Road and Piccadilly (which got me in about 12ish minutes before my connecting service) and another Piccadilly - Newcastle - 2 reservation coopens. Next time you could make sure you type in Oxford Road as your starting point - but do check your getting the same fare as Piccadilly.

    On your return journey, as said earlier, just get off at Piccadilly and get the next servide to either Oxford Road or Deansgate. You should not have any problems.
     
  11. Merseysider

    Merseysider Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I don't wish to take the conversation too far off topic but Northern offer advance fares on their services between Liverpool and Manchester. This is new.

    Furthermore, whilst the 'no reservable trains' rule is buried deep within railway documents, Virgin WC have confirmed to me as long as the main (reserved) part of the journey is made correctly they don't care if you use them for connecting purposes. Another toc took this stance too but I can't remember who.
     
    Last edited: 30 May 2015
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