Routes from Sheffield Cambridge

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unlevel42

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Is there a way of quickly comparing times/fares for the different routes from Sheffield to Cambridge other than by writing down all the different- go via.
I want to compare the following routes each of which have advantages and disadvantages.
Sheffield Leicester Cambridge
Sheffield (Nottingam) Ely Cambridge
Sheffield Doncaster Peterborough Cambridge
Sheffield Retford Peterborough Cambridge
Sheffield Doncaster Stevenage Cambridge
Sheffield Huntingdon Concrete Bus Cambridge

Are the rail routes permitted routes on standard tickets?
 
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Oscar

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Permitted Routes for Sheffield - Cambridge:
- Shortest route: Sheffield - Retford - Peterborough - Ely - Cambridge (and any route within 3 miles of it)
- Direct trains (none)
- Sheffield Group Cambridge NL, SH+EE+CN, SH+ER+CN, SY+CN, YL+EE+CN, YL+ER+CN
The codes refer to maps which you can view here http://www.atoc.org/clientfiles/File/Maps.pdf
You have to follow the maps consecutively, use all of the maps listed for each route and move from one map onto another at one of the marked interchange points.
NL - via Nottingham and Ely
SH+EE+CN - via Retford, Lincoln, Peterborough and Ely
SH+ER+CN - via Retford, Newark, Peterborough and Ely
SY+CN - via Derby and Melton Mowbray or Leicester and Melton Mowbray
YL+EE+CN - via Doncaster, Lincoln, Peterborough and Ely
YL+ER+CN - via Doncaster, Newark, Peterborough and Ely

Try this site http://trainscanbecheaper.info/ for quickly finding Permitted Routes.
 

John @ home

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Is there a way of quickly comparing times/fares for the different routes from Sheffield to Cambridge other than by writing down all the different- go via.
Not really. WebTIS based sites such as East Coast allow you search each route one after another by using the "Via" option. It's a bit fiddly to extend this to 2 "Via" points using the Text only version of their site, but it can be done. But none of this is "quick".

Are the rail routes permitted routes on standard tickets?
Permitted Routes Sheffield - Cambridge are:
  1. Direct trains from Sheffield to Cambridge
    The are none in the current timetable.
  2. Shortest Route: 122 miles
    • Sheffield
    • Darnall
    • Woodhouse
    • Kiveton Bridge
    • Kiveton Park
    • Shireoaks
    • Worksop
    • Retford
    • Newark North Gate
    • Grantham
    • Peterborough
    • March
    • Ely
    • Cambridge
  3. Any route not more than 3 miles longer than the Shortest Route
  4. Mapped Routes:
Each code refers to the linked map. If a single code is indicated permitted routes are via any route on that map from Sheffield to Cambridge without doubling back (passing through the same station twice on a single journey).

Where a routeing specifies that a combination of Maps be used (e.g. YL + ER + CN) permitted routes are via any route on the first map from Sheffield to intercept point(s) for the next map without doubling back, then via any route within that map without doubling back. This is repeated until the final map is reached then via any route within that map until Cambridge is reached.

There are two sets of flexible fares Sheffield - Cambridge, "Via Ely" and "Not Via London". Route "Not Via London" tickets are valid via Stevenage. Route "Via Ely" tickets are not.
 

unlevel42

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Thank you for your prompt and comprehensive replies.

I think I have found an early morning train which requires a change at Loughborough but is not shown in timetables.
Sheffield 0529
Loughborough 0624
Loughborough 0626 to Ely(Nottingam/Norwich)
then Cambridge 0845
It's handy because it picks up at Chesterfield but it's not in the proper timetable- does this actually run?
 

sonic2009

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Thank you for your prompt and comprehensive replies.

I think I have found an early morning train which requires a change at Loughborough but is not shown in timetables.
Sheffield 0529
Loughborough 0624
Loughborough 0626 to Ely(Nottingam/Norwich)
then Cambridge 0845
It's handy because it picks up at Chesterfield but it's not in the proper timetable- does this actually run?
The reason this will not show online iss because the connection at Loughborough does not meet the minimum connection time.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
If you wanted a 1 change journey you could take this option :

0557 Sheffield - Leicester 0704 East Midlands Trains
0718 Leicester - Cambridge 0908 CrossCountry
 
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John @ home

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I think I have found an early morning train which requires a change at Loughborough but is not shown in timetables.
0529 Sheffield - London St Pancras 0807 does not run not in the current timetable period, but is introduced next week from the start of the new timetable. The new timetable shows:

Table 53: 0529 Sheffield - Loughborough 0624

Table 49: 0556 Nottingam - Ely 0811
The East Midlands Parkway and Loughborough stops for this service are not yet shown in Table 53. Errors such as this are quite common before a timetable comes into effect. I would expect a timetable amendment soon.

Table 17: 0826 Ely - Cambridge 0845

It's handy because it picks up at Chesterfield but it's not in the proper timetable- does this actually run?
Yes, these services are scheduled to run from 14 May.

Others have pointed out that the 2-minute connection is less than the advertised minimum connection time of 5 minutes at Loughborough, which has a number of effects.
  1. Advance tickets should not be available using this connection. These tickets have compulsory reservations which should not be issued for connections less than the minimum.
  2. If you hold a flexible ticket valid on these trains, you are allowed to risk the connection but the train companies will not compensate you for the delay if the connection is not made.
  3. There is another 0529 service from Sheffield which enables you to arrive in Cambridge at 0845 using valid connections only.
    0529 Sheffield - Doncaster 0606
    0622 Doncaster - Peterborough 0720
    0735 Peterborough - Ely 0811
    0826 Ely - Cambridge 0845
    Advance fares are sometimes available for this journey, but on 14 May in First Class only.
  4. If the Loughborough connection is missed, the next service gives a Cambridge arrival of 0908.
    0652 Loughborough - Leicester 0704
    0718 Leicester - Cambridge 0908
 

telstarbox

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Unlevel42 - IIRC the first train from Sheffield would arrive at Loughborough on platform 2 and the train to Ely would leave from platform 3, which are different "sides" of the same platform so you just walk across (see the station plan here). If both trains are on time, 2 minutes should be enough to make the connection, but as others has pointed out it's "unofficial".
 
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