Rules for feeder services to off peak trains

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DaveB10780

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My weekly commute to London is Furness Vale, Stockport, London. I often catch the first off peak train to London, 0943 from Stockport. This means catching the 0846 from FNV and waiting 20 minutes extra at SPT. Being exceedingly busy it is advised to have a reservation. Despite having bought this online for 2 years a recent change to the VTWC booking engine has made this impossible. Worse still I am in discussion with Virgin support who are adamant this journey is not valid Off Peak and I have to leave at 0947 from FNV. The ticket is subject to restriction 2C which makes no mention of time I can leave FNV and only gives arrival restrictions. Does anybody know what is the correct position?

For extra evidence I can even book an Off Peak journey Furness Vale to London Marylebone via Banbury that starts on the 0744 train from FNV. Also on the NR planner I can select longer change times and be given a 0846 to 1204 itinerary. To me that suggests my interpretation is correct.
 
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yorkie

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Use trainsplit.com to specify extra interchange time

It's based on arrival in London but many people at Virgin Trains don't have a clue; ignore them. They may be good enough tp work at Virgin Trains customer 'support' (ie, an inadequate level of knowledge and an ability to invent rules that simply don't exist) but there's no way they'd cut the mustard on here!

http://www.brfares.com/#faredetail?orig=FNV&dest=1072&tkt=SVR


Restriction Code: 2C
Applicable days

Mondays to Fridays

OUTWARD TRAVEL

Not valid on trains timed to
arrive:

LONDON EUSTON after 0719 and
before 1130;

LONDON KINGS CROSS after 0429
and before 1117;

LONDON LIVERPOOL STREET before
1000;

LONDON MARYLEBONE before 1130;

LONDON PADDINGTON before 1010;

LONDON ST PANCRAS
INTERNATIONAL before 1129;

LONDON WATERLOO before 1000;

KENSINGTON OLYMPIA before 1100

BEDFORD before 0930;

LUTON OR LUTON AIRPORT PARKWAY
before 1004;

MILTON KEYNES CENTRAL after
0638 and before 1048

READING before 0940;

STEVENAGE after 0359 and
before 1055;

STRATFORD (LONDON)before 1015;

WATFORD JUNCTION after 0643
and before 1045
....
 

DaveB10780

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Thanks very much, confirms exactly what I believed. VT support are so misguided on this because it is not a Point A to B journey which is making me a little annoyed to put it mildly <(<(, especially as I can buy the ticket at Euston with no problem.

I do think the problem is in part caused by the common online booking system being too simplistic and treating us like idiots, especially regarding connection time assumptions. For instance a simple rule "Always offer the best connection to the first or last off peak train" would help with my issue. Allowing us to enter connection times with others when I would rather a reliable journey rather than stressed connections.
 

Rover

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The worrying aspect of this misinformation from virgin is that although the OP has the aptitude to question what he is told there will be many many others who will accept what they are told at face value and end up paying more for their tickets than they have to.
 

MichaelAMW

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Just to be clear: is the situation that you want to get a train from Furness Vale to Stockport, let the next London go without you, and then jump on the following London, which is the first off peak?
 

Merseysider

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Just to be clear: is the situation that you want to get a train from Furness Vale to Stockport, let the next London go without you, and then jump on the following London, which is the first off peak?
Yes. Furness Vale has an infrequent service so it isn't possible to take a later train from FNV that connects with the 0943.
 

furlong

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Well if the company is trying to make people like you buy a more-expensive ticket than necessary, escalate the matter directly to the ORR and ask them to investigate whether they consider the company is in breach of the consumer regulations.
 

455driver

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a recent change to the VTWC booking engine has made this impossible.
Dont use VTWC booking engine then!

This is just one more example of why this wretched company has no business being in charge of a franchise, arrive 'awsome' my posterior!
 

Bletchleyite

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I think most of the booking engines will do that, you'd need to use one that allows you to put a stopoff length in.

Would it be an option just to buy it on another service without a reservation then go and get a reservation at a station?
 

Wallsendmag

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I'd say that if the minimum connection time at stockport is met before the London train leaves that you let go then the connection isn't valid. It is a train that would get you into London after the connection before the first Off Peak arrival.
 

221129

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I'd say that if the minimum connection time at stockport is met before the London train leaves that you let go then the connection isn't valid. It is a train that would get you into London after the connection before the first Off Peak arrival.
Then you would be completely wrong.
 

LowLevel

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I'd say that if the minimum connection time at stockport is met before the London train leaves that you let go then the connection isn't valid. It is a train that would get you into London after the connection before the first Off Peak arrival.
It doesn't make any difference. If people ask me to sell them these tickets in these circumstances I ask them to confirm they intend to wait for the off peak train and write Restrictions Advised on the ticket. Perfectly in order - the arrival restriction means it's the arrival time of the train into the specified restricted station that counts.
 

Merseysider

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I'd say that if the minimum connection time at stockport is met before the London train leaves that you let go then the connection isn't valid. It is a train that would get you into London after the connection before the first Off Peak arrival.
Please stop posting incorrect information on the forum. This isn't the first time.
 

Tetchytyke

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Thanks but that's not the way the restriction is written.
It is; the train from Furness Vale is not timed to arrive in London before 1130, because it doesn't go anywhere near London.

Also, whilst there is a minimum connection time, there isn't a maximum connection time. And, so far as I can tell, there is no restriction on breaking your journey.
 

Fuzzytop

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Nope, no restrictions on breaking the journey.

The 0923 and 0943 up to Euston have different calling points. On some sites, such as Virgin Trains EC and TrainSplit, you can specify that you'd like the ticket via Macclesfield. This then sells you an off-peak for the 0846 ex-FNV and 0943 ex-SPT with reservations.

Sadly the Virgin Trains booking system doesn't work in the same way, and would book you for the 0923 which passes through Macclesfield without stopping. Even if you try to ask for a ticket 'not via' Milton Keynes Central, it puts you on the 0923, which not only goes via MKC but actually stops there!! <(
 
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DaveB10780

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The reason why this question arose is a change to the booking system that means I can no longer book my journey online <(. I have actually booked the jourmey about 20 times in the last 2 years using the VTWC site. This was done by selecting the slower trains option on the first results screen. Suddenly if you have a railcard apparently there are no slower trains at all. This is for any journey in the country I have tried. Very odd but none of the support people have bothered responding to this obvious bug which is a big wind up <(<(.

Secondly clearly minimum is what it says on the tin. Of course you can let a train go by. If you use the NR planner and select the extra connection time of 30 minutes (why cant we be allowed to key a number in????) I will actually be given an itinerary 0846-0912 ,10:04-12:04. Why it doesn't select the 0943 is beyond me. The connection time is 31 minutes. Having worked in software development for 40 years my best guess would be that 30 is added to the minimum time which in my view is pretty daft.
 

DaveB10780

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It doesn't make any difference. If people ask me to sell them these tickets in these circumstances I ask them to confirm they intend to wait for the off peak train and write Restrictions Advised on the ticket. Perfectly in order - the arrival restriction means it's the arrival time of the train into the specified restricted station that counts.
I did buy this ticket at Euston last week with no problem at all. The prime motivation I have for booking with VTWC online is the convenience of not standing in a queue and also being able to choose my seat.
 

Merseysider

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I found a workaround, although it does include an extra change:

On the National Rail website, select under 'More options' the Train Company CrossCountry. Also add an avoid point of Manchester Piccadilly.

You'll be given the following itinerary:
0846 FNV - SPT 0912
0935 SPT - SOT 1006
1012 SOT - EUS 1143

If you're on of the people who can't stand Voyagers, instead of CrossCountry, select Arriva Trains Wales, still keeping the avoid point of Manchester Piccadilly.

You will be given the following itinerary:
0846 FNV - SPT 0912
0939 SPT - 1005 CRE
CRE 1022 - 1159 EUS

arriving 16 minutes later on the ex-Liverpool service.

Don't click through to Virgin's website; it's worse than useless. Elect to purchase the ticket from Transpennine Express and you'll be able to get seat reservations and Nectar points.
 

Kite159

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Sadly clicking through to the TPE website loses the ability to pick your own seat, so you could end up getting a completely rubbish seat with a view of plastic (i.e. C3).
 

Merseysider

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Sadly clicking through to the TPE website loses the ability to pick your own seat, so you could end up getting a completely rubbish seat with a view of plastic (i.e. C3).
That is true, you lose the seat selector.

The Pendo seating plan does have details to compare against, but it is a rather long-winded way of getting a simple ticket, that Virgin should be offering in the first place! :lol: :roll:
 

Romilly

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The OP could get the desired itinerary using trainsplit.com by going into their advanced options to specify a minimum interchange time (specifying 15 minutes will work), although won't then be able to use the VTWC seat selector.

Or the OP could use the VTEC journey planner, using the "timetables only" option to specify a call at Macclesfield. That still won't give access to a seat selector, and may mess up getting a reservation for the return journey if the OP's return train doesn't call at Macclesfield.
 
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Bletchleyite

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That is true, you lose the seat selector.

The Pendo seating plan does have details to compare against, but it is a rather long-winded way of getting a simple ticket, that Virgin should be offering in the first place! :lol: :roll:
It's not a "simple" ticket, it's one where you are having to plan an arbitrary stopover to circumvent a restriction.

It's perfectly allowed, of course, but it's not "simple" for the computer to establish it, and there will be many other similar examples on many TOCs.

What VT need to add is a "break of journey" feature (well, not BoJ, specified extended change length), which would allow it to be sold.
 
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DaveB10780

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Sadly clicking through to the TPE website loses the ability to pick your own seat, so you could end up getting a completely rubbish seat with a view of plastic (i.e. C3).
For me it is not coach C (luggage racks compressed) and at the times I travel the RHS of the train in the shade, makes the difference between comfort and roasting alive, unable to see screen:D.
 
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