Selling impossible journeys..

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Goofle

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Hi,

I’m currently travelling from Shrewsbury to Helensburgh. I’ve got my tickets via ‘Rail Easy’, and the journey is using split tickets, Shrewsbury to Wellington, Wellington to Birmingham New Street (one train).

From there it’s another train to Edinburgh, with many separate segments - to Derby, York, Darlington, Berwick upon Tweed then a final ticket from Berwick to Helensburgh. The journey details clearly shows this, along with the change at Edinburgh from the Cross Country that gets in at 1657 (that I’m currently sat on) to the Scot Rail service, departing at 1710 to Helensburgh.

The only snag is the absolute lack of transport between Edinburgh and Glasgow. There’s no replacement buses between the two cities either and seemingly no way to get to Helensburgh today.

Should a website that is selling tickets for trains at least be linked to make sure the trains are running?

I ordered my tickets Friday but a quick look on the ‘Rail Easy’ site shows it’s still perfectly happy to send me for a journey that I won’t be able to complete - it’s still showing all the services as running.

Am I in the wrong for not checking this before I booked or should I realistically expect a chance of completing a journey?

Thanks in advance,
 
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Mcr Warrior

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Doesn't look like a good day to attempt a multi-leg Shrewsbury-Helensburgh journey.

Is the main issue here strike action affecting much of the Scotrail network, and not much by the way of rail replacement buses? (And to a lesser extent, planned engineering work on the WCML, sending intending Anglo Scottish passengers up via the ECML to Edinburgh, rather than Glasgow, despite the final Edinburgh - Helensburgh leg normally being fairly routine).
 

Goofle

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I don’t know what’s happening to be honest. There’s an option of getting a rail replacement bus between Edinburgh and Lockerbie(!!!!) then another to Glasgow to get me there today, but that’s still too late for the last train to Helensburgh....
 

yorkie

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To answer the question regarding an invalid itinerary, if the data had already changed before you bought your ticket, the retailer can be deemed at fault. If the data changed after, the retailer is not at fault.

Raileasy uses the same data provider as Raileurope and Traintickets.com; I had a quick look and I see they have not updated their data even today.

This contrasts with Trainsplit (which uses Raileasy as the retailer but FastJP as the data provider) which does not offer these journeys.

I generally buy tickets from Trainsplit, which has a handy link in the itinerary provided for all trains, which shows exactly when any timetable data changes occured. This can be useful for disputes.
 

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Watershed

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One alternative option would be, if you get off your XC train at Newcastle, you can get the 1555 Northern service to Carlisle (arr 1732) and get the 1805 Avanti rail replacement coach to Glasgow from there. See this itinerary.

The coach is scheduled to arrive at 2000, so if it runs to those timings then you would miss the 1955 Glasgow Queen Street to Helensburgh, which is the last train of the day. However, you do at least get to Glasgow considerably earlier than if you go via Edinburgh and Lockerbie!

I would strongly advise speaking to the Northern conductor before boarding at Newcastle, to ask them about your ticket arrangements. Similarly at Carlisle when boarding your rail replacement coach.

If you are charged anything extra then keep receipts, tickets etc. so that you can claim this back.
 
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yorkie

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From Glasgow it is possible to get to Helensburgh by bus (if you miss the 1955), though you may have to change.

As stated above, you could get off your train at Newcastle, and change at Carlisle for Glasgow, but this would almost definitely result in missing the 1955, so requiring a bus from Glasgow.

You could get to Glasgow quicker by remaining on board your train to Edinburgh, but you would need to take a Citylink coach between the two cities.

For example you could take either the 1730 or 1745 buses from Edinburgh bus station arriving at Buchanan bus station at 1843 or 1908 respectively; looking on the Citylink website, there is availability on either of these buses priced at about £8.50.

Either of these buses would get you to Glasgow Queen Street (adjacent to Buchanan bus station) in good time for the 1955 train from GLQ.

I suggest booking Citylink soon, because they may sell out.

If the train was not already cancelled before you bought your ticket, Scotrail should compensate you for the cost of the Citylink fare plus Delay Repay compensation if applicable.

Alternatively, if the train was already cancelled then the liability falls with the retailer, in my opinion.
 

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Goofle

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Thank you all very much. I’m pleased it’s not me being a chump and missing something obvious here!
 

Goofle

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No worries. Let us know how you get on!

@Goofle. How far are you into your epic journey?

I made it here yesterday evening, purely by relying on the good nature of a friend of mine who lives just outside Helensburgh. He drove the 75-80 miles to Edinburgh and collected me. I have obviously paid him for his fuel and also bought him a takeaway last night. Fortunately he had four hours or more to spend driving 150 miles or so across the Central Belt of Scotland!
I have sent a annoyed email to ‘Rail Easy’ asking how this has occurred, although I received the standard ‘Your email very important to us, we shall reply in a few days’ type reply. I’d like to think that the company will reimburse me at least the value of the Edinburgh / Helensburgh section of my journey, although that won’t cover the fuel costs I’d imagine. Equally I doubt they’ll give me enough to recompense me for constant mickey taking I’m being subjected to by him for my misfortune / stupidity! I can’t say I blame him, I’d do exactly the same if the roles were reversed and I’d spent much of my Sunday driving around rescuing him...
 

yorkie

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You are entitled to a refund of the unused fare between Edinburgh and Helensburgh.

If you had taken a CityLink coach between Edinburgh and Glasgow, you'd also have been able to claim the cost of the coach fare in my opinion. It'd also be reasonable to argue that fuel costs up to the value of the fare that you would have incurred. I would be less convinced at the merits of claiming over and above the public transport option as that was entirely your choice, but any discretionary payment is up to the party concerned.

I tend to buy my tickets through Trainsplit, which provides links to each train in the itinerary on Timetablehistory; here is the link for your Edinburgh to Glasgow train:

  • Train added to timetable on 31/01/2021
  • Train was cancelled on 28/04/2021
THIS TRAIN WAS REMOVED FROM THE TIMETABLE (CANCELLED) ON 28/04/2021


I find this really handy because you can see when changes occur and this can be very useful in the event of disputes of this nature.

As you can see from the above link, the train was cancelled on 28/04, so websites such as Trainsplit (which I use) would have stopped selling any such itinerary from then onwards and anyone who had bought a ticket before then would be able to hold Scotrail liable, but as you were sold the ticket on 30/04, the retailer is liable for the mistake by their data provider in not updating their journey planner data.

The supplier in question (which I won't name) has a history of this and has been offering invalid itineraries under such circumstances for at least the last 18 months. I mentioned this to RailEurope (who also use that supplier) about 18 months ago but RailEurope never got back to me.
 
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