Semi-hypothetical - giving tickets on train

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py_megapixel

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The reason I title this question "semi-hypothetical" is that it's about a trip which I may or may not end up doing. I'm also trying to avoid saying the names of the actual stations here.

Essentially, I wish to travel with a group of friends to X. The train there calls at a few stations, then P, then Q, then some other stations, then X.
I wish to board the train at P; some of the friends I will be travelling with live closer to Q and would prefer to board there instead. However, I will be purchasing tickets for the entire group.

Would it put me or my friends at risk of being penalised in any way if I were to carry all of the tickets with me, and give the friends who board at Q their tickets immediately after they get on, while the train is still standing in Q station?

P and Q are small stations with ticket offices but no ticket gates, though revenue protection staff do occasionally check tickets at the station entrances. X is a large fully staffed station with ticket gates. All stations are within a Penalty Fare zone.

If a moderator comes across this and feels that to answer this question in public would be a bad idea, please feel free to take it into a private message (I think they're called a Conversation on here?)
 
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Bletchleyite

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If the station is not a compulsory ticket area and there is no gateline, this would strike me as OK (no different than, for example, a trainspotter going onto the platform without a ticket with no intention to travel), though you do take the risk of a revenue block being in place and them being refused access. It might be preferable if possible to purchase e-tickets and email them their own.

I am making the assumption that these are individual tickets; if it's GroupSave I understand the whole group has to make exactly the same journey and thus this would be invalid.
 

Metal_gee_man

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Are you buying all the tickets to take advantage of a groupsave promotion and your friends starting short?
 

py_megapixel

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I am making the assumption that these are individual tickets; if it's GroupSave I understand the whole group has to make exactly the same journey and thus this would be invalid.
Are you buying all the tickets to take advantage of a groupsave promotion and your friends starting short?
No these would all be separate tickets; it's simply that I offered to pay for them and felt that just buying all of them and distributing would be the simplest way to go about it.

As for starting short, does it make a difference if they're all separate tickets?
 

Metal_gee_man

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As for starting short, does it make a difference if they're all separate tickets?
Not at all but it does if they were groups groupsaves as everyone should travel together for the entire journey.

If they are separate tickets there is nothing stopping you at all, barring the compulsory ticketing area or a revenue block bit only you know the stations involved
 

Gloster

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At worst, if your friends were on the other side of a revenue block at Q you could jump off the train there with the unused tickets and hand the tickets to them past the block. Unusual, but others will be able to confirm if it is legal. You might well be standing at the door nearest the barrier anyway, so that you could hand them their tickets as they board. The only problem might be if the revenue block was set up on a different platform.
 

alistairlees

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If you can get the tickets as eTickets then you can just email your friends their tickets. Much less hassle.
 

Lockwood

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Or purchase them online using PayPal as a payment method so they will need A card, not THE card to collect them from a machine?

From a strictly legal pedantry point of view, does handing the ticket out on the train constitute "transferring" the tickets and not be allowed due to that?
 

Bletchleyite

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From a strictly legal pedantry point of view, does handing the ticket out on the train constitute "transferring" the tickets and not be allowed due to that?

No. Tickets are valid for the person for whom you purchased them (i.e. the person you had in mind when you bought it). If you intended them to be for those people, then that's not transfer.
 

Skie

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Ultimately you should read the terms of the tickets when buying them, as that is what rules will be applied (not withstanding an RPI who is adamant in being wrong).

One operators group tickets are classed (by them, explicitly) as advances, which under normal circumstances can't be used to start short. The NRCoC says you must be advised of the inability to start short when buying the tickets, which they never do, and the T&C's that come with the ticket in a PDF don't explicitly state it either. Would be a fun one to fight if challenged, but they've never given us hassle over it - would be petty considering it's usually 1 physical ticket for 50+ people and gate-line staff don't seem to be able to count us all reliably at the best of times anyway.
 

alistairlees

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Ultimately you should read the terms of the tickets when buying them, as that is what rules will be applied (not withstanding an RPI who is adamant in being wrong).

One operators group tickets are classed (by them, explicitly) as advances, which under normal circumstances can't be used to start short. The NRCoC says you must be advised of the inability to start short when buying the tickets, which they never do, and the T&C's that come with the ticket in a PDF don't explicitly state it either. Would be a fun one to fight if challenged, but they've never given us hassle over it - would be petty considering it's usually 1 physical ticket for 50+ people and gate-line staff don't seem to be able to count us all reliably at the best of times anyway.
The OP has confirmed in post 4 that group tickets are not involved.
 

[.n]

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I used to do this quite a bit when travelling with friends, it meant that they didn't have to understand the vagaries of the ticket system and they got the tickets they required (also meant not having to allow extra time to queue for tickets) [non barriered stations]
 

Watershed

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From a strictly legal pedantry point of view, does handing the ticket out on the train constitute "transferring" the tickets and not be allowed due to that?
No - tickets are only transferred when used by someone different to the person to whom they were issued (bear in mind it's perfectly legal to buy a ticket for someone else).

In any case, transfer of wholly unused tickets is now endorsed by the NRCoT, so long as no more than face value is paid for them.

If the OP can be sure there won't be a revenue block (or CTA) entering the station, there is nothing wrong with this. But that seems a bit risky when they are aware there have previously been blocks (though that could be said of most stations to be fair!).
 

Merseysider

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If you can get the tickets as eTickets then you can just email your friends their tickets. Much less hassle.
I would second this advice; this would be the easiest option.

With the exception of Merseyrail and a couple of other oddball areas, almost all tickets can be issued as eTickets, for example via the CrossCountry app/website.
 

Bletchleyite

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No - tickets are only transferred when used by someone different to the person to whom they were issued (bear in mind it's perfectly legal to buy a ticket for someone else).

Minor correction - for whom. Doesn't matter who buys it, what matters is who it was intended to be for at the point of purchase. Yes, I know, basically unenforceable in most cases unless they put names on.
 

py_megapixel

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Minor correction - for whom. Doesn't matter who buys it, what matters is who it was intended to be for at the point of purchase. Yes, I know, basically unenforceable in most cases unless they put names on.
That's interesting, as there are all kinds of random but fairly common scenarios that this would seem to technically prohibit.
For example, I've known families purchase one adult and one child ticket a few days before departure to take their child somewhere by train, but not actually decide which parent will be travelling with the child until the day of travel.
 

XAM2175

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That's interesting, as there are all kinds of random but fairly common scenarios that this would seem to technically prohibit.
For example, I've known families purchase one adult and one child ticket a few days before departure to take their child somewhere by train, but not actually decide which parent will be travelling with the child until the day of travel.
I've half a mind that it could be argued that the ticket was always intended for a parent (or guardian, as applicable) and that any transfer of a wholly unused ticket within that pre-existing pool of potential users is immaterial.

Regardless, as @Watershed notes, transfer of wholly unused tickets is - for the most part - now explicitly permitted:
National Rail Conditions of Travel (effective 4 December 2019)
5. TRANSFER OF TICKETS
5.1.
A Ticket may be transferred by the person who bought that Ticket to another person, but only if:
5.1.1. the Ticket has not been made out in the passenger's name (which includes where the passenger is identified by a designated Railcard, photocard or other identifying means);
5.1.2. the journey has not begun (for example, if you intend to transfer a return Ticket you must not have used the outward portion of that return Ticket, or if you intend to transfer a weekly Ticket you must not have used it for any journeys already); and
5.1.3. the transfer is not a resale for more than the price paid for the Ticket by the person who first purchased it from a Train Company or a Licensed Retailer.
5.2. A Ticket which is validly transferred remains subject to all the conditions of travel originally applicable to it.
 
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