Sheffield to Aberdeen

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by emorris, 8 Nov 2011.

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  1. emorris

    emorris Member

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    Hi,
    I'm looking to travel from Sheffield to Aberdeen on Friday 2nd December and return on the 4th. I have a 16-25 railcard, and the best fares I'm currently getting are £84.40. Can it be done cheaper? Timing wise, I'm pretty flexible, although I'd like to arrive in Aberdeen by late afternoon (say 4pm) on the Friday, and be back in Sheffield before 10pm on the Sunday.

    I'm also willing to consider another weekend in December or late November if it's massively cheaper, although from what I've gathered, there will be no advanced tickets before Christmas now.

    On a side note, how does one go about investigating ticket splitting? Is it just a case of putting random journeys to intermediate stations into the National Rail Enquiries journey planner, or is there a more systematic/quicker approach.

    Any replies/suggestions/comments would be much appreciated.
     
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  3. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Starting with stations your desired trains stop at is usually advised :)

    Generally though, without some prior knowledge, it's hard to decide where splitting is advantageous, but some pointers are:
    - Splitting gives the biggest gains on day returns over long distances - Day Returns are generally cheaper than period returns but only available for shorter journeys.
    - Journeys within a PTE area tend to be cheaper due to higher subsidies
    - Journeys priced by different operators may be priced differently - e.g. A-C may be priced by CrossCountry but A-B and B-C may priced by Northern. As a general rule avoid journeys priced by CrossCountry.
    - "TOC Only" routeings may be available for shorter journeys where not for longer ones. For example, "XC Only" fares are available on the ECML (undercutting East Coast) - ideal for a journey such as yours where you'd be on XC anyway.
    - Advance fares are quota controlled and often priced to encourage/discourage travel from particular stations. An Advance ticket from your local station may be expensive but from a station up the road it could be cheap - even on the same trains.
    - Most Off Peak and all Anytime tickets allow break of journey - meaning you don't have to make the full journey on the ticket. Sometimes a ticket to somewhere beyond your destination (e.g. on a branch from the city you're travelling to/through) can be cheaper.

    There are loads more factors to consider of course :)

    I'll see what I can find.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    OK - an Off Peak Return from Sheffield (SHF) to Aberdeen (ABD) with Y-P Railcard is £84.40.

    Advance tickets are available for £39.95 each way (£79.90 total). I would strongly advise against these tickets; the fiver saved isn't worth the extra risk in my view.

    I've looked at splitting at:
    Doncaster, York, Newcastle, Edinburgh (for direct trains or changing at Edinburgh) - no saving to be had with either walk-up or Advance fares
    Manchester or Preston - no saving (sometimes Virgin has very cheap Advance fares).

    Even National Express is nearly £80!

    So no good news from me - others may have better suggestions.

    Oh - another point to add to the list above is that since the only place that matters is apparently London, Advance tickets can be cheaper to & from London, even if it seems out of the way. Not in this case though.
     
  4. button_boxer

    button_boxer Established Member

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    If you're willing to trade cost for time there's a (very) few cheaper advances to and from Manchester (using the TPE trains up the west coast), currently £46.90 total from Manchester to Aberdeen and back, plus £16.05 Sheffield to Manchester return = £62.95 total. That's the Anytime return to Manchester, and a very early start...
     
  5. John @ home

    John @ home Established Member Fares Advisor

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    Welcome to the forum, emorris!

    A flexible option by a slower route:

    Sheffield - Leeds route Not Doncaster: Railcard Anytime Return (SOR) £7.85
    Leeds - Glasgow route Appleby: Railcard Anytime Return (SOR) £31.40
    Glasgow - Aberdeen: Railcard Off-Peak Return (SVR) £34.70 Validity 8F
    Total £73.95
     
  6. emorris

    emorris Member

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    Thank you all very much for your replies! All the info was very interesting.

    I'm thinking my best option is going to be to change the weekend. For example, if I go on 16-18th, I can get:

    16th
    SHF-MAN 0805-0902 £3.30
    MAN-ABD 0949-1620 £17.50

    18th
    ABD-MAN 1147-1827 £21.45
    MAN-SHF 1844-1934 £3.95

    (all advanced)

    Total £46.20, which seems pretty good! I'm going to find out whether it's OK to do my visit that weekend instead, or to be honest any weekend from 9-11th onwards seems to bring out better options.

    Two more questions, if no-one minds:
    • Would people recommend getting an off peak return instead for the SHF-MAN trains just in case?
    • One of the journeys has a half hour bus ride across Glasgow - is this included in the price, or is it basically a "just go to the other station" thing?
     
  7. button_boxer

    button_boxer Established Member

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    As long as you have left the recommended minimum connection time at Piccadilly, which is ten minutes between the arrival time of your train from Sheffield and the departure time of your train to Scotland, then (as long as you catch the right train from Sheffield in the first place) you will be fine on the advances. If a delay to one train causes you to miss the other then you will be allowed to take the next available trains to complete your journey, just as you would if you held a through advance ticket from Sheffield to Aberdeen.

    The "half hour bus ride" you refer to is presumably from Glasgow Central to Queen Street? The bus wouldn't be included in the price but I wouldn't say it's necessary to take a bus, it's maybe a ten to fifteen minute walk (station concourse to station concourse, maybe an extra five minutes platform to platform) depending how fast a walker you are.

    http://g.co/maps/enjxx
     
    Last edited: 8 Nov 2011
  8. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    The concourse to concourse walk takes me less than 10 mins, although I never have any luggage larger than a rucksack. Unless you do have heavy (or a lot of) luggage the walk will almost certainly be quicker than waiting for a bus and then getting stuck in the city centre traffic.
     
  9. cdonnigan

    cdonnigan Member

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    Have you thought about megabus.com might give you a cheap price although travel time will probably be a lot longer. Also what about looking to see if there are any flights from robin hood airport to dyce thats just other options to look at.
     
  10. Tomonthetrain

    Tomonthetrain Established Member

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    If you catch their station link service (walk past the scotrail ticket office for the stop) you should be able to use that bus iirc as I used it on a roundabout ticket after checking it was valid with 3 differen drivers!
     
  11. emorris

    emorris Member

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    That's good to know. I had assumed that if they were separate tickets, I wouldn't be covered for this.

    I should have checked a map first! This will be fine for me to walk. I'm quite a quick walker, and I've got 40 mins between arrival and departure on the next train. If it's a very miserable day, and there's a bus waiting there which is free, I may make use of it though.

    I did consider both of these, as well as National Express coaches. Megabus is slightly cheaper, but I really dislike coaches and it takes over 9 hours. Robin Hood is fairly useless for domestic flights. Some other local-ish airports have flights to Aberdeen, but they are much more expensive than even the original off peak return.

    Thanks again for all the replies. I will hopefully have got this sorted out by the end of the day, and I'll let you know how I get on!
     
  12. LexyBoy

    LexyBoy Established Member Fares Advisor

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    The National Rail Conditions of Carriage allows a "journey" to be made with a combination of tickets; your rights in the event of delays etc is not affected (once you have started on your journey - if you miss the first train then it's tough luck).

    button_boxer missed out one point though - you must still travel with the company shown on the ticket - so for example if you have an EMT ticket from MAN to SHF, you must still travel with EMT if you miss your connexion, not Northern or TPE. (If you have a word with the guard before boarding one of these trains they may allow you to travel at their discretion though).
     
  13. emorris

    emorris Member

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    Thanks again for everyone's help! I had a lovely weekend in Aberdeen and am currently on my way home. Unfortunately the 1452 from Edinburgh to Carlisle was cancelled (not sure why?) so I'm changing at York to get the Manchester train, but apart from that it's been pretty smooth so far.
     
  14. sonic2009

    sonic2009 Established Member

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    The 1452 was cancelled due to the Inward Stock for this service being cancelled at Preston earlier on this Morning, due to over-running engineering works at Lancaster.
     
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