Sheffield to Eastbourne return (ideally with a break of journey at Clapham Junction) - Outward Friday 28th August, return Sunday 30th August

Intercity 225

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Hi,

I need to travel from Sheffield to Eastbourne on Friday 28th August, returning on Sunday 30th. I can be flexible with my travel times but would ideally like to arrive in Eastbourne between 14:00-16:00. There is no rush for me to get back to Sheffield on the Sunday but will ideally be commencing my journey between 13:00-15:00.

What would be my best ticketing options? Different booking sites throw up all kinds of different routes and prices so thought it would be best to ask the experts on here rather than rely on algorithms... don't want to replicate the recent mistakes of certain Education Secretaries :lol:

As a bit of a curve ball, some friends of mine will also be travelling between Clapham Junction and Eastbourne on the same dates with the same arrival/departure windows. They haven't booked their tickets yet but it would be great if we could all travel on the same trains if it's not a huge amount of hassle. I don't mind disembarking and spending some time at Clapham Junction station or a pub/cafe nearby in order to make this happen, if necessary. That being said if this makes the journey far more expensive and/or complicated then it's not a major issue and I'll just travel from Sheffield to Eastbourne and back without breaking my journeys.

Many thanks for all assistance provided.
 
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yorkie

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If you want flexibility, you can get a Sheffield to Eastbourne Super Off Peak Return, this is £116.20 if you stick to travelling via Chesterfield. http://www.brfares.com/#faredetail?orig=SHF&dest=EBN&rte=129&ldn=1&tkt=SSR

If you want to look at saving money, then you may want to try Trainsplit, which will let you force a change of trains; you can specify up to 99 additional minutes changing time at Clapham Junction if you want (if that's not enough time you could also specify up to 99 additional minutes at St Pancras and just get earlier/later train between Clapham Jn and London as appropriate)
 

Intercity 225

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Cheers for this, I did have a look at Trainsplit (in fact I always use the link stickied at the top of the page so the forum gets a kickback when I purchase using them) but on this occasion it doesn’t look as though the savings are large enough to justify losing the flexibility of the Super Off-Peak Return.

Ideally I’d like to spend as little as possible though, I run my own business and the current economic climate means cost saving is more important than ever.

Are there any other options available to me?

Also, I presume that it would be the same price to purchase a Super Off-Peak from Sheffield station on the day as it would be to purchase it in advance. Is that correct?

Many thanks for all further assistance.
 
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30907

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Your last point is entirely correct, but you might wanot to buy in advance to get reservations as it is B Hol weekend and trains might be less empty than usual.
 

Nunners

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This is the best combination I have been able to come up with:
Advance fares for Sheffield to Derby (£16.60)
Derby to Birmingham New Street Off-Peak Return (After 0930) (£19.20)
Birmingham Stations to Euston Super Off-Peak Return WMR/LNR only (£25) (This only allows travel on trains due into Euston after 1300)
Oyster/Contactless from Euston to Victoria (£4.80)
Victoria to Eastbourne Advance fares (£17)

Timings:

0929/1000 Sheffield to Derby 1000/1032 (£8.60 advance)
1038 Derby to Birmingham New Street 1124 (Using Derby-Brum return)
1150 Birmingham New Street to London Euston 1314 (This is an Avanti Voyager but I believe TOC-specific tickets are relaxed at the moment)
Victoria Line to Victoria (£2.40)
1354 Victoria to Eastbourne 1517 (£8.50 advance) (All trains in this direction appear to be £8.50 advance so you could book any of them)

You could use Oyster to Clapham to meet your friends and an advance from there but it would be a little more expensive as Clapham is Zone 2

1200 Eastbourne to Victoria 1329 (This is the train nearest your time range to be £8.50 advance)
Victoria Line to Euston
1420 Euston to Birmingham New Street 1711 (This is also an Avanti Voyager) (There are diversions via Nuneaton which is why it takes so long)
1803 Birmingham New Street to Sheffield 1940 (£8 advance from Derby to Sheffield) (The one an hour later is the same price atm if you wanted more time at any point) (There are diversions via Lichfield which is why it takes so long)

@yorkie could you confirm the TOC-specific relaxation?

This takes much longer than via St Pancras but only comes to £82.60 (Edit: £72.80) in total, which might be a bit more affordable, although still quite expensive!

Hope this helps

Edit: Use the Sheffield to Euston Super-Off Peak instead of the combination to London - I didn't see that until pointed out below
 
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ForTheLoveOf

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It would be a longer journey time with one (possibly two) extra changes, but I guess you could get a Sheffield-London Euston Super Off-Peak Return, £51, route LNR & XC only (changing at Tamworth). Then use contactless/Oyster across London before getting a London Terminals-Eastbourne Off-Peak Return (there's only the Any Permitted, £39.20).

Would cost a total of £95, so not a big saving over the £116.20 through Super Off-Peak Return. But it's something.

Unfortunately it's the London-Eastbourne bit that's disproportionately expensive here, costing £44 if you include the cross-London transfer, whilst Sheffield to London is a "mere" £51.

You can buy any of these tickets on the day, e.g. from the ticket machine. You could try to get them at the ticket office at Sheffield but they are notoriously difficult with anything that isn't bog-standard simple and straightforward. So I wouldn't recommend trying them.

Of course if you're willing to commit to specific trains then several parts of the journey could be made for a lower price, and it's entirely possible to use a site like TrainSplit to specify a longer transfer time and/or forced changes - even during the middle of a journey made using Advance tickets.
 

paul1609

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If you have no entitlement to any other railcard and think that you may be travelling to the Southeast a couple of extra times in the coming year I would recommend buying a network railcard £30.
Then split your journey at Bedford by buying an off peak return Sheffield to Bedford £59.70 route "not via London" and a network card discounted Bedford to Eastbourne (route any permitted+) Off peak return £40.40
Total Fare £100.10 plus railcard £30.
Both trains you use will need to call at Bedford.
 

kieron

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It would be a longer journey time with one (possibly two) extra changes, but I guess you could get a Sheffield-London Euston Super Off-Peak Return, £51, route LNR & XC only (changing at Tamworth). Then use contactless/Oyster across London before getting a London Terminals-Eastbourne Off-Peak Return (there's only the Any Permitted, £39.20).
Two points.

1. There are engineering works on the Sunday, with buses between Tamworth and Burton-on-Trent. There are other plausible routes (such as going via Birmingham) for someone who doesn't need to go through Tamworth, but nre.co.uk (for example) doesn't show those as being valid with this ticket. If this is a problem, it may be worth contacting Crosscountry beforehand to confirm that the intended route is valid.

It is about an hour longer than EMR on the way down, and more again on the way back, so using this route isn't without cost.

2. A London St. Pancras-Eastbourne "not Underground" off peak return costs the same amount as one from London Terminals (£39.20 without a railcard), and Euston isn't far from St Pancras for someone who's reasonably mobile. This ticket is valid via Clapham Junction (say, changing at London Bridge and Waterloo East/Waterloo), but it would be quicker to meet up at East Croydon or somewhere like that.
 

AlbertBeale

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Two points.

1. There are engineering works on the Sunday, with buses between Tamworth and Burton-on-Trent. There are other plausible routes (such as going via Birmingham) for someone who doesn't need to go through Tamworth, but nre.co.uk (for example) doesn't show those as being valid with this ticket. If this is a problem, it may be worth contacting Crosscountry beforehand to confirm that the intended route is valid.

It is about an hour longer than EMR on the way down, and more again on the way back, so using this route isn't without cost.

2. A London St. Pancras-Eastbourne "not Underground" off peak return costs the same amount as one from London Terminals (£39.20 without a railcard), and Euston isn't far from St Pancras for someone who's reasonably mobile. This ticket is valid via Clapham Junction (say, changing at London Bridge and Waterloo East/Waterloo), but it would be quicker to meet up at East Croydon or somewhere like that.
Re point 2: Indeed, as I found some months back, tickets from Thameslink core stations to many places on the south coast are valid by going across to Waterloo East and Waterloo from London Bridge, then to Clapham Junction, and then a train on the Victoria to wherever route (instead of directly south from London Bridge); however - as I also found - you might need to argue your way through the Waterloo ticket gates, since the gates don't seem happy with such tickets, and the staff there don't seem to find that sort of loop round to be an obviously valid choice!
 

Hadders

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Re point 2: Indeed, as I found some months back, tickets from Thameslink core stations to many places on the south coast are valid by going across to Waterloo East and Waterloo from London Bridge, then to Clapham Junction, and then a train on the Victoria to wherever route (instead of directly south from London Bridge); however - as I also found - you might need to argue your way through the Waterloo ticket gates, since the gates don't seem happy with such tickets, and the staff there don't seem to find that sort of loop round to be an obviously valid choice!
Opinion is divided on whether a ticket like St Pancras to Eastbourne route: Not Underground is valid from other London Terminals (other than St Pancras, City Thameslink, Blackfriars and London Bridge which are on the line of route). I would not recommend using such a ticket at another London Terminal unless you were prepared for a robust conversation.

A ticket from London Terminals to Eastbourne is valid from City Thameslink, Blackfriars, London Bridge, Cannon Street, Waterloo, Waterloo East, Charing Cross, Victoria, Vauxhall (but not St Pancras)
 

AlbertBeale

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Opinion is divided on whether a ticket like St Pancras to Eastbourne route: Not Underground is valid from other London Terminals (other than St Pancras, City Thameslink, Blackfriars and London Bridge which are on the line of route). I would not recommend using such a ticket at another London Terminal unless you were prepared for a robust conversation.

A ticket from London Terminals to Eastbourne is valid from City Thameslink, Blackfriars, London Bridge, Cannon Street, Waterloo, Waterloo East, Charing Cross, Victoria, Vauxhall (but not St Pancras)
When undertaking such a journey early this year, I justified it (to myself at least!) on the grounds that it was possible to get a ticket-selling site to show a journey using that ticket [Thameslink Stations to Brighton, in fact] with a "via Waterloo" and a "via Clapham Junction"; furthermore, going that way round is a bit less than 3 miles longer than the direct London Bridge to Brighton route. And, it looked to me - though I don't really understand these things the way some people here do! - when using the official routing maps that such a route between the coast and the Thameslink core was valid.

Anyway - using such tickets I got from Waterloo to Brighton and back, via Clapham Junction, a couple of times without any mishap other than a bit of discussion at the Waterloo ticket line.
 

Hadders

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When undertaking such a journey early this year, I justified it (to myself at least!) on the grounds that it was possible to get a ticket-selling site to show a journey using that ticket [Thameslink Stations to Brighton, in fact] with a "via Waterloo" and a "via Clapham Junction"; furthermore, going that way round is a bit less than 3 miles longer than the direct London Bridge to Brighton route. And, it looked to me - though I don't really understand these things the way some people here do! - when using the official routing maps that such a route between the coast and the Thameslink core was valid.

Anyway - using such tickets I got from Waterloo to Brighton and back, via Clapham Junction, a couple of times without any mishap other than a bit of discussion at the Waterloo ticket line.
As I've said, opinion is divided on this matter, we have debated it in the past and perhaps a new thread on it might be justified as we're at risk of going off topic. I mentioned it simply to point out that there is a risk of a non-hassle free journey if the OP were to use this ticket.
 

BayPaul

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As I've said, opinion is divided on this matter, we have debated it in the past and perhaps a new thread on it might be justified as we're at risk of going off topic. I mentioned it simply to point out that there is a risk of a non-hassle free journey if the OP were to use this ticket.
Reading the original question, it also sounds like an awful lot of extra time and hassle (3 changes, 2 walks between stations, lots of arguments at ticket barries) to give the OP the pleasure of an extra 10 minutes of their friends' company. It looks far more within the spirit of the original question to simply catch a St Pancras - East Croydon Thameslink train, then join the Southern service to Eastbourne that the friend boarded a few minutes earlier at Clapham Junction.
 

some bloke

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I can be flexible with my travel times but would ideally like to arrive in Eastbourne between 14:00-16:00. There is no rush for me to get back to Sheffield on the Sunday
Ideally I’d like to spend as little as possible
Just in case it's of interest, there's a 9am Megatrain advance Sheffield to St Pancras for under £20, and buses back from Victoria for about £15:


National Express have a 10am coach to London on Friday and a 3.30pm coach London-Sheffield on Sunday for £1 each way plus £1 booking fee, or about £10 more for amendable tickets:

 
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Intercity 225

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Firstly I'd like to apologise for the delay responding to this thread, I actually logged onto the forum during my outward journey in order to thank everyone for their advice and assistance but typically it was the same day the forum was being migrated onto the new server and was temporarily out of use!

If anyone is interested, I ended up purchasing the Super Off-Peak Return via Chesterfield to try and strike the best balance between cost and flexibility. When I tried to use the automatic gates for my break of journey at Clapham Junction they didn't accept my ticket but once I explained my plans to the gate staff they were more than happy to let me through in both directions.

Thank you all again for your advice.
 

philthetube

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Firstly I'd like to apologise for the delay responding to this thread, I actually logged onto the forum during my outward journey in order to thank everyone for their advice and assistance but typically it was the same day the forum was being migrated onto the new server and was temporarily out of use!

If anyone is interested, I ended up purchasing the Super Off-Peak Return via Chesterfield to try and strike the best balance between cost and flexibility. When I tried to use the automatic gates for my break of journey at Clapham Junction they didn't accept my ticket but once I explained my plans to the gate staff they were more than happy to let me through in both directions.

Thank you all again for your advice.
Very brave, I would never insert my ticket in a gate for a break of journey :D
 

AlbertBeale

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Very brave, I would never insert my ticket in a gate for a break of journey :D
Ditto - Including on the Underground in the past. I learnt my lesson when using a single-journey paper ticket, some years back, changing from the Bakerloo to the W&C at Waterloo. The exit gate at the top of the escalator from the Bakerloo/Northern concourse swallowed my ticket. (Admittedly, there must be very very few journeys on the Underground where it would make sense to be changing from the Bakerloo or Northern to the W&C there - my journey that day, from Lambeth North to Bank, perhaps being almost unique in that respect.) Someone spent ages going through the retained tickets to find mine, or at least one which would get me to Bank.
 

Kilopylae

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Ditto - Including on the Underground in the past. I learnt my lesson when using a single-journey paper ticket, some years back, changing from the Bakerloo to the W&C at Waterloo. The exit gate at the top of the escalator from the Bakerloo/Northern concourse swallowed my ticket.
Harsh! Though I suppose TfL's attitude now (if not then) would be to pull a face and imply it was your fault for not using Oyster/Contactless.
 

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