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Sleeper connection at Inverness: guidance needed

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smudga331

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Hello,

On the 6th September I have booked myself a trip on the Caledonian sleeper, purely to experience it. It's something I've always wanted to do and I had a bit of Annual leave to use so thought why not? Therefore, I am due to arrive in Inverness, before returning just an hour later.

I am due to arrive into Inverness at 08:38. I then have a seperate Advance ticket from Inverness to London Kings Cross booked for 09:41 out of Inverness. However, with the intermittent problems that Caledonian Sleeper have been having with some of their rolling stock etc., should I be late into Inverness and miss my train on the next ticket, will I be required to purchase another?

I wrote to Scotrail for some advice, who have sent the following reply:

Dear James,

Thank you for your email regarding your upcoming journey from London to Inverness in September.

After looking into your proposed situation, I am afraid to say that as your return ticket is an advance ticket, it would only be accepted on your scheduled return train from Inverness.

Meaning that if the Caledonian Sleeper were delayed for whatever reason that had caused you to miss your connection, you would be required to purchase a new ticket.

You would however be entitled to receiving (receive) a refund on the ticket (s) as the delay would be outwith your control and it would be Caledonian Sleepers responsibility for causing the delay.

Hopefully you aren't subject to any delays and your journey goes as smoothly as one would hope.

Yours Sincerely,


My questions in relation to this are:

Which tickets would I be refunded for if I am delayed?

Would I be allowed to finish my CS journey early at say Perth, to pick up my Scotrail train back towards Edinburgh? and still use the Advance ticket from Inverness to Kings Cross onboard?

I was under the impression that even having split ticketed that I would be allowed to catch the next available train for my Journey.

Any advice will be highly appreciated.

I am currently considering booking a flight for £15 from Easyjet just as an insurance policy. :lol: :lol:
 
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yorkie

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Their response is poor.

If the train is running late into Aviemore, are you happy to change there? If so, problem solved.

If not, then you should be able to travel to Inverness and you should be able to take later trains.
 

gray1404

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The reply you have received from Scotrail is incorrect. The fact of the matter is that provided you allow the minimum connection time at Inverness (which is 5 minutes and you are clearly allowing more then this) from the arrival time of the sleeper to your outgoing Scotrail train, then if you miss your train (regardless of ticket type held) the train companies has a duty to accommodate you on the next available service, subject to the same route/train company restrictions shown on the ticket (except for if it is the late service of a night when they may have to authorise travel with another TOC).

You will not be required to buy another ticket. Doing so would be a waste of time merely to obtain a refund. You would also be entitled, in the event of a delay of 30 or more minutes, to delay repay compensation for the ENTIRE journey from whichever TOC causes the delay (so bear this in mind if the Scotrail train gets delayed). A very poor reply from Scotrail.

I hope you enjoy your trip!
 

yorkie

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... I was under the impression that even having split ticketed that I would be allowed to catch the next available train for my Journey....
I agree, but are you statkng your journey from Euston to Kings Cross? If so, it would be difficult for you to justify staying on beyond Aviemore if your train is significantly late...
 

smudga331

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Their response is poor.

If the train is running late into Aviemore, are you happy to change there? If so, problem solved.

If not, then you should be able to travel to Inverness and you should be able to take later trains.

Thank you for your response, I am happy to change anywhere along the route really, so long as my tickets will still be accepted onboard. I am mindful of the fact that I will need to keep an eye on things on RTT just in case. Luckily, I managed to arrange my journey on VTEC's website so that I don't leave Edinburgh until 15:00. So I have also purchased a cheap advance on the 10:45. So to be fair, things will need to go catastrophically wrong for me be left stranded, but this has been known. :lol:
 

gray1404

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I would not bother booking an Easyjet ticket as an insurance policy. This would just be a waste of money as Scotrail would have to accommodate you on the next service. If they did break the rules btw and force you to buy another ticket it would be them (Scotrail) who would have to refund it.

In terms of finishing your sleeper journey early at Perth and starting your Advance ticket journey with Scotrail and East Coast at a later station. Strictly speaking this is not permitted with an advance ticket (which means even if you know you are delayed, you can still insist on carrying on all the way to Inverness and except to be carried back on a later service) however I would except common sense and flexibility to prevail in the event of disruption so in reality, no member of staff is going to refuse such in those circumstances.
 

bb21

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If the train is late, you should really be turning around short, and board your Highland Chieftain where connection was possible.

If you are using two tickets in combination under Condition 19(b), then continuing onto Inverness and deliberately missing your connection which would have otherwise been possible at an earlier station could be seen as you clearly not using these tickets to make one journey, from origin to destination, therefore no entitlement to board a later service at Inverness. (Although whether Euston to King's Cross via Inverness can be classed as one journey is highly debatable, but let's not get dumbed down by that, as the issue of connection is the only one of real importance here.)

If going all the way to Inverness is of great importance to you, I feel the £15 easyjet flight is a very good insurance bet, provided that there is plenty of buffer between the arrival time of the sleeper and the flight.
 

smudga331

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If the train is late, you should really be turning around short, and board your Highland Chieftain where connection was possible.

If you are using two tickets in combination under Condition 19(b), then continuing onto Inverness and deliberately missing your connection which would have otherwise been possible at an earlier station could be seen as you clearly not using these tickets to make one journey, from origin to destination, therefore no entitlement to board a later service at Inverness. (Although whether Euston to King's Cross via Inverness can be classed as one journey is highly debatable, but let's not get dumbed down by that, as the issue of connection is the only one of real importance here.)

I would be more than happy to turn around short in the event of disruption. My main concern would be a Scotrail RPO or equivalent trying to throw prosecutions at me etc. for starting the second journey short.
 

bb21

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I would be more than happy to turn around short in the event of disruption. My main concern would be a Scotrail RPO or equivalent trying to throw prosecutions at me etc. for starting the second journey short.

I highly doubt it, especially if given your explanation.

It would make a mockery of ScotRail.

Enjoy your trip.
 

smudga331

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I highly doubt it, especially if given your explanation.

It would make a mockery of ScotRail.

Excellent, I appreciate there are a lot of "what if's..." in my situation, but as a chief champion born-worrier, I like to have every angle covered just in case.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
Enjoy your trip.

Thank you bb21!

Thank you to all posters for your help and guidance.
 

gray1404

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If the train is late, you should really be turning around short, and board your Highland Chieftain where connection was possible.

If you are using two tickets in combination under Condition 19(b), then continuing onto Inverness and deliberately missing your connection which would have otherwise been possible at an earlier station could be seen as you clearly not using these tickets to make one journey, from origin to destination, therefore no entitlement to board a later service at Inverness. (Although whether Euston to King's Cross via Inverness can be classed as one journey is highly debatable, but let's not get dumbed down by that, as the issue of connection is the only one of real importance here.)

I would say that for the purposes of Condition 19(b) this is one journey. I a happy to agree to disagree with others respectfully on this though. However, I would agree the sensible thing to do would be to change early. I do not think that you would loose your entitlement to board a later service. Do bear in mind though that the average passenger would not be as knowledgeable as us on here so can be forgiven for not changing earlier not knowing about stopping patterns etc. I would say consulting staff for advise is always the best option (provided your not sleeping on the sleeper - excuse the pun).
 

bb21

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Excellent, I appreciate there are a lot of "what if's..." in my situation, but as a chief champion born-worrier, I like to have every angle covered just in case.

I know we hear a lot of horror stories on here (just the nature of the forum), but the overwhelming majority of staff are human beings first and foremost, and use their common sense. ScotRail's lot are also one of the most friendly ones I have ever met on the whole, and this is backed by stories from other forum members, so relax and look forward to your trip.

(There are fringe arguments that can be made as to whether terms are broken when you turn around short in this manner, but we will get to that should you hit the jackpot.)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
I would say that for the purposes of Condition 19(b) this is one journey. I a happy to agree to disagree with others respectfully on this though. However, I would agree the sensible thing to do would be to change early. I do not think that you would loose your entitlement to board a later service. Do bear in mind though that the average passenger would not be as knowledgeable as us on here so can be forgiven for not changing earlier not knowing about stopping patterns etc. I would say consulting staff for advise is always the best option (provided your not sleeping on the sleeper - excuse the pun).

The average passenger with a one-hour connection and a one-hour late train would most definitely seek staff assistance on what to do next rather than go "Oh, I know my rights so everything is fine."
 

smudga331

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I know we hear a lot of horror stories on here (just the nature of the forum), but the overwhelming majority of staff are human beings first and foremost, and use their common sense. ScotRail's lot are also one of the most friendly ones I have ever met on the whole, and this is backed by stories from other forum members, so relax and look forward to your trip.

(There are fringe arguments that can be made as to whether terms are broken when you turn around short in this manner, but we will get to that should you hit the jackpot.)
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---


The average passenger with a one-hour connection and a one-hour late train would most definitely seek staff assistance on what to do next rather than go "Oh, I know my rights so everything is fine."

Yes, I must say, as much as I enjoy this forum, I really don't want to be back in a months time in the "prosecutions" section. Like you say, I think although there are horror stories etc., these people are also human and will probably take my predicament into account.

The staff onboard the Sleeper train had never crossed my mind, taking advice from them would probably be a good idea too!

Thanks!
 

najaB

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Yes, I must say, as much as I enjoy this forum, I really don't want to be back in a months time in the "prosecutions" section.
Exceedingly unlikely as private prosecutions are exceedingly rare in Scotland.
 

gray1404

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The average passenger with a one-hour connection and a one-hour late train would most definitely seek staff assistance on what to do next rather than go "Oh, I know my rights so everything is fine."

In your humble opinion. Some would ask. Others would turn up at Inverness and then ask for advise.
 
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Hadders

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Worth pointing out that Scotrail staff in the Highlands are far more reasonable than their counterparts in, say, GTR land. You won't have any problems in turning round short.
 

bb21

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On a serious note though, I have been incorrectly told by more then one member of staff on more then one occasion when I have been delayed when using an Advance that I must stick to the original itinerary (in terms of the TOCs and change stations) even when I have suggested ways of catching up/still making with my booked service whist keeping to the TOC restrictions on the ticket.

Sorry but that has no relevance to the OP's enquiry.

If given such advice, then the OP is perfectly entitled to stay on to Inverness and catch the next service free of charge, preferably with a note from said member of staff as proof. I doubt such advice would ever be given by sleeper staff.

Not knowing your journey details it is impossible to comment, but obviously that is for another topic. It is possible that sometimes staff give out poor advice, but I highly doubt it in the OP's case.
--- old post above --- --- new post below ---
In your humble opinion. Some would ask. Others would turn up at Inverness and then ask for advise.

Tend to be people for whom missing a connection onto a compulsory service (remember an "average" passenger probably knows only that they had to travel on their reserved service) is probably the least of their worries, but I digress.

Also not very likely that any ordinary passenger (ie. not much interest in the railway) would do London - Inverness followed by Inverness - London without stopping at all. Not many railway enthusiasts (I use the term loosely) would not be aware of the requirement to travel on booked service on Advance fares either, even if not fares specialists. Your conjecture is therefore highly unlikely in real life in a similar case to the OP's.
 

gray1404

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I agree with you bb21. I know my point is a side point and I do not want to go too far off topic. Happy to start another thread.

I think we have established that in the event of a delay the OP will consult the staff on board for advise. I am sure they will sort him out and give the best advise to catch the train. If in the event that he didn't though the railway would still have to sort out the problem on arrival. Also, take into account they might be sleeping on the sleeper and I hope they wouln'd end up being deprived of sleep. But lets hope they have a trouble free trip
 

bb21

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I agree with you bb21. I know my point is a side point and I do not want to go too far off topic. Happy to start another thread.

I think we have established that in the event of a delay the OP will consult the staff on board for advise. I am sure they will sort him out and give the best advise to catch the train. If in the event that he didn't though the railway would still have to sort out the problem on arrival. Also, take into account they might be sleeping on the sleeper and I hope they wouln'd end up being deprived of sleep. But lets hope they have a trouble free trip

OK. Well discussed. Handshake. Line drawn.
 

Merseysider

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I agree with you bb21. I know my point is a side point and I do not want to go too far off topic. Happy to start another thread.

I think we have established that in the event of a delay the OP will consult the staff on board for advice. I am sure they will sort him out and give the best advice to catch the train. If in the event that he didn't though the railway would still have to sort out the problem upon arrival. Also, take into account that they might be sleeping on the sleeper and I hope they wouldn't end up being deprived of sleep. But let's hope they have a trouble free trip.
Friendly pointer. Your advice in this thread so far is fairly sound, but not as concise as could be.

It's quite simple really. The chances of a severe delay and missing the connection and not being able to find a member of staff onboard the sleeper and not being permitted to take the next service back are incredibly slim.

There's really no need to worry.

Enjoy your journey, smudga331. And if you have the time, take a quick walk around Inverness, perhaps down to the river and back. It's a beautiful city.
 

smudga331

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Friendly pointer. Your advice in this thread so far is fairly sound, but not as concise as could be.

It's quite simple really. The chances of a severe delay and missing the connection and not being able to find a member of staff onboard the sleeper and not being permitted to take the next service back are incredibly slim.

There's really no need to worry.

Enjoy your journey, smudga331. And if you have the time, take a quick walk around Inverness, perhaps down to the river and back. It's a beautiful city.

I remember staying there a while back, and you are right, it is a beautiful city. This trip was booked purely with the sleeper train in mind. On reflection, maybe a night in Inverness might've been the best way to go. I will certainly be returning at a later time for a few days, when work allows it more. If I enjoy the sleeper, I'll use it again. :D
 

reb0118

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....Others would turn up at Inverness and then ask for advise.

Or even advice. ;)

Worth pointing out that Scotrail staff in the Highlands are far more reasonable than their counterparts in, say, GTR land. You won't have any problems in turning round short.
I concur. Occasionally I come across passengers doing similar journeys when working the Aberdeen portion of the Sleeper. Sleeper up to Aberdeen followed by a quick connection into the VTEC service down to King's Cross.

If the passenger has been proactive he will let the staff know his plans and if requested we will arrange for the passenger to disembark earlier to connect with the VTEC in case of any late running that might prejudice the connection at Aberdeen.

Tickets will be endorsed if required.

Personally I do not see any difficulties.

Sent from my SM-N910F using Tapatalk
 
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gray1404

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Actually good point to note is that in the event of any problems and the OP being concerned about missing their Scotrail ran connection 0941, it will be Scotrail staff actually on board the sleeper staffing it. So, worst case situation it will be one set of staff at one company and one control. So even better!
 

smudga331

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Actually good point to note is that in the event of any problems and the OP being concerned about missing their Scotrail ran connection 0941, it will be Scotrail staff actually on board the sleeper staffing it. So, worst case situation it will be one set of staff at one company and one control. So even better!

I hadn't realised this either to be honest. I had assumed that the GBRF guards/conductors would be working by then!

Thank you for your reply!
 

johntea

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I know some members on here probably do similar all the time but London to Inverness and back with just the hour break in between is an epic journey! :lol: (I appreciate you just want to experience the sleeper!)
 

Rover

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I can't wait to see how this turns out for you smudga, let us know how you got on when you get back.
 

smudga331

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I can't wait to see how this turns out for you smudga, let us know how you got on when you get back.

I sure will, I plan to take the camera with me etc. and will put a link on here from my FlickR page, that I have just this second set up and looks a bit bare with just the one photograph on at the moment. :lol: :lol:
 

paul1609

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I remember staying there a while back, and you are right, it is a beautiful city. This trip was booked purely with the sleeper train in mind. On reflection, maybe a night in Inverness might've been the best way to go. I will certainly be returning at a later time for a few days, when work allows it more. If I enjoy the sleeper, I'll use it again. :D
In past timetables Ive got the Southbound Highland Chieftan to Aviemore, done a return trip on the Strathspey Railway, returned to Inverness with Scotrail, had lunch, taxi to the Airport, Easyjet flight to Luton, Thameslink to St Pancras and been on HS1 back to Kent as my first train was approaching Stevenage! Thats how uncompetitive rail is to the Highlands.
 
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