Southern Only tickets and validity on Gatwick Express

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Tomonthetrain, 22 Dec 2011.

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  1. johnnycache

    johnnycache Member

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    Thank you. Is the quotation from the Ticketing and Settlement Agreement?
     
  2. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Can you explain how they can do that, given Condition 10 of the NRCoC clearly states:

    For example a passenger holding a Southern Only CDS from London Terminals to Chichester (£24.10) is "restricted to travel in the trains of the Southern Railway Limited Train Company", agreed? This is then valid, as per the Routeing Guide, on all permitted routes providing travel is in the trains of Southern. So the customer can take the 1730 or whatever London Victoria to Brighton, which some people purport to be operated by a Train Company that does not exist but is in fact operated by Southern, and then another train from Brighton to Chichester.

    Can you please tell me, given the current terms of the NRCoC, how what you suggest may happen would be achieved?

    Any attempts to get the NRCoC changed in a material way would require a Consultation and would be robustly opposed.
     
  3. Urban Gateline

    Urban Gateline Established Member

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    Easy,
    A new restriction code may be introduced (or simply extra wording added to the existing restrictions) to all Southern only tickets, saying something like:

    Any Southern train except: (a list of all Gatwick Express trains inserted here) between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport.

    Any Passengers wishing to travel on Gatwick Express services between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport will need to purchase a separate Gatwick Express ticket.


    Quite clear isn't it? This will not mean a change of NRCOC, but just an added restriction, which Southern are perfectly entitled to add.
     
  4. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I agree the first paragraph could be inserted into the restriction text, however the 2nd paragraph is an instruction which would not go in the restriction text (and there is no such thing as a Gatwick Express ticket) but this could only be done as a time restriction, and therefore would only be practicable at certain times. It would not be practicable to list about 50 trains in each direction in the restriction text!

    Also this solution only works (if the longest restriction text ever counts as working) for Off Peak tickets. Your next task is to tell me how a Cambridge to Brighton Anytime Day Single costing £29.10 (NFM10 price) routed +Southern & NXEA could be restricted? There is, by definition, no restriction text applicable to Anytime tickets.
     
  5. bendolino

    bendolino Member

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    Transportphoto - nor do you have access to the airline industry's fare manuals! But you comply with the conditions under which they are sold to you.

    Yorkie, OK yes this is getting rather wordy.

    Answering each paragraph.

    You can speak to the DFT all you like, they signed off on the cornerstones of the franchise, of which Gatwick Express and its commercial nuances is one of the specific requirements.

    Nope, but Gatwick is where I started my career so I learned the fares process to the letter back in 1998 as it was so ambiguous and so complex. It hasn't changed APART from the extension services on the Brighton route.

    The map I was describing was figuratively speaking.................... But as you raise it, the "NSE" map does show Gatwick Express as a separate service.

    "Let off" is the word, because you *are* in the wrong! I'm sorry, that's quite obvious. (See below).

    If you don't recognise the term, then you're not disputing the situation, you're ignoring it on purpose in my view.

    All comers - any customer who comes to a ticket office at Gatwick or elsewhere on the lines through Gatwick to buy a ticket to London. "Not Gatwick Express" appears as an option on every ticket machine, everywhere.

    Actually service groups are as many as 40 on Southern. All are defined revenue streams as per Schedule 4 of the Track Access Contract. Sub-sectors of "Sector 82" (the numeric Sector Code allocated to South Central franchises) are actually four, not three. 01 - Gatwick Express, 06 - South London Metro, 07 - Sussex Coast, 19 - Departmental/Other.
    Gatwick Express is a separate Train Operating Company as shown in Appendix C of the NRCoC, albeit as a trading name of Southern.

    I don't dispute what Peter Lepper has told you. That is the truth. BUT, looking again at the airline industry. BMI and BMIbaby are two separate airlines, trading names of the same primary holding company. One airlines' tickets are not valid on the other. I accept this is Southern having their cake and eating it, but then again it was agreed with DFT and all other interested parties in the drawing-up of the franchise terms as part of the consultancy including the Brighton Line RUS.

    Southern ARE NOT heading for trouble obeying a rule that has been in the revenue / fares process since privatisation began.

    Thanks.

    Agreed.

    No, you're ignoring Appendix C of the NRCoC, which defines the term Train Operating Companies.

    One company inherited two merged franchises of which one was stipulated to remain as a customer facing brand. As far as the customer is concerned, Gatwick Express is alive and well.

    Condition 10 says:
    "10. Tickets valid only in trains of particular Train Companies
    The validity of a ticket may:
    a) be restricted to; or
    b) prohibit
    travel in the trains of a particular Train Company or Train Companies. Any such restriction or prohibition will be shown on the ticket. If you travel in a train with a ticket that is not valid, the relevant parts of Condition 2 or 4 will apply. If you are unable to use a ticket or any part of it, you may be able to claim a refund under Condition 26 or Condition 36."

    Gatwick Express is still a public-facing brand, trading name and therefore entity in its own right. Appendix C of NRCoC defines the train companies by name, including splitting "Southern" and "Gatwick Express" into two. That is quite clear. You can't read one paragraph of NRCoC and ignore another. You can argue that it's unfair (I can't comment on whether I agree) but you cannot argue that the difference is made quite distinctly between the two sets of train services.

    Yes, this is true. Should have specified except South of Gatwick. However of course this is only true of the PM peak trains, as it is impossible to travel on a Network Card on an AM peak train.

    Yes, the trains cover previously Southern-operated services between Gatwick Airport and Brighton and the Penalty Fare scheme is active on this portion of the journey. Therefore you can use DaySaves (providing you've bought the peak-valid one) South of Gatwick on the GX Extensions.

    The arrangements are the same as when you went up to Gatwick ticket office for a ticket in 1997.
    "Are you travelling on the Gatwick Express, sir?" "Yes." "Here is a Gatwick Express ticket."
    "Are you travelling on the Gatwick Express, sir?" "No." "Here is a not-Gatwick Express ticket."
    "Are you travelling on the Gatwick Express, sir?" "I'm not sure." "Here is a ticket valid on all trains."
    Your contract is exchanged when you are in receipt of the ticket, once you have specified the journey you wish to embark upon. The terms of this contract are in the NRCoC. But you can't pick and choose which bits to enforce with others.

    It's up to Southern what they put in the public domain - these are very busy trains! They don't tell you *specifically* that CDRs are available to be used on PM peak trains, but you can work it out from the restriction times. Again, am I comfortable with this morally, in the balance of fairness? No comment.

    "Operated by Southern" - yes. A Southern service? No. Because it is a separate trading name. Hardees restaurants in America trade as Hardees in the East and Carl's Jr. in the West of the country. Can you use vouchers for Hardees specifically in Carl's Jr.? No. Southern is not the only example of this happening. Trading names are everywhere.

    Yes, they've told you the operating answer. Which is what you asked for. The commercial answer is quite different, and the NRCoC shows this quite clearly.

    No, Condition 10 doesn't as we've just demonstrated above. But it does list Southern trading as Gatwick Express as a company split out from Southern as a whole. So that therefore defines Gatwick Express as a company in the eyes of the NRCoC. Remember, you must read the document as a whole.

    Now you really are being pedantic. That's not the point and you know it.

    No, I read Appendix C and see how they define the word "Company" as they should when using a generic term to describe lots of different trading partners (as National Rail as an umbrella covers). Appendix C shows the companies. I don't know how it can be made any clearer?
     
  6. Urban Gateline

    Urban Gateline Established Member

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    I agree that it would be complicated and long, but I can't think of another way to do it! I don't agree with you saying there is no such thing as a Gatwick express ticket, of course there is, it may just have a different name. If you were to ask at a ticket office for a Gatwick express ticket then there are different fares applicable than to just a standard Southern service, so in effect you can buy a Gatwick express ticket.

    Something interesting to bring into the mix is how SouthEastern trains have "+HS1" routing on tickets, this is something that Southern could add to prevent Southern only or NXEA&Connections trains tickets being used on Gatwick Express services.
    How about a route: NXEA&Southern not Gat Exp (Ok this might be too long to be printed on the ticket, but I'm sure you get the idea)

    Then if someone wishes to pay an excess to a Gatwick Express valid ticket, then have a route: NXEA&Southern+Gat Exp. These can still both be the Anytime tickets you mention above (Anytime Day Single), just that there would be 2 choices of Anytime tickets to incorporate the different routing.

    I admit it's very complex, and I think Southern should be more ambiguous about where the Gatwick Express stands in relation to their standard services. I don't want to stand up for Southern, I just don't agree with people trying to take the Mick and saying all Southern tickets are valid on the Gatwick express!
     
    Last edited: 3 Jan 2012
  7. dzug2

    dzug2 Member

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    Well what is the solution?

    Abandon (any attempt at) higher fares on the GEX?
    Abandon Southern only fares?

    Is there in reality any way out of the mess?
     
  8. bendolino

    bendolino Member

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    Ohh yes, forgot about High Speed 1. Perfect example! Same company too. Well holding company. Erm... ;)
     
  9. Lampshade

    Lampshade Established Member

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    "Operated by Southern" by definition is a Southern Service.

    Operated by Southern = The Train Operating Company is therefore Southern.

    The Hardee's argument is irrelevant as both are wholly owned subsidiaries of CKE, just like SN and SE are wholly owned subsidiaries of GoVia - that'd be like accepting Southeastern-only tickets on Southern, or Volvo honouring a free service for a Mazda just because it's "operated by Ford".

    Gatwick Express is *not* a wholly owned subsidiary, merely a brand name. Stansted Express is the only true comparison.

    Yes but there's a route restriction on those tickets, not a TOC restriction.
     
  10. Urban Gateline

    Urban Gateline Established Member

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    But what's to stop Southern implementing the same routing restriction on their tickets? I've written an example above.
     
  11. transportphoto

    transportphoto Established Member Quizmaster

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    Yes, because these are made clear at the time of booking, no terms which are not advertised to the consumers at the forming of the contract are applicable to that contract. No customer has access to the Manual - therefore this can not apply.
    Sorry :?: - It has changed - it merged into the Southern Railway franchise in 2007, until then it was a separate franchise (at that point ran by National Express).

    It shows a non stop service between GTW and VIC, it may show that it is operated by Gatwick Express, if it does it is wrong, it is operated by Southern Railway Limited - under the trade name of Gatwick Express. Soutern's network map shows the non stop service, it is a map of all services operated by Southern, therefore it is operated by Southern.
    'Let off' what? If this refers to the acceptance of SN only tickets on the non stop service as it is a SN service. The tickets are valid, no arguments really :roll: Obviously by not charging a new ticket, they are accepting this.

    This is your opinion.
    What has this got to do with the validity of tickets?

    Exactly, you can't dispute it if you agree with it! :roll::lol:
    Usually with an airline you book to a specific flight don't you, this situation does not arise in the airline industry.

    TP
     
  12. Lampshade

    Lampshade Established Member

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    Nothing at all, yours is probably the most sensible solution (from the TOC point of view of course ;)).
     
  13. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Exactly, there is no other way Southern could achieve it (without getting the DfT to agree to a material change) which means that it could not apply to Anytime tickets.
    This is getting silly. By that logic, a London to Peterborough Any Permitted ticket is an "East Coast" ticket, and perhaps more alarmingly a London to Birmingham Any Permitted ticket would be Virgin ticket.

    I think that such terminology should definitely be opposed, and actually causes more confusion for passengers. However I agree that if someone asked for one of these products, if there was no TOC specific product the clerk would issue a ticket that was valid by that TOC.
    HS1 is a geographical route. Unfortunately there are 2 flaws with this plan:
    1) The fast lines are used by nearly all scheduled fast trains between East Croydon & Victoria
    2) The fast lines follow the same geographic route as the slow lines.

    Therefore, a geographic routeing is not possible.
    1) This does not comply with Condition 10, and 2), you already said it; it's too long.
    How is that taking the mick?

    Is saying NXEA tickets are valid on Stansted Express also "taking the mick"? If not, why not? and if it is, how so?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Nothing to stop it. When does the new High Speed line from Gatwick to Victoria open? Could be the solution in, what, 2030? ;)
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    Hardly, that's a geographical restriction and can be excessed in the usual way.

    I am not going to respond to post #95 as it is unanswerable and riddled with contradictions and does not adequately answer any of the points I raised earlier. Sorry.
     
  14. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    NO! Totally different situation.

    HS1 is a completely different set of tracks leading to a completely different London Terminal. GX uses exactly the same tracks as every other fast Southern train with the exception of the lengths of track in platforms 13 and 14 at Victoria.
     
  15. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    To say that is rather silly. There is an argument to be had on both sides. Gatwick Express is not a company, and therefore, logically, cannot be a train operating company. That is what you are arguing. GX and Southern will undoubtedly argue that the Conditions of Carriage recognise them as separate entities. So there are arguments to be had until a conclusion is reach (presumably either a test case, or the DfT making their own decision).
     
  16. Lampshade

    Lampshade Established Member

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    Suppose they could add a new restriction:

    "Not valid on Class 442 or Class 460 trains between London Victoria and Gatwick Airport".
     
  17. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    But the Conditions of Carriage state that tickets may be restricted to travel in certain "Train Companies", not "entities" or "trading names" or "service groups" or "sector groups" or "any old tat that an operator makes up"! ;) So the crucial question that we asked the DfT, to settle this, was whether or not Gat Ex (and Stan Ex) are TOCs for the purposes of NRCoC Condition 10. The DfT gave the conclusive answer, and that has been stated on here several times. One of the FOI requests can be found here.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    No they can't, as that would be a crazy restriction and only rail enthusiasts would understand it. It would also bar around half of the off peak Brighton Express trains that are also operated by 442s.
     
  18. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Train company is defined in Appendix A quite clearly:
    The only company holding a Licence is Southern Railway Limited. Therefore any ticket restricting travel to Southern trains only MUST be valid on ALL trains operated by Southern Railway Limited.

    At the end of the day the problem is not Southern's entirely. The issue should have been picked up by one of the many lawyers working on the franchise agreement when Gatwick Express was merged with Southern.
     
  19. Urban Gateline

    Urban Gateline Established Member

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    Agreed, and I doubt it would be on the top of the DfT's agenda anyway!
    No, as the London to Peterborough Any Permitted ticket can be used on any TOC via the route that the Routing guide permits. Similarly the London to Birmingham Any Permitted ticket also follows this logic. This has nothing to do with "TOC only" ticket restrictions or premium fares such as Gatwick Express.

    e.g. A Gatwick to London Terminals Anytime Day Single might be £14.90 (2011 price?). Just because it doesn't say "Not Gat Exp" on it doesn't make it valid on the Gatwick Express!
    I agree, although the point about terminology is moot, as it hs nothing to do with the debate, one cannot be expected to use the "correct" term 100% of the time!
    Even so, there is still nothing wrong with a new Routing being created, regardless of both entities using the same tracks. In this case the new routing would be just to clarify the terms of the ticket.
    The problem is that if a debate like this blows into a nationwide argument, then Southern may just chose to register Gatwick Express as a new TOC with the DfT or some sort of similar action like adding extra restrictions that would make all the ticket validity arguments invalid.
    I do not know the specifics of validity of NXEA tickets on Stansted Express. Every arrangement between TOC's and their trading entities may be different, so even if Stansted Express were lax with accepting other tickets, that does not mean that Southern and Gatwick Express will be the same!

    The DaySave arguments was what I was refering to, some posters claimed these are valid on Gatwick Express between Victoria and Gatwick Airport. Of course they are not as the terms of DaySave explicitly state the opposite.


    I think that is a shame to be honest, Bendolino put some valid points forward and did their best to answer your barrage of questions. If you say it is unanswerable, I see that as accepting defeat in the argument as no posts are "unanswerable"! ;)
     
  20. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    This is quite fundamental. A route defines the geographical location of the tracks used by the train. You cannot have two different routeings using the same physical tracks. No-one would understand what was meant.
     
  21. Urban Gateline

    Urban Gateline Established Member

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    From a logical point of view, that is correct. However Routings do seem to have other uses, such as TOC only Routings, which sometimes has 2 different TOC Routings (FCC Only and Southern only as an example) using the same tracks for part of the Journey. I can't see how a passenger would be confused by Route: Southern Gat Exp and Route: Southern Not Gat Exp.
     
  22. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    And this is why I doubt Southern could ever 'win' this without actually finding a way to write on its tickets that there's an exclusion for the Gatwick Express (and then it would help to perhaps make it clearer which trains are in fact the Gatwick Express, given some trains now just say 'Express' which could just mean a fast train to anywhere, like Brighton).

    If the general public cannot see, or be expected to see, confusing terms and conditions then they can not be bound by them. What they can see is a train shown on a Southern route map, with staff employed by Southern, and reasonably expect a ticket marked Southern Only to be valid.

    To be honest, I am sure Southern know this to be the case and are just hoping to kick up enough of a fuss to put most people off (and I am sure that only the most determined would willingly put themselves in such a situation on the train, or at the gatelines, to argue day in day out). The thing is, Southern can turn a blind eye to the really determined as long as it doesn't result in everyone doing it.

    In the long run, they may well look at solving the problem another way (like changing the restrictions as mentioned above) - but it would be disastrous to admit defeat now - thus they will continue to argue the case. I am sure it has the desired effect and few normal people would chance it, even if they were told by someone on here that it would be fine.

    I had enough fun convincing the wife that we could sit in first class on a service not marked as having first class - and she never did so when on her own! I am sure this is why Southern will not back down, ever.
     
  23. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I don't follow.

    You suggested a possible instruction: "... will need to purchase a separate Gatwick Express ticket". to which I replied "there is no such thing as a Gatwick Express ticket", you then said " I don't agree with you saying there is no such thing as a Gatwick express ticket, of course there is, it may just have a different name" the route is "Any Permitted".

    My argument is that tickets routed "Any Permitted" should not be referred to as a ticket for any particular service, though if a passenger expressed a wish to travel on a particular service then obviously the booking clerk would offer an Any Permitted ticket if appropriate.

    Well, no we can't always use correct terms but we should try to, as otherwise confusion results. In this case, the ticket that Southern want you to buy to travel with Gatwick Express is routed "Any Permitted". This does, of course, give FCC a share of the revenue, but Southern would rather some of the revenue for a more expensive ticket went to FCC it seems. I guess the ORCATS distribution is such that FCC get less than the difference in price between Southern Only and Any Permitted.
    Please suggest a routeing. There are 2 types of routeing: geographical routes and TOC specific. Given that Gatwick Express is not a TOC, and given that all the Victoria to Gatwick trains use the same route, I don't think it is possible.

    In the past the Gatwick Express was a separate TOC deliberately for revenue reasons. But it is in the process of being abolished. Due to opposition by some people, it is being done very slowly, bit by bit. This video was made to reassure supporters of the Gatwick Express but, looking back, it looks rather silly now.
    Southern can't do that.

    The DfT could remove Gat Ex from the Southern franchise and go back to how things were, totally ignoring the RUS. But they won't, and they can't: the capacity on these mostly empty trains is badly needed by non-airport passengers.


    That's a cop out though. They should be the same! If you are using the Appendix C argument to say that Gatwick Express is a TOC, then the same argument would apply to Stansted Express. They are listed in the same way.

    There is nothing "lax" about ticketing on the Stansted Express operated by NXEA.
    But under what terms of the NRCoC is this enforceable? At the end of the day the argument is not about "Daysaves" it's about "Southern Only" tickets, of which Daysave is just one. Daysave is not the best ticket to use for the purposes of this debate however as it does cloud the issue.

    For the avoidance of any doubt over the Condition 10 argument we should use Cambridge - Brighton Anytime Route NXEA & Southern or London - Chichester/Portsmouth/etc Anytime Route Southern. There is nothing in the NRCoC that can possibly indicate these tickets are not valid on Gatwick all services operated by Southern along permitted routes as defined in the NRCoC and Routeing Guide.

    Ridiculous; his post added nothing new and contradicted itself. How can you answer someone who states there is one company...

    "One company inherited two merged franchises ..."

    and then states there are two companies...

    ...So that therefore defines Gatwick Express as a company..."

    in the same post! and having earlier admitted Gatwick Express was not a company in a previous post.

    Some of the time he admits that Gatwick Express is not a company, some of the time he claims Gatwick Express is a company. You cannot have a constructive discussion with someone who is inconsistent and changes their view on whether or not a company exists purely to suit their argument.

    Others have already picked apart pieces of post #95 to state as incorrect and I am happy to let others do so. I don't need to respond to every daft comment put forward to avoid a "defeat"! How can we be defeated when the DfT have already stated Gatwick Express is not a TOC?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    There are 2 problems with this.

    1) That's too long to fit on the ticket
    2) Condition 10 allows for TOC specific routeing, but Gat Ex is not a TOC.
     
  24. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    That video is quite impressive - in that it mentions Southern over and over!

    One thing though; given that when I last used the train it had nobody on it, I presume that this means no trolley service now either? In that case, what exactly do you get for your extra money (besides arriving perhaps 1 or 2 minutes earlier than taking a normal train?).
     
  25. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    As far as I know the requirement for 95% of Gatwick Express trains to have a trolley still exists, the staff wear Southern uniforms and do not make any false representations about working for a fictitious company.

    You get nothing for your money other than a coach for yourself if you want it (at the rear heading North or at the front heading South) unless the train is extended to/from Brighton.

    When ticket gates are in operation there is no issue; the issue only applies if there is a manual check. Then the staff claim it's "a different company". Someone once asked "who is your employer?" the answer correct answer would Southern but they did not want to answer so they made a complaint to the police that they were being asked "personal questions", the policeman asked the passenger to stop arguing or he'd be asked to leave.
     
  26. jon0844

    jon0844 Veteran Member

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    Instead of asking the question, ask for ID as I am sure anyone is entitled to do - at least anyone that deals in revenue. It may p**s them off, but I am sure they would have to show it.

    I suspect it would clearly show Southern.
     
  27. DavyCrocket

    DavyCrocket Member

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    The staff wear Gatwick Express uniforms (their ID does now feature southern though) this includes the trolley staff who are now the only ones on trains (other than the drivers!). They now work for Gate rather than being directly employed, they still wear a GatEx uniform though!
    Today I went through the gates at Gatwick, some more people in plain clothes but with a pink GatEx hi vi on, a few Southern people and the staff that were on the Gat Ex trains before. A rather annoying one way system is in place so if you come up from platform 1&2 escalators you are encouraged to turn left and through the gates. Not much use if you want to change trains!

    There's also standard and large Penalty Fare warning posters up at Victoria now. On posters on the train it said that PF did not apply between London and Gatwick. Have they applied to change this?
     
  28. DaveNewcastle

    DaveNewcastle Established Member Fares Advisor

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    That's my opinion too (at the present time, anyway).

    But I will add, that the parties contracted to ATOC's revenue managing subsiduary, Rail Settlement Plan Ltd., is a different list from those in the NRCoC.
    There are 2 Companies listed in the NRCoC : Southern and GatEx.
    In the RSP Contract, they are defined as 'Operators' not Companies, so you might expect that this new definition leaves scope for a Company to be treated as 2 Operators if it was convenient to do so. But No. Only Southern Railways is listed (not Southern and Gatwick).

    As this is the Contract which delivers revenue from ticket sales, you wouldn't expect any railway 'Operator' to forget to be included, would you? This analysis of how the money flows leads me to prefer the conclusion that they are one and the same entity, even within any application of the NRCoC.
     
  29. dvboy

    dvboy Established Member

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    As long as Gatwick Express is still listed as a seperate company in the national rail timetable and the letters GX still appear on timetables and in web booking engines, it would appear that Gatwick Express is considered a seperate TOC, and "Southern Only" tickets aren't valid on it.

    Whether it should be or not is another matter.

    If Southern wanted their "Southern Only" tickets to be accepted on Gatwick Express they'd be printed "Not FCC", surely?
     
  30. badzena

    badzena Member

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    The "train companies" in the Network Rail link you've quoted refer to trading names and not distinct companies in the legal sense. "Gatwick Express" may be a trading name of Southern Railway Limited, but a train company it is not.
     
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