Southern Only tickets and validity on Gatwick Express

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

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  1. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    So basically you are saying that we can ignore the fact that the DfT has stated that Gatwick Express is not a separate company, because Network Rail still lists it as a separate company?

    Can you remind me who the Regulator is?
     
  2. district

    district Established Member

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    If I pointed to a railway platform and said for the purposes of our conversation, the vehicle in the platform was a bus, you'd say that was ridiculous. (cue Pacer jokes).

    A company is a company is a company, you can't ammend a legal definition just to get your own way.
     
  3. Urban Gateline

    Urban Gateline Established Member

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    Of course you can't ammend the legal definition as a TOC, but there are other ways to prevent Southern Only or any other tickets as a matter of fact from being used on the Gatwick Express.
    It is a premium service, faster and more comfortable (as it's never fully loaded) so anyone wanting to use their cheap Southern-only ticket on it is wanting to have their cake and eat it, if you want a premium service then pay the premium!

    As for not recognising it being a Gatwick Express service, rubbish, it will say so on the departure boards, the main one and the one by the Platform and it will most likely announce it on the train too before departure so there's plenty of hints!
     
  4. island

    island Established Member

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    Here's a route Southern could use if it wanted to carve out the Southern-operated Gatwick Express branded service: "STHN NOT NONSTOP".

    How that works on engineering days when the GX stops en route, however, I am not getting into!
     
  5. Urban Gateline

    Urban Gateline Established Member

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    Whilst that is a clever way of doing it, why not just: "STHN NOT GATEXP" that has the same word length and explains it more clearly.
     
  6. sjj2112

    sjj2112 Member

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    Re. Downlander tickets

    I have been trying to buy a downlander for this Saturday since Christmas. In December it only gave the option of buying one for December 2011, despite the blurb saying you can buy up to 3 months in advance.

    Once we got into January I got the message about no tickets available for the period specified. I called customer services at 08:50 yesterday and the chap said he would need to check with his supervisor and that he would call me back soon after 09:00. By 10:00 I had had no reply, but I tried again on the website and, lo and behold, somebody had obviously told their computer system about the new year and I was able to purchase a downlander.

    I initially wanted a day ticket for the 7th January, but when I tried to buy one between Christmas and New Year I was told I needed to purchase at least 14 days in advance. I queried this with customer services and was told there was no guarantee they could deliver it to me in time - even if I wanted to collect at a station!
     
  7. cjohnson

    cjohnson Member

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    Isn't the Downlander a print-at-home ticket i.e. it should be available to download immediately?!
     
  8. sjj2112

    sjj2112 Member

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    The downlander ticket is indeed a print at home ticket. The daysave ticket that I wanted to buy is a normal ticket, except you need to buy at least 7 days in advance, 14 days during holiday periods.
     
  9. button_boxer

    button_boxer Established Member

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    By this argument nor is Virgin Trains (the company is West Coast Trains Limited) or First Great Western (the company is First Greater Western Limited).

    I can't help thinking that Southern shot themselves in the foot a bit with their choice of company name. If they'd called the company something like "London & South Coast Trains Limited" instead of "Southern Railway Limited" then there would be less argument around whether a "Southern Only" ticket was valid on a train branded Gatwick Express (operated by LSCT) as opposed to a train branded Southern (operated by LSCT).
     
  10. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    But all West Coast Trains Limited services are branded Virgin so there is no confusion. None of this changes the fact that the NRCoC clearly says that a restriction can only be by company or companies and that the definition of a company is one which holds a licence requiring it to adhere to the NRCoC.
     
  11. Tom

    Tom Member

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    I am told that the routing of tickets will be changed during the current fares period as there is no material change to the fares requirement for this.

    In the long term, the NRCoC will be reworded to explain the situation better.
     
  12. ralphchadkirk

    ralphchadkirk Established Member

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    However it is a valid argument to use that other restrictions recognise trading names not companies. I think Southern would certainly use those examples in their defence.

    Either the NRCoC will be changed to allow Southern to get away with it, or it will change to not allow Souther to get away with it. At the moment the conditions are ambiguous at best.
     
  13. dvboy

    dvboy Established Member

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    then why is it listed as one while Stansted Express is not?
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    That's not what I said. But to the passenger it appears a seperate company.

    In reality we all know Gatwick Express isn't a seperate company but why does it get its own TOC code GX?
     
  14. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    That's a very good question as it shouldn't do. The question needs to be asked of both Network Rail (who produce the NRT - there is now a contact email address, a new addition to the latest edition) and ATOC (though depending on who you speak to at ATOC you will get a different answer), perhaps they should be emailed asking them why they refer to a TOC that the DfT has confirmed is not a TOC. Perhaps some people at ATOC/Network Rail do not realise that Gatwick Express as a separate TOC was abolished in 2008.
     
  15. dvboy

    dvboy Established Member

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    You see what I'm getting at now. Presumably this is why the only ticket LM's website will let me buy on a GX service (using London-Gatwick Airport as an example) is Any Permitted, and not any of the "Southern only" ones.

    As I suggested earlier, "not FCC" would be a better restriction than "Southern Only" if Gatwick Express trains were permitted.
     
  16. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    That's because Atos Origin have been instructed by ATOC to treat these Southern operated services as if they were operated by another Company. You may want to contact Atos Origin about that. It is misleading because when you go to buy the ticket it says "Valid at any time of day for travel by the route and Train Operator shown" yet we know the "operator" is Southern, and even the Gatwick Express website admits that! Yet the "operator" is shown as 'GX'. Clearly this is incorrect.
    Why? By that logic Cambridge to London via NXEA would have to be routed "Not East Coast" to allow Stansted Express trains to be permitted. The logic is flawed though because the restriction ties you to trains "by the route and Train Operator shown" and the operator is Southern.
     
  17. dvboy

    dvboy Established Member

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    Wrongly or rightly, this is clearly what's allowing Southern (the company) to stop "Southern Only" tickets being used on Gatwick Express.

    No because the Stansted Express isn't identified as a separate TOC in the timetable. I'm not aware that there are any "NXEA Only" tickets not valid on Stansted Express services.

    To the passenger, the operator is Gatwick Express.

    Could it be possible that two operators are part of the same company?
     
  18. thedbdiboy

    thedbdiboy Member

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    Stagecoach South Western is one TOC with two Train Company brands and two TOC codes (SWT and Island Line)
     
  19. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    I see this has changed:

    http://www.facebook.com/NREGatwickExpress

    It used to say 'Company'; it now says 'Product/Service'

    Thank you to helpful people at ATOC :) Now please can you also arrange for changes in the NRT and various other places where change needs to take place... ;)
     
  20. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    What I don't understand in all of this is how people are allowed to travel on the Gatwick Express trains operating south of Gatwick Airport 12 times a day with non gatwick express tickets? If the argument is that it's a Gatwick Express train and thus only Gatwick Express tickets are valid, how come you can travel on it? Never understood why Gatwick Express tickets are not issued for stations south of Gatwick. It's the Gatwick Express after all. At what point is not described as the Gatwick Express.

    On their Web Site they only list the route between Gatwick and London. Why not promote their full route? Their prominent timetable shows Gatwick to London only. Only another page has the timetable for the extended trains!

    I travel once a week on a Gatwick Express train. I can do so because I buy a ticket from Haywards Heath to Redhill and an easement exists allowing people to avoid Redhill when their destination is north of the Quarry line. Of course that is an any permitted ticket, which as a ticket type are valid on the Gatwick Express anyway. However from what I've read on here, my opinion is that if it were a Southern only ticket, it would still be valid.

    Do you have any more details or know when this will be done? Will it be publicised fairly well so that the public and railway staff know where to access the new routes. I only say that because I have a season ticket with more than one routing allowed and the routes are not listed on the ticket itself, just the wording any permitted. Thus if it changed suddenly, people would need to know this and yes I do vary the route I travel on regularly for reasons other than I like to travel on different railway lines for fun.

    Of course I don't mean just the public, who would unknowingly travel illegally but the railway staff who police who is allowed to travel on what train.
     
  21. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Do you mean tickets routed "Not Gatwick Exp"? I was under the impression that none existed south of Gatwick. Can you give some examples please as I will be happy to look into this issue.
     
  22. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    They don't do any season tickets routed 'Not Gatwick Exp' from stations south of Gatwick any more but there are Super Off Peak tickets from many places south of Gatwick. Also Off Peak and Anytime tickets from stations between Three Bridges and Christs Hospital inclusive and also Balcombe.
     
  23. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    But surely there are tickets issued with the wording Gatwick Express or them or is that not the case? I mean if a ticket is not Gatwick Exp, wouldn't there be one marked Route Gatwick Exp? Or are their simply no tickets exclusive to Gatwick Express only?

    I was fully expecting Gatwick Express trains south of Gatwick to be more expensive, like the HS1 from Kent is but they are not. They are the same price as any others. Given that they are nicer to travel in and less busy, this fact surprised me.

    However I was also surprised to find the Gatwick Express rolling stock stopping at Clapham Junction once upon a time. This led me to board a gatwick express train once, during some major disruption on the network and say to a guard on the train but I thought the evening Brighton bound Gatwick Express services stopped at Clapham Junction. To which he replied no. Little did I know they were using the same coaching stock for other services that were not Gatwick Express. No wonder I got confused. Fortunately I didn't need to get out at Clapham Junction.
     
  24. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Not that I'm aware of.
    Not necessarily.
    Class 442s are now branded 'Express' (the word Gatwick has been removed to avoid confusion) and are diagrammed for both the Brighton Express and Gatwick Express. There is (or was) also a London Bridge - Eastbourne service formed of Class 442 'Express' units.
     
  25. island

    island Established Member

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    There are no longer Gatwick Express Only tickets, but there were in the (distant) past.
     
  26. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Staff at Victoria now ADMIT that it's the same company! However they state that the NRCoC allows them to restrict tickets by "brand" not Company. However the NRCoC refers to a Company not brand. I suspect Southern will request ATOC ask the DfT to change this, so I suggest anyone with an interest in this considers writing to their MPs, the DfT, and Passenger Focus, requesting information on correspondence regarding NRCoC changes, this is particularly important considering the fact that EMT have stated that the NRCoC is changing to restrict customers rights with regards to split tickets. Southern have got the NRCoC changed in the past before in a ludicrous attempt to claim that Gatwick Express is a separate Company.
     
  27. radamfi

    radamfi Established Member

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    It is common practice for the Gatwick Express to stop at Clapham Junction and East Croydon during disruptions. I have used it on these occasions using Network Railcard discounted tickets, assuming that stopping along the way means it is no longer a Gatwick Express train for ticketing purposes, although I've never had my ticket checked in these instances.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I caught that just before Christmas (1823 from London Bridge).
     
  28. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    I have heard that it stops at Redhill as well during some periods of exceptional disruption (I imagine there is a threshold, such as delays being on average greater than 90 minutes, at which they will consider doing this).
     
  29. infobleep

    infobleep Established Member

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    If that is the case then surely they would have got it changed so it stated they were a company?

    Split ticketing is interesting. Does anyone know when split ticketing become a useful way of saving money? If we went back to price per mile rail travel then that would make split ticketing pointless.
    --- old post above --- --- new post below ---
    I remember when Southern use to have posters proclaiming that they were the cheaper way to reach London than the Gatwick Express. Funny how I don't see such posters around now. :lol:
     
    Last edited: 7 Jan 2012
  30. John @ home

    John @ home Established Member Fares Advisor

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    The Managing Editor of RAIL magazine goes some way towards it.
    Prior to the market approach, fares were broadly based on mileage, sometimes a notional mileage, and splitting seldom saved money.
     
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