Standing on long rail journeys to be banned under Virgin Trains plan for airline-style fare

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by duncanp, 24 Apr 2019.

  1. Glenn1969

    Glenn1969 Member

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    Guess they could always make Northbound long distance services pick up only at Watford and MKC if they really wanted to
     
  2. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    They are at certain times of day (always at Watford), and at one stage the North Wales ones were all day.

    Or you mean the LNR Crewes, might not be a bad idea.
     
  3. Meerkat

    Meerkat Member

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    The people on Cov platform could book a seat on their way to the station
     
  4. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    What, while driving or cycling?
     
  5. Meerkat

    Meerkat Member

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    Driving to their train home?
    Then book before you leave the office or on the platform.
    You don’t think Virgin would want to fill those empty seats (though you might need ORCATS to allocate based on reservations)
     
  6. sjpowermac

    sjpowermac Member

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    Easy to see why the TOCs are so keen on this. It’s the old problem for them of splitting the revenue from open tickets with other TOCs. Much better to sell an AP and bag (almost) all of the cash.

    I wonder if the scenes on LNER over the weekend were down to them selling lots of AP, knowing fine well there would be high demand from Open fares? I’d love to see their revenue analysis from Easter, I bet it tells a bit of a different tale to their Twitter feed;)

    Just watch those AP fares rise to the Open levels or more...
     
  7. Hadders

    Hadders Established Member

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    You are joking?

    When I'm working in London my exact finish time can vary by around an hour. My train of choice is the 17:33 but sometimes I can get the 17:16, 17:46, 18:06 or 18:16. Which train exactly depends on how swiftly i can get out of the office and walk to Kings Cross. I usually time my walk to perfection arriving a minute or so before departure. If I mis-calculate or get delayed it's no big problem as I'll just get the next train.

    If I had to pre-book a seat it would be a nightmare. All the flexibility you currently have would be gone.

    What next - no standing and compulsory reservations on the Underground.
     
  8. Meerkat

    Meerkat Member

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    Long distance shouldn’t be for the convenience of commuters.
    No one is suggesting booking proper commuter trains.
     
  9. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    The problem is that outside London they are not fully segregated.

    What, for instance, is TPE?
     
  10. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Many thousands of people use "long distance" trains for "commuting"; there are many examples of this but we would go out of the scope of this thread if we started listing them all!
     
  11. Glenn1969

    Glenn1969 Member

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    TPE is largely a principal stations only operator. However for some reason they transferred the stopping service from Northern to TPE between Leeds, Huddersfield and Manchester which is something of an anomaly
     
  12. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    And therein lies the problem. To re-segregate frequencies will have to be slashed. The "semifast skip stop" approach allows for higher frequencies in limited capacity.
     
  13. Chester1

    Chester1 Established Member

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    I don't see why it has to be todays model or Virgin's proposal. There are merits in mixing both. I think the key would be removing open tickets with any opperator between specific services. E.g. no open unreserved tickets to or from London using ICWC/WCP operator. Commuters would be using season tickets (including part time season tickets). A couple of carriages could be left unreserved for them and anyone doing intermediate journeys who has not reserved a seat. Open returns for London tickets could require a reservation cancelable until 30 mins before departure and with reservations allowed to be made until 10 minutes before departure. Turn up and go is not seen as a God given right in other countries. Compulsory reservation systems can work well.
     
  14. Jonny

    Jonny Established Member

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    ... or their train from home?

    Given that a smartphone would likely be involved, if not a phone call, then there is a hazard factor. That's before you consider getting your 'phone out while on the street.
     
  15. John Casingena

    John Casingena New Member

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    The easy option is only sell enough tickets for the amount of seats you have once trains full no more tickets sold I have been on a train from London to Leicester on day of London marathon evening train so packed seat reservation's not put out so people with reservation's standing because people without one taking seats not entitled to but having this system take away flexibilities so say if a family member dies and you need to travel asap and trains are full Leicester to Stansted airport is a long distance train but some evening trains stop at local stations between Birmingham and Leicester so local commuters would be on them

    But then I liked the old BR days when they charged by the mile
     
  16. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    You mean only sell Advance tickets? That is exactly what Virgin want to do. Most people disagree with you; have you read the posts above yours?
    We run a walk-up railway; if there are no seat reservations on the train then anyone is just as entitled as anyone else to sit anywhere

    If you want a mode of transport that only allows people to travel with a compulsory reservation, you may take a long distance coach.

    More people prefer the benefits of the train, which include walk-up travel, and will resist attempts by anyone who tries to take any of those benefits away from us and turn the railway into something that is more like an airline or long distance coach operator.
    I don't understand what you are saying here, but you are right that if Virgin get their way people who need to travel 'ASAP' would not be able to do so if the trains are already fully reserved. That's unacceptable to the vast majority of passengers.
    That was a long time ago as BR used market based pricing in the 80s/90s (if not before); it is not considered a viable option by train companies. If you want to make your own thread to speculate on how it might work, feel free to do so.
     
  17. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    Wow, that 110 word sentence sure is difficult to understand.
     
  18. John Casingena

    John Casingena New Member

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    What I was saying i have been on trains where staff forget to put out seat reservation's so people jump on see a seat is not reserved sit in it when someone has a ticket saying they have reserved it.

    And I don't mean advance if seats are available then you can buy at the station on the day I can buy a national express coach ticket on the coach if seats are available I can walk into an airport go to the BA ticket desk buy a ticket on the day if a seat is available yes sell tickets at the station 10 minutes before train leaves but only if seats available because some people don't have internet
     
  19. HSTEd

    HSTEd Established Member

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    And?

    Virgin will just demand more subsidy money.
     
  20. MDB1images

    MDB1images Member

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    Not a good idea and one that has the potential to cause the on board crew a whole host of new problems.
     
  21. PR1Berske

    PR1Berske Established Member

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    Modernising the system? Bringing rail travel into the same century as airline travel?

    Passengers who walk-on a Virgin train are unlikely to be long distance travellers. They are not being targeted here.

    Passengers who have booked a hotel six months or so in advance and are now looking at getting down to London are being targeted here. They'd expect a seat on a plane, they'd expect a seat on a coach; why should they not expect a seat on a train?
     
  22. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Or do it as you're walking across the station forecourt/concourse.

    Barely any different to using your phone to find out the time of the next train. Just click 'Reserve my seat' while you're at it.
     
  23. gazzaa2

    gazzaa2 Member

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    It only takes a cancellation or two and the next service will be full to the brim anyway with this plan.
     
  24. sjpowermac

    sjpowermac Member

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    You’ve obviously never traveled on an LNER service over a holiday period. Long distance overcrowding has been a problem for many years on the East Coast route. Long distance travellers are indeed being targeted by this.

    I’ve had personal experience both ways, of booking relatively cheap APs and also paying Open fares. The Open fares being roughly double the cost of the APs. With the Open tickets I often ended up standing, which seemed a bit rubbish having paid more, but I never complained since on those occasions flexibility mattered to me.

    Without access to commercially sensitive information it’s impossible to pin down the exact reason for the over crowding. Last weekend LNER made an additional coach non-res on each service, so they did make an effort and recognise there was going to be higher demand from Open ticket holders.

    I wonder what others think though, is at least some of the overcrowding due to TOCs filling their boots with AP (as they are perfectly entitled to do), knowing full well there will be high demand from Open tickets?
     
  25. gazzaa2

    gazzaa2 Member

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    Get a train at the start of a bank holiday weekend, particularly with great weather, then you have to expect very busy trains as you would traffic jams.

    I was going away over the weekend and purposely took the Thursday off and got an early train to avoid the hordes.
     
  26. Smidster

    Smidster Member

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    But those people are well catered for at the moment - They are generally on AP tickets and therefore have a seat booked. Of course there are cases where the system lets them down but that is a different issue.

    I hate this idea as railways are not airlines and it is a terrible idea to take away the flexibility that we currently enjoy. There are times when I travel on open tickets that I have no idea when I will be looking to travel as it depends how long the meeting or event lasts. It would be massively inconvenient to force people to book such places in advance and has no benefit at all.
     
  27. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Do they not already have the option of obtaining a seat reservation, should they want one ?
     
  28. Ianno87

    Ianno87 Established Member

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    Lots of the general public just don't simply seem to grasp that if too many people turn up to travel at precisely the same time, there is no way the railway can reasonably accommodate them at that exact moment, even if every train path was used and every train running at full length.
     
  29. AM9

    AM9 Established Member

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    That may well be true but if the ultimate decision is with the DfT, they could take a wider view. Their political brief is to drive the railway towards self-funding. For every open ticket purchased, the railway as a whole gets more than for the equivalent journey on an advance ticket, so through ORCATS the open ticket makes a bigger contribution to reducing the subsidy to UK rail. Virgin is championing this initiative for their own ends, and doesn't have any genuine concern for how crowded their trains are as long as they can get the profit.
     
  30. Spamcan81

    Spamcan81 Member

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    Limiting everyone to AP is nonsense IMO. AP's are great if you know exactly when you want/need to travel but life's not always like that and the flexibility of walk up fares even if that means standing is an important factor for some people.
     

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