Struggling to buy tickets

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Uk125

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Hi

Im struggling to buy/book tickets for -

Friday 4th June , St Helens Central to Ashford International

Return on Sunday 6th June, Ashford international to St Helens Central

Disabled Railcard.

I went this exact trip few weeks ago and got the tickets online very easily via Avanti website..I collected the tickets from the ticket machine.

But I'm struggling to book for 4th - 6th June weekend..what is going on???

Thanks
 
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CyrusWuff

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Engineering Work is taking place between Wolverhampton and Stafford that weekend, and the "Booking Horizons" page on NRE is showing that reservations aren't open yet but doesn't indicate when they might be (if at all).
 

plugwash

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AFAIK a few things are going on.

Firstly as part of the covid response many of the "intercity" TOCs have marked most if not all of their trains as "reservations compulsory" in the timetable data (though it varies to what extent they are actually enforcing reservations). So online sales can't sell tickets without a reservation.

Secondly timetables are not being finalized on time and reservations don't open until the operators have a high confidence that the timetables are final.

Thirdly, timetables for days with engineering works engineering works take extra time to finalise after the base timetables are finalised.
 

Snow1964

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AFAIK a few things are going on.

Firstly as part of the covid response many of the "intercity" TOCs have marked most if not all of their trains as "reservations compulsory" in the timetable data (though it varies to what extent they are actually enforcing reservations). So online sales can't sell tickets without a reservation.

Secondly timetables are not being finalized on time and reservations don't open until the operators have a high confidence that the timetables are final.

Thirdly, timetables for days with engineering works engineering works take extra time to finalise after the base timetables are finalised.

Are you saying that Operators are now not even selling tickets for 2 weeks away in advance.

I am not sure what timetables are still undecided for 2 weeks away, it doesn’t even straddle a Government changing restrictions level date

I get the feeling some Operators don’t care about passengers anymore and only interested in running minimum they can get away with. Although when did the emergency measures contracts change to stop issuing tickets more than 2 weeks ahead, if they didn’t then something is seriously broken

Quite ironic this has come up at same time as DfT has published report on passenger experience of rail handling disruption

 
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Hadders

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Avanti only put Advance tickets for Saturday 29th May on sale yesterday (just 8 days ahead of travel).

I know there are multiple reasons why but it's very poor that tickets have gone on sale so late.

As to the OP's problem Trainsplit is selling tickets for those dates, although closer inspection reveals the use of LNR to Crewe on the return suggesting that the Avanti trains are fully reserved.
 

Wallsendmag

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Avanti only put Advance tickets for Saturday 29th May on sale yesterday (just 8 days ahead of travel).

I know there are multiple reasons why but it's very poor that tickets have gone on sale so late.

As to the OP's problem Trainsplit is selling tickets for those dates, although closer inspection reveals the use of LNR to Crewe on the return suggesting that the Avanti trains are fully reserved.
Fully reserved and not yet open for reservations often look the same.
 

30907

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Are you saying that Operators are now not even selling tickets for 2 weeks away in advance.

I am not sure what timetables are still undecided for 2 weeks away, it doesn’t even straddle a Government changing restrictions level date
See post #2 - these are related to engineering works
I get the feeling some Operators don’t care about passengers anymore and only interested in running minimum they can get away with.
A different topic.
Although when did the emergency measures contracts change to stop issuing tickets more than 2 weeks ahead, if they didn’t then something is seriously broken
They didn't, see post #2
Quite ironic this has come up at same time as DfT has published report on passenger experience of rail handling disruption

Which specifically relates to unplanned disruption, again a different topic.
 

LNW-GW Joint

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Engineering Work is taking place between Wolverhampton and Stafford that weekend, and the "Booking Horizons" page on NRE is showing that reservations aren't open yet but doesn't indicate when they might be (if at all).
St Helens-Ashford is presumably via Wigan or Liverpool, then direct to Euston.
That shouldn't be affected by engineering works Wolverhampton-Stafford.
Presumably the OP can buy an off-peak ticket and make reservations for the Sunday when the trains become reservable?
 

Haywain

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St Helens-Ashford is presumably via Wigan or Liverpool, then direct to Euston.
That shouldn't be affected by engineering works Wolverhampton-Stafford.
Presumably the OP can buy an off-peak ticket and make reservations for the Sunday when the trains become reservable?
I don’t know the extent of the engineering works but you can’t not pass through Stafford on those journeys, and the timings on one route to Stafford will affect all routes through Stafford.
 

mmh

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Fully reserved and not yet open for reservations often look the same.

TFW release advance tickets only 7 days ahead, and their website shows them as "sold out" until they do. With such a short booking window it effectively means advance tickets are unusable for many journeys, given people generally need to return and, for example in this case, means trips can be a maximum of six days - and then only bought the day before travel!
 

Hadders

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I think the general point is that opening reservations only 8 days ahead of travel simply isn’t acceptable.

I know there are reasons why this is the case but that isn’t the concern of passengers. Furthermore when the railway says reservations are required to be able to travel on trains then they need to be available more than 8 days ahead of travel.

The railway has to do a far better job in this area and fast.
 

Haywain

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I think the general point is that opening reservations only 8 days ahead of travel simply isn’t acceptable.

I know there are reasons why this is the case but that isn’t the concern of passengers. Furthermore when the railway says reservations are required to be able to travel on trains then they need to be available more than 8 days ahead of travel.

The railway has to do a far better job in this area and fast.
The majority of TOCs will agree with this but it is out of their control. One or two, however, appear not to give a toss.
 

Hadders

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The majority of TOCs will agree with this but it is out of their control. One or two, however, appear not to give a toss.
But it is within the control of the rail industry. That is what matters to passengers.
 

Haywain

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But it is within the control of the rail industry. That is what matters to passengers.
Industry maybe, in the form of Network Rail but not train operators by anywhere near the same degree.
 

mmh

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But it is within the control of the rail industry. That is what matters to passengers.

It's also perfectly in the control of the TOCs to not say advance tickets are "sold out" when they're not. It's just such an unfathomably anti-customer thing to think that's acceptable.
 

Watershed

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It's also perfectly in the control of the TOCs to not say advance tickets are "sold out" when they're not. It's just such an unfathomably anti-customer thing to think that's acceptable.
It's not within the control of any one TOC that the industry systems are set up this way. There needs to be cross-industry collaboration to get the standards changed, so there can be differentiation between "sold out" and "not available yet".
 
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