The TrainLine Split ticketing

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158801

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I’m sure there may be hundreds of examples but I’m interested in the legalities of what The TrainLine are doing with some split ticket journeys.

Now, we all know that if you buy split tickets that the train must call at the station where the tickets change over but I’ve discovered an added complication.

A ticket from Middlesbrough to Harrogate is valid to travel via Leeds - as is a ticket from Middlesbrough to Selby.

However if you use The TrainLine it splits the journey at York so you get a Middlesbrough to York ticket and a ticket from York to Harrogate.

A ticket from York to Harrogate is NOT valid for travel via Leeds - being valid on direct train only. The same applies for the Selby example. You get a ticket from Middlesbrough to York and one from York to Selby which is not valid to travel via Leeds.

However, The TrainLine are still suggesting train times via Leeds.

Yes, I know, a valid itinerary permits this but surely by saving money and buying split tickets you need to follow the rules of the tickets/split that you’ve now purchased?

I’ve emailed The TrainLine about it and got an nonsensical email back from a person who, I believe, doesn’t have a clue as to what I’m referring to
 
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Watershed

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It appears they are only checking whether the itinerary would be a permitted route if you held a through ticket. They aren't checking whether it's still a permitted route if you split along the way.

To be fair to them, this is a relatively rare circumstance which they probably didn't consider when developing SplitSave. However, this certainly isn't the only issue that has come up with SplitSave. I think they may have underestimated the complexity involved in calculating and selling splits in accordance with industry rules and consumer law.

Yes, I know, a valid itinerary permits this but surely by saving money and buying split tickets you need to follow the rules of the tickets/split that you’ve now purchased?
If you travel in accordance with your selected itinerary, you are not doing anything wrong and you cannot be penalised.

It's a little more of a grey area if you travel via the same route as the selected itinerary, but on earlier or later services. On the one hand, Trainline simply tells you "show different tickets along your journey - trains must call at York", which, of course, all trains do. As you're buying flexible tickets, that suggests you can take another train along the same route if you prefer.

OTOH, as they don't explicitly say "also valid on these trains/itineraries" once you have bought your ticket - but rather, they just quote the same fares for identical itineraries - there is an argument to say that the normal set of permitted routes apply. In that case, you couldn't travel via Leeds.

Certainly, if I wanted to minimise the chances of any problems, I would make sure I was travelling in accordance with my booked itinerary.
 

AlterEgo

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It appears they are only checking whether the itinerary would be a permitted route if you held a through ticket. They aren't checking whether it's still a permitted route if you split along the way.

To be fair to them, this is a relatively rare circumstance which they probably didn't consider when developing SplitSave. However, this certainly isn't the only issue that has come up with SplitSave. I think they may have underestimated the complexity involved in calculating and selling splits in accordance with industry rules and consumer law.
This is exactly the issue - and a big problem.

Has anyone contacted Trainline about this?
 

robbeech

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This is exactly the issue - and a big problem.

Has anyone contacted Trainline about this?
Yes, once for this issue and several times for similar things in the past. As a rule they simply don't recognise the issue and say there is no real problem with it.

Of course, there shouldn't be an issue with it because you've got an itinerary so it should be accepted but in reality, it IS going to cause hassle, it IS going to cost passengers money and it IS going to see people in court at the extremes.

Issues with routeing, and fares have been rife on Trainline for as long as i've been interested in the railway. I've spoken on the phone with staff in the right department on various issues in the past (not about this specific thing), and they just don't understand the fundamental rules, regulations and procedures related to ticketing. It's a bit like a surgeon knowing how to wear the gown and scrub up, knowing how to hold a scalpel, but not actually knowing how to perform surgery, only with a bit less death.
 
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