Trivia: Highest and lowest ratio between 7DS and SDR prices

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akm

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I'm sure this has come up before, but I can't find it.

The question:

For any origin and a destination, such that there are SDR (anytime day return) and 7DS (7 day standard season) prices defined (with exactly the same route*), what are the highest and lowest achievable ratios of 7DS price to SDR price?

Here's a starter:

SOU Southampton Central to WAT London Waterloo
SDR (any permitted) £92
7DS (any permitted) £155 = SDR price times 1.685

ECR East Croydon to RDG Reading
SDR (not via London) £21.10
7DS (not via London) £110.70 = SDR price times 5.246

Can we get lower / higher?


* Undoubtedly there are cases where 7ds and sdr on different routes actually have the same validity, or suchlike, but let's keep it simple

 
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Watershed

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Assuming you'll accept SORs where there's no SDR, Stoke-on-Trent to London may take the cake. £305.80 SOR or £389.80 7DS - a ratio of 1.275

If you accept SORs and PSSs, Macclesfield is pretty incredible: £363.20 SOR or £365.30 PSS - a ratio of 1.001. Not to mention the fact that the price jumps £57.40 for one extra stop, despite there being a Stoke-Macclesfield Avanti only SDR costing £11.80!

As PSS seasons are only issued for a month or longer (a month being charged at 3.84× the weekly rate), in a 4-week month the effective ratio would be 0.966.

So a (consistent) peak time commute of just 1 day a week would justify a season ticket; with odd period seasons you'd be able to get the price per journey down a fair bit.
 

Nunners

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For a SOR, the best one I've found so far is Pewsey to Ealing Broadway which is £165.70 for a 7DS and £140.40 for a SOR, although there is a cheaper SOR routed not London.
This has a ratio of 1.18, which I think could be a potential winner

If we're not including SORs, the best I've got so far is Weymouth to London Terminals via Southampton - £212.60 vs £140.30 - a ratio of 1.515
 
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Watershed

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If we're not including SORs, the best I've got so far is Weymouth to London Terminals via Southampton - £212.60 vs £140.30 - a ratio of 1.515
Wool to Clapham Junction, route London not Und just about beats it, at £191.70 vs £131.80, ratio of 1.454.
 

greatkingrat

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Q406 (Godalming / Witley / Farncombe / Milford) - Q410 (Hook / Winchfield)
7DS 106.10
SDR 10.10 (x10.55)

Seem to be quite a lot of expensive SWR seasons. I suspect at some point the SDR prices were lowered, but they didn't change the season prices.

There's one in Scotland where the 7DS is actually lower than the SDR (x0.72), although comparison with the neighbouring stations shows the 7DS price appears to be an error. I won't post the stations in case someone is taking advantage of it!

Q307 (Margate / Birchington / Westgate on Sea) - Q401 (Dorking Stations / Gomshall / Holmwood / Ockley / Box Hill & Westhumble / Betchworth)
7DS (Not Via London) 106.80
SDR (Not Via London) 90.90 (x1.17)
 

All Line Rover

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A Crewe to Milton Keynes 7DS is only £5 more expensive than the SOR (read that "only" in the context of the outrageously high SOR fare). If memory serves correctly, so high is the SOR that the 7DS was once 10p cheaper!
 

RJ

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I carried out this exercise in the past and was intending to post it as part of a series of "Fares Analysis Friday" posts covering all sorts of quirks. However after preparing them I thought better of it. The SWR stuff in the Farncombe area did flag up with the biggest ratio.

National Rail Enquiries suggests that a season ticket should be cheaper than 4x SDR but it doesn't always work that way.

Sometimes the cause of these anomalies is the SDR having a different price in either direction.

There's one in Scotland where the 7DS is actually lower than the SDR (x0.72), although comparison with the neighbouring stations shows the 7DS price appears to be an error. I won't post the stations in case someone is taking advantage of it!

I think there are quite a lot of people who can find this sort of thing in minutes once the hint is given. Sometimes the ideas are just as valuable as the technical knowhow!
 
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Watershed

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A Crewe to Milton Keynes 7DS is only £5 more expensive than the SOR (read that "only" in the context of the outrageously high SOR fare). If memory serves correctly, so high is the SOR that the 7DS was once 10p cheaper!
Indeed, although for a typical 9-5 commute you'd never buy the SOR, if anything an SOS and an SVS (there being no evening peak restrictions on the latter).
 

All Line Rover

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I would almost question why the fare even exists, given that business travellers are also unlikely to return during the morning peak. It couldn't possibly be to trick people into paying more than fares regulation requires, though. I'm confident of that!
 

Ianno87

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I would almost question why the fare even exists, given that business travellers are also unlikely to return during the morning peak. It couldn't possibly be to trick people into paying more than fares regulation requires, though. I'm confident of that!

Possibly a simple hangover from when there was an evening peak restriction.
 

Watershed

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Possibly a simple hangover from when there was an evening peak restriction.
There was only ever an evening peak restriction when Virgin introduced it "by accident" (in breach of the fares regulations in their franchise agreement).

I could well believe that the silly cost of this SOR is an unintentional side effect of the significant increases which Virgin instituted in their earlier years.

The level of increase appears to be broadly correlated with the restriction code - being greater where the Off-Peak ticket has restriction 2C, ie in and out of Euston, than with 2R, 2S etc, ie outside of London. So it could simply be that they applied an (in this case pointless) increase on a blanket basis.
 

30907

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Possibly a simple hangover from when there was an evening peak restriction.
It is, of course valid 5 days outwards whereas the SOS is only 2 days, so it has a theoretical use. Irrelevant for commuting comparisons, I agree.
 
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