Valid routes Warrington Bank Quay to Blackpool North

mmh

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On Sunday 26 June I want to travel from Llandudno Junction to Blackpool North. It seems there are engineering works so the quickest route, changing at Warrington Bank Quay for the WCML isn't offered by journey planners, instead going via Manchester and changing at Oxford Road is suggested.

That's fine, however I'm only being offered advance tickets. This is a journey I usually use split tickets for, using an Anytime Short Return Warrington to Blackpool North.

Checking each leg in turn, it seems the Anytime Short return is OK on the journey planners, however they want me to transfer to Warrington Central for Manchester. Nothing I've tried will give an itinerary from Warrington Bank Quay. The train I plan to get to Warrington Bank Quay continues to Manchester, so it seems daft if I'll have to leave it to walk to Central and catch a different train, and this significantly lengthens the journey.

Is this really true? Are there any ways in which I can use flexible tickets for this journey? I much prefer them for this journey, and the saving on advances is negligible.

Thanks very much in advance for any help and advice, I'm rather confused!
 
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Jason12

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I agree it seems daft, but a Warrington C/BQ to Blackpool North, Any Permitted ticket is valid either from Bank Quay via Wigan - Preston, or from Central via Manchester - Salford Crescent - Bolton - Preston.

It's not valid from Bank Quay via Earlestown - Manchester ... which is the route the Llandudno Junction to Manchester train takes.

There is a Warrington C/BQ to Blackpool North, route Via Manchester, Anytime Short, but more expensive at £17.25 vs £13.35. That ticket is valid from Bank Quay via Earlestown and Manchester.

Have you tried Trainsplit? That should find the best split ticket option for you. Use Earlestown as a via point to stop it finding a cheaper, but less convenient option of changing stations in Warrington.
 
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Mcr Warrior

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If the exact same ticket type, route "via Manchester", is more expensive than a route "Any Permitted" ticket, why would the latter be valid on the longer route via Manchester?
 

danielcanning

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And how would the ordinary punter know that this ticket isn’t valid on a direct train? This is why fares need to be simplified…
 

507020

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This seems infuriating. At the best of times it’s possible once every 2 hours for the direct service from Llandudno to Manchester Airport via Castlefield to be timed to connect with the direct Euston - Blackpool North at Warrington Bank Quay.

When this isn’t possible Google Maps shows a journey continuing on the TfW service to Manchester and getting a Northern service to Blackpool North.
 

mmh

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If the exact same ticket type, route "via Manchester", is more expensive than a route "Any Permitted" ticket, why would the latter be valid on the longer route via Manchester?
Well, I'd hope there'd be a degree of pragmatism - on that day the only route is via Manchester. The planners I've used haven't offered the via Manchester ticket - I'd forgotten it existed so thanks for reminding me. I've seen it in the past but never had a reason to not use the direct route before. I'm not holding my breath on there being any pragmatism of course.

I did some fiddling on trainsplit before, I'll need to do some more. I wonder is the via Manchester ticket also valid via Wigan? I don't want to be forced to go back the long way.

I might contact TFW customer services (hah!) and ask, given the lack of direct service, whether the any permitted ticket will be accepted via Manchester. I won't be putting any bets on a positive answer!
 

Jason12

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If the exact same ticket type, route "via Manchester", is more expensive than a route "Any Permitted" ticket, why would the latter be valid on the longer route via Manchester?
An oddity of railway geography.

Warrington Central (WAC) to Blackpool North (BPN) Any Permitted is valid via the route above because it's the shortest route by rail from WAC to BPN.

And how would the ordinary punter know that this ticket isn’t valid on a direct train? This is why fares need to be simplified…
The OP's direct trains,via Manchester are from Llandudno Junction to Manchester and (potentially) Manchester to Blackpool North. The OP's ticket is from Warrington C/BQ to Blackpool North. No direct trains (from Bank Quay) that day.

I did some fiddling on trainsplit before, I'll need to do some more. I wonder is the via Manchester ticket also valid via Wigan? I don't want to be forced to go back the long way.
Yes, the "Via Manchester" is valid on the services from Manchester which run Chat Moss to Wigan, bypassing Salford Crescent and Bolton. Edit: ...and via Atherton, bypassing Bolton.

Obviously as a "Via Manchester" ticket, booking sites wouldn't route you direct from Wigan to Bank Quay on your return, so what you could do is purchase the Any Permitted and excess the outward portion only to a "Via Manchester" for half the difference in ticket price. You'd be best to do that at a ticket office, though.
 
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mmh

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Yes, the "Via Manchester" is valid on the services from Manchester which run Chat Moss to
Thanks. I don't think I explained what I meant there very well though - I want to return via Wigan Northwestern on an Avanti service.

The OP's direct trains,via Manchester are from Llandudno Junction to Manchester and (potentially) Manchester to Blackpool North. The OP's ticket is from Warrington C/BQ to Blackpool North. No direct trains (from Bank Quay) that day.
This is where I feel the pragmatism I don't expect to happen is needed. My ticket will be valid "from" WBQ. There aren't any trains on the direct route, so I need to change, OK. But despite being at WBQ and there being a direct train (which I'll actually already be on) to where I have to change, I can't take it by the rules. Instead I must walk to a different station to take another train to the same destination. That's just bonkers. I don't wish to travel via Manchester, I won't be breaking my journey there, it's simply the only way to make the journey that day.
 
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Jason12

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Thanks. I don't think I explained what I meant there very well though - I want to return via Wigan Northwestern on an Avanti service.
The penny dropped and I posted about that, but it got automatically merged^^.

I think the arrangements when passengers have to divert during engineering work could be a lot more customer friendly. But there are workarounds...
 

kieron

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There are no engineering works on 26/6. Well, there are, but the only ones nre.co.uk reports for Avanti are much further south.

What is there is Avanti's policy of denoting every train as "reservations compulsory", and waiting until shortly before the departure date to release reservations for some trains.

If you're looking for flexible tickets, then your best option may be to wait a bit. TfW aren't going to run out of reservations, and Northern don't offer them in the first place.

If you'd like to travel out via Newton-le-Willows and Manchester anyway, then you can pay an excess fare to effectively turn the outward part of your Warrington-Blackpool ticket into a "via Manchester" one. This should cost half of the difference in price between the "any permitted" and "via Manchester" return tickets, and you can pay for it on the train.
 

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