When do you need anytime?

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by 30mog, 29 Apr 2015.

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  1. 30mog

    30mog Member

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    There was that documentary on TV about The East Coast mainline a year or two ago. Remember the unsuspecting gentleman who wanted to get up to Newcastle from Kings Cross on a Friday afternoon and come back tomorrow. He was told "he was looking at £301." And his reaction.....

    Anyway, I find myself planning a Friday to Sunday trip from Sheffield to London in the near future. Because of the above memory I had played down travelling by rail. However, it seems if I depart Sheffield by 15:00 on the Friday. Worst case case scenario is £74 for an OPR. Which I can live with.

    Further to my original question. I have imagined myself in the shoes of that gentleman at KX. Why can I not find a return fare of more than £205 or so for KX to Newcastle going north Friday and returning Saturday. So when do you have to buy an Anytime Single or Return? Was that gentleman mis-informed by the ticket seller?
     
  2. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    It all depends on what days and what stations you're travelling between. Tickets have time restrictions but trains do not which is why all over the country you'll find trains where one journey is fine with an Off-Peak ticket but a different journey on the same train requires an Anytime.

    So, bearing the above in mind, you're not finding anything above £204.40 (the Off-Peak Return) as on Fridays only that ticket is valid from London to Newcastle at any time after 0759. Monday to Thursday it's between 0759 and 1558 and at or after 1746. Saturday Off-Peak tickets are valid on every train. Presumably when the gentleman was buying his ticket this was not the case and the restriction on Friday's was most probably the same as it as the rest of the week requiring him to buy the Anytime ticket (or possibly more stringent in fact).

    So it all depends on where your travelling as to when you need an Anytime ticket or when an Off-Peak or Super Off-Peak maybe suitable.
     
  3. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    The OPR is £44

    It's fantastic value. Depart Sheffield 1455, arrive Euston 1750. Change Derby & Tamworth

    Because the Off Peak Return (SVR) is valid.
    If travelling at a time the SVR prohibits, assuming you don't buy in advance or buy a combination of fares (also known as "splittng")
     
  4. CyrusWuff

    CyrusWuff Established Member

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    The cynic in me suggests that the sequence in question wasn't actually filmed on a Friday...that's just what the production company want you to think...

    Alternatively, the member of staff had a brainfart and forgot about the "easement" that allows Off-Peak (formerly Business Saver) tickets to be used Northbound at any time after 0759 on a Friday.

    Or the ticket seller was actually a Train Manager applying Condition 2 of the NRCoC as the passenger had boarded without purchasing a ticket.
     
  5. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    By the way you do not have to depart by 1500. You cannot get an itinerary on the OPR routed XC & LM after 1500 but the ticket is valid:
    Booking engines are wrong not to offer it after 1500!

    Just make sure your connecting train is XC, and not EMT.

    The £74 ticket is the inter-available SSR valid on any operator providing you pass through (or call at) Chesterfield.

    Both OPR and SSR are called 'Super Off Peak Return' in order to keep things 'simple' ;)
     

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  6. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    I remember the sequence and it was at the ticket office.
     
  7. 30mog

    30mog Member

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    In my recollection. The voice over said, "it's Friday afternoon at Kings Cross." But my guess is the "you're looking at £301 sir..." bit was not actually a Friday afternoon. For I have just done another dummy run on NRE and found that with the fare rises since that film. Travelling North on a Thursday 1700 ish and back from Newcastle whenever would require a £308 Anytime. TV producers can't fool train buffs eh!!

    Thanks for the reminder about that London Midland option. What's the chance of the ticket seller at Sheffield knowing what I'm talking about if I ask for it?
     
  8. Starmill

    Starmill Established Member

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    Please do not get confused because 'OPR' ≠Off-Peak Return. Most Off-Peak Returns are SVRs. Just to add to yorkie's post. The three letter code isn't that crucial, the fare name is but it can be helpful if you don't want to write the whole thing out, but people tend not to call Super Off-Peak Day Returns 'SCOs' (although they could!).
     
    Last edited: 29 Apr 2015
  9. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    That is one possibility.

    In any case, if they used Trainsplit.com they'd be paying a lot less than £301.
    Not sure if you followed any of the links in my previous posts, but I find it quicker to look up the fares on brfares.com than NRE, but whatever you find easier.
    You don't have to ask for it. As it's the cheapest walk-up return fare, the have to offer you the option of taking it (providing you don't specifically ask for something else e.g. "Can I have an Anytime Return to London via Chesterfield" would see you issued an SOR as you asked for it specifically by name).

    For example if you turn up to the ticket office and say "What's the cheapest return ticket to London please?" they should inform you about this ticket, and any restrictions. You don't need to know about it, that's their job. ;)

    Providing you word the question appropriately, if they don't mention it, that's a breach of impartiality rules, and could be reported to XC/LM as well as taken up with EMT themselves. You could say something like "Is there a cheap Super Off Peak ticket to travel with Cross Country and London Midland?" to prompt them to find it.

    By the way in future it's probably best to keep requests completely separate, as in this thread your actual journey is Sheffield to London return, but you're also asking about London to Newcastle return in the same thread. A separate thread is best as this avoids any potential confusion when talking about two completely different flows, set by different operators, with different restriction codes, routeing options and pricing. :)
     
  10. yorksrob

    yorksrob Veteran Member

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    Don't forget also that up here, where according to many most train fares cost little more than a fluttering of the eyelids and a cheeky smile, many journeys don't actually have an off-peak fare, so an Anytime is the only period return available.
     
  11. MarlowDonkey

    MarlowDonkey Member

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    The irony is that the Friday afternoon trains are frequently some of the busiest. So much for Off Peak being for lightly used trains.
     
  12. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    It's a lie, especially when Virgin Trains West Coast are concerned as their evening trains out of Euston during the peak are lightly loaded, yet the first off peak trains are extremely busy.

    Likewise with FGW, the most crowded trains are the likes of the 1915 to Swansea.

    And as for the morning "peak" (!) out of London, that's a joke!

    It's about revenues! Which is fine, but they should be honest about it instead of falsely claiming off peak tickets are valid on less busy trains. They must think we're so gullible :lol:
     
  13. Arctic Troll

    Arctic Troll Established Member

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    That's why the restrictions are eased on the ECML on a Friday. The off-peak is valid all afternoon and the super off-peak is valid after 1819 (or before 1500); on Mondays to Thursdays the first super off-peak train is 1900.

    Otherwise you'd have everyone crowded on the 1900 and 1930 Edinburghs, which are both already rammed.

    I fully expect Stagecoach to change this just as soon as they can. Certainly on their other Virgin-branded franchise they don't leave any price ungouged.
     
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