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1  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Coffee Shop Advent Quiz, December 2021. Introduction and day 1 on: December 01, 2021, 05:01:16 am
Number 4 is Reading!
2  Journey by Journey / Transport for London / Re: Threats to bus and tube services in London. on: November 27, 2021, 06:56:29 pm
I just assumed the Bakerloo line trains are now the eldest given the Circle/District line were upgraded and there’s sort of a decade interval between each upgrade? Leaving us with the c 1970s Bakerloo stock?
3  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: TfL ticketing on: October 17, 2021, 07:12:37 am
Thanks that’s really helpful, and really good to know the dwell times! I think the only minor problem to the plan would be if the line from Paddington were completely blocked coming home, as I’d then need a ticket from Waterloo, but it seems a risk worth taking!
4  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / TfL ticketing on: October 14, 2021, 11:26:12 pm
Next week I am due to visit London for one day at work and then an evening meeting. It will only be my fourth trip to town since March 2020. However, does anyone have any experience of using a contactless card from Twyford? Specifically - will my plan below work? I believe this is my best option as it’s a one-off trip, and I’m not the right age anymore for a railcard! I believe I just have to tap the yellow readers at the various stations?

Journey 1: Twyford to Paddington, then tube to Zone 1 station for work. (£17.50 in Peak according to the single fare TfL» (Transport for London - about) guide. My concern is am I charged for the GWR (Great Western Railway) but then the tube separate?)

Journey 2: zone 1 work - zone 1 for evening meeting. (£2.40)

Journey 3: zone 1 tube to Paddington, then home to Twyford (assume £10.90 offpeak but be interested to understand if the tube is separate?)

This seems better value than a 1 day travelcard? What ‘dwell time’ will it allow at Paddington eg for a bite to eat? Will I be able to use the GWR express services?
5  Journey by Journey / London to Reading / Re: Rampant vegetation on: August 01, 2021, 08:18:39 am
I haven’t any photos but Waingels Road is now clear again. I logged a ticket with the helpful Network Rail community team and within a week they’ve all been cut back. It was particularly annoying trying to push my daughters pushchair along that stretch - both because we had to go into the road and also because the foliage impeded the view of the IETs (Intercity Express Train) zipping past!
6  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Flexible seasons - practicalities and questions on: June 21, 2021, 02:23:30 am
Edit - GrahamE ...
Flexible Season tickets - offering 8 days of travel in a 28 day period - on sale from 21st June, valid from 28th June
Intended to provide a fare option for those who need to commute around 2 days per week. 
* For five day commuters, a weekly or longer season will almost always offer better value
* For one day a week, individual tickets remain better value
* For off peak travel, for railcard holders, and for overnight shift workers, other tickets are likely to offer better value

* Scroll down for general Flexi Season details
* See for Melksham to Swindon example
* See for Chippenham to London example
End of edit

Please feel free to split this - but as a possible returning commuter I need some help! I use this as an illustration that the new ticket apparently just seems to make things yet more complex!

Suppose I wish to commute to Barbican from Twyford 8x days a month in peak hours. Using the GWR (Great Western Railway) site (as I must - this is a smart ticket only) there appear to be two options - a Flexible Ticket for £211.20 and another for £361.20. One is for Paddington, the other for London Terminals. There appears to be no linked ‘Travelcard’ option for the tube as you’d be used to for the classic day/weekly/annual ticket. I assume each offer 8x days travel

Why would anyone ever buy the London Terminals Flexi ticket? From TfL» (Transport for London - about) a single Oyster (Smartcard system used by passengers on Transport for London services) tube fare is £2.40. So 16x £2.40 is £38.40. I get it’s the purchasers responsibility to check, but that seems a steep penalty of nearly £100 for falling down that trap!

Add to that this flexi ticket (I assume) can’t be treated as a gold  card, and suddenly this ‘offer’ loses its value.

What I can’t work out is if you ‘exhaust’ the FlexiTicket eg actually end up doing 9x days whether you can top up the days as needed or simply reset and rebut a new ticket. As a former annual ticket holder it was a ‘perk’ to have the free weekend travel - now that weekend trip becomes very expensive!
7  Journey by Journey / Thames Valley Branches / Re: Walking between Marlow and Henley on: June 06, 2021, 03:02:27 am
As someone who enjoyed his first train ride of 2021 from Shiplake to Twyford, here’s your answer! Amazing to think it’s taken until 4th June to travel by train. A few years back I’d been on the underground returning from the NYE fireworks by 12.15am!
8  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Some thoughts on Delay Repay on: March 16, 2021, 06:50:34 am
As a (former) Thames Valley commuter I was going to say Delay repay seemed a bit of a retrograde step. But it seems a railway with no passengers is much more reliable - for the first time in at least the last 5 years there is no current season ticket discount for punctuality or reliability for the commuter services.
9  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Season tickets and Gold cards for next year on: December 17, 2020, 01:23:10 am
They say a problem shared is a problem solved! If this is the wrong place to post apologies!

Before COVID I went to London essentially every working day. At the beginning of the crisis in March I did a changeover of my season ticket to the ?Isle of Wight? special (Ryde St. John?s to Ryde Esplanade) until it?s existing expiry of 20th Dec. This was rational as it maximised my refund (essentially unlocking a c ?10.50 daily refund.) also, because at that stage no one knew how long this would go on for, it had the added benefit of ensuring the 2019 price Id locked in could be ?retrieved? at the point I did a possible changeover back to the ?proper? season ticket.

The dilemma is do I renew that Isle of Wight season ticket. I know I won?t be going back until March at the earliest. IF rail fares were going up on Jan 1st it felt prudent to purchase the Isle of Wight ticket again because the 2020 season ticket renewal is maintained. I doubt very highly I will ever go back anything like as frequently as I once did. But the curious loophole here is that (despite being desperately unpopular at a ticket office!) were changeovers to be unlimited - I think they are - I could legitimately toggle back and forth between London season ticket and Isle of Wight and thereby unlock rail travel at the marginal daily difference of c. ?11 per day, on the days I wanted to go to the office. Given the full rail fare is ?35-40 I?d only have to go to London c. 15 days before I made back the initial outlay of c. ?180. Plus any travel (ega lesiure trip to London off peak) benefits from the gold card discount.

The spanner in the works now is I don?t think I?m under the pressure I thought I was to purchase my ticket to Ryde again. However, because of the engineering works in Q1 2021 on the island, is it possible unless I renew now I will not be able to obtain the ticket I desire?!
10  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: Indicators for the future - as rumoured at 18.11.20 on: November 23, 2020, 12:02:23 am
2020 has been bananas enough, without 2021 literally seeing banana trains everywhere!!!
11  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - after Coronavirus to 2045 / Re: Here come the next stages?? on: October 24, 2020, 07:17:59 am
Starting to thin services will be unexpected but still sad. It is a very odd feeling on weekday mornings watching the services hurtling towards Paddington, not being on them. In one sense it?s very reassuring they?re still running - things might return to normal. There?s a sense of the Railway Children about it - that they might get a message to London for me. But on the other hand when you see no passengers on the train it?s quite unnerving. My employers said I won?t be back until Apring 2021 earliest. If anyone has read the Alex cartoon this week in the Telegraph they will have enjoyed the ?ghost train? series Smiley
12  All across the Great Western territory / Broadcast media about railways, and other means of transport / Re: Paddington 24/7, channel 5, 21:00 tonight on: October 24, 2020, 07:07:08 am
This could be an interesting series. I guess it all depends how much footage they got pre pandemic. A bit like the recent Ritz hotel documentary there won?t be a huge amount of interesting stories post March to record.
13  All across the Great Western territory / Broadcast media about railways, and other means of transport / Re: Journeys between places with similar names on: September 28, 2020, 06:37:34 am
The alphabetical station game was fun. I had two original GWR (Great Western Railway) routes

4 stations

Windsor and Eton Central

6 stations (possibly unbeatable)

Falmouth Docks
Falmouth town

I could get a couple of 4s and 5s from the Underground map, but alas the East Coast Main line is the winner with 8.

Edinburgh Waverley

14  Journey by Journey / South Western services / Re: Island Line services, Isle of Wight. General discussion on: September 16, 2020, 07:04:52 pm
Slightly off topic but it was a delight to ride on the old trains over the August Bank Holiday. I managed to use my downgraded Gold Card between Ryde Esplanade and Ryde St Johns (and benefit from the Gold Card discount for onward travel to Shanklin!) Was a wonderful experience to ride a tube train after what is now 6 months since the daily commute to London was drastically cut!
15  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Infrastructure problems in Thames Valley causing disruption elsewhere - ongoing, since Oct 2014 on: June 20, 2020, 07:33:22 am
Glad to see the end of the week of easing lockdown restrictions brings other forms of familiarity ie non working trains!
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