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1  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: National Railcard discounts - ongoing discussion, no longer date specific on: October 19, 2017, 08:49:22 PM
There is an article on MoneySavingExpert about speculation of a 26-30 railcard being trialled by Greater Anglia (see https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/travel/2017/10/new-26-30-railcard-to-be-trialled-from-december).

As someone who is in this age group and doesn't travel by train much now due to the cost, I'm rather supportive, but it will just delay my lack of usage by another few years.

I'm also concerned about the digital only aspect of the card.  Great for short journeys, not ideal for a longer journey where you may runout of charge.

Err... Reply #59 of this thread, et seq. More than just speculation.
Oops  Lips sealed  Only just saw the news story today.
2  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: National Railcard discounts - ongoing discussion, no longer date specific on: October 19, 2017, 06:19:52 PM
There is an article on MoneySavingExpert about speculation of a 26-30 railcard being trialled by Greater Anglia (see https://www.moneysavingexpert.com/news/travel/2017/10/new-26-30-railcard-to-be-trialled-from-december).

As someone who is in this age group and doesn't travel by train much now due to the cost, I'm rather supportive, but it will just delay my lack of usage by another few years.

I'm also concerned about the digital only aspect of the card.  Great for short journeys, not ideal for a longer journey where you may runout of charge.
3  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Walk from Ash Vale to North Camp - 50p charge on: October 17, 2017, 08:33:52 PM
Whether there are any advances on sale for Bristol, let alone those cheap ones,  is another question.
There are indeed cheap fares, I've just booked one for December.

Had to do a bit of work with the booking engine (Red Spotted Hanky, redeeming my Tesco vouchers) to get it though.  It offered the following itinerary on the 08:25 from Ash at 57.00 advance:

Ash - Reading 08:25-09:00
Reading - Bristol Parkway 09:11-10:04
Bristol Parkway - Bristol Temple Meads 10:12-10:24

But, specifying "avoid Bristol Parkway", I managed to get the following at 11.50:

Ash - Reading 08:25-09:00
Reading - Bristol Temple Meads 09:29-10:43

I'm happy to delay myself by 19 minutes to save 45.50, and also reduce the number of changes.  Presumably the cheapest fare is still available because most people don't know to add an avoid to the search.
4  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Excessing a ticket - a great way if your return plans change on: October 17, 2017, 07:21:13 PM
I had exactly the same issue at Ely last year, except the member of staff wouldn't budge on anything but selling me a new single.  He didn't seem to understand what I wanted by an "excess fare", despite me seeing a "Excess Fare" button on his computer screen  Huh

Managed to get the zero fare from the East Midlands Trains conductor on my next connection, who was rather helpful.  Turned out it's the first time he'd ever issued a ticket to Berney Arms.  Sadly the train (one of two per day) was cancelled so I never made it there.
5  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Walk from Ash Vale to North Camp - 50p charge on: October 17, 2017, 07:16:10 PM
I've moved house (yet, again) back into GWR territory.  I'm currently looking for advance fares from Ash (or Ash Vale) to Bristol Temple Meads.

Selecting origin Ash gives advance fares starting at 11.50.  North Camp gives the same fare.

But choose Ash Vale and the fare is 12.00.  Only difference in the itinerary: "Walk from Ash Vale to North Camp".  A 50p  charge to walk under your own steam.

I wonder if there is any logic to this?
6  All across the Great Western territory / Across the West / Re: Increased police deployment on trains and at railway stations on: May 25, 2017, 09:21:05 PM
Photographs on Twitter today of armed officers on-board trains: https://twitter.com/elliotwagland/status/867749792084099072

I can't help but think the size of the weapon is totally inappropriate for the limited space in which they are working.

Personally, I find the thought of police with machine guns on-board trains to be more worrying than the minute risk of a terrorist attack.  Without putting officers on every train, what's the chance of a police officer being on the same train as a terrorist?
7  All across the Great Western territory / Diary - what's happening when? / Re: Old Oak Common Open Day - Saturday 2nd September 2017 on: May 09, 2017, 07:15:34 PM
Tickets are on sale as of a couple of hours ago. Grabbed mine already.  Grin
Thanks for the heads up.  I have added it to the forum calendar.

Ticket prices:
Adults 20
Children 4-15 10
Group (2 adults + 2 children or 1 adult + 3 children) 45
VIP Tour 70

There is also a payment card fee.  For one adult ticket, it comes up as 52p for a Visa Credit, 30p for a Mastercard Credit, 24p for Mastercard Debit and 24p for Visa Debit.  Oddly, it is 25p for a foreign issued Mastercard Debit.

http://oocopenday.com/tickets.html
8  All across the Great Western territory / Diary - what's happening when? / Re: Old Oak Common Open Day - Saturday 2nd September 2017 on: April 19, 2017, 10:47:18 AM
Hi does anyone have any information on this event such as how to obtain tickets etc ?
Thanks in advance

Will.
Welcome to the forum.  There is a placeholder website at http://oocopenday.com/, but no opportunity to purchase tickets yet.

I am sure there will be a contignent of Coffee Shop members attending.  I plan on going, but will have to double check my diary nearer the time (it potentially clashes with travel to a conference).
9  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Less delay in tickets being available from TVMs on: April 08, 2017, 02:34:05 PM

 I do not regularly book tickets online, but from what I assume reading posts.

 Use a debit card and GWR website ?
It seems any of the First Group websites are best at the moment, since you earn Nectar points.  GWR sometimes offer discounts on their own Advance fares.  For journeys involving other TOCs, it is worth checking out their website(s) too for specific discounts.

As for debit card, there is no credit card fee (on GWR anyway), so it doesn't really matter which card you use.  A cashback credit card may be the best, if you have one.
10  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Shortest journey to use the sleeper? on: April 06, 2017, 05:15:47 PM
I just came across this myself on a slightly different journey.

For the journey grahame quoted above, the fare offered is a Anytime Day Single (Route Not Via Bristol) at 17.10.

The booking engine doesn't offer a berth.  Maybe there is a minimum travel distance?
11  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Less delay in tickets being available from TVMs on: April 06, 2017, 05:09:22 PM
Unfortunately, four years on, The Train Line powered websites are still not offering tickets for collection immediately.

Travelling to St Andrews via a bus connection from Leuchars.  As the bus element is not railcard discounted, it was cheaper to split the tickets into two: one to Leuchars and another for the bus only from Leuchars to St Andrews.

TVM at my origin (a ScotRail station) only offered tickets from that station, so bought my ticket to Leuchars only.  "ST ANDREWS BUS" was a destination I could select on that machine.

On arrival at Leuchars, ticket office was closed whilst the staff member performed other duties.  TVM (a different type of machine) did not offer "ST ANDREWS BUS", only "ST ANDREWS ROAD" (the one on the Severn Beach Line, sigh).  Bought ticket online at ScotRail website (tried GWR for the Nectar points, but they didn't offer the destination).  Ticket purchased, went to collect it.  Booking reference not found.  Gave it about 10 minutes.  No luck.

By this time, the guy from the ticket office was back behind the window.  He tried the booking reference on his computer.  Again, no luck.  Fortunately, he was able to sell the ticket I needed.

Straight on the phone to ScotRail (aka Train Line) to ask for a refund on my uncollected ticket.  Telephone operator didn't seem surprised by my predicament.  Seems like they get this situation often.  He offered to refund the ticket immediately, without needing to collect and return.

You really would think, in the year 2017, that adding data to a database and retrieving it from a machine could be done in realtime.  Obviously not.
12  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Forgetful Railcard holders get fairer deal with refund offer on: March 21, 2017, 07:18:26 PM
I'm sure there will be checks made of said railcard if one requests a refund in this circumstance.
I'm sure there will, but there is no way of proving a specific railcard holder purchased a specific ticket.  This is probably less of a problem for season ticket holders since the journey has to match that of the season.
13  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: Forgetful Railcard holders get fairer deal with refund offer on: March 21, 2017, 05:57:31 PM
I think the season is worth far more?
It depends on the ticket held.  Someone who forgets a season ticket from Clifton Down to Temple Meads will be out of pocket by 2.  Whereas a railcard left at home on a Bristol to Edinburgh anytime return is 125 out of pocket.

Expensive season tickets are generally used in conjunction with a photo card, but at the other extreme some railcards do not use photo ID at all.   So there is scope for people to share some railcards aimed at single people.   That in itself is a good reason not to allow multiple 'errors'...

Paul
This is definitely an important factor.  I have previously overheard senior railcard holders telling others to "share their railcards when not in use".
14  All across the Great Western territory / Looking forward - 2018 to 2045 / Re: Next generation of sleeper services on: March 20, 2017, 07:19:12 PM
I feel certain that significant numbers of both business and leisure travelers would use a sleeper service between the southwest and Scotland.
Firstly say 8 or 10 hours on a sleeper train is spent sleeping/relaxing and is no more wasted than is the time spent sleeping any other night.
If I had to be in Scotland by say 10-00 I would prefer to arrive well rested from perhaps 10 hours on a sleeper train, than after waking before dawn to get an expensive taxi to the airport to check in at perhaps 06-00 for a flight that departs at 07-30 and arrives at 08-45.
I've done a few day trips to Scotland in recent years (both Glasgow and Edinburgh) for business (I've been teaching a class there).

It's great to have a (reasonable) sleep in your own bed, then go back to sleep in your own bed the same night, ready for work the next day (in all cases I've been home between 9pm and 10pm).  I live alone, but if I had a family, this would be a massively important factor in the decision making.

Also cheaper to fly.  No sleeper berth needed, fewer meals out and less time spent away from the office.  Less luggage to carry*.

* = Even on day trips, I carried a change of shirt and underwear, in the unlikely event the flight was cancelled.

Regardless of what I've written above, the sleeper definitely has it's uses.  If I were making a longer business trip, I would consider using the sleeper either side.
15  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Trains that are sensitive to their passengers on: March 18, 2017, 10:42:14 AM
A useful display would also be an indicator of how many seats are available in each carriage.  Weight or pressure sensors could be fitted to the seats, similar to the seatbelt warnings in some cars.
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