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February 24, 2018, 07:43:42 AM *
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1  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: British Airways and cancelled flights - why can't they be like TOC's? on: December 29, 2017, 02:25:08 PM
Providing transport to the other airport is a requirement in the EU261 legislation, whether the delay is within the airline's control or not, unless you opt for a later flight voluntarily.  My understanding is that BA's standard policy is to refund the reasonable cost of reaching the alternative airport (i.e. the tube/DLR fare on a normal day, or a taxi where there is no public transport).

The EU261 regulations also require re-routing, regardless of delay cause.  In practice, you'll only be booked on an alternative carrier if there are no flights on the same or next day.  And then you'll likely only be offered a oneworld flight (in the case of BA).  Even the likes of Ryanair, although not part of an alliance, will only book on certain airlines (easyJet, Jet2, Vueling, CityJet, Aer Lingus, Norwegian and Eurowings, for reference).

You actually get a lot more rights as an air traveller (on journeys covered by EU261) than a rail passenger.  Things like food and drink, telephone calls, hotels and transport are all a legal right, regardless of the cause of delay.

Paying for hold baggage has made the cabin baggage overcrowded so you are likely to get picked off and asked to put you baggage in the hold (for free).  Annoying when you hadn't planned on it. 
Experience suggests BA will allow hand baggage to be checked in before security free of charge (not advertised).  They even have a "hand bag drop" desk at LHR T5, you just have to know about it to realise what it's for Cheesy
2  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: TVM contactless payments on: December 20, 2017, 08:05:42 PM
Does that include withdrawing cash from an ATM?
Provided the ATM uses the chip (instead of the magnetic stripe), then yes, it will reset the counter.  Virtually all ATMs in the UK will read the chip.

I haven't had a chance to test whether an online banking card reader would reset the counter.  I will give that a go at some point in the future.

Also, I haven't had a chance to test whether the card can still be used on TfL services when you are on the 10th transaction.  I know they don't count towards the 10 as no transaction is registered on the card.  The Nationwide card cannot be read by my phone after the 9th transaction, so I am unsure whether the Oyster readers would be able to read it.
3  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: TVM contactless payments on: December 20, 2017, 07:23:15 PM
The issue with this, is every 10th transaction a pin entry is compulsory.

....I would think this only applies under certain conditions. I have used contactless in about half a dozen different places 20 to 30 times each over the last 9 or 10 months and have never had to revert to c&p..

It depends on what's programmed into the card by the issuer.

My Halifax card allows dozens of contactless transactions before requesting a PIN - I think it may have a monetary value instead of a transaction counter.  Whereas the Nationwide consistently requires a PIN on the 10th consecutive contactless transaction.  Any non-contactless transaction resets this counter.
4  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: I don't think my sister's going to understand this ... on: December 20, 2017, 06:56:25 PM
Break of journey is always allowed unless specified in the restrictions.  As you say, 9A does not have this restriction.  Annoyingly, the wording was made less clear in the new NRCoT (compared to NRCoC), but the same still applies.

I would suggest going armed with a copy of 9A (just in case) and hope that the ticket gets issued in a format on which the restriction code is printed.  I did (last week) hear one of those annoying "off peak tickets are not valid on this service"  at Reading, but hopefully the on-train staff will be more knowledgeable to the restrictions.  If you see any on-train staff, that is.  Made it from Ash to Redland (and back), total of 6 trains over a period of 3 hours each way, without seeing any on-board staff and with no-one checking my ticket at all.

It would appear, IMHO, that this ticket has been allocated the wrong restriction code.  But that's not your problem, it's Greater Anglia and GWR's issue.
5  All across the Great Western territory / The Wider Picture in the United Kingdom / Re: Cambridge North Station - requirement, plans, progress on: December 20, 2017, 06:36:15 PM
I have mentioned my first use of the new station at Cambridge North the other week - and I know that I'll be there next month too.  Fortunately walking from the station as according to The Daily Mail the station car park has already been full - if not entirely with rail users as planned.
I wonder if the TOC will be using their byelaw powers to recover the costs of removing the vehicles and/or prosecuting for obstructing the car park?
6  Sideshoots - associated subjects / The Lighter Side / Re: Interesting transport modes on: December 18, 2017, 06:59:13 PM
I met somebody who went to Leicester and told tales of "overriding" the paternoster despite numerous warning signs. Apparently once you go past the top floor it is completely dark as you move laterally before reappearing on the down side.
There's actually quite a few YouTube videos of this:
Leicester University - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upgVoZKvP3M
Vienna City Hall - https://youtu.be/bCmGz8zgGJc?t=90 (sign says something like "get off, last floor"
7  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: National Railcard discounts - ongoing discussion, no longer date specific on: November 28, 2017, 07:14:47 PM
New TVMs installed at some Great Northern stations have a QR code scanner above the touchscreen.  As I can see, this serves no purpose at the moment.  I understand that the new app based railcards include a QR code.  I could see this possibly being used as an authentication measure at some point in the future.

Also, on-train QR code checking will become more common (tickets issued on rolls of paper, and some tickets from ticket machines already include a QR code), so I would think checking of the app railcard's barcode could become part of this process.
8  All across the Great Western territory / Fare's Fair / Re: National Railcard discounts - ongoing discussion, no longer date specific on: November 24, 2017, 08:24:46 PM
Will a 3-year 26-30 railcard bought the day before the 30th birthday be valid for 3 years still?
In the case of the 16-25 railcard, a three year purchase is not available in the final two years of eligibility.  So regardless of whether you buy one or three year versions, the latest you can keep the card is the day before your 27th birthday (except for students).
9  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.
10  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.
11  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.
12  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.
13  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?
14  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?
15  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
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