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Author Topic: Best fare request.  (Read 1046 times)
grahame
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« on: January 02, 2017, 02:18:11 PM »

OK - fares experts  Grin ... first one for 2017

Melksham to Motherwell with senior railcard.  Outbound early this Friday, returning late in the day on Saturday / expecting overnight stop on the way to be home by 15:00 on Sunday.

Suggestions on routes / ticketing options welcome.   Would prefer to avoid the overnight National Express coach from Glasgow to Heathow or to Victoria!  Also prefer not advanced to give some flexibility
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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2017, 05:57:25 PM »

Melksham to Motherwell with senior railcard.  Outbound early this Friday, returning late in the day on Saturday / expecting overnight stop on the way to be home by 15:00 on Sunday.

"bump" ... headed up tomorrow ... looks like splits less good than in the past as I have to be fairly specific on train up and flexible on way back.

Up on 07:20, change at Cheltenham Spa.    Optionally change at Birmingham and Glasgow too or have a VERY long Voyager ride.

Back - I MAY be lucky and catch the 16:54 on Saturday to get me to Bradford-on-Avon before midnight, or now leave it to the Sunday
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chrisr_75
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« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2017, 06:18:41 PM »

Perhaps a bit more faff with getting to/from airports, parking etc., but Easyjet currently have return fares from BRS to GLA at £82.98 (no hold luggage), outbound 9.30 Friday, inbound 14.50 Sunday - other flight times currently available. Flight time 1h45. 35 mins from GLA to Motherwell centre by car/taxi, a bit more by public transport.
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2017, 06:55:19 PM »

Perhaps a bit more faff with getting to/from airports, parking etc., but Easyjet currently have return fares from BRS to GLA at £82.98 (no hold luggage), outbound 9.30 Friday, inbound 14.50 Sunday - other flight times currently available. Flight time 1h45. 35 mins from GLA to Motherwell centre by car/taxi, a bit more by public transport.

Tempting - especially to catch the 11:30 flight tomorrow, and if the 20:20 return from Glasgow was available on Saturday night I would probably go for it.  No car available though - so I'm looking at another £33 for to / from airport, plus 6 changes in each direction and checkins and security adding around 3 hours to the headline flight time and the flying "deal" isn't as obvious.
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stuving
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« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2017, 08:57:24 PM »

I've been looking at a similar - or apparently so - trip in a couple of weeks. From Reading to Biggar, which is in the railway desert south of Motherwell. While Carstairs looks an obvious railhead, it's no use coming up from Carsisle - no trains stop.

So the journey has to be completed by bus and, as there's a direct bus from Edinburgh, that works better than Glasgow (or Motherwell/Lanark/Carstairs). And there's a super off-peak return at £100 that's not too restricted timewise, and also allows cross-country routes. I did wonder about getting a ticket to Carstairs, which gives the option of doing part of that last leg by train - it's actually cheaper (though off-peak), and offers an impressive array of routings. However, there are more restrictions, and they vary with the route so a lot of checking is needed.

Melksham, by comparison with Reading, has no super off-peak and worse restrictions on its off-peak, as well as costing more.

All this peering at restriction codes has shown up a puzzle - that familiar issue about returning across London in the evening. All these codes have a standard bit of text about the significance of the network Area. This is not strictly necessary, but it explains the lack of restrictions on the Reading-London leg and return. Except it doesn't. It says:
Quote
NETWORK AREA:
The 'Network area' is defined as the area in which the Network railcard is valid. For details see Network Railcard map.

Off-Peak tickets for journeys starting within the Network Area to destinations outside the Network Area with travel via London are valid by any train to London, to connect with trains from London.

Off-Peak tickets for journeys starting outside the Network Area for travel via London use restrictions from the origin station to London and return. Unless shown otherwise, they are unrestricted between London and the destination station, and return.

That doesn't mention the return from London to (e.g.) Reading. As I say, I don't believe it is what defines the restrictions - just odd that it's missing. Journey Planner knows that leg is not subject to the evening block on off-peak travel on fast trains.


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grahame
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« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2017, 09:42:07 PM »

It's a complicated mess, isn't it?

I've been looking at a similar - or apparently so - trip in a couple of weeks. From Reading to Biggar, which is in the railway desert south of Motherwell. While Carstairs looks an obvious railhead, it's no use coming up from Carsisle - no trains stop.

Even Motherwell is pretty frustrating as far as that's concerned with lots of journey options involving a trip via Glasgow and an express passage through Motherwell the best part of an hour earlier / later.  I suppose the ultimate frustration would be if the express got stopped by signals in the station ...

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So the journey has to be completed by bus and, as there's a direct bus from Edinburgh, that works better than Glasgow (or Motherwell/Lanark/Carstairs).

Have you looked at bus 102 from Dumfries to Biggar? https://bustimes.org.uk/services/EDAO102

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Melksham, by comparison with Reading, has no super off-peak and worse restrictions on its off-peak, as well as costing more.

But it does have "not via London" with off peak valid from 04:15 for very long distance journeys ...

Quote
All this peering at restriction codes has shown up a puzzle - that familiar issue about returning across London in the evening.

That doesn't mention the return from London to (e.g.) Reading. As I say, I don't believe it is what defines the restrictions - just odd that it's missing. Journey Planner knows that leg is not subject to the evening block on off-peak travel on fast trains.

Just beware that this stuff's pretty complicated and I have seen reports of Journey planner knowing better than some rail staff - so I suggest you carry a few printouts, a bunch of patience, a posey of politeness and your best smile.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2017, 09:56:11 PM by grahame » Logged

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grahame
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« Reply #6 on: January 05, 2017, 10:06:15 PM »

My conclusion in the end is to spend a day working on the train tomorrow - just one change all the way from Melksham to Motherwell.  Fare-wise, the off-peak from 04:15 makes any splits near pointless as I'm leaving Melksham in the local peak, and anyway most of the local returns are day returns, and I'm gone for 2 or 3.  Also by not splitting, I can go out via the white rose and back via the red.
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stuving
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« Reply #7 on: January 06, 2017, 11:54:57 PM »

Have you looked at bus 102 from Dumfries to Biggar? https://bustimes.org.uk/services/EDAO102

Well, yes - it is the bus from Edinburgh. Sadly, only a third of the 101/102 buses keep going to Dumfries, so there is only one of any use each way. And the trains are mostly every two hours, so ...  you can guess the rest. The level of enthusiasm for spending a couple of hours waiting in Dumfries in January was surprisingly low. Maybe later in the year? But it would be cheaper, and OK timewise if the connection worked. Oh well -thanks for the suggestion, anyway.
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grahame
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« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2017, 05:37:18 AM »

...  you can guess the rest. The level of enthusiasm for spending a couple of hours waiting in Dumfries ...

Yep, "if people used the connection, we would make it usable" official answer, no doubt.

In the end, I opted to take the XC train all the way from Cheltenham Spa to Motherwelll ... where it arrived over half an hour late.   Prompted by announcements by the train manager on an earlier leg of the journey, I have filed for "delay repay" - more to see how the system works than because of a desire to help the compensation culture flourish.  My first ever claim on delay - let's see what happens.
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grahame
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« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2017, 05:40:17 PM »

...  you can guess the rest. The level of enthusiasm for spending a couple of hours waiting in Dumfries ...

Yep, "if people used the connection, we would make it usable" official answer, no doubt.


I'm headed back south - excellent set of train connections all the way Motherwell to Bath Spa ... where the train from Bristol conveniently arrives 5 minutes after the last bus to Melksham and Devizes has left.   Couldn't make it up!
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Western Pathfinder
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« Reply #10 on: March 09, 2017, 09:26:57 AM »

I have to travel from Sea Mills to Torquay next week Wed 15th out and back same day
Off Peak £ 37:60 return any point in splitting to save ? As Allways advice is welcome  Smiley.
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Fourbee
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« Reply #11 on: March 09, 2017, 11:16:14 AM »

Splitting at Taunton might be good.
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Western Pathfinder
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« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2017, 11:30:25 PM »

Thanks for the Taunton split tip saved myself just over£8:00 most appreciated .
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