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Author Topic: Looking for advice on fares, or answers to fare questions?  (Read 4930 times)
grahame
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« on: June 07, 2016, 11:09:33 pm »

Are you here to seek fares advise?  There's a general introduction - a talk on bus and train fares I gave to the TransWilts Link meeting on 16th April 2016 - at http://atrebatia.info/faretalk.pdf .  Although it's targetted at Wiltshire, much of the advice is valid right across the Great Western network.

Have a read also of some of the threads on this board - they will give you lots of thoughts and may help answer many questions.

We have a number of forum members who know quite a bit about fares, what's available, and how they can be used within the rules. What I've learned from them forms the basis of that introduction, and if you post questions here they'll be happy to help you too - if I know or can reseerch the answer easily.

If posting a question, please provide as much background as you can. No need to answer everything but the more we know of these the better:
   Where you're starting and where you want to end up
   Dates of travel
   Times of day and how flexible you are with those
   Whether your plans may change
   If and when you're coming back
   The size of your party and any railcards held

Please bear in mind that advise is given to the best of my / our ability, but we're not lawyers nor trained on ticketing, so you need to double-check if in doubt, and we can't be held responsible if we get it wrong.  Mind you, if we do get in wrong in public, another member will usually post to tell us - making the end result pretty darned accurate!

Penalty fares were recently extended to cover the whole Great Western network, and if you have an opportunity to buy a ticket before you join the train, you must do so or you may be asked to pay a penalty fare or be prosecuted. There aren't ticket machines at some of the smaller stations, and in that case it's OK to join the train without a ticket and pay the conductor.  The same applies where the only means of payment at a station is credit or debit card, but you want to pay in cash.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2016, 04:28:20 am by grahame » Logged

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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: June 09, 2016, 05:46:02 am »

Here are some of the research tools and sites that I use when faced with a times / fares / validity question ... I've not tried to sort these sites into any particular order.

https://www.gwr.com/your-journey/train-times
http://www.brfares.com/#home
http://tickets.gwr.com/gw/en/JourneyPlanning/Wizard/
http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/farefinder/search
http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/seasonticket/search
http://www.railcard.co.uk
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/17.aspx
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/static/documents/content/NRCOC.pdf
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/rangers_and_rovers.aspx
http://www.atoc.org/clientfiles/files/easements.pdf
http://data.atoc.org/member-area
http://data.atoc.org/routeing-guide
http://www.google.co.uk/

On some occasions I may look at other sites too, but bear in mind that bookings made throught them cost commissions, have extra charges, or offer only limited ranges of options. Included in this list are sites such as http://splitticketing.co.uk and https://www.thetrainline.com . Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) offer a limited range of tickets through their front panels - some more extensive than others - and there are some concerns that you're not always offered the lowest available fare for the journey you're making.  Remember you can order a far wider range of tickets online and collect from a TVM ... I have sat on the concourse at Paddington and ordered tickets from the machine just across from me, late in the evening when the ticket office for advance tickets had closed and the chap was selling immediate travel tickets only.

There is a huge range of different tickets available, restrictions differ especially in relation to which trains they can be used - somtimes down to lists of individual trains. If using a less common ticket, you may come across staff members not immediately familiar with your ticket, and I have found it helpful at times to carry printouts of the ticket sale with my specified trains online and / or various other screen captures.

Please feel free to add your own favourite tools to this thread - I may split discussion into a separate thread, but I will add a fresh post listing other recommendations and giving credit should that happen.
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johnneyw
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« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2017, 10:43:56 pm »

I feel a BNM plea is required here. I'm looking to get the best ticket price for a jaunt from Redland to Betws-Y-Coed in Sept, probably from Thursday 7 September to 8 or 9th. Either that or Thursday 21 to 22 or 23. Best I've got yet is 89.90. Can anyone beat that?
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2017, 11:22:53 pm »

I feel a BNM plea is required here. I'm looking to get the best ticket price for a jaunt from Redland to Betws-Y-Coed in Sept, probably from Thursday 7 September to 8 or 9th. Either that or Thursday 21 to 22 or 23. Best I've got yet is 89.90. Can anyone beat that?

That's an anytime return via Hereford with no railcard, right?
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bignosemac
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« Reply #4 on: July 28, 2017, 01:59:20 am »

I feel a BNM plea is required here. I'm looking to get the best ticket price for a jaunt from Redland to Betws-Y-Coed in Sept, probably from Thursday 7 September to 8 or 9th. Either that or Thursday 21 to 22 or 23. Best I've got yet is 89.90. Can anyone beat that?

Any other rail or bus travel during the jaunt? Any plans to visit rail based attractions (Ffestiniog etc)?

If so, then the Explore Wales Pass at 99 may represent better value than point to point. Discounts on a variety of tourist attractions. Add to that a couple of Day Singles between Redland<->Severn Tunnel Junction. No need to call at STJ if the Explore Wales Pass is held.

Change at Newport for services to North Wales.

http://www.railrover.org/pages/explore-wales-pass.html
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grahame
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« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2017, 08:18:47 am »

Any other rail or bus travel during the jaunt? Any plans to visit rail based attractions (Ffestiniog etc)?

If so, then the Explore Wales Pass at 99 may represent better value than point to point. Discounts on a variety of tourist attractions. Add to that a couple of Day Singles between Redland<->Severn Tunnel Junction. No need to call at STJ if the Explore Wales Pass is held.


The Coast and Peaks Rover is another interesting one at 73
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/prc43aadc35ce7410164353812d29a02.aspx

Especially if you could find low cost Advances from Bristol to Stafford, Telford or Tamworth (as rare as hen's teeth, I appreciate). Further splits at CNM and WVH might also bring that down.

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johnneyw
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« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2017, 12:54:43 pm »

Wow, thanks to you both. No railcards presently. I'm going through the suggested options right now. It's a largely rail based little adventure, inspired by week camping in Snowdonia earlier this month when it struck me what an interesting journey it might be.

We pitched our tents right next to Meillionen Station on the Welsh Highlands Railway for the duration of our visit and consequently that and the Festiniogg are done (and they are bl**dy good). It does seem the network rail lines up there are quite stunning and a nice 2-3 day jaunt.
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