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Author Topic: "Help how do i get train tickets"  (Read 826 times)
grahame
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« on: July 21, 2019, 02:17:45 am »

Welcome to the world of public transport where a simple question often has multiple answers of varying degrees of completeness, complexity and accuracy.  Following from a (bus) thread I read elsewhere - public posts .... ((here))



Help how do i get train tickets

Go to a train station and buy them. Go online and buy them. Buy them on the train. It's pretty easy you know!

Trainline

National Rail Enquiries

On train or the some train stations or online

Can you not get combined bus and train tickets? If you want both?
- not in bristol
- I do apologise, I thought thought that you could buy one that covers both
- yes you actually can have both. Its the "freedom" ticket
- thank you
- Plusbus


Often drivers who do not issue enough of these are not wary how to process one on a ticketer.
Other cons are waryness of inspection on geographic zone validity should you use any alternative mode to whoever issued the ticket thinking that there are no rights to validity even though it is so.
I strongly recommend you carry a summary of such a ticket oweing to lack of demand where rights of travel are described in the event of grose misconduct


Trains are free, just hop over the gates

Buy one



So - would members here care to suggest how they might answer?
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rogerw
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« Reply #1 on: July 21, 2019, 07:05:22 pm »

I would never recommend Trainline to anyone as they charge fees.  I suspect they only get customers because of their somewhat misleading adverets which suggest they can sell you cheaper tickets.  I would always recommend using a TOC site
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I like to travel.  It lets me feel I'm getting somewhere.
johnneyw
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« Reply #2 on: July 21, 2019, 09:23:38 pm »

There are also ticket splitting sites but as a caveat I have found that these sites do not always work that well.
I've "beaten" the algorithms on occasion with a bit of knowledge of where to split tickets regionally.  I've also found that on occasion, a couple of advanced singles are cheaper. As a result I'd use these sites for some comparisons but not as a sole resource.
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grahame
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« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2019, 07:20:54 am »

In an ideal world, all passengers would be quickly, easily and uniformly able to obtain the most appropriate and cost effective ticket(s) for their journey.  Sadly this is a complex and none-ideal world.

The question was (by how it was written) from either a novice or a troll.  So - assuming a novice



* If the journey is a short one starting at a station with a staffed open ticket office (help, how do I know if it has those facilities the first time?) go along there in good time and ask nicely, letting the ticket office clerk know about your complete round trip.   You may we graduate to a ticket machine, or online booking once you pass your entry level exam to use the train Grin

* If the journey is a short one starting at a station with a ticket machine but without a staffed open ticket office, do your best with the machine, but bear in mind it may not offer the full ticket range / take cash.  If in doubt, get a "permit to travel" or "intent to pay" (Northern have brought those in) if you can't work out / get your ticket and the machine offers them - and in any case if in doubt seek out the train manager when you join the train.

* From a station without any ticket facilities, there should be a train manager who comes to see you when you have joined the train.  As in the first case with a staffed ticket office, explain your full journey including the return trip.

The above aren't guaranteed to find you the cheapest fare but for a shorter journey more often than not you will get the best available from a real person the first time, and staff are trained to be helpful to newcomers.  Remember that it's in everyone's interest to have you find the experience an easy and pleasant one, and one that you'll want to repeat ...

For a longer journey ... oh goodness ... the difference between the various fares on offer can be staggering and you can easily end up paying far more than you need to.  To my knowledge, there is no official, industry sponsored person or organisation who's job it is to answer individual newcomer passenger's questions and help them get best value.



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johnneyw
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« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2019, 11:10:51 am »


For a longer journey ... oh goodness ... the difference between the various fares on offer can be staggering and you can easily end up paying far more than you need to.  To my knowledge, there is no official, industry sponsored person or organisation who's job it is to answer individual newcomer passenger's questions and help them get best value.




Perhaps just as Compare the Market now has "Auto Sergei", the rail industry should now provide "Auto BNM"?
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broadgage
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« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2019, 03:19:52 pm »

Or perhaps the fares should be greatly simplified in order that an average person may choose the most suitable from a very small number.

Ideally I would like only two different fares, peak and of peak for local journeys, and a limit of three different fares for longer journeys.

Example, From mid Wurzleshire to London Paddington.

Super off peak ticket £20, valid only on trains arriving Paddington before 06-30 or after 20-00
Off peak ticket £35, valid on all trains except those arriving at London between 07-30 and 10-00.
Peak ticket £55, valid on any train.

From mid Wurzleshire to inner London area. Valid to any station within zones, 1, 2, and 3, above prices plus £5
From mid Wurzleshire to outer London area. Valid to any station within London travelcard area, above prices plus £8.

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A proper intercity train has a minimum of 8 coaches, gangwayed throughout, with first at one end, and a full sized buffet car between first and standard.
It has space for cycles, surfboards,luggage etc.
A 5 car DMU is not a proper inter-city train. The 5+5 and 9 car DMUs are almost as bad.
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« Reply #6 on: August 07, 2019, 10:10:30 pm »

I learned something today, and apologies if it's old hat or has already been discussed elsewhere.

The ticket machine on Melksham station was yet again out of order. I often use the app on my phone, but on this particular occasion I  was buying tickets for several journeys at once, so I decided that having paper tickets would help me to make sense of all the different journeys, and duly bought them all the day before.

My first journey was only two stops, so I immediately sought out the guard (sorry, I still cannot get my head around using the term "train manager" - old habits die hard), showed him my receipt and offered to pick up my tickets at the next opportunity.

The first thing I learned was that the train manager can now produce the tickets for you based on your booking reference number. They didn't used to be able to do that.

The second thing we both learned was that unlike the machines on the platform that tell you to feed them the credit or debit card that you used to place the order online, but which actually don't give a damn which card you use so long as it's a valid one, the train manager's machine really does need details of the original card. I didn't have it on me as it happens, but I knew the first six digits and the appropriate code, so gave him that and the transaction was successful. A string of tickets was duly produced.

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bobm
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« Reply #7 on: August 07, 2019, 10:58:22 pm »

Glad that didn’t happen to me.  I recently booked a series of journeys which required 37 pieces of card.  I’d have been so popular with the train manager!
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PhilWakely
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« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2019, 05:54:30 am »

The first thing I learned was that the train manager can now produce the tickets for you based on your booking reference number. They didn't used to be able to do that.

The only downside to this is that.......... if the Guard/TM has a machine that produces the large, paper tickets, rather than the 'normal' card tickets and your tickets require a cross London transfer (i.e. underground leg), then the tickets he/she produces will not work the underground barriers. You will then need to either exchange them at Paddington ticket office or seek out a LU person at the underground gateline.
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grahame
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« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2019, 07:00:27 am »

The first thing I learned was that the train manager can now produce the tickets for you based on your booking reference number. They didn't used to be able to do that.

The only downside to this is that.......... if the Guard/TM has a machine that produces the large, paper tickets, rather than the 'normal' card tickets and your tickets require a cross London transfer (i.e. underground leg), then the tickets he/she produces will not work the underground barriers. You will then need to either exchange them at Paddington ticket office or seek out a LU person at the underground gateline.

So the old tickets the TM sold / printed would work the London Underground gates.   The new tickets they produce will not.  How is this progress??
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PhilWakely
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« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2019, 07:20:14 am »

The first thing I learned was that the train manager can now produce the tickets for you based on your booking reference number. They didn't used to be able to do that.

The only downside to this is that.......... if the Guard/TM has a machine that produces the large, paper tickets, rather than the 'normal' card tickets and your tickets require a cross London transfer (i.e. underground leg), then the tickets he/she produces will not work the underground barriers. You will then need to either exchange them at Paddington ticket office or seek out a LU person at the underground gateline.
So the old tickets the TM sold / printed would work the London Underground gates.   The new tickets they produce will not.  How is this progress??

I guess (and maybe wrong) that this is down to the LU gates not having QR code scanners ??
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Wizard
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« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2019, 10:10:00 am »

I was actually thinking yesterday I wouldn’t really know how to buy a train ticket, short of asking somebody in the booking office.
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RA
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« Reply #12 on: August 08, 2019, 10:34:11 am »

The first thing I learned was that the train manager can now produce the tickets for you based on your booking reference number. They didn't used to be able to do that.

The only downside to this is that.......... if the Guard/TM has a machine that produces the large, paper tickets, rather than the 'normal' card tickets and your tickets require a cross London transfer (i.e. underground leg), then the tickets he/she produces will not work the underground barriers. You will then need to either exchange them at Paddington ticket office or seek out a LU person at the underground gateline.

So the old tickets the TM sold / printed would work the London Underground gates.   The new tickets they produce will not.  How is this progress??

I observed somebody collecting tickets on the train the same way earlier this week. The new Star Mobile machines used by the guards require 'online' authorisation for all card tranasctions. Being online now allows Ticket on Departure (ToD) tickets to be issued as well.

Regarding the new style of tickets, unsurprisingly it has nothing to do with passenger convenience but is all about cost.  The paper 'bog roll' style tickets cost a fraction of a pence per ticket. The card tickets cost a penny or two per ticket. Which type you get on the train depends on which depot your guard is based at. On GWR, only depots that sell a significant proportion of cross London tickets have the card ticket stock. As mentioned, paper tickets will not be accepted at the Underground gatelines and must be exchanged for a card ticket prior to using the Underground.

Personally, I see the needlessly oversized paper tickets as a large step backwards. When tickets on trains were issued by Sportis machines (where the poor guard had to carry around multiple fares manuals with them), the paper tickets were the same size as the card ones and fitted nicely in a ticket wallet.

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Phil
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« Reply #13 on: August 08, 2019, 12:17:53 pm »

Which type you get on the train depends on which depot your guard is based at. On GWR, only depots that sell a significant proportion of cross London tickets have the card ticket stock. As mentioned, paper tickets will not be accepted at the Underground gatelines and must be exchanged for a card ticket prior to using the Underground.


I received a connected chain of card tickets (seven in total). The train was a Swindon-Westbury shuttle, so whichever depot the guard was based at it's unlikely to be one which sells a significant amount of cross-London tickets, I should have thought?
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RA
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« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2019, 12:58:22 pm »

Which type you get on the train depends on which depot your guard is based at. On GWR, only depots that sell a significant proportion of cross London tickets have the card ticket stock. As mentioned, paper tickets will not be accepted at the Underground gatelines and must be exchanged for a card ticket prior to using the Underground.


I received a connected chain of card tickets (seven in total). The train was a Swindon-Westbury shuttle, so whichever depot the guard was based at it's unlikely to be one which sells a significant amount of cross-London tickets, I should have thought?

Surprisingly, Westbury depot has a majority of machines that issue tickets on card stock, with a couple of paper roll machines as back up. Gloucester and Weymouth depots have paper roll machines only.
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