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Author Topic: Swindon to Birmingham via Bristol Parkway  (Read 1403 times)
ellendune
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« on: January 07, 2020, 09:30:14 pm »

The new timetable makes travel times from Swindon to Birmingham more difficult.

I wish to be in Birmingham by about 10:00am on 14th January and return just after 16:00

The outward journey is the difficult one on the permitted routes as the options are

07:09 and get there at 09:18 (change Reading) - an early start then a long sit around in Birmingham before my meeting
08:11 and get there at 10:18 (change Reading) - too tight to get to my meeting

Cheltenham changes are effectively ruled out by the new timetable. 

The planner does show an 08:10 arriving at 09:58 which would be ideal but it involves changes at Bristol Parkway which is not a permitted route and ends up being much more expensive.

I am aware that when travelling beyond Birmingham the Bristol Parkway option becomes a permitted route. I have two questions:

1) How far beyond Birmingham do I have to travel for the Parkway option to become permitted
2) Is there a station I could buy a ticket to that would be cheaper than my two ticket option via Parkway

I do not wish to use an advance ticket particularly for the return journey. 

One of us has a senior railcard the other does not. 
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bignosemac
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« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2020, 11:54:21 pm »

Provided the desire to travel via Bristol Parkway is not a prerequisite.

0729 Swindon - Cheltenham Spa 0831
0840 Cheltenham Spa - Birmingham New St 0925

1630 Birmingham New St - Gloucester 1728
1750 Gloucester - Swindon 1834

Tickets:

Swindon - Stroud Anytime Day Return £19.00
Stroud - Gloucester Off Peak Day Return £5.30 (Yes, Off Peak. Valid after 0500!)
Gloucester - Birmingham New St Anytime Return £45.40

If you don't make the 9 minute connection at Cheltemham in the morning there's another Birmingham service at 0859, arriving 0945.

Total: £69.70 (Railcard £46.00)
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JontyMort
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2020, 08:06:08 am »

Provided the desire to travel via Bristol Parkway is not a prerequisite.

0729 Swindon - Cheltenham Spa 0831
0840 Cheltenham Spa - Birmingham New St 0925


I too came up with these, but curiously they are not revealed by (say) East Coast if you put in Swindon to Brum via Cheltenham Spa. This despite it being the obvious route.

The connection times at Cheltenham are academic, since there are only two platforms. So either the GWR train gets out of Gloucester in front of the XC from Bristol or it doesn’t. There is usually plenty of padding for the reversal at Gloucester.
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JontyMort
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« Reply #3 on: January 08, 2020, 08:20:10 am »

Provided the desire to travel via Bristol Parkway is not a prerequisite.

0729 Swindon - Cheltenham Spa 0831
0840 Cheltenham Spa - Birmingham New St 0925


I too came up with these, but curiously they are not revealed by (say) East Coast if you put in Swindon to Brum via Cheltenham Spa...

... but if you try “via Gloucester” it comes up with them nicely. Bizarre.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #4 on: January 08, 2020, 10:11:55 am »

Not bizarre - i thought it only displayed 'permitted route' journeys without any 'via' being stated?
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stuving
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« Reply #5 on: January 08, 2020, 10:20:42 am »

Not bizarre - i thought it only displayed 'permitted route' journeys without any 'via' being stated?

But it is a permitted route - in fact the most direct one. Via Bristol Parkway isn't permitted, but is chosen as quicker than the alternative permitted route via Didcot (or Reading). On NRE, just won't come up with change at CNM northbound, but will southbound, which does seem very odd. It also seems happy with short change times; 7 minutes at BPW from XC sounds pretty dodgy to me.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #6 on: January 08, 2020, 10:39:40 am »

in that case, there's a quicker journey available at that time.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #7 on: January 08, 2020, 11:00:59 am »

Well, nationalrail is showing me, without putting in any vias:
0741 Swindon – Bristol Parkway 0802
0809 Bristol Parkway – Birmingham NS 0925

Which is odd if it isn't a permitted route.

The OP might like to note this costs £82.90 one way!  Shocked
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stuving
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« Reply #8 on: January 08, 2020, 12:08:11 pm »

in that case, there's a quicker journey available at that time.

Exactly. The 8:297:29 SWI-CNM is a slow one, so leaving at 8:417:41 via BPW connects with the same XC train north. But I'm still surprised that OJP suppresses a permitted route in favour of a non-permitted one - I'd expect it to offer both, if its rules about time and price differences do allow the non-permitted one.

On OJP you can tell it to avoid BPW, which does remove those - I'm not sure all other JPs offer that.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2020, 05:04:43 pm by stuving » Logged
Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #9 on: January 08, 2020, 12:12:25 pm »

What is OJP? Online journey planner, I presume, but any particular one?
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Tuesday had come down through Dundrum and Foster Avenue, brine-fresh from sea-travel, a corn-yellow sun-drench that called forth the bees at an incustomary hour to their bumbling.
ellendune
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« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2020, 01:13:06 pm »

Well, nationalrail is showing me, without putting in any vias:
0741 Swindon – Bristol Parkway 0802
0809 Bristol Parkway – Birmingham NS 0925

Which is odd if it isn't a permitted route.

The OP might like to note this costs £82.90 one way!  Shocked

I did note this - that is what prompted my question.

On further investigation I entered the route Swindon to Cheltenham into OJP and got:

07:54 Swindon arr Cheltenham Spa 09:05 - (via Stroud) Fare anytime return £27.10
08:10 Swindon arr Cheltenham Spa 09:14 (change Bristol Parkway)  - Fare anytime return £32.10

So for Cheltenham they seem to have a new via Bristol Parkway fare.  Since this second option is the train I want to be on to get me into Birmingham at 09:58 then a split at Cheltenham give me

£32.00 + £44.50 = £76:50 Which is less than the £99.30 Anytime return Swindon to Birmingham

Can anyone see anything wrong with this?

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ChrisB
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« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2020, 02:03:19 pm »

£32.10 isn't it? Wink
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stuving
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« Reply #12 on: January 08, 2020, 04:07:08 pm »

What is OJP? Online journey planner, I presume, but any particular one?

Yes, I meant NRE's - I think that's it's name, officially. However, prompted to check, I find on the NRE site they don't use that name (but they are live links), and the NRCoT uses the URL or National Rail Journey Planner. So when I'm feeling lazy (i.e. most of the time) perhaps NRJP would be better.
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Bmblbzzz
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« Reply #13 on: January 08, 2020, 04:50:51 pm »

Okay, I thought it might be another resource I was unaware of!
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Tuesday had come down through Dundrum and Foster Avenue, brine-fresh from sea-travel, a corn-yellow sun-drench that called forth the bees at an incustomary hour to their bumbling.
ellendune
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« Reply #14 on: January 08, 2020, 05:00:11 pm »

£32.10 isn't it? Wink

Yes, Sorry
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