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Author Topic: First time season ticket - help a newbie out...  (Read 1261 times)
Rostock0
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« on: January 01, 2022, 12:25:51 pm »

Hello, everyone. I am thinking of taking the plunge and buying a GWR (Great Western Railway) annual season ticket for the first time. Could I ask a couple of silly questions about the practicalities of how this actually works, please?

1) The website says that I need a photocard, which I can get from a ticket office. I already have a GWR touch smartcard which has my photo on it - can I use this for my annual season ticket instead of a photocard?

2) Previously I bought daily tickets on the GWR app, and scanned my phone to get through the ticket barriers. Will my new season ticket also be loaded into the app on my phone, allowing me to get through the barriers with my phone? Or will the annual season ticket only exist on my touch smartcard, so I need to use that to get through the barriers and hence can't swan about wallet-free. Or in fact will they post me a physical plastic season ticket, perhaps?

3) I notice it's the same price for Didcot -> London as Oxford -> London. The train from Oxford runs through Didcot to London. I'll generally be travelling from Didcot to London each day, but every once in a blue moon coming home I'll stay on the train through Didcot and get off one stop later at Oxford. Am I allowed to buy a season ticket for Oxford -> London (since it's the same price) and get on and off each day at Didcot? ie can you start/break/terminate your journey as often as you like at any intermediate stations on your season route?

Thanks very much for your help.
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grahame
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« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2022, 04:47:48 pm »

Hello, everyone. I am thinking of taking the plunge and buying a GWR (Great Western Railway) annual season ticket for the first time. Could I ask a couple of silly questions about the practicalities of how this actually works, please?

I can help with the third part ... on the first bits, I hope others can, but I'm rather detached from how such things have changed of late.

Quote
3) I notice it's the same price for Didcot -> London as Oxford -> London. The train from Oxford runs through Didcot to London. I'll generally be travelling from Didcot to London each day, but every once in a blue moon coming home I'll stay on the train through Didcot and get off one stop later at Oxford. Am I allowed to buy a season ticket for Oxford -> London (since it's the same price) and get on and off each day at Didcot? ie can you start/break/terminate your journey as often as you like at any intermediate stations on your season route?

Season tickets are valid for travel as much as you like, and for any intermediate journey along any permitted route. So an Oxford to London ticket is valid from Didcot to London.  Interestingly, an Oxford to London ticket is also valid on Chiltern services, so for the same price you can also visit Bicester Village, Princes Risborough and Wembley.
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ChrisB
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« Reply #2 on: January 01, 2022, 05:55:34 pm »

1. Yes, you can. Or buy a paper version, it’s your decision. BUT with the latter, yes, you also need a paper photocard, not your Touch card.

You can’t get seasons on your phone at all. No ID available on your phone to act as a photocard, so too easily lent to someone else. Or lost/nicked and used.
So yes, you are tight - paper season AND photocard OR loaded onto Touch card. It’s an either/or and I don’t believe you can swap back from Touch to paper either.

3. Definitely go for an Oxford season. Graham is correct above, and the Chiltern barriers at Marylebone should work with both Touch and paper, although breaking journeys at Chiltern stations with barriers often doesn’t work, and you need to ask staff to let you through.
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Rostock0
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« Reply #3 on: January 01, 2022, 08:34:25 pm »

Thanks Graham and Chris, big help. That bit about the Chiltern lines is super-useful, I would never have thought of that.
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: January 02, 2022, 10:13:44 am »

Thanks Graham and Chris, big help. That bit about the Chiltern lines is super-useful, I would never have thought of that.

Excellent.  The ONLY downside I can see of having an Oxford season rather than a Didcot one is if you wanted to get the train at Paddington one evening and stay on to SWINDON or beyond - with a season to Didcot you could take any train including one that did not stop and Didcot, whereas with an Oxford season you might be limited to trains calling at Didcot.

Quote
14.2. If you are using a Season Ticket, daily Zonal Ticket, or another area based Ticket such as a concessionary pass, ranger or rover in conjunction with another Ticket and the last station at which one Ticket is valid and the first station that the other Ticket is valid are the same, then the train does not need to call at that station for your combination to be valid.

Even there, you could argue with an Oxford season that the last station it is valid at [on the journey to Swindon] is Didcot ...

Also to note (in addition to the original answer) that the ticket is to "London Terminals" and that Oxford or Didcot to London services will also let you travel in to Waterloo via Wokingham, Staines, Clapham Junction ....
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Fourbee
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« Reply #5 on: January 02, 2022, 10:42:05 am »

If you buy on Smartcard you'll also get a Gold Record Card (paper)
https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types/annual-gold-card.aspx
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nickswift99
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« Reply #6 on: January 02, 2022, 01:36:44 pm »

If you're thinking of buying a season from Oxford, you may also wish to take advantage of Chiltern's free travel offer.

You'd need to buy your season from Chiltern but would then get free weekend travel on all Chiltern services. See https://www.chilternrailways.co.uk/new-customers#special%20benefits
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ChrisB
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« Reply #7 on: January 02, 2022, 03:38:59 pm »

Hmm, check with Chiltern, I recomnend.

Oxford isn’t ‘a chiltern station’. Yes, chiltern calls there, but it’s very clearly a GWR (Great Western Railway) station. Even bought from a differentvstation that chiltern operates, the season income is splitvwith GWR, who would likely get the majority of the income. So I suspect an Oxford season doesn’t qualify for that offer.
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nickswift99
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« Reply #8 on: January 04, 2022, 11:58:05 am »

On the Chiltern website there is a list of Chiltern Stations (and a helpful route map). This includes Oxford and many stations that are not operated by Chiltern (e.g. West Midlands stations). See https://www.chilternrailways.co.uk/routes-and-destinations

It's worth a go if you want discounted travel to Birmingham at weekends (you'd just need a Gold Card discounted cheap day return from Oxford to Banbury), or you fancy lots of shopping at Bicester village.

I suspect very few people take advantage of this from Oxford as they would need to buy their ticket from a Chiltern ticket office or their website.

On a related point, the Hatton-Lapworth ticket that can be used to get a Network Gold Card also qualifies for free weekend travel on Chiltern making it much more useful if you live near the Chiltern routes.
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w056863
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« Reply #9 on: January 18, 2022, 03:09:19 pm »

I think that the Hatton to Lapworth ticket does not meet the monthly minimum cost (as specified on the website) to avail of free weekend travel on Chiltern
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