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Train ticket puzzle.

Discussion in 'Serious' started by Kronos, 27 Nov 2012.

  1. Kronos

    Kronos Multimodder

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    I have just had a phone call from Leeds hospital offering me the appointment I have been waiting on. She gave me a choice of a couple of dates and I am returning the phone call when I have checked train times etc.

    My question is why does it cost more to buy a return ticket rather than two singles. I am travelling from Edinburgh and it is £94.20 return or £88.00 for two singles.

    Now I might add that it has been quite sometime since I have been on a train and I believe that steam locomotion is obsolete but if anyone can advise on whether it is better to buy singles, and I assume I would need to buy one in Edinburgh and then the second in Leeds or should I just get the return, bear in mind that at the end of the day the NHS will be paying so I suppose the question is really academic
     
  2. RedFlames

    RedFlames ...is not a Belgian football team

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    not so, you can pre-book the tickets and either collect them from your local station [or have them delivered if you do it online]

    as for the pricing... it defies logic... for example:

    when I was uni I had to come home for the weekend, it was cheaper to buy it as 4 singles than a return...
     
  3. st00dent

    st00dent Minimodder

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    many years ago it was cheaper for me to get 2 first class singles, 2 travel cards and 2 more regular singles than it was to get an open return for the whole journey...
     
  4. IamJudd

    IamJudd Modder

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    I just bought my daughter plane tickets for 88£ over the 102£ train fare. Cornwall to London.
     
  5. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    Do not try to fathom the logic of train ticket prices. That way madness lies. Madness, I tell you! MADNESS!!!
     
  6. eddie_dane

    eddie_dane Used to mod pc's now I mod houses

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    Sounds like someone has already tried it...
     
  7. sp4nky

    sp4nky BF3: Aardfrith WoT: McGubbins

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    If you are buying a single ticket, it will often be an "advance" ticket and therefore limited to a single train - if you miss the train, you have to purchase another ticket. Return tickets have a degree of flexibility built in.

    If the NHS is paying, I would recommend purchasing a standard open return, because that affords you the most flexibility. I think everyone knows that NHS appointments can be delayed, right?
     
  8. Nexxo

    Nexxo * Prefab Sprout – The King of Rock 'n' Roll

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    NHS only pays if the patient is on income benefits.
     
  9. sp4nky

    sp4nky BF3: Aardfrith WoT: McGubbins

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    Is that only for England or does Scotland do the same? I know they do some things differently up there.
     
  10. steveo_mcg

    steveo_mcg What's a Dremel?

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    As above singles work like airline tickets, they let the train operators plan and manage capacity for the discount you are fixed to a certain trains. The return tickets are walk on and have fewer restrictions as with all things you pay for flexiblility.
     
  11. Flibblebot

    Flibblebot Smile with me

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    But where it gets even weirder is that your train ticket price is apportioned between ALL of the train companies in the country. That's right, all train companies get a slice of your train ticket pie - regardless of whether or not you actually use that train company.

    This is the reason why it's such a faff to get a train ticket refund - because the company that gives you the refund then has to go round all the other train companies to get their slice of pie back.
     
  12. Cabe6403

    Cabe6403 Supreme Commander

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    If you book in advance, it's cheaper to buy a ticket from Glasgow to Newcastle and get off in Edinburgh than it is to get a ticket from Glasgow to Edinburgh
     
  13. steveo_mcg

    steveo_mcg What's a Dremel?

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    Not quite, the walk on fares go into a pot which is redistributed if the ticket is refunded the money comes from that pot. With the advanced purchase tickets the TOC gets to keep a higher proportion of the fare.

    The problem is the this whole system was designed by a man who still believed it was 1930. To the TOC's and their agents a ticket holds its face value, if an agent issues a refund they have to send the physical ticket to the holder of the pot for walk on fares or to the TOC for advanced purchase fares.

    So you send your ticket to the agent, the agent's agents sort through the enormous pile of refunds they get every day, probably less than a dozen people huddled round a bank of desks in a call centre. They batch the tickets up depending on who the refund is to be issued by. These batches are grouped and sent only once they reach a threshold. At the other end another group of people work through the tickets and issue the appropriate refund to the ticketing agent. Some paperwork on actual paper is then faxed to the agent to tell them they have the money and can refund the purchaser.

    Its a faff because at no point is a computer involved, beyond looking up customers details against a booking reference number when the tickets are first processed.
     
  14. Shirty

    Shirty W*nker! Super Moderator

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    This and the fact that most people will just pick the single without checking the price of singles, because it seems like the logical choice.
     
  15. Margo Baggins

    Margo Baggins I'm good at Soldering Super Moderator

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    The trains are a joke! I travel from Brighton to Aylesbury at least once a month to see my best friend. It's about £70 if I buy an open return. However, If I buy a single from brighton to victoria, booked in advance is 5 - 10 each way, so 10 - 20 total, 4 quid for the underground each way, so 8 quid, and is 20 quid open return from marylebone to aylesbury, so is between 40 and 50 quid - which is exactly the same journey, just booked different but 20 - 30 quid cheaper.
     
  16. yodasarmpit

    yodasarmpit No longer the other Brett.

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    It's quite bad when driving would be cheaper than getting the train.

    Edinburgh to Leeds round trip is around 400 miles
    Petrol at £1.39/l = £6.32/gallon
    Car MPG = 40

    400/40 = 10 gallons
    10*£6.32 = £63.20

    What incentive is there to travel anywhere by train?
     
  17. Carrie

    Carrie Multimodder

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    If you miss the pre-booked train, for which your advance ticket applies, have ready an appropriate sob story (car was stolen, you were in an accident, ...) and they'll often let it go. They won't let you off without paying for another ticket if you catch an earlier train, though, if your ticket states an actual train time.
     
  18. steveo_mcg

    steveo_mcg What's a Dremel?

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    Not everyone drives....

    TBH on large parts of the network the trains are so busy they don't need to offer an incentive but the way the the system is set up they're not allowed to charge more to subsidise the bits which really could do with some help. The only way VT could control the volume of people going into Euston on a weekday morning was to set the price so high only businesses would pay it, every one else waited a couple of hours and went in when the price dropped.

    Its funny people complaining about the structure of the single, not really in this thread just in general. When I worked with the railways most people complained the single was only a pound less than the return and you had to be able to get the same type of ticket in both directions. For example, If your outward journey was on an expensive tier then you couldn't take advantage of the lower tier on your return.
     
  19. bawjaws

    bawjaws Multimodder

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    What if you don't have a car? And how much does a car cost to buy and to run (depreciation, servicing, that sort of thing)?
     
  20. Margo Baggins

    Margo Baggins I'm good at Soldering Super Moderator

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    Not had so much luck in that respect

    <---- No one gives this guy the benefit of the doubt!
     

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