Pre-9.30am train question

edited 16 September 2019 at 7:06PM in Public transport & cycling
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whitesatinwhitesatin Forumite
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edited 16 September 2019 at 7:06PM in Public transport & cycling
I'm travelling from my local station midweek, into London, to catch a train up north. I've used my senior railcard to buy Advance first class tickets, using The Trainline. My App is showing train time from my local station as 09.30 but this isn't allowing much time to get my connecting train so, when I've done this before, I asked at my local station if it is ok to get on a slightly earlier train and they have said yes, so that worked out well for me. But I'm unclear if the ticket man was just being kind or if I'm actually entitled to get on a pre 09.30 train. I'll do it anyway, and pay up if I need to, just for the peace of mind but I would like to clarify what the situation actually is. Phoning doesn't seem to help as no definitive answer yet.

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  • edited 16 September 2019 at 8:29PM
    daveyjpdaveyjp Forumite
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    edited 16 September 2019 at 8:29PM
    First of all why use Trainline? Always book through a train operating company, not an agent. It is far easier to deal with a train operator if there are problems with your journey.

    Secondly the restriction is laid out and you are aware.

    If the 9.30 service is given as a suitable service to complete the journey the connection gets you to the change station to meet the minimum connection time. If you need a longer connection time this is usually an option as part of the ticket booking process.

    A ticket inspector at a station isn't a revenue inspector, neither is a guard so they may not care if you get on an earlier service. However, travel outside of the restriction and you are always open to a penalty fare from a revenue inspector.
  • Owain_MoneysaverOwain_Moneysaver Forumite
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    The National Rail journey planner should show whether the Senior Railcard is valid on the earlier train.

    There is a peak time restriction travelling between two stations in the Network South East area.

    https://www.senior-railcard.co.uk/using-your-railcard/travel-times-tickets/
    A kind word lasts a minute, a skelped erse is sair for a day.
  • whitesatinwhitesatin Forumite
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    daveyjp wrote: »
    First of all why use Trainline? Always book through a train operating company, not an agent. It is far easier to deal with a train operator if there are problems with your journey.

    Secondly the restriction is laid out and you are aware.

    If the 9.30 service is given as a suitable service to complete the journey the connection gets you to the change station to meet the minimum connection time. If you need a longer connection time this is usually an option as part of the ticket booking process.

    A ticket inspector at a station isn't a revenue inspector, neither is a guard so they may not care if you get on an earlier service. However, travel outside of the restriction and you are always open to a penalty fare from a revenue inspector.

    Thanks for your advice. I use Trainline because I use Topcashback and can't see any other provider offering that. Not that it's that much, to be honest. I think it's best that I turn up early and just buy a ticket. It's just that there's only 20 minutes between my trains, just do-able if thngs are running smoothly but you never know. I still got a great price on my Advance First Class - I'll just drink more of the wine they offer on board. Also make use of the First Class Lounge at Euston, lol.


    It's not worth the stress of wondering......it's only £14.90 single at full rate. Coming back won't be an issue as it will be off peak anyway. Thanks again.
  • whitesatinwhitesatin Forumite
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    The National Rail journey planner should show whether the Senior Railcard is valid on the earlier train.

    There is a peak time restriction travelling between two stations in the Network South East area.

    https://www.senior-railcard.co.uk/using-your-railcard/travel-times-tickets/

    Thanks for that, I'm just going to purchase a ticket from my local station to London to be certain. I'm just glad I didn't get caught last time, even though I was told it was fine at the barrier.
  • yorkie2yorkie2 Forumite
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    whitesatin wrote: »
    I'm travelling from my local station midweek, into London, to catch a train up north. I've used my senior railcard to buy Advance first class tickets, using The Trainline. My App is showing train time from my local station as 09.30 but this isn't allowing much time to get my connecting train so, when I've done this before, I asked at my local station if it is ok to get on a slightly earlier train and they have said yes, so that worked out well for me. But I'm unclear if the ticket man was just being kind or if I'm actually entitled to get on a pre 09.30 train. I'll do it anyway, and pay up if I need to, just for the peace of mind but I would like to clarify what the situation actually is. Phoning doesn't seem to help as no definitive answer yet.
    Without knowing what is printed on your ticket, and what itinerary you have been given, it is impossible to give a definitive answer to your particular circumstances.



    If your arrival time is crucial, and you are very keen to reduce the risk of a delay to your journey (note: the train company who causes the delay would compensate you if the delay is of a qualifying length, which varies depending on the company, but this may not be much use if it is critical to arrive on time) you may take an earlier "appropriate" connecting train if your ticket is an "& Connections" (or similar) ticket and the connecting services are not "reserveable".


    This is covered by the "Advance Fare FAQs"; there are dedicated rail fare advice forums which you could ask the question on, and get a precise answer if you can divulge the details of the route in question.


    The National Rail journey planner should show whether the Senior Railcard is valid on the earlier train.

    There is a peak time restriction travelling between two stations in the Network South East area.

    https://www.senior-railcard.co.uk/using-your-railcard/travel-times-tickets/
    This is not relevant, unless the customer considers places as far south as Huntingdon, Long Buckby and Bedford to be "up north" ;)
  • whitesatinwhitesatin Forumite
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    I'm back home now. When I got to the station, I clarified with the (very helpful) ticket office who said I'd need to buy a single to Euston at full price as my Advance ticket couldn't be altered. So I did that, sat without worrying and got safely to Euston and Scotland eventually. Needless to say, nobody checked my ticket but at least I was not worrying any more. Thanks for all your help.
  • anotheruseranotheruser Forumite
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    Also worth remembering that booking engines won't suggest a connection if the average person cannot make it.

    Each station has a minimum connection time - that is how long it would take to cross from the first platform to the last.

    A small station may have just one minute. Larger ones may have 10.
    Sometimes, it's possible to make an earlier connection than what was written online if you're able to do so.

    If your plan said you'd have enough time to make the connection, you probably would have (unless you're slow - nothing wrong with that).

    Generally, most train operators will only be concerned with the time printed on the ticket. If you catch an earlier train to ensure you are able to catch the one printed on the Advance ticket, I can't see many Train Managers being bothered about that - unless it's stupidly early. But even then, the most important train is the one stated on the ticket.
  • SystemSystem Forumite, Community Admin
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    Glad all went well. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to work out when "off peak" actually is from some stations. It appears that in London, there is good clarification but in my experience elsewhere on the rail network it varies. I am sure we must have peak and off peak times where I catch the train, but although I am a regular user but at varying times I don't seem to ever have travelled at peak time!!!
    I don't know how "senior" you are with your railcard, but if you are ever worried about having a long distance to cover at a station in a short time, book the passenger assistance.

    My dad always made good use of it, as although mobile, was prone to breathlessness and certainly couldn't go faster than a slow walking pace.Service always second to none
  • stragglebodstragglebod Forumite
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    peak/off peak is to do with the ticket you have. Different tickets, different restrictions.
  • yorkie2yorkie2 Forumite
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    whitesatin wrote: »
    I'm back home now. When I got to the station, I clarified with the (very helpful) ticket office who said I'd need to buy a single to Euston at full price as my Advance ticket couldn't be altered. So I did that, sat without worrying and got safely to Euston and Scotland eventually. Needless to say, nobody checked my ticket but at least I was not worrying any more. Thanks for all your help.
    You may not have needed to pay extra, however there is not sufficient information to form a conclusion.
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