Railways in General

107 Replies, 48016 Views

(02 Sep 2021, 9:32 pm)Malarkey Wrote: Does anyone with a knowledge of trains know if it would be possible to have a train go from Newcastle to London via Oxford.

Just curious as I was thinking of going to Oxford in a few weeks but LNER seems to suggest going into King's Cross then across to Paddington Station and get on the GWR to Oxford which seems a bit of chore to get there.

CrossCountry direct to Oxford and then either GWR or Chiltern from there.

Done that trip many a time.

It's possible to pick up the X39/X40 from Oxford to Reading if you fancied mixing it up a bit.
Quite an enjoyable journey.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'
XC aren’t currently running the direct Newcastle - South Coast (Southampton / Bournemouth trains) and are sticking to an hourly service towards Bristol and the South West* You’d have to change at Birmingham New Street for Oxford, to get these times you’d have to play with the settings to allow slower trains. A Newcastle to London ticket wouldn’t be valid on this route though so you’d still need separate tickets

*except for a couple of additional services to Birmingham / Banbury
(02 Sep 2021, 9:52 pm)anvil1984 Wrote: XC aren’t currently running the direct Newcastle - South Coast (Southampton / Bournemouth trains) and are sticking to an hourly service towards Bristol and the South West* You’d have to change at Birmingham New Street for Oxford, to get these times you’d have to play with the settings to allow slower trains. A Newcastle to London ticket wouldn’t be valid on this route though so you’d still need separate tickets

*except for a couple of additional services to Birmingham / Banbury

https://www.crosscountrytrains.co.uk/cor...le-updates

So it is. Never realised or knew that was the case!
'Illegitimis non carborundum'
Bear in mind that Cross-Country tend to charge high prices for fares that they set, so it may work out a fair bit cheaper to go via London. Alternatively use a fare-splitting site to bring the price down - Trainsplit is one such site that I've seen recommended.
(03 Sep 2021, 8:15 am)Ianthegoon Wrote: Bear in mind that Cross-Country tend to charge high prices for fares that they set, so it may work out a fair bit cheaper to go via London. Alternatively use a fare-splitting site to bring the price down - Trainsplit is one such site that I've seen recommended.

Almost every time I have looked at the likes of Reading I have found that via London with transfers (Tube usually) work out cheaper and faster with or without split ticketing.

I have Train Pal app for split ticketing, if you want a £3 off voucher then use my referral link: d7f90129 *wink, wink, nudge, nudge (I also get a £3 off voucher with each referral so help a brother out)
(03 Sep 2021, 8:15 am)Ianthegoon Wrote: Bear in mind that Cross-Country tend to charge high prices for fares that they set, so it may work out a fair bit cheaper to go via London.  Alternatively use a fare-splitting site to bring the price down - Trainsplit is one such site that I've seen recommended.

I always used to get a return that allowed using the via London or Birmingham routes.
Was only ever a couple of quid more, but allowed for flexibility incase of meetings being delayed, disruption and a little bit of gricing if time allowed.

As for split ticketing - can't remember what the exact details are south of Birmingham, but a return to York, return York to Sheffield, return Sheffield to Derby and then Derby - Birmingham always saves a small fortune.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'
http://www.passengertransport.co.uk/2022...ntractors/

An interesting article, bearing in mind what is going on at Southeastern.
'Illegitimis non carborundum'
(17 Jan 2022, 7:25 pm)Andreos1 Wrote: http://www.passengertransport.co.uk/2022...ntractors/

An interesting article, bearing in mind what is going on at Southeastern.

The link is broken in that article to the Go Ahead Report, it appears to relate to: https://gog-11615-s3.s3.eu-west-2.amazon...igital.pdf

It's probably the kind of presentation I'd have expected to see, but there's a few bits that raise an eyebrow for sure:

Page 4 - "With leisure travel gaining an increasing share of the market, rail can also support vital local economic growth by facilitating domestic tourism. A good example of this is the Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) ‘Discover More’ programme which created close regional collaborations by bringing together local MPs, councils, business groups, tourism organisations and specific sector representatives from locations across their network. Designed to spark ideas, collaboration and solutions to boost local economic priorities, the programme established strong, creative working partnerships to attract visitors to key destinations along the route."

I'm pleased to see the recognition of leisure gaining an increasing share of the market, but it makes you wonder why there isn't more put into areas where operators have 100% control, such as their bus operations? Sure, we've seen things like the introduction of the £1 evening fare up here and the X11 that was axed before the advertised season end-date, but largely speaking, its still incredibly difficult to get around post-6pm by public transport, and you might as well not bother on a Sunday. Why aren't those "close regional collaborations" happening in the bus market, and if they are, when do we start seeing some evidence of it? 

Page 5 - "There is little doubt that one of the reasons for the huge passenger growth of recent decades is that train operators have had a degree of freedom to come up with new products and services to attract customers. The new industry structures need to retain an incentive regime that encourages operators to continue to do that. Station retail, for example, has changed significantly in recent years with a much more varied choice of products and services available. You want order a coffee on an app and collect as you jump on the train at Brighton?"

This is complete nonsense and it almost sounds like it's come verbatim out of the mouth of a design consultant. More people aren't travelling on the train because they can order a coffee on an app, that there's a new menu on LNER or to visit a craft beer shop at Brighton station. Its out of necessity. Although a couple of years out of date, this article is a good read: https://www.railnews.co.uk/news/2018/11/...-rail.html

I do agree with the move away from generic shops in rail stations, at least to a mix of independent and national retailers, but I just cannot see anything to support the claim that it is growing patronage on the railways. I'd suggest people use those shops because they're there (and we've all been there!); not because they're going there specifically for them. 

Page 8 talks about Train operations in a net-zero world, and I agree with a lot of it, but I'd argue this isn't an area that the private sector can ever lead in. It needs decisive Government policy and can't be allowed to become another opportunity for operators to make a quick buck. Going back to bus operations, where some of these transport operators do have 100% control, we've already seen a reluctance to invest in zero-emissions unless there's a Government hand-out on the table. 

I found this quote on page 9 to be a bit interesting to say the least - "The private sector provides high-level professional challenge to train operators to help them drive down costs. Private sector owners set exacting targets, and challenge management on a daily basis. They are able, at times, to make tough decisions that can pose political challenges if taken directly by Government." Is this an offer to become private, unaccountable, asset strippers for the Government? Whilst I don't think any of us are daft enough to pretend they don't happen, its surprising to see it suggested that they'll take unaccountable decisions on the Government's behalf.

Of course, we could also talk about the success of 'driving down costs' on the Intercity East Coast Franchise...
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