The 8.38 train to Paddington

J Norris
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Mon 4 Jul 2005, 12:17

"In addition to these cost, are you some of you aware that If you have friends in London and they want visit you, say in Oxford, it sometimes works out cheaper to get a return ticket from London to Chralbury then it is to go for a return to Oxford, Can someone explain the logic?? "

On the 2 peak time evening FGW trains from London to Hereford, some discounted tickets are available for destinations beyond Oxford. This is why is is sometimes cheaper to buy tickets to / from Charlbury than it is for Oxford. However, tickets to Charlbury will not work in the barriers at Oxford!

I don't think this has anything to do with making changes as both trains are direct!

kate southey
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Mon 20 Jun 2005, 23:32

Good luck with ever getting a reply from them Christine!! I never have! I don't know for a fact that the broken journey=cheaper fares thing still holds entirely true. It was something I was told in the early 90's by a ticket teller, but from the journeys I've taken it seems to be a common occurance.
Kate x

Christine Battersby
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Mon 20 Jun 2005, 10:02

If it's true, as Kate says, that Rail Journeys that involve changes are charged at a lower rate than ones that don't, then passengers from Charlbury are suffering even more from some recent changes to the operation of National Rail website than I supposed.

I recently needed to travel to Swansea. But the website refuses to register journeys via Reading or via Oxford as 'legal' routes. This means that the first train in the day that the website says one can take gets in at 19.39--even tho' via Oxford there are regular arrivals (with shorter journey time) throughout the day. The first one gets in at 9.40 a.m.

The National Rail site refuses to allow these journeys exist & does not show the links. And since 'The Train Line' & the other UK search engines are based on the National Rail site, they don't show up there either. To find the times I had to use the German Rail site (http://www.bahn.de) to see the various alternatives. And then, of course, I had to buy 2 separate tickets. And this costs much more, even with a Network Rail Card. So this is in effect a hidden price rise for those travelling from Charlbury. It's also quite crazy...

Despite emailing National Rail & FGW to complain about this policy, I have had no reply.

kate southey
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Wed 15 Jun 2005, 21:16

I was told that! Apparently alot of online tickets can be booked with discount that wouldn't be offered at the station!
Kate x

Paul Jackson
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Wed 15 Jun 2005, 12:49

The logic is even more interesting than one might think. Anyway, it appears that thetrainline.com and nationalrail websites are now showing the 8.38 as eligible for saver return fares, which tallies with Frank's message.

kate southey
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Wed 15 Jun 2005, 10:54

It is almost always cheaper to get a train to or from Charlbury, even if you are going to or from Oxford. It is an old British Rail policy of charging less for journeys where you need to make changes. For example I am going to Swindon soon and the price for that is cheaper than the fare to Didcot as it involves changes at Oxford and Didcot.
Kate x

Frank Payne
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Wed 15 Jun 2005, 09:48

My wife took the 0838 this morning to London and was sold a saver return for coming back tomorrow at £23, but I couldn't buy a saver return for Oxford coming back today, so there's some odd logic going on there.

When commuting from Bristol to Didcot a few years ago a lot of us bought saver returns for Oxford as they were much cheaper. First Great Western eventually responded to this by making all journey's full price, which might possibly happen to us in Charlbury.

My understanding if you buy a return from London to Charlbury and try and get off in Oxford is that the barriers will prevent you.

Paul Jackson
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Tue 14 Jun 2005, 22:31

In reply to Graham, who posted the following message in the 'new road signs' threat: "In addition to these cost, are you some of you aware that If you have friends in London and they want visit you, say in Oxford, it sometimes works out cheaper to get a return ticket from London to Chralbury then it is to go for a return to Oxford, Can someone explain the logic??" -
One way of looking at this is to think about the quality of the service in the round. Oxford has about 4-5 trains per hour to London (with journey times ranging from 52 to 68 minutes). They don't have to suffer the problems of a single line. They have a station that's manned from early morning till late at night. They have a range of bus services (from morning till night) from right outside their station. They have a range of amenities, including warmth, shelter, hot food, hot drinks, newspapers...and so on...all in the vicinity as they wait for their delayed trains. In short: they have it easy. I used to dream of having a train station like Oxford - which admittedly might not quite fit in the more civilised environs of Charlbury, despite the attempts of the new road signs to drag us down...

Paul Jackson
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Tue 14 Jun 2005, 22:11

The trainline.com doesn't list a saver return as an option (nor did the National Rail Enquiries line). Nor does the National Rail site, at least for me. FGW have now said they'll check this out. If anyone has had a different experience when actually travelling, I'd be interested to know.

graham W
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Tue 14 Jun 2005, 21:52

In addition to these cost, are you some of you aware that If you have friends in London and they want visit you, say in Oxford, it sometimes works out cheaper to get a return ticket from London to Chralbury then it is to go for a return to Oxford, Can someone explain the logic??

Philip Ambrose
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Tue 14 Jun 2005, 21:17

National Rail website still lists a saver return at £23 for travel on the 08h38 tomorrow.

Frank Payne
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Tue 14 Jun 2005, 08:50

You are quite right I'm afraid. The fare to London on the 0838 has effectively risen from £23 to £38.50. The saver return is no longer listed as available. You can confirm this by checking the fares on National Rail Enquiries web site. This will only make the already busy 0938 even more crowded I fear. So much for encouraging people to use the trains rather than their cars. First Great Western has a bad record for arbitrary changes to its sevices, at least from my own experience of using them in the past.

Paul Jackson
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Mon 13 Jun 2005, 14:28

Can anyone explain what has happened to the 8.38 to Paddington (previously the 8.41, I guess)? It appears that this no longer qualifies for a saver return fare - which makes for a 67% fare hike. Having checked with National Rail Enquiries and registered a complaint with FGW, it does indeed seem to be the case, rather than a mistake. Am I missing something here? How did this get through? Was there consultation about this?

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