Robert Hampton

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22nd May 2009

Holly Advance
Posted by at 6.31pm | Trains | No responses

Via BBC News:-

It is “unacceptable” that low-cost rail fares are easily available only to those with internet access, MPs say.

That’s not quite true: most Advance fares can be booked by phone or in person at a station ticket office (if they have access to the computerised ticket booking system, which most do these days).

However, this doesn’t change the fact that Advance fares are the most frustrating aspect of British rail travel. Availability is always something of a lottery: my experience is that for simple trips it’s fine, but as soon as the journey involves a change of train (and especially if more than one train company is involved) the advance tickets become hard to find. Then you have the choice of booking the more expensive “walk-up” ticket or spending an extra hour or so faffing around on the online booking engines, splitting your journey into shorter legs to see if tickets are available that way.

It’s a shame that the railway doesn’t make more of its the big advantage it has over internal flights (not having to book ahead), but as long as the money keeps rolling in, nothing is going to be done 🙁

1st February 2009

To the people in front of me at South Parkway ticket office
Posted by at 2.55pm | Trains | No responses

It’s nice that you’re availing yourself of Merseyrail’s shiny new ticket office computer system which can easily book tickets and reserve seats for any journey on the National Rail network.

But really, I needed an Off-Peak Return to Widnes and my train was due in 5 minutes. Why did you have to hold up the queue by enquiring about Advance tickets to Gunnersbury(!) at that specific time on Sunday morning?