British Railways Ticketing

The post shows the problem and information I have found in  planning and booking a return train journey from Great Malvern Station to Wool in Dorset.

For this journey when I booked it book ahead tickets do not save any money so it’s a standard off peak return. I quite often find that for some journeys from Malvern booked ahead does not save or does not save enough to justify the lack of flexibility.

For getting to Wool the quickest  trains  for me are to go via Evesham and Reading but to comeback via Bristol. I tried to book this on  websites as you can get some seat reservations with flexible tickets.

The trains I wanted to use and  book are:

I first tried my website of choice: Ticket Clever, but when I selected my outward train of choice it would not let me select the return I wanted. but it would allow me to select other later return trains via Bristol. This made we worry that there maybe some restrictions on the return that did not allow me to use the trains I wanted.

I then  tried the West Midlands Railway website as I was think I may have to talk to a real person at the station to solve the problem.  It does show three different off peak returns:

For the second two it looks like you can pay more to get more restrictions on where you can use it!

The return train  I wanted can be found on the National Rail and Ticket Clever websites, but cannot be found on the  West Midlands Railway website! even if you look for it as a single journey.

So I then tried to book via the  National Rail website. It sent me to the GWR website were I booked it, meaning that my worries about restriction were unfounded.

I had emailed Ticket Clever about my problem and after three days and after I had booked with GWR they replied saying that if you click “std” for  (“std” “1st” “any”) all the fairs are shown and they I could select the return train I wanted. I had assumed that  (“std” “1st” “any”) was I filter on the class of fairs, but it’s more than that. They also said “The system defaults to the cheapest options available”, so I think the Super Off Peak Return was causing their websites  problems.


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