Wednesday, 18 April 2012

fbb's Foray into First Fares [2]

One could go on and on (and on and on again) ...

... and on! All over the country thousands of perspiring personages are perpetually probing their laptop for the "best deal". fbb is preparing for his holiday (with Mrs) in Largs at the end of June.

 All fares quoted are for TWO seniors with railcard discount 

Taking all things into account, fbb's choice narrowed down to standard class seats on any off peak train at £201.40 or a train specific first class extra discount at £260.
Well, it is a "well deserved" holiday. [Isn't every day a holiday, now you're retired, fbb?] All this blogging is very stressful for the old codger. And the old codger is very stressful for Mrs fbb! So first class it is, all the way. 
Well, not quite all the way ...

But, of course, that descision does not tell the whole story; well, it wouldn't be that simple would it? See "fbb's Foray into First Fares [1]" (read again). Here are ALL the "anytime" fares, that's on any train with no time restrictions, from Southampton to Glasgow. Note that there are now TWO different First Class fares. 
The cheaper ones are on Cross Country's services via Birmingham, i.e. NOT via London; but still nothing cheaper than £130 for the single. Note that the buttons in the third column do allow you to choose to pay either £727.30 or £476.50 for exactly the same first class "anytime" journey. Hmmm ... difficult decision.

 All fares quoted are for TWO seniors with railcard discount 
Now you have been paying attention, haven't you? The fare from Portsmouth to Glasgow and the fare from Portsmouth to Largs were the same at £726. From Southampton to Glasgow it is £1.30 more. But what about Southampton to Largs, again first class anytime.
It jumps by £14.50 for the extra bit to Largs. 

But there aren't any first class seats to Largs anyway; trains are all standard! So, you see, it's NOT First Class all the way.

fbb assumes the foetal position is a corner, sucks thumb vigourously and rocks backwards and forwards whimpering pathetically.

And what would be the very best for Portsmouth to Largs, if you could travel whey THEY wanted you to? And all the offers fitted together.

 Fares quoted  below  are for ONE senior with railcard discount 
Portsmouth to London - £2.20; booked train only. Standard Class with Southern.
London to Glasgow "Bargain Berth" ...

... "Offering you great value with Bargain Berths on First ScotRail’s Caledonian Sleeper" ...
----------------------------------------------
Bargain Berths on First ScotRail's Caledonian Sleeper offers you exceptional value travel between Scotland and London Euston. Book online today to benefit from one of the many fares available each month from £19. Travel available in either direction between Scotland and London Euston.
Comfortable twin berth cabins.
Complimentary morning tea/coffee and light snack.
Ticketless travel.
£19, £29, £39 and £49 fares subject to availability; use the journey checker below to calculate the cost of your trip.
----------------------------------------------
... and yes £29 is the fare including the sleeping coach. Scotrail does offer some at £19 but not for the period when fbb was looking. Probably £19 only in the depths of a snow icy Scottish winter?
Glasgow to Largs any train single £4.75.

Grand total for 519 miles of rail travel £25.95
That's a modest 5p per mile.

By comparison the anytime First fare is 71.5p per mile.

The chances of actually getting Portsmouth to Victoria and Euston to Glasgow mega-discounts on the same day and with suitably connecting trains are very remote, but it just might be possible.

Fares varying from 5p a mile to 71.5p a mile on similar trains and on the same routes, with the cheaper fare available for what used to be the top-rank premium sleeper service, must be crack-brained. Something is very very wrong somewhere.
.
fbb is just waiting for Barry Doe (Rail magazine's fares guru and fbb's chum) to phone with a scheme whereby the chubby one can take a slightly circuitous route via Norwich, Shrewsbury and Barrow in Furness and get there for ten bob ...
... return.

But coffee and a sticky bun in Nardini's is calling; and the skirl of the pipes and the snarl of the rutting haggis beckon the fbbs across Hardian's wall. They can't wait to gaze over to the Cumbrae ...
... from their rented bay window. Deep joy!

 Next Blog : due Thursday April 19th 

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