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For an upcoming UK rail trip, on day 1 I'd like to go from A to B, spend a few hours in B, then carry on to C. On day 2, I'd like to go from C back to B, spend several hours in B, then carry on from B back to A.

I've had a look, and an off-peak return from A to C is cheaper than an A-B return plus a B-C return. (That isn't always the case, due to things like split ticketing, but that's a whole other can of worms...). Timing wise, an off peak ticket is valid, so the only question is if I can break the journey in both directions.

The National Rail Off-Peak ticket terms and conditions page has this to say on breaks of journey:

Break of journey is allowed on the outward portion of Off-Peak tickets unless otherwise indicated by a restriction shown against the ticket's validity code and in all cases on the return portion of Off-Peak return tickets.

Assuming I've understood that correctly, I think I'd always be fine to go from A to C on one day, then stop off in B on my way home. Is that correct?

What about a break of journey on the outbound though. Is it commonly allowed, or commonly restricted? And how do I find out for my given journey?

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Assuming I've understood that correctly, I think I'd always be fine to go from A to C on one day, then stop off in B on my way home. Is that correct?

Yes. So long as the timings mean that all the trains you travel on are OK with your ticket (ie, you don't stray into any applicable evening peak).

What about a break of journey on the outbound though. Is it commonly allowed, or commonly restricted?

It... depends :)

And how do I find out for my given journey?

The information is there on the National Rail website, but as far as I can tell there isn't any well-publicised link in. The actual PDF you that has all the details is (currently) at http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/pdfs/OffPeak.pdf, but it's best to note how I got there for when they inevitably move it:

  • Use Journey Planner to construct a return journey A-C-A, on the days of interest
  • In the results, identify a row corresponding to the ticket you want, and expand the Other tickets ⌄ section
  • Underneath the Buy from dropdown, you should see 1 x Adult - _Off Peak Return_
  • Click that Off Peak Return link
  • The URL you are now on starts http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/ticketterms/show and contains information along the lines of ticketTypeCode=SVR&ticketRestriction=US - this US is the Validity Code within the ticket type of SVR (Saver Return, the old name for a multi-day off peak return)
  • At the bottom of this page you will find links to the specific information for validity code US, at http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/pdfs/SVR_US.pdf, and information for all offpeak validity codes, at http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/pdfs/OffPeak.pdf

Once you have this last PDF (and the similar ones for Advance and Anytime), you can just mouseover the links on the journey planner results screen and look up the codes yourself.

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Ah ha - the magic PDF of truth! –  Gagravarr Feb 19 at 11:10

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