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I have a question about tickets and permitted routes. I need to travel from London to Birmingham on 8th of February for work. After, I want to visit my friends in Leamington Spa and get back to London on 10th. The tickets I will buy will be refunded by my company, so it's important that those two towns are the endpoints. My idea was to buy two separate tickets, since it's faster to get to Birmingham New Street on 8th if I travel from Euston on Virgin trains, and get the off peak one for 10th from Birmingham Moor Street so that I could pop on the train from Leamington. However, there are railworks on 10th and they prevent me from buying separate return tickets.

There are two other options:

  1. Get an open return ticket from London Euston to Birmingham New Street (this route does not go through Leamington)
  2. get an open return from London Marylebone to Birmingham Moor Street.

My questions:

  1. If I get first one, will I be able to hop on the train in Leamington on the 10th, given that there are no direct trains from Birmingham to London on that day, but travel "is allowed via any permitted route"?

  2. If I buy the second option, will I be able to use faster Virgin train from Euston to Birmingham New Street on the outward journey, given that once again any route is permitted and it says I am allowed to arrive at different station?

P.S. I will get a ticket from Birmingham to Leamington separately from those, the idea is to buy such tickets that can be refunded, without that there wouldn't be such complications.

  • "Any permitted route" does not mean "any route is permitted". There may be a number of permitted (allowed) routes for a ticket, and you must take one of those. – David Richerby Jan 22 at 18:30
  • Dodging the question slightly, companies often understand that employees might want to add a little personal travel onto a company trip. For example, suppose that, to do your job, you need to buy an Anytime return from London to Birmingham on the 8th. That would cost £178. Your employer might be willing to reimburse you up to £178 for whatever combination of tickets you end up buying, as long as it gets you to Birmingham on the day you need to be there. – David Richerby Jan 22 at 18:36
  • On the other hand, it only takes an hour and a half to get from London to Leamington -- it's not like you're flying half-way around the world. An off-peak return from Marylebone to Leamington Spa on any weekend you want is £31.40, which isn't a huge amount of money. Your life might be easier if you just make two separate trips, not least because you can then travel when the trains are actually running. – David Richerby Jan 22 at 18:39
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An Off-Peak return ticket will be issued between LONDON TERMINALS and BIRMINGHAM STNS. If you get it for "Any Permitted" route, that means any of these routes:

  • Euston to New Street (either via Northampton or bypassing it, optionally via Nuneaton if you're feeling adventurous).
  • Marylebone to Snow Hill or New Street via Leamington Spa (and then direct or via Coventry).
  • Paddington to Snow Hill or New Street via Reading and Leamington Spa (and then as above or even via Nuneaton).

You don't need to pick the same route in each direction, and you can break journey along the way on the return part -- even overnight or spanning several nights -- so you don't need a separate ticket from Birmingham to Leamington.

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    It is important to mention that the route should be Any Permitted rather than Via High Wycombe. Also perhaps worth pointing out that it's valid to Moor Street as well as Snow Hill (I know Moor Street is on the way but it's not 100% obvious from your answer). – Muzer Jan 22 at 16:51

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