Dare I ask a Transportation Question?

Feb 11th, 2014, 02:31 AM
  #21  
 
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So true Patrick!
jamikins is offline  
Feb 12th, 2014, 03:05 PM
  #22  
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Sorry it took me a while to respond back. DS has been sick again this winter. We have been having record snow and ice storms. I read that the UK is having record flooding. An unbelievable winter.

Thank you for the clarification of a network rail ticket office vs. a non network rail ticket office at a station where national rail trains have station stops. It is rather confusing. In any event, we would need to go to London Bridge, Euston or Victoria or Kings Cross. Got it now. Thanks.

I understand the days out program is meant to bring people living along the train lines into the city without their cars but if it is available for us visitors too--why not? We actually also intend to use it the other way around--using the train from London to visit Bletchley Park (a separate ticket will apply since it is outside zones 1-6) and Duxford which may or may not be on the days out program. I have to investigate that.

The best solution then would be to load up an oyster to get us into the city and over to a proper rail station to purchase the travel tickets. The oyster requires a £ 5 deposit that you can get back at the end. Is £ 5 the minimum balance required to be loaded on the card? In other words, let's say you initially load it with £ 10 and take a few trips. The last trip will cost £ 1.5 and you have £5 left on the card in this made up example. Will you be allowed through to take that trip and the balance will fall below the £ 5 or do you need to top up to £ 6.5?

Thanks in advance.
europeannovice is offline  
Feb 12th, 2014, 09:38 PM
  #23  
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Plus the TFL website said that photo ID's were no longer required for travelcards. However, do you still need photo ID's for tickets purchased at a national rail location?
europeannovice is offline  
Feb 12th, 2014, 10:45 PM
  #24  
 
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The TFL does not run the 2for1 deals the national rail does which is why you can't get the deals using the Oyster cards from tube stations - transport for London is what tfl stands for. They are referring to travel cards loaded on Oyster cards.

7 day travel cards eligible for the deals absolutely require a photo.
jamikins is offline  
Feb 12th, 2014, 10:49 PM
  #25  
 
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Honestly this is how it gets so confusing.

I tell my guests to just pay for a single ticket to get to London from heathrow - I think it costs about £4-5. Then they get the 7 day travel card with photo from a train station in town and pay the £4-5 to get back out to the airport at the end if their trip.

The hassle with worrying about saving a couple £, getting an oyster, getting the deposit back at the end just adds to the confusion and wastes time and costs so little when you consider the headache of trying to sort it out and get the deposit back etc...
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Feb 13th, 2014, 10:06 AM
  #26  
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Okay so passport sized photo still required for the national rail version of 7 day travel pass.

Just out of curiosity though in my example above would you need to top up to the £6.50 to take that last ride or can you dip below the £5? I understand your point about just paying for a single fare ride each way to and from airport to save on hassle.

Last time we were in London we did have a 7 day travel pass--it was issued on paper and it did have the national rail logo on it but no picture was required and we didn't try to use any of the days out promotions with it. At that time we had the 6 day London Pass (I know I purchased it before reading the advice on here but it worked for us then--the longer the days the more use you get from it). We also had an Oyster for the extra three days travel since we were there for a total of 10 days. The last time we were in the UK though we took the bus direct from the airport to Oxford and from there toured the Cotswolds, York and Edinburgh so we didn't have any London transportation pass to worry about since we didn't go to London then. Hard trying to remember what to do now that we want to return. Thanks for your help sorting it out.
europeannovice is offline  
Feb 14th, 2014, 06:15 PM
  #27  
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ttt

Any answers for the example posed above? Would like to know how it works.
europeannovice is offline  
Feb 14th, 2014, 10:48 PM
  #28  
 
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>> Is £ 5 the minimum balance required to be loaded on the card?<<

Nothing on the TfL website says so: that's the authoritative source.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Feb 15th, 2014, 02:54 AM
  #29  
 
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Zero is the floor; not £5. You will not need to top up to keep it above £5. The card doesn't disintegrate or stop working if it goes below 5.

If there is a £5 minimum, it must only apply at initial purchase. I'm pretty sure I used coins at a machine to top up to an exact fare (and zero ending balance) before.
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Feb 16th, 2014, 05:40 PM
  #30  
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Thanks for clarifying!
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Feb 17th, 2014, 07:25 PM
  #31  
 
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I have a couple of additional questions, since everyone in this thread is so helpful.

I'm arriving on an 8 day trip in the late afternoon. So for that first day, I'm just going to purchase a 1 way Piccadilly to Holborn Station near the hotel.

My questions:

1. Can I go and purchase my 7 day pass to start the next day?

2. How late are the ticket agents at Euston or Kings Cross open? I'm guessing 6 PM, but I'd hate to walk all that way (about a mile from the hotel) only to leave empty handed.

3. I am traveling with my mother, if I go to the station to buy the passes, does she need to be with me (I'd bring her photo for the pass)?

4. If I buy a pass for Zone 1-2, that means we can only use the Tube in those zones, but can go outside that zone (say Walthamstow) via the bus, correct? Also, to get back to Heathrow on day 7 of the pass, do we need to purchase another 1 way or can the pass be applied to the journey and we just pay a difference?

Thanks so much for your time and help.
lizzie_in_a_kayak is offline  
Feb 17th, 2014, 10:22 PM
  #32  
 
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1: Yes
2: Open till late:
https://www.networkrail.co.uk/london...on/facilities/
3: I can't she why she should, but someone else may know
4: Yes, but a bus ride to Walthamstow from zone 2 would take forever. You could use the national rail service from Liverpool Street to Walthamstow Central, for which you would get an add-on ticket at Liverpool St. If you wanted to use the tube for that, I have a feeling you may need to get an Oystercard with some pay-as-you-go money on it, check out of the system at the last station in zone 2 and in again using the Oystercard for the journey into zone 3; but someone else may have better experience of doing that.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Feb 19th, 2014, 11:55 AM
  #33  
 
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Patrick -

Thanks so much. I'll take the chance that I can buy the tickets on my own and can do it after an early supper. (Worst case, we just go back up there the following day, it would be only a slight diversion on our Sunday itinerary to leave from Euston instead of Holborn.)

I'm running the numbers in different ways: whether the £5 each for the Oyster deposit is better than just going for the weekly zone travel card and never worrying about anything if we want to change our plans on the fly (or get lost). If I want to go to Walthamstow and Kew, the zone 1-3 plus the cash fare for Heathrow on the last day is likely the most efficient though could run £2 more if we don't go to Kew (weather may not cooperate).

The 2 for 1 is already going to save us about £50 total, so I'm probably driving myself nuts over a few bucks one way or the other.

I'll report back in a few weeks on how that all went!
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Mar 11th, 2014, 03:57 PM
  #34  
 
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Okay, here are the results of my trip:

Walked to Euston station on Saturday evening to buy the national rail 7 day travel card. Could. Not. Find. Ticket. Counter. No one knew where it was.

So, we walked over to St. Pancras, which wasn't far and had no trouble finding the ticket counter, bought the cards & were very pleased with the beautiful station. (If you have a choice, go to St. Pancras, so much prettier and more shops/food than Euston).

Next day ... my card didn't work at all. I was told at the station that my card was not magnetized correctly and I should return to the station to have it re-done. So, on a rainy Sunday night, I went back up to St. Pancras only to be told that the whole travel pass system was down and I could try back the following day. Perhaps it would be working then.

I gave up and for the rest of the week I just showed my pass to the gate agent who was stationed in the Underground by the handicapped gate on my way in or out. It only bit me once when I couldn't find an agent, so I gave up and walked the quarter mile.

The 2 for 1 worked great. The only hiccup was taking the City Cruises, where we found their 30% off deal was better than the 2 for 1 (which would have to be a full day pass).

Still, saved about £28 total ... worth the effort. (Also, never would have seen Pancras otherwise, which I thought was notable from an architectural perspective.)
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Mar 11th, 2014, 04:00 PM
  #35  
 
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>>Could. Not. Find. Ticket. Counter. No one knew where it was.<<

I find that hard to understand -- what did you ask for?

Wow - what a lot of little snafu's - glad all worked out for you in the end.
janisj is online now  
Mar 12th, 2014, 02:52 PM
  #36  
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Lizzie--thanks for reporting back. We are not going for a while yet but we will also let you know how it goes.
europeannovice is offline  
Mar 13th, 2014, 01:15 AM
  #37  
 
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That's bizarre...the ticket counters at the train stations are pretty obvious...were you in a tube entrance rather than the main part of the station where the trains leave from? If so it is possible there was no ticket counter because some entrances for the tube don't have them...
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