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SVR Advanced Booking

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by daveannjon, Oct 6, 2017.

  1. daveannjon

    daveannjon Well-Known Member

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    As I'll be visiting the Seven Valley Railway soon I thought I would buy an advanced ticket as their website says that you save by doing so. However you have to add a booking fee of £1.75 to the advance (for an old git) Freedom of the Line price of £17.30 thus coming to £19.05. If purchased at the railway on the day the price is £18.80 i.e. 25p cheaper, rather odd.

    SVR post the ticket out to you and there is obviously a cost to this. At the Ecclesbourne Valley Railway you can buy in advance and save £1.50 but you just produce your email confirmation at the ticket office and exchange it for your day rover, no booking fee.

    I wonder what others have found with advanced booking.

    Dave
     
  2. RLinkinS

    RLinkinS Member

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    I tried to buy two 3 day tickets in advance this year. I was late in contacting the railway because I only found about the tickets shortly before our holiday. I expected to be able to pay and pick up the tickets from one of the stations but they insisted that they had to be posted. This was no use as they would have arrived after we had left home. So I did not bother and bought tickets for a single days travel instead. The railway lost out because of this rather strange restriction
     
  3. Matt37401

    Matt37401 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I really can't be arsed with pre book and save certainly when there's a booking fee involved. I'm off to the Nene Valley next Saturday, if I pre book I can save something like £2:00 for that amount it's really not worth bothering with.
     
  4. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    I'm sure it never used to be like that. I've just looked and an Adult freedom of the line offers a £1 discount for an online booking if it is a single ticket you are after then you are actually 75p worse off booking in advance. Seems to wipe any advantage out.
     
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  5. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Yes but you are saving money in the examples above you are actually paying more. Doesn't seem right as I thought the idea was prebook and save.
     
  6. Tuska

    Tuska New Member

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    £18.80 per person? Or an all-day family ticket?
     
  7. daveannjon

    daveannjon Well-Known Member

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    Per senior person, I think family is £52.

    Dave
     
  8. Herald

    Herald Member

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    Given the precarious nature of many heritage railway's finances it is perhaps surprising that any discounts are available until one considers the benefits in avoiding queues and in presumably selling some tickets to people who don't actually use them or seek refunds.

    There are often difficulties in providing sufficient booking office capacity early in the day and any arrangement for exchanging an e ticket at the office doesn't help with this. That leaves the problem of creating a sufficiently secure system to prevent people printing multiple copies of advance tickets to share with their mates. As soon as there is a need for verification by some sort of reader carried by TTI's (which matched a unique identifier to a database thus hopefully trapping multiples) costs increase.

    This is not, however, a problem unique to heritage railways but given that ATOC/Rail Delivery Group are grappling with the issue whilst being much better resourced solutions may be some way away. Given that several heritage lines have through ticketing from the train operators it may increasingly be an issue as they automate processes and increase the volume of phone or other e tickets.
     
  9. threelinkdave

    threelinkdave Well-Known Member

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    The booking fee is I believe the same for one ticket or a number of tickets. The savings acrew when two or more tickets are purchased. This is common to many pre booking systems
     
  10. 45076

    45076 Member

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    Are there any other heritage railways other than SVR that charge a booking fee?
     
  11. Pete Thornhill

    Pete Thornhill Resident of Nat Pres Staff Member Administrator Moderator Friend

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    Looking at a couple of localish neighbours, the GWSR offers a 50p saving on a ticket booked online with no booking or postage fee. DFR no discount but no booking fee, exception being Thomas tickets booked through the Hit entertainment website which does charge a booking fee.
     
  12. richards

    richards Part of the furniture

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    Are the booking fees to cover the cost of the online ticketing system they are using, I wonder?
     
  13. D1039

    D1039 Part of the furniture

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    It's been a much discussed issue over the years and I know the previous comments have been passed to the management. It's a fixed fee per booking so less of an issue with multiple, family or rover tickets but it seems disproportionate for the standard freedom of the line ticket, for the reasons given.

    Patrick
     
  14. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

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    It does mean that passengers can avoid queues at the Booking Office at busy times - especially first thing in the morning.
     
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  15. M59137

    M59137 Well-Known Member

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    Given the sizes of the queues I've seen at Kidderminster prior to the 9/10am trains at galas I'd consider paying the 50p extra or whatever just to ensure I didn't miss the departure I was aiming for! In a non gala situation, no chance, would just pay at the window...

    Sent from my HTC Desire 620 using Tapatalk
     
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  16. Andre

    Andre New Member

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    Here at the K&ESR we currently offer a 10% discount on advance purchase tickets & no booking fee. However it is necessary to collect your tickets at the Booking Office - the previously mentioned fraudulent ticket sharing being the reason for this.
     
  17. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

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    Fair enough, but the saving on n Adult Ticket is £1.80. I;m not sure that a saving of that magnitude would convince me to purchase until a day or two beforehand when I could be fairly confident that I would be able to visit, and that the weather would be ok.

    If - even though - I had paid in advance, I still had to queue up to collect my pre-paid ticket, I would not be enamoured of the railway in question and highly unlikely to recommend it to my friends/family/colleagues
     
  18. burmister

    burmister Member

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    Exactly, I use pre-booking to save queuing, if I am told I have to exchange vouchers posted to me for tickets at the office I do not travel.

    Brian
     
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  19. 45076

    45076 Member

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    When attending a gala at a major railway I get there early to find parking etc.
    On Saturday having driven almost 250 miles to Bury I was first in line when the booking office opened.
    Saved £2.50 booking online with no booking free. That`s 2 cups of good coffee in the station buffet !
    Thank you ELR for a good day.
     
  20. michaelh

    michaelh Part of the furniture

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    You drove 250 miles to save £2.50??
     

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