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Need Train Wizard, Please - Can't Seem to Find Trains for My Travel Day??

Hello all:

I posted about a month ago seeking assistance with navigating train reservations. For some reason, getting from Brockenhurst to Towersey (Haddingham & Thame) on July 21 is not possible. No routes are available. So I had set my sights on Brockenhurst to Oxford and taking a taxi to Towersey from there. (Is this the most hassle-free option?)

However, now when I go to the National Rail website and put in July 21 for this route, it keeps inserting July 20. No matter what times I enter before searching.

Can anyone help me figure out what the problem is?

Thank you,
Marjie

Posted by
6377 posts

Margie, if you need tickets for July 21, and it reverts to July 20, put in July 22 and see what you get, I had to do that recently to get tickets for the proper date,

Posted by
21 posts

Well, entering July 22 seems to have worked! I now have options from Brockenhurst to OXF on July 21. That's the stop I want in order to taxi to Towersey, right?

I am feeling ridiculously paranoid about train reservations. My apologies! Very grateful for any assistance.

Posted by
6716 posts

For whatever reason Northern Rail, which is the site I use, does not give me through fares for that day. BUT if you use the Chiltern Railways website you can derive through fares of £38.70 for that day.

LNER will do through tickets but for £81.30!!

I'm not sure what is happening here, but if Chiltern Railways doesn't accept your credit card buy the ticket in two parts-Brockenhurst to Waterloo £13.50 Advance + Marylebone to Haddenham £26.20 Anytime Day Single. Allow 1 hour to cross London and pay your tube fare separately. With an Anytime Single from Marylebone you can take any train to Haddenham when you get there.

You can buy those two separate tickets on either SWT, Chiltern or indeed LNER.

Posted by
12 posts

Hello- I am no train wizard.
Sometimes I am having to make advanced reservations for England using my time zone as Greenwich Time Zone even though I live in Texas.
If it is LNR rail- They are not opening weekend travel until 4 weeks ahead as maintenance is done on weekends.
I only know this as I booked an August Saturday travel to York from London via National Rail and did not notice my advanced ticket was changed to the day before which is a Friday.Frustrating. I called LNR customer service the next working day and that is what they told me.
Sometimes I will check Rome2 Rio to see if travel is available on Saturday and Sunday to smallish towns.
Good Luck- Faye

Posted by
21 posts

Thank you! Will look into that alternate booking route. Ugh, I was investigating Heathrow T3 to Brockenhurst and struggled with my travel date getting changed a day earlier too - sorry you had to deal with that! I'll keep an eye on it.

I did find National Rail giving Brockenhurst to OXF with only one change for only $35. Have no idea how much a 30 min taxi ride costs, but ... that seems a lower consternation/less chance of disruption choice. Am I missing something?

Posted by
6716 posts

Oxford to Towersey is a 19 mile journey- so about a £40 taxi ride, Haddenham and Thame to Towersey is 9 miles- so about a £20 taxi ride.

Have you tried using the Chiltern website (the actual train operator on the second half of the route) to book the through journey to Haddenham?

Or have you tried using the Northern, South West Trains or LNER websites to book to Haddenham in two halves as suggested? We know that Northern and LNER websites make the translation into US time.

So on the 0955 Brockenhurst to Oxford is £31.60, Brockenhurst to Haddenham and Thame is £38.60. The difference in fare is effectively offset by the higher taxi cost so you take your choice, to get the same overall cost

Posted by
21 posts

Thank you very much. I haven't been jumping between booking sites - perhaps that isn't best from a price standpoint, but I'm extremely nervous of making a mistake. This process is mindboggling; I haven't traveled by train anywhere in decades. Also, it seems I had been advised I had best only use the National Rail site? Perhaps I misunderstood. I greatly appreciate the assistance - appreciate that taxi input! Thank you again. I'm going to leap back into the fray and try to get all necessary train reservations made today!

Posted by
21 posts

Thanks! I'm now pulling up searches on that site and National Rail for comparison. I bought the first of 3 tickets needed for my trip. I can do this! Am very thankful for the help I've gotten here.

Posted by
6716 posts

National Rail do not sell any tickets. When you look up a journey then choose 'buy' you will be redirected to the relevant rail company website.

Some rail companies deal better with overseas credit cards better (if at all than others). That is entirely reasonable as their overwhelming market is domestic travellers. Also some deal with the time difference UK to US better than others.

All companies can sell each other's tickets, although there seems to be an odd quirk in the system for this particular journey. LNER and Northern Rail are by far the best companies in ease of handling cards and coping with the time difference.

Chiltern are a bit of an unknown entity as few people on this forum buy through them.

Whatever happens you will be using 2 different companies- South West Trains and Cross Country Trains or South West Trains and Chiltern Trains.

So there isn't a 'right' company to deal with here- so best to use Northern or LNER.

Posted by
21 posts

Thanks! Yes, I did note that the site sent me to Cross Country for payment.