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Trouble booking trains

Anyone else having trouble booking trains in the UK right now? I'm trying to book York to Llandudo/Conwy in early May. Trains that were there yesterday aren't today and they all say Rail Replacement Bus. I understand that may include maintenance, strikes etc, but find it odd that this info wasn't there yesterday. And that is over a month until I travel. Help!

Posted by
1966 posts

Engineering work has to be added to the system sometime.
If this is the work at Rhyl then that has been flagged for some time, but has been awaiting bus times being added.
It looks, given some unusual routings between York and Manchester as if extra dates have been added to the Stalybridge blockade, where there is major electrification work going on. Clearly trains in May can route through Stalybridge on the main line to Victoria, but are unable to route to Piccadilly via Guide Bridge on certain dates.
This was not originally scheduled- it was meant to be over in April. Am I surprised?, no.
The journey planners are sending you on an all train route. Whether it is faster to actually get the bus from Huddersfield to Picc, then train from Pic to Rhyl would need close checking, but if there is an all train route I would stick to it.
At the moment the 12 weeks warning of engineering work happening, which everyone cites, is just not being adhered to.

Posted by
29 posts

Wow. Great info and thank you for researching for me. I guess things can change in a matter of hours. Do you think the bus replacement service that is posted now will sell out? Should I just go ahead and book what I see available or is there a chance between now and then that they will add to the train schedule?

Posted by
1966 posts

No, there will be enough bus capacity for the trains which are being substituted for.
They have passenger counts for trains so use those in planning how many buses to provide. Some modern trains automatically count you without even realising.
On some lines in South east england (like Greater Anglia) the system is clear enough on the new trains to tell you which coaches on a train have most seating capacity, in real time.
Relief buses are usually kept on standby to run as duplicates at the start point of such services.
Scheduled replacements like this are very well organised. There will be lots of easily identifiable staff around to guide you and ensure you are on the right bus.
If the timetable is now published I would just book, it is very unlikely extra services will be added.