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Booking A Train Ticket - Out Of Order

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I have tried to book a train ticket online today, all the websites are not well.

Virgin's says:

"Website booking problems

Apologies. We are working hard with our supplier to resolve the issue."

Trainline says:

"Site maintenance

We are currently working on our website - please check back in about an hour.

We are sorry for any inconvenience caused."

Eastmidlands says:

"Emergency Update - Train ticket bookings online

There are currently issues with booking a train ticket online."

So I can't book the ticket, booking it tomorrow will be 200 or 300% more expensive....

They suggest calling, only thousands of people are now calling because the website doesn't work, so you don't get through!

Wouldn't it work out cheaper to sack all the ticket staff, sack all the inspectors, sack the call centre ticket sellers, tell all the advance selling websites to go take a hike and just offer free rail travel for everyone? Maybe offer 1st class as a niche on business routes at an extra cost .....

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Wouldn't it work out cheaper to sack all the ticket staff, sack all the inspectors, sack the call centre ticket sellers, tell all the advance selling websites to go take a hike and just offer free rail travel for everyone? Maybe offer 1st class as a niche on business routes at an extra cost .....

It would work out even cheaper in the long run to tear up every last rail and sleeper, tarmac over the lot and paint white lines down the middle.

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It would work out even cheaper in the long run to tear up every last rail and sleeper, tarmac over the lot and paint white lines down the middle.

But a bunch of mostly narrow roads would be far less useful. Give me the expense of the railways over the trouble we'd have if we got rid of them (not that they couldn't and shouldn't be run much better and more cheaply than they do these days).

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I have tried to book a train ticket online today, all the websites are not well.

So what's new?

Don't they want my business?

How hard can it be to buy a train ticket?

I’ve been trying to buy in advance, to take advantage of cheaper advance fares.

First attempt: go to nationalrail.co.uk, enter details of my journey, select my trains. It gives me a price, and I click to buy. It offers a couple of options (forward or backward, window or aisle seat etc, no commitment on their part).

So far so good. But then it takes me from nationalrail’s site to firstgreatwestern.co.uk for the actual purchase. Except, FGW shows me the timetable for my selections, but tells me the journey I selected doesn’t exist! Huh? OK, click on my selected trains on the timetable, nothing happens.

Try again, same thing.

Try a different tack: start from the beginning on FGW site. This time it takes me through to a point where it invites me to log in or register. There is no option for what I want to do – just buy an effing ticket for the journey I’ve just selected, if you please! Grrr … OK, let’s play along.

By the time I can log in, it’s telling me my journey doesn’t exist. Again!

OK, google for other sites that’ll sell me a ticket (hope I don’t stumble on a fraud site). thetrainline.com gives me the same journey and then the same effing login/registration crap: bugger that. Raileasy and Railsaver both timeout trying to show me a timetable.

Finally I get to a site called mytrainticket.co.uk, which appears to work and after some annoying crap it presents my options rather nicely. Only by now, the cost of my ticket has just doubled, and is no longer any cheaper than an open ticket. It’s doubled at nationalrail, too – I guess all my queries have told their system this journey is in lots of demand :(

At some point in all this I also tried ‘phoning FGW. Even the bloomin’ ‘phone cut me off after I selected the “buy a ticket” option. Is this managed by the same people as the website?

Grrr ….

On a separate note, I also had a look at travel to Brussels for FOSDEM. I asked for a ticket from Plymouth through to Brussels, which was OK. But then I also tried to see if it would let me book a package inclusive of hotel, after checking the place I’ve stayed in recent years and been less than enthused by this year’s price. Eurostar’s site tells me it’s not possible to book a hotel because my journey starts in Plymouth!

Yeah, right. If I’m travelling to Brussels on the Friday and returning to Plymouth on the Monday I must be wanting a hotel for three nights in [guess where]? Here’s a clue: it’s the same as if my starting point had been London. Evidently that guess is too difficult for Eurostar’s developer.

Bah, Humbug.

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I have tried to book a train ticket online today, all the websites are not well.

Virgin's says:

"Website booking problems

Apologies. We are working hard with our supplier to resolve the issue."

Trainline says:

"Site maintenance

We are currently working on our website - please check back in about an hour.

We are sorry for any inconvenience caused."

Eastmidlands says:

"Emergency Update - Train ticket bookings online

There are currently issues with booking a train ticket online."

So I can't book the ticket, booking it tomorrow will be 200 or 300% more expensive....

They suggest calling, only thousands of people are now calling because the website doesn't work, so you don't get through!

Wouldn't it work out cheaper to sack all the ticket staff, sack all the inspectors, sack the call centre ticket sellers, tell all the advance selling websites to go take a hike and just offer free rail travel for everyone? Maybe offer 1st class as a niche on business routes at an extra cost .....

Trainline supply the back end to most of the other online ticket sellers, so when they break, so do those that rely on them. It may have been a problem with the ATOC system, which would then affect all systems whether administered by trainline or not.

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  • 311 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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