Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Monday 8th February

Had occasion to go to Coventry this morning for a 9.30am meeting. Was idly looking at the options for this journey on the LondonMidland website the night before when my eye was caught by a £7 First Class Anytime Day Return fare for Virgin Trains only. Given that the Anytime Day Return fare (any operator) is £6.20 for this journey and I had an hour to kill before the 8.50 Pendolino, this walk-on fare was a no-brainer!

So I turned up at New Street at 7.50, bought my ticket from a machine, and spent a productive hour in the First Class lounge catching up on email using the free WiFi connection there. Refreshments and papers available of course, as they were on the 8.50 train which turned out to be a Class 90 push-pulling a set of Mk 3 coaches. Was amused at the reaction of a regular passenger who assured me that this really was the way to travel First Class, and I have to admit that the Mk 3 seats are more comfortable than those of the Pendolino...

Coming back of course one doesn't get a coffee but the coaches were very quiet (see below). Must check to see if the ticket clerks at New Street actually offer this travel option without being prompted. By the way, the equivalent Virgin only standard class fare is £4.70 but I think the extras swing it for the First Class ticket.

Intestingly, if you are travelling there and back in a day, then buying the ticket above along with an Anytime Return from Coventry to Euston will save you £18 (£7 + £215) - worth the hassle of two sets of tickets I suspect. Indeed, as the Anytime Return is only £9.30, splitting your ticket purchase for any Pendolino service which calls at Coventry (ALL but the 7.30am) will save you a minimum of £15.70!

However, should you be able to time your journeys to use the xx.50 services which call at Rugby and the balancing xx.03 return workings, then your split fare -Birmingham-Coventry-Rugby-Euston - drops to £201.20 (£9.30 + £8.90 + £183), a saving of £38.80 (and slightly greater if there and back in a day).

Even more savings to be had if you are able to use the Pendolinos which stop at Milton Keynes but this will have to wait until I load the Fares page onto my site!

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