Wednesday 10 August 2022


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rail unveiled

::: Test message -_— £ $ ‘’

seated or standing

We often hear complaints that passengers have had to stand, but should we be outraged?

Indeed, have you paid for a seat along with your ticket?

Have you paid for a seat along with your ticket?

Mostly, the answer is no, unless you have bought an Advance ticket and these tickets do include seat reservations. It may also be possible to reserve a seat separately, even if you hold another type of ticket.

But the mere purchase of a ticket does not entitle you to a seat, and the availability of a seat is not part of the Contract of Carriage which exists between you and the railway.

But isn't this unfair?

With the exception of Advance tickets, most fares entitle you to choose your train at the last moment (with some restrictions, such as not travelling in rush hours with an off-peak ticket). Indeed, return halves on longer journeys are valid for a month.

With the best will in the world, a railway company cannot provide specific space for you on any of dozens or hundreds of trains. So it is up to you to choose a quieter time of day and/or turn up in good time if a seat is vital, or reserve a seat if this is possible.


Commuters travelling at the height of the rush hour cannot expect a seat every time, especially on short journeys. The number of extra trains (and tracks, platforms, depot capacity and staff) which would then be needed would be overwhelmingly expensive (see The problem of the peaks). What would happen to the price of your season ticket? Its a harsh truth that running a commuter railway is always a matter of finding a balance which accommodates most people in reason without busting the budget, and its a problem which afflicts transport systems the world over.

how fair are fares?
how long does it take to build a train?
the problem of the peaks
why dont operators buy more trains?


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