Rail ticketing makes no sense
HELP me please. I just don’t understand railing ticketing in Scotland. With a Railcard, I’m booked for £33.90 on Thursday May 31 for a First-class return journey Stonehaven-edinburgh (out 0810, return 1833). This is Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC), with luggage space, bikes space, legroom, meals, coffee and refreshments at seat, with two toilets per coach.
Out of interest, I tried comparable times Abellio Scotrail (ASR), and my computer suggests that the cheapest Second-class return fare is £33.20 – little luggage space, bikes with a grudge, refreshments extra, and two toilets per three coaches.
The unasked-for ASR bonus is a noisy rattly train out of the Ark, with vibratory underfloor engines, toilets that open directly into passenger accommodation, and nowhere to plug in an electronic device.
Don’t even think on travelling First by ASR. The price is a whopping £84.50, with no luggage space at all, all of a coffee and a biscuit gratis, and single toilet at the farther end of the carriage.
In looking at differences between 1st class in VTEC and ASR, we’re not comparing apples and pears: we’re looking directly at the difference between a VTEC stateroom and ASR steerage.
These ticket disparities – not to mention the yawning chasm in quality of trains – have existed for decades. Why does Transport Scotland, the ultimate head honcho of ASR, allows this to continue? Gordon Casely,
Westerton Cottage, Crathes.