My route early this afternoon was to get from Romford in east London to West Brompton in west London. Checking the TFL fare finder there are four possible prices for this journey.
(i) Peak: £5.10 Monday to Friday from 0630 to 0930 and from 1600 to 1900.
(ii) Off Peak: £3.10 At all other times including public holidays.
(iii) Peak: £2.80 Monday to Friday from 0630 to 0930 and from 1600 to 1900.
(iv) Off Peak: £2.60 At all other times including public holidays.
The first two fares involve going through central London, the second two fares involve going via the London Overground. I was before the peak time, but always ready to save 50p, I decided to go for that. But, during peak time, it would save £2 going the alternate route.
The Romford roundel, with the colours of the Elizabeth Line, or, as most people will probably keep calling it, Crossrail.
Until Crossrail is fully operational, so in about 71 years, TFL rail are running services between Romford (starting from Shenfield) and London Liverpool Street. This is the service which used to be run by Abellio, until it was switched in 2015.
Inside the train, which has frankly seen better days. I’m not very good at train recognition, but I think it’s a Class 315, which were built by British Rail (when they weren’t busy closing stations) in 1980. The train was six minutes late in arriving, but there are trains every ten minutes, so it doesn’t make much difference. The train got busier as we got nearer to London.
To get the cheaper fare, I couldn’t go into London Liverpool Street, I had to change at Stratford. This is easy enough, but it’s necessary to tap the pink oyster reader so that the system knows that you’ve switched to the Overground. You couldn’t really cheat this, as the TFL Rail train would arrive into the mainline platforms at London Liverpool Street and customers would have to switch to the underground, which would then be noted by the oyster readers.
Here’s the Overground train at Stratford, I think a Class 378. My knowledge about this is very limited…..
It wasn’t very busy to begin with, but it got a little busier over the route. I saw Grenfell Tower for the first time and then went to read the Guardian online who had just that moment put up a story about it. Very sobering and sad.
And here we (well, me, no-one else would want to faff around like this) are in West Brompton, arriving 11 minutes late. It is possible to claim delay repay for these services if they are up to 30 minutes late, but I couldn’t get any money back on this occasion. Hopefully, and I shall find out tomorrow, I have been charged £2.60 for this journey. That is a decent fare for a distance of around 19 miles (measured in a straight line).