I’m planning to travel to Shenfield in the evening peak from Hackney, returning off-peak to Brondesbury, using National Railcard Oyster card(s). I’m willing to touch out and in at any intermediate station along the route and take the next train. There is no travel in the morning peak.
Where should I touch out and in to minimise my fare? Does the place change of I travel enough in zone 2 to hit the 1-2 off-peak cap and use another Oyster card to Shenfield?
You’ll need to re-check all this if travel is after 5th March.
Simplest fares are Hackney Central to Shenfield £9.10 and Shenfield to Brondesbury £4.45, total £13.55. You won’t get close to any of the caps by making two journeys both avoiding zone 1, apart from zones 1-9. That option involves splitting at Brentwood both ways and using a second discounted Oyster card. Zone 1-9 cap £9.30 plus £1.80 plus £1.15, total £12.25. It’s not the cheapest though.
The best I can find involves splitting at Manor Park which is helpfully zone 3/4. You would pay £2.00 plus £6.00 plus £2.40 plus £1.15, total £11.55. You can use one card because no caps are involved. The only other dual zoned station is Stratford but the total is £14.10. Any other split would inolve paying for a zone twice.
I imagine the places will be the same after March 5th, but the fares will be a little more.
I’ll probably use a paper ticket between Stratford and Shenfield (which is £8.75 return) with Oyster west of Stratford (£1.80 peak + £1.05 off-peak), which bring down the total to £11.60 and allow me to use a non-stop train between Stratford and Shenfield.
Further splitting is available on stopping trains.