SWR to South Ken

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    I’ve found what looks like a bit of an oddity in the fare table.

    Idly looking at pricing to South Kensington from the SWR network I find that starting at Wimbledon has 3 options (which I rather expected):

    Default (presumably district line direct although it would also cover WIM – CLJ – South Ken)
    via Waterloo (etc.)
    via Vauxhall (etc.)

    However, if I start further out (e.g. Worcester Park or Epsom) I only see two fares:

    via Vauxhall (etc.)

    The default fare must cover changing from NR to LU at Wimbledon or Waterloo which surprises me. It’s the premium price option and I would have expected the Wimbledon change to be at least as cheap as changing at Vauxhall if not cheaper.

    To be fair, the fares from Epsom are identical on all routes while those from WCP only differ in the peak so maybe the potential differences are too small to worry about given the guarantee of a NR/LUL mix of modes but if that were the case then I don’t see why changing at Vauxhall etc. would be cheaper than Wimbledon.

    Deliberate or accidental, I wonder?


    Hi Feathers,

    Lots at play here so I’ll do my best to explain.

    Wimbledon has the extra option of an LU only fare as you point out. Yes you could change at Clapham Junction and West Brompton but why would you when you’re almost certain to be quicker on one train.

    Where fares are guaranteed to be mixed (late adopting NR and LU involving zone 1) with the option to change at a zone 1/2 interchange (eg Vauxhall) then there will usually be a separate fare for that change. It’s different if the single fares for NR to zone 2 plus a zone 1 LU are cheaper than the mixed mode fare for the whole journey, otherwise the through fare is charged instead. This applies to stations within zones 1-6 where the NR fares are set centrally rather than by the individual TOCs.

    Epsom is outside zone 6 so the fares are set by SWR and they choose to treat Vauxhall as a zone 1 station. This is an anomaly which I’ve never understood, but TfL can only do what they are told. They’ve set up the option to change at Vauxhall in case SWR change their mind.

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