Gransnet forums


Can’t reserve train seats!

(46 Posts)
OldMeg Tue 09-Jan-18 12:06:28

I’m taking two grandchildren to Liverpool at half-term to see the Terracotta Army exhibition there. We’re staying with relative for two nights, so we’ll have luggage.

I booked train tickets online and when asked for our seat preference, ticked the ‘table’ option.

It wasn’t until I printed the tickets out that I noticed they read ‘no seats reserved’. I’ve since been on the phone to their customer services department who tell me you cannot book seats on any of their trains.

So tried Virgin and Cross Country but, it appears only this company run trains in that line on any of the days I need to travel. So I’m forced to use this train company.

How can this be right?.

So i could end up in a Jeremy Corbyn situation, where I’m forced to sit on the floor with two young grandchildren.


humptydumpty Tue 09-Jan-18 12:14:05

Which train company
is it, OldMeg?

OldMeg Tue 09-Jan-18 12:19:01

West Midlands.

OldMeg Tue 09-Jan-18 12:19:33

This is a major route from Birmingham to Liverpool.

grannyticktock Tue 09-Jan-18 12:21:25

I had the same thing happen on a recent booking, travelling with Great Western Railway. Fortunately I will be travelling alone and at a quiet time, so I don't anticipate any problems with finding a seat, but I can see why you're concerned.

gillybob Tue 09-Jan-18 12:42:31

Reserving a seat doesn’t always mean you get one angry . We travelled on GWR recently and there were 2 carriages missing meaning that snyobeceith reservation in one if the missing coaches had to stand or sit in the aisle . Disgusting treatment of paying passengers . You have my sympathy travelling with children too OldMeg

vampirequeen Tue 09-Jan-18 14:30:59

Is it classed as a commuter train?

gillybob Tue 09-Jan-18 15:11:28

What on earth is “snyobeceith” confused

Was supposed to be ... “anyone with”.
Sorry .

Luckygirl Tue 09-Jan-18 15:24:47

I have often booked seats and then not been able to actually sit in them as they were not marked reserved.

Bathsheba Tue 09-Jan-18 16:13:33

This sort of lack of organisation doesn't exactly encourage people to use the trains, does it? And now with the fares going up again it's no wonder people prefer to clog up the roads with their cars.

OldMeg Tue 09-Jan-18 18:21:16

No, not a commuter train. I’ve tried all the times it runs during the day, and have booked to leave Birmingham at lunch time, arriving in Liverpool two hours later.

OldMeg Tue 09-Jan-18 18:21:43

Lucky I cannot book seats.

TwiceAsNice Tue 09-Jan-18 18:52:59

Hopefully at that time the train will not be full but I understand it's worrying when you have children with you.

WilmaKnickersfit Tue 09-Jan-18 20:05:18

When I travel by train to Scotland I change in Glasgow and take a ScotRail train to Stranraer. It looks like I have a reserved seat on the ScotRail train, but actually you can't reserve a seat on the local stopper trains on that line.

Fortunately the train are never busy and I have my pick of seats.

I hope you find the train not too busy too OldMeg. If your GC are old enough then get them to nip on the train first and get a table for all of you.

GrandmaKT Tue 09-Jan-18 20:15:38

You should be OK to get a seat at that time OldMeg. The train starts at Birmingham, so just make sure you are on the platform in good time.
I use this service regularly for work, and you're right, it's the only one that you can't book tickets on. It's always dreadfully crowded in rush hour, but only as far as Wolverhampton then it starts to thin out. It's an intercity train that is run like a local service! No refreshments. Disgusting really, I'm just glad I don't have to commute daily!

nana4everNG Tue 09-Jan-18 20:40:55

I find that even if I have a reserved seat, I find people sitting in it. Last time it was at a table with a whole family sitting at it. I didn’t have the heart to intervene and slunk off to find an empty seat elsewhere.

OldMeg Tue 09-Jan-18 23:20:59

GrandmaKT you can’t book seats on ANY of the West Midland trains in this route and ALL the trains that day are run by that company.

Also I was told the train comes from London, so it could be pretty crowded by the time it reache Brum.

Thanks to all. I just hope there are seats, but I travel by train a lot and as others have said it’s often so crowded I’ve had to shift people out of my booked seat, never mind trying to find one unreserved.

GrandmaKT Tue 09-Jan-18 23:39:50

Yes, that's what I said, this route is the only one I can't book seats on.

OldMeg Wed 10-Jan-18 08:30:16

Got you now! Sorry GrandmaKT I completely misread your post.

Blinko Wed 10-Jan-18 10:51:32

I too travel fairly often on this route, boarding between Birmingham and Wolverhampton. Outside rush hour, I reckon you'll be ok and should get seats.

anitamp1 Wed 10-Jan-18 10:56:35

Last year we went to London by train. Pre booked our seats. Facing forwards as travelling backwards makes DH feel sick, and with table. The seats booked for us turned out to be facing backwards with no table, despite the fact that people who clearly hadnt booked seats were sat in seats facing forward with tables! Go figure.

tessagee Wed 10-Jan-18 11:18:16

I've had to give up travelling by train due to the 'no reserved seats' rule. This, together with the very limited luggage storage turned the last two long journeys into a complete nightmare. Never again!

newnanny Wed 10-Jan-18 11:18:31

Old Meg if you travel after 9.30am from Birmingham there are plenty of empty seats. If you travel at about 8am you will find it hard to get a seat. Try to avoid the main commuting times to get a seat. Same goes on return journey if you travel after 6pm you will get seats but if about 4.30-5.45 it will be difficult. You also might have to sit in a 2 and a 1 near to each other rather than all three together next to each other.

newnanny Wed 10-Jan-18 11:19:39

Just a thought Birmingham is a very busy station where lots of people get on. Could you catch train one stop earlier so less people on train?

Topcat7 Wed 10-Jan-18 12:14:28

Just to be clear Jeremy Corbyn was pulling a stunt and lying Virgin proved there were plenty of seats free on the train he was travelling on. Hopefully if you are travelling outside of commuter hours you will be fine