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Rail Search Engines Not Always Right

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denis567 | 00:25 Tue 21st Jan 2014 | Travel
4 Answers
I travel from Selby to Great Malvern on a frequent basis. My route is always, Selby to Doncaster
Doncaster to Birmingham New Street
Birmingham to Great Malvern

Last weekend I had the occasion to returm home on a Sunday and due to there being no direct trains from Bimingham to Doncaster on a Sunday, I could not use my usual route.
All the companies advised I travel as follows;-
Great Malvern to Birmingham New Street
Birmingham to Manchester Piccadilly
Manchester to Selby
It was only by chance that I found out that there was a train leaving Birmingham 2 minutes after the Manchester one, which would take me to York.
This was much better as York is only 15 miles from Selby and there was a connection that got me into Selby 12 minutes sooner than if I had gone via Manchester.
My question is, why did all the search engines (and I tried several) not give the York train as an option?

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did you try nationalrail.co.uk? That's supposed to be the officialish one
that's because the journey planner's connection algorithm disallows the short connection margin at York between the train from Birmingham, and the train to Selby.

I once got a train from Preston to Liverpool. The timetable I'd used on-line said I had to change trains at St Helens, but I had a hunch, which proved correct, that the train I was already on went into Liverpool Lime Street, just where I wanted to go. So goodness knows why it said to get out and wait 20 minutes for another train!
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Mushroom25, I think you are probably right, there was only about 12 minutes transfer time at York, so if the arrival had been late, I might have missed the connection.
On the day however, the Birmingham to York train was on time, so I had plenty of time to catch the Selby train

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