Trains in the UK

In June I plan to attend the DebConf 7 in Edinburgh. I like train riding and after all it’s good for the climat, so I ruled out flying.

If you want to go to UK by train, you have to take the EuroStar through the tunnel. The Deutsche Bahn offers a nice package including a sleeper train for €86, so I got that part covered. But that only gets me to London, and I need to go to Edinburgh.

So today, I orderd a one way ticket from London to Edinburgh for £28.50 from GNER, one of the private british rail companies, and payed by credit card. Right after I sucessfully booked the ticket, I noticed some problems with the shipping address: An Umlaut in the street name has turned into weird characters and it did not display the counry (Germany) that I’m sure I selected. So I immediatelly sent this mail to GNER:


I just booked this ticket online. It seems there are problems with the German address, though. The correct address is:

Joachim Breitner
Ehbühl 33
71083 Herrenberg

(you can replace ü by ue if necessary)

My Booking Reference: xxxxxxxx

Thank you,
Joachim Breitner

And got this response:

Dear Joachim

Thank you for your recent e-mail regarding delivery address of tickets.

I can confirm that we do not deliver tickets overseas. However, since our system is automatic, as soon as you click on the 'Buy tickets' button, the tickets are printed and sent in post.

Please remember that once the booking is confirmed, the delivery address/method cannot be changed.

In this case, if we receive the tickets back from the General Post Office, they can be reissued to a UK address and if we do not receive the tickets back, you will have to buy new tickets as your tickets are non refundable.

Please reply to this e-mail with a UK address, where you would like the tickets to be delivered so that I can update it on the notes, and the tickets will be posted, once received back. If we do not receive the tickets back, you will have to buy new tickets.

If you have any further queries, please do not hesitate in contacting us.

Kind regards


Now I really wonder:

  • If they don’t send tickets abroad, why do they allow me to enter a German address?
  • Should I ask my credit card company to deny the payment (if that is possible)?
  • How do I get my ticket now?
  • And do we really want to privatize the Deutsche Bahn?

Update: I gave them an address in the UK now, I hope it works out (thanks Ben). And the Deutsche Bahn is already privatized, just not publicy traded yet and is 50% owned by the state, I was confusing that.


Yes, I guess the best choice is to try to reverse the credit card transaction!

Especially since the tickets are non refundable and they will be never delivered to you.
#1 Béranger (Homepage) am 2007-03-26T19:37:26+00:00
Hi Joachim,

Yes, you can *always* dispute your credit card charge with your bank.

The Merchant (here GNER) would have to go through a quite complex process to prove that they've delivered you the goods/service and that it's not a fraud - most of the companies will just not do it, taking their losses.

Another - maybe more clever - trick is to write at some big guy at GNER (usually the CTO works just fine if you can find his name) to tell him that his service could definitely be improved. That sometimes help. It sometimes even helps *a lot* !
#2 Mac am 2007-03-26T20:10:14+00:00

If you are still having trouble with this, you can have the tickets delivered to me in the UK and I'll forward them on to you. Give me an email if this'll help.

#3 Mark Hymers am 2007-03-26T21:32:08+00:00
Thanks for the offer, but I already have my secret contact in the UK. CU at DebConf then, I guess :-)
#4 Joachim Breitner (Homepage) am 2007-03-26T21:40:22+00:00
I see you've sorted something out -- I'd never bother getting train tickets posted to me though (even in the UK); when booking I choose the option to pick them up from a station ticket machine instead.
#5 Moray Allan (Homepage) am 2007-03-26T22:50:38+00:00
I should have as well. I thought that because I might have little time and I don’t know if my credit card will work without problems that this would be the safer route. Oh well...

In Germany, I either print my tickets myself or just buy them at the ticket machine directly.
#6 Joachim Breitner (Homepage) am 2007-03-27T08:35:41+00:00

Have something to say? You can post a comment by sending an e-Mail to me at <mail@joachim-breitner.de>, and I will include it here.