back to article Reg reader offered £999,998 train ticket from Cambridge to Horley

On the heels of an IT error leading to Great Western Rail advertising a first-class journey from Taunton to Trowbridge for £10,000 comes an exponentially more expensive offer from National Rail. Our thanks to Reg reader Andrew for sending this screenshot in, dug up from his personal chuckle archives, advertising the "cheapest …

  1. JeffyPoooh Silver badge
    Pint

    And supposedly Stong A.I. Is just around the corner...

    Crazy.

    1. Haku

      Re: And supposedly Stong A.I. Is just around the corner...

      AI learns from humans.

      Humans make errors.

      If 'judgement day' does come and we get wiped out it'll probably be because it learnt how to be stupid, and stupidity without any sort of conscience is some scary shit.

      For god's sake don't let AI watch Jackass, or any 'reality' tv for that matter.

      1. Captain TickTock
        Terminator

        stupidity without any sort of conscience is some scary shit.

        Especially now that Trump's recent AP interview has really lowered the bar on the Turing test

        1. Dan 55 Silver badge

          Re: stupidity without any sort of conscience is some scary shit.

          Oh, he was doing so well up until then.

      2. Chemical Bob
        Terminator

        Re: And supposedly Stong A.I. Is just around the corner...

        "For god's sake don't let AI watch Jackass"

        I'd love to see AI get kit's nuts whacked.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnUYc8wdwRI

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: And supposedly Stong A.I. Is just around the corner...

        It has automatically identified OxBridge, and is targeting graduates for $$$$

    2. lee harvey osmond

      Re: And supposedly Stong A.I. Is just around the corner...

      what has artificial insemination got to do with this?

    3. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      Coat

      @Jeffy Poooh. Re: And supposedly Stong A.I. Is just around the corner...

      No its not crazy.

      Rumor has it that they are working out the kinks in their new 'surge pricing' strategy.

      He just bought the ticket at the wrong time. That's all. ;-P

  2. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

    Not forgetting

    Michael Collins.

    1. Winkypop Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Re: Not forgetting

      Indeed.

      Never forgotten

  3. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

    Comparison with Apollo

    I recall from the documentaries I've seen about the Apollo programme that nutrition came from packets of goop consumed through a straw and all defecation, etc. was into a bag.

    To be fair, that sounds better than the facilities on some trains that I've traveled on in this country in recent years.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Comparison with Apollo

      Just don't get the bags mixed up.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Comparison with Apollo

      To be fair, that sounds better than the facilities on some trains that I've traveled on in this country in recent years.

      At Harlech, not too far from the school, the tracks cross the main road. Points would be scored for flushing as the train crosses the tracks the day after an evening at the 'Passage To India'.

      Double points would be scored if the barriers held back scores of school children and mumsies.

      anon for obvious reasons.

  4. Ralph the Wonder Llama
    Meh

    More guidance needed

    "prices which are more ridiculous than normal"

    And how, pray, is one meant to differentiate?

    1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

      Re: More guidance needed

      "And how, pray, is one meant to differentiate?"

      Assuming you missed A level maths, you start by placing a tangent to the (rail) line and moving it till it intersects two points. Then you work out the x and y coordinates of the points, and work out y in terms of x. Then subtract the coordinates of one point from the other (X). Then extrapolate what will happen as the value of the interval delta-x approaches zero. You have now calculated the gradient of the line, dy/dx at the point X. While at the points, please make sure the bolts are tightened correctly. Also ensure the line is continuous. That has led to problems in the past. Extra marks will be given for handling the case where the line has the wrong kinds of leaves on it.

      Rail tickets? Sorry, that's senior wrangler stuff.

      1. MyffyW Silver badge

        Re: More guidance needed

        Fascinating, and if one were interested in a coastal getaway consider:

        1 divided by the variable cabin integrated with respect to cabin which will yield:

        log(cabin) + c

      2. Frumious Bandersnatch Silver badge
        Headmaster

        Re: More guidance needed

        Funnily enough, I also started thinking about how to do differential equations when I saw the word "exponentially" in the article. AFAICR, differentiating ex with respect to x (can't do fancy LaTeX or mathml markup here) is ex. "Exponential" means that we have a superincreasing sequence since the dy/dx (slope) at each point is constantly increasing (approaching infinity) in the x direction.

        It doesn't make sense to compare two numbers and say that the second is an exponential increase over the first. There's no curve (or an infinite number of curves), just a straight line between two points, so "exponential" doesn't apply.

        There may be an order of (base 10) magnitude between the two prices, though, which would be mathematically correct.

        (Yeah, I know, I'm being really pedantic here. That's why I'm making a comment, not using the "make corrections" link.)

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge
          Coat

          Re: More guidance needed

          (can't do fancy LaTeX or mathml markup here)

          I think you need to see a certain lady who can help with latex..... I'll get me coat and wander off trying not to visualize this.

      3. David 132 Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: More guidance needed

        Assuming you missed A level maths

        I did, and until your explanation I'd always wondered what the term "an integrated rail network" meant.

        1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

          Re: More guidance needed

          It's the one where you have to hope the ballast layers filled in the area under the curve.

          1. MyffyW Silver badge

            Re: More guidance needed

            I think Rosa Parks is the real hero when it comes to an integrated transport policy.

            1. Voyna i Mor Silver badge

              Re: More guidance needed

              "I think Rosa Parks is the real hero when it comes to an integrated transport policy."

              Upvoted.

              Of course nowadays they'd just charge her $999 998 for a ticket.

  5. lee harvey osmond

    £999,998?

    OK I admit defeat.

    Where did he qualify for the £2 discount?

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Cambridge to Horley

    Just checked £22 single. Move on

    1. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

      Re: Cambridge to Horley

      Apparently £999,998 was the price in 2011.

      I don't know the details but I presume that these are cases where data has been input either with the correct price not available - so replaced with 999999 or whatever - or never to be used for some reason, e.g. the rail service is freight only, so, the out-of-range value should ensure that this data is never offered as the price of a passenger ticket. Except when it is.

      There also are the secretive so-called modern day "Parliamentary trains" which they do not want people to use. Or at least they don't encourage it.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parliamentary_train

      Some of these do not run as trains (and possibly couldn't) but as either so-called "replacement bus service" or, if I remember rightly from a BBC radio programme, if you want to go then they call (and they pay for) a taxi for you.

      In a different circumstance, an accidental line closure when I wanted to travel recently, the masses of passengers in one direction got buses booked hastily, and I was one of a few passengers going in the opposite direction for whom a shared taxi ride was provided. Nice!

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge
        Coat

        Re: Cambridge to Horley

        "Apparently £999,998 was the price in 2011."

        BREXIT deflation.

    2. Anonymous Blowhard

      Re: Cambridge to Horley

      Yes, it's £22 if you want to arrive today or in the near future, but if you want to arrive in Cambridge on the 15 January 2011 then £999,998 seems reasonable; £22 for the rail travel and £999,976 for the time travel.

      1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: Cambridge to Horley

        "

        Yes, it's £22 if you want to arrive today or in the near future, but if you want to arrive in Cambridge on the 15 January 2011 then £999,998 seems reasonable; £22 for the rail travel and £999,976 for the time travel.

        "

        Which is why some of us have switched to using a TARDIS for those types of trips.

      2. Mike Moyle Silver badge

        Re: Cambridge to Horley

        "Yes, it's £22 if you want to arrive today or in the near future, but if you want to arrive in Cambridge on the 15 January 2011 then £999,998 seems reasonable..."

        But can I go to Morrow and come back tomorrow night?

    3. Loud Speaker

      Re: Cambridge to Horley

      £22 single

      But this is the price for married men. Married women's price is not available except via Victoria's Secret.

      1. Pedigree-Pete
        Joke

        Re: Cambridge to Horley

        @ Loud Speaker..available via Victoia's Secret what??? Enquiring mind etc. PP

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Free market

    It's just supply and demand based. This is obviously what the market can bear.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Trollface

      Re: Free market

      If only they could get a £10000000 monthly subsidy from the government, then they could make the fair cheaper for the one person who uses it, be totally worth it in case two people ever need to use it.

  8. Mike Richards Silver badge

    I'm convinced

    This is just a ploy by rail companies to make their other fares look more reasonable.

  9. imanidiot Silver badge
    Joke

    But...

    Isn't that the normal price for a rail ticket in the UK?

  10. adam payne Silver badge

    "Our thanks to Reg reader Andrew for sending this screenshot in, dug up from his personal chuckle archives, advertising the "cheapest" fare for a journey from Cambridge to Horley back on the 15 January 2011 at the tidy price of £999,998."

    Replacement space shuttle service?

  11. Voyna i Mor Silver badge
    Coat

    £10000 Taunton to Trowbridge

    Sounds about right to get away from Taunton.

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: £10000 Taunton to Trowbridge

      I didn't think that Taunton was somewhere one needed to get away from when they are so useful for slicing open and hiding inside to prevent deep planetary frostbite whilst camping out overnight?

    2. BongoJoe

      Re: £10000 Taunton to Trowbridge

      Oh, the Uber surge pricing in operation?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Interesting routings STP to KGX

    I have noticed that there are some interesting options come up for St Pancras to Kings Cross.

    First option is typically 1 minute walk.

    Other options include (for £6):

    St Pancras -Blackfriars - Kings Cross

    St Pancras - Kings Cross - Finsbury Park - Kings Cross

    St Pancras - Highbury & Islington - Finsbury Park - Kings Cross

    Curiously Kings Cross to St Pancras only comes up with the 1 minute walk and a comment "No fares are available"

  13. McVirtual

    B.A.R.G.A.I.N.!

    Measily price to pay to go back in time IMHO !!

  14. Gene Cash Silver badge

    I have an Expedia screenshot from 2008 where a flight from Toronto to Buffalo was $85+K

    http://i.imgur.com/uNwEcjW.png

    1. Ian Emery Silver badge

      And I have a screen shot of a multi Trillion Billion Gigabyte driver download from Creative Sounds.

      (It might be more, I kept losing count of the noughts).

      Estimated download time was somewhere in the region of 1.5 Million years.

  15. Simon Heffer

    More Amaz'n prices!

    Amazon wishlist button added artwork for Clear Air Turbulence from myshopify.com at £21,000,400.00

    I love Chris Foss' work but I'm not stumping up that much.

    1. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

      Re: More Amaz'n prices!

      A lot of those are meant for money laundering or drug deals. The seller puts up a $100 item up for sale, but charges $1000 for it so that no one would buy it normally while providing cover for their criminal activity. Everything looks legitimate from Law Enforcement's and Amazon's point of view, so the risk of getting caught is minimal. The only way they could get caught (without getting either end to give up the other) would be for someone knowledgeable about that specific item and what it should cost to report it.

      This happened to me a few years back, I ordered some parts for an old system, so ended up buying a module that was 10x the price as it should have been (needed it last minute and needed a new one, it was the only one available at the time). Arrived the next day and overheated after a few hours of use, pulled it apart to discover that the fans were blocked by a bag of cocaine wedged into the device. Reported it to the police and they took it away for evidence, but still haven't gotten the damn device back...

  16. User McUser
    Boffin

    Well, *I* could be bothered.

    We can't be bothered adjusting for inflation, currency fluctuations and whatever other processes might be necessary to cobble this numerical comparison into something remotely resembling anything other than a back-of-a-beermat chuckle, but we're pretty sure that, had Andrew purchased the ticket, he would in some way or another be the equal of Armstrong and Aldrin.

    USD$61 in 1973 is, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics' CPI Inflation Calculator about USD$350 in 2017.

    GBP£138.88 is currently USD$178.25.

    So the train ticket is roughly half as expensive (per second) as the Apollo program was.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Well, *I* could be bothered.

      "So the train ticket is roughly half as expensive (per second) as the Apollo program was."

      The train ticket was a single, Apollo was a return, so that makes them the same price in effect :-)

  17. Hero Protagonist

    New El Reg Unit

    I propose the "Cambridge-to-Horley-train-fare" (CtHtf) as a new unit of measurement in the El Reg system. Example: "This new government program is projected to cost at least 3.7 thousand CtHtf."

  18. Crazy Operations Guy Silver badge

    Private car

    So does that fare come with an entire train car to yourself? And do you get to keep the car afterwards? Although I suspect for that much, you could buy your own car...

  19. kain preacher Silver badge

    Does that come with a private line and train ? oh and for that price can tazer those that refuse to be quiet on the quiet train ?

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Ridiculous, prices from 2011

    Mind you, the sausage rolls and biscuits they serve are from 2011.

  21. fedoraman
    Alert

    A small price to pay...

    Guys, can we please start a campaign to raise this amount? I have a hunting rife, and knowing what we now know, there's a few butterflies in the past that need stamping on.

    If you've ever read A Sound Of Thunder by Ray Bradbury, you'll know what I mean...

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