How to get from Dorchester to Clapham Junction via Clapham Junction

So you want to go from Dorchester to Clapham Junction by train. How do you work out the best way to get there? Looking the journey up on the National Rail web site seems a good idea and this is what I did recently. In doing so I threw up an amusing anomaly.

I entered my starting point, Dorchester South station. Next I entered my destination, Clapham Junction. Then I hit the ‘Go’ button and got the results below.

A train departing at 11:13 would require a change of train along the route. Wait until 11:33 and I could catch a direct train with no changes, probably the more sensible option.

But what was this third option? I could again catch the 11:33 but this time with two train changes. I would get to Clapham Junction half an hour later than the direct train. Why would I want to do that?

Investigate further, and it gets sillier.

By clicking on the details link I brought up the exact details of the journey, as shown below.

I had assumed the changes would take place before getting to Clapham Junction. No, it was weirder than that.

The journey proposed involved going straight to Clapham Junction. It then suggested changing platforms to catch a train to Vauxhall Station. Then at Vauxhall I would change platforms. Finally I needed to board a train back to Clapham Junction.

Can anyone explain the logic in this? Why not just end my journey the first time I reached Clapham? Answers on a postcard please, or you could just leave a comment below.

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