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UK Rail Ticketing and Info

January 24th, 2004 Leave a comment Go to comments

It used to be that you went to a railway station, bought a ticket, had your ticket checked as you went onto the platform, had it checked on the train, and again when you left the platform at your destination. Then when the railways were privatised, they stopped selling tickets at most stations and got rid of all the ticket collectors. This works as long as the guard on the train can be bothered to come along and check/sell you a ticket.

They seem to have realised this now, as they have reinstated ticket collectors at stations, but instead of re-installing a proper barrier, they just have staff milling about. Worse still, if you travelled from an unmanned station and the guard on the train didn’t sell you a ticket, you then have to mess around buying a ticket, from someone who has never heard of the station you started at and has to spend 10 minutes looking it up in a book.

Information at stations isn’t any good either. Yesterday at Manchester Victoria, there were no screens showing which platform trains were arriving/departing at. The two screens which should have shown this, showed “Departure information is shown on the next screen” – well that’s an efficient use of a screen! Better still, the screen to which it referred, didn’t show that information at all – just a static message about leaving bags.

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