Are e-tickets the way forward?

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Deafdoggie

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Whenever I have bought tickets from booking offices, they have always been card tickets with orange top and bottom stripes on the face, rounded corners and a black stripe across the reverse. I have never been issued with a paper ticket. What areas of Britain issue paper tickets? I am 77 years of age.
They are often referred to as "bog roll" tickets on here.
However "card" tickets are also generally referred to as paper by everyone too.
If paper or "card" the same points apply.
 
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Haywain

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Orange paper tickets (back on topic) will remain available,
They won't, they (credit card sized card tickets) are gradually being phased out. Paper tickets will continue to exist to some extent but is there really a need for them to be orange?
 
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pemma

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Presuming physical tickets disappear probably presumes we have nationwide 5G, allowing things like contactless touch in and out actually on the train.
 

Haywain

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Genuine question. If I board at, say, Sugar Loaf or Berney Arms must I have bought online? If not, then what would be issued by the guard?
Paper Roll Tickets can be issued on board. I am referring, as you did, to card (CCST) tickets. I have edited my post to clarify.
 

FenMan

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A question.

I have a choice of several routes when travelling to London, the main ones being via Guildford, Reading or Wokingham. An Any Permitted ticket to London Terminals covers all of them.

But, due to the vagaries of NFM64 fare checking and the removal of the Farnborough routeing point* a few years ago (which has made matters a lottery), tickets to some destinations, but not others, beyond London are reported by NR Enquiries to be invalid if I use my preferred route to London (faster journey time, easier interchanges, more convenient links between London termini).

As the invalid route obviously is "valid" (to humans anyway!) I have never had any issues at gatelines or with on-board ticket inspections when going this way. However I've never used an eticket when doing this - is the scanning sophisticated enough to pick up I'm technically off-route?

*The removal of the Farnborough routeing point created an unholy mess that has never been fixed. Laughably, if I specify a ticket from stations either side of my home station then NR Enquiries happily declares my preferred route to London is valid. Aargh!
 
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londonteacher

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As has been stated, Senior Conductors and RMT are not happy about scanning being added to the SC's duties and the TOC should keep relations with the union good and free of tension. People have been using paper tickets since the railways began and SCs have been happily examining those tickets, so I don't see why the TOCs would change something that works well and cause upset amongst staff.
Then, if staff are refusing to do their job then sack them. They can be replaced, just like in any business!
 

Bletchleyite

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As has been stated, Senior Conductors and RMT are not happy about scanning being added to the SC's duties and the TOC should keep relations with the union good and free of tension. People have been using paper tickets since the railways began and SCs have been happily examining those tickets, so I don't see why the TOCs would change something that works well and cause upset amongst staff.

Pity now.

It makes their job easier, not harder. Pay cut? :)

(I am not being serious, but it is not an increase in duties and so I see no need for anything special other than 5 minutes on "point at ticket and press")
 

py_megapixel

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They won't, they (credit card sized card tickets) are gradually being phased out. Paper tickets will continue to exist to some extent but is there really a need for them to be orange?
The orange-ness is handy as it allows easy identification of a ticket among several other things in a wallet.

TK Maxx uses coloured thermal paper for receipts, so I doubt it's that much more expensive than the plain white stuff.
 

alxndr

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A black and white laser printer can cost 4 x times as much as a colour inkjet. They also aren't really designed for 'home use', who is going to need a tray holding 250 sheets at home? They also don't have the built in scanner option, which saves valuable space at home. You can specify black & white printing for pretty much any colour printer, to prevent it using the colour cartridge.
We have two laser printers at home. One B&W with a scanner, one colour without a scanner. At one point we had a third that was smaller and designed for home use, and didn't cost much more than an inkjet. Over time laser is generally cheaper as its both cheaper per page and the toner doesn't have the same tendancy to dry out if not used frequently.

Occasionally buying a compatible toner makes the cost of printing a ticket near enough negligible, and yet I still find a TVM easier.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

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In the good old days, there was no talk of rail passengers bearing the cost of printing out rail tickets. You just went to the booking office, stated your journey requirements and were told the cost, tendered your fare money and the booking office person printed out your rail tickets for you and gave you the change.
 

yorkie

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In the good old days, there was no talk of rail passengers bearing the cost of printing out rail tickets. You just went to the booking office, stated your journey requirements and were told the cost, tendered your fare money and the booking office person printed out your rail tickets for you and gave you the change.
You can still do that if you want.

The true cost for me of visiting a ticket office would be greater than the cost of purchasing it online, but you can do differently if that suits you.
 

miklcct

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Buy on train as an upgrade? Perhaps scan the entry door to first class and it reads the ticket for the journey you have, say Wigan to Warrington, standard fare and deducts the money automatically from the linked bank account.
In Hong Kong, first class PAYG is done by means of a platform validator, placed at the location of first-class carriage, which marks the card as first-class validated, and recently on-train validator which opens the gangway door between standard class and first class when a card is validated as well.
 

ainsworth74

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I wonder how people managed to purchase rail tickets before the advent of smartphones, computers, et al.
By going to a ticket office or buying on board. But now that we've got smartphone and computers, time has moved on!
 

plugwash

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Whenever I have bought tickets from booking offices, they have always been card tickets with orange top and bottom stripes on the face, rounded corners and a black stripe across the reverse. I have never been issued with a paper ticket. What areas of Britain issue paper tickets? I am 77 years of age.
I'm pretty sure Avanti ticket offices issue tickets on "Paper roll tickets" (PRT) when the ticket data allows it*, I think I read somewhere that LNER do the same. All the ticket's I've had from northern ticket offices have been CCST. I haven't used any other TOCs ticket offices in some time so i'm not sure what's going on there.

Paper roll tickets are also issued by northern train gaurds, I think some other operators have their gaurds issue paper roll tickets too, but I haven't bought a ticket off a gaurd on anything other than a northern train in quite some time.

* They still retain the ability to issue CCST for flows that can't be issued on PRT
 
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FenMan

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A question.

I have a choice of several routes when travelling to London, the main ones being via Guildford, Reading or Wokingham. An Any Permitted ticket to London Terminals covers all of them.

But, due to the vagaries of NFM64 fare checking and the removal of the Farnborough routeing point* a few years ago (which has made matters a lottery), tickets to some destinations, but not others, beyond London are reported by NR Enquiries to be invalid if I use my preferred route to London (faster journey time, easier interchanges, more convenient links between London termini).

As the invalid route obviously is "valid" (to humans anyway!) I have never had any issues at gatelines or with on-board ticket inspections when going this way. However I've never used an eticket when doing this - is the scanning sophisticated enough to pick up I'm technically off-route?

*The removal of the Farnborough routeing point created an unholy mess that has never been fixed. Laughably, if I specify a ticket from stations either side of my home station then NR Enquiries happily declares my preferred route to London is valid. Aargh!

And no answer, despite people in the industry posting on this thread. Yes I'm tempting to them say "no", but do they really know? It's complicated due to a screw up by, Exhibit A, the railway. Which I get, but the question still stands.
 

Deafdoggie

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I wonder how people managed to purchase rail tickets before the advent of smartphones, computers, et al.
Are you saying we should cease making any further progress with anything? Or simply we shouldn't use advances in technology to issue tickets?
 

Bletchleyite

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In the good old days, there was no talk of rail passengers bearing the cost of printing out rail tickets. You just went to the booking office, stated your journey requirements and were told the cost, tendered your fare money and the booking office person printed out your rail tickets for you and gave you the change.

You speak as if the cost of doing so is significant. It isn't.

Not on RailUKforums, seemingly.

I find the level of anti Internet luddism on an Internet forum quite remarkable. Quick observation on most trains during a ticket check shows the wider population don't feel that way - except where e-tickets are not offered, paper tickets are already close to dead.
 

Dai Corner

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I find the level of anti Internet luddism on an Internet forum quite remarkable. Quick observation on most trains during a ticket check shows the wider population don't feel that way - except where e-tickets are not offered, paper tickets are already close to dead.
I feel certain contributors to this thread ought to be writing to the letters page of The Railway Magazine or attending a meeting of the Railway Correspondence and Travel Society to express their opinions.

FWIW my e-ticket yesterday was purchased more quickly than waiting in the booking office queue would have taken, I was therefore able to catch an earlier train. My phone survived the journey without being lost, broken or running out of charge. There were charging facilities on board anyway. Scanning the barcode to open the barriers felt quicker than feeding in a traditional ticket.
 

Haywain

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In actuality, is that confirmed as being the case?
I don't think there's a clear answer available. With CCST tickets it's black and white in that the gate reads the ticket and says yes or no, whereas with barcodes there's an element of positioning involved in reading the ticket but when they read first time they are quick.
 

johntea

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I quite often get caught out because my phone brightness isn't turned up high enough for the scanners to pick up the barcode, the LNER app is quite good in terms of this as it automatically sets your screen to full brightness when you open the eTicket screen and then turns it back down again once you close it down
 

pemma

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Paper roll tickets are also issued by northern train gaurds, I think some other operators have their gaurds issue paper roll tickets too, but I haven't bought a ticket off a gaurd on anything other than a northern train in quite some time.

Northern are one of the few operators where it can be permitted to buy on board. A few stations have no machines or ticket office, while the machines are card only.

I quite often get caught out because my phone brightness isn't turned up high enough for the scanners to pick up the barcode, the LNER app is quite good in terms of this as it automatically sets your screen to full brightness when you open the eTicket screen and then turns it back down again once you close it down

I find this as I prefer dimmer settings on screens. If you do an Amazon locker order then you get an email with the barcode for collection. The instructions suggest turning your brightness up but tbh I don't even know where that setting is. I set the phone to be correct for normal use and then it automatically adjusts for outdoors and a timed feature provides a lower intensity setting at night.
 

Wallsendmag

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I quite often get caught out because my phone brightness isn't turned up high enough for the scanners to pick up the barcode, the LNER app is quite good in terms of this as it automatically sets your screen to full brightness when you open the eTicket screen and then turns it back down again once you close it down
There we have it just buy every ticket from LNER and you’ll have no problems going forward. Seriously though we at LNER have been spearheading the drive towards Smart Ticketing. We have PRT (Paper Roll Tickets) issued from all our English Travel Centres and onboard , with Edinburgh swapping over very soon. 85% of online customers choose eTickets, we’re looking at alternatives to posting out CCST to roll out a more sustainable solution. Travel Centres offer PRT, eTickets, Smartcards and where it’s not avoidable CCST. We live in a very digital age and going forward there is no place for 70s technology , just as people loved 747s they just aren’t suitable for the modern age. We continue to look at the last few small wins to get to the point where we can eradicate those little old fashion orange pieces of card.
 

ainsworth74

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whereas with barcodes there's an element of positioning involved in reading the ticket but when they read first time they are quick.
Yes I think there's a little bit of knack to it, the first few times I tried displaying an e-ticket to a barrier line it took a couple of attempts but I seem to have fettled it now and I'd say it takes about the same amount as time as feeding a ticket in. Sometimes quicker. I've had barriers doing the hockey cokey with my paper ticket (repeatedly pulling it in and out of the feed in slot) which can be quite irritating until it finally decides what it wants to do with the ticket. I've also never yet had an e-ticket fail to be accepted by the barriers whilst paper tickets were forever getting demagnetised or just being rejected for some other reason.
 

Bletchleyite

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Yes I think there's a little bit of knack to it, the first few times I tried displaying an e-ticket to a barrier line it took a couple of attempts but I seem to have fettled it now and I'd say it takes about the same amount as time as feeding a ticket in. Sometimes quicker. I've had barriers doing the hockey cokey with my paper ticket (repeatedly pulling it in and out of the feed in slot) which can be quite irritating until it finally decides what it wants to do with the ticket. I've also never yet had an e-ticket fail to be accepted by the barriers whilst paper tickets were forever getting demagnetised or just being rejected for some other reason.

I've noticed that holding above it works better than putting the phone on it. I do think they should be on top of the gate and downwards-facing with a light showing where to align the barcode, though, it'd be much easier. Also they should use camera rather than laser technology to read the barcode as it is typically more tolerant - for instance the Costa Express app scans off the machine screens (to get points) while the phone is still moving.
 

sammyg901

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Yes I think there's a little bit of knack to it, the first few times I tried displaying an e-ticket to a barrier line it took a couple of attempts but I seem to have fettled it now and I'd say it takes about the same amount as time as feeding a ticket in. Sometimes quicker. I've had barriers doing the hockey cokey with my paper ticket (repeatedly pulling it in and out of the feed in slot) which can be quite irritating until it finally decides what it wants to do with the ticket. I've also never yet had an e-ticket fail to be accepted by the barriers whilst paper tickets were forever getting demagnetised or just being rejected for some other reason.

Same here, I seem to have got the hang of it. The thing I find annoying (at Marylebone anyway) is there is only the tiny dot matrix text saying "EXIT" - the green light doesn't light up like it would for my contactless card. So when following someone through the barrier I end up hesistating for a moment to make sure it is going to let me out! A more obvious visual or audio acceptance indicator would be useful
 
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