Are e-tickets the way forward?

Status
Not open for further replies.

OhNoAPacer

Member
Joined
11 Mar 2013
Messages
213
Location
Egremont Cumbria / Northampton
If we want rapid and tolerant readers then try the ones on the self service checkout at the Waitrose I used the other day.
Pick up item from basket, scanner goes ping, move to put item in bag, scanner goes ping again!
I think early radar worked at shorter distances than that thing did.

FWIW I think e-tickets are very much the future.
 
Sponsor Post - registered members do not see these adverts; click here to register, or click here to log in
R

RailUK Forums

miklcct

On Moderation
Joined
2 May 2021
Messages
1,755
Location
Cricklewood
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
I always wait until the gate is closed before tapping my card on the barrier.

The design of standalone readers in the Light Rail system in Hong Kong, and also the First Class validators on East Rail Line, is that there are 3 lights, red, yellow and green, under the dot matrix display which can be unclear over time, with audible sound as well. If a card is rejected red light is shown, while if it is accepted green light is shown, unless when it is run out of value which yellow light is shown. Simultaneous yellow and green lights are shown when auto top-up is activated upon entry. There are also different sound for a rejected card, an accepted card without discount and an accepted card with discount.

There are no such lights indicating acceptance for the gateline readers in the Hong Kong MTR system, instead, a light indicating discount cards is installed which ticket inspectors can see clearly, also with different sound as well.
 

plugwash

Member
Joined
29 May 2015
Messages
975
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'd imagine most operators call at some stations with either no ticket buying facilities at all or part-time ticket offices and/or card only TVMs.

Unfortunately national rail enquiries doesn't seem to document wheter the tVMs at a station take cash or are card only. For example I know the ticket office at Macclesfield is not full time, but I don't know if the TVMs there take cash or not.
 
Last edited:

Mikw

Member
Joined
20 Apr 2022
Messages
159
Location
Leicester
Brightness up, auto rotate turned off, I screenshot the bar code and zoom in, seems to work everytime that way.
 
Last edited:

johncrossley

Established Member
Joined
30 Mar 2021
Messages
1,351
Location
London
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.
And you often had to queue for a long time, meaning that you missed the train you wanted to get. For an important journey, you had to make a special trip to the station in advance to avoid having to miss the train because of a queue.

The attempt to see the end of cheques came to a sudden end as most on this website will be aware.

Can anyone with knowledge of the coinage of Britain that has the head image of the monarch on one side say if it needs the consent of the ruling monarch if that too is also threatened.
Cheques were never needed and other countries hardly used them, preferring the superior method of bank transfers, long before the internet was invented.
 
Last edited:

Ediswan

Established Member
Joined
15 Nov 2012
Messages
1,601
Location
Stevenage
Cheques were never needed and other countries hardly used them, preferring the superior method of bank transfers, long before the internet was invented.
What about the US ? For many years the term 'pay cheque' (or check) was literal.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

Veteran Member
Joined
17 Apr 2011
Messages
29,372
Location
A semi-rural part of north-west England
And you often had to queue for a long time, meaning that you missed the train you wanted to get. For an important journey, you had to make a special trip to the station in advance to avoid having to miss the train because of a queue.
It was our policy to go to the booking office (usually at Manchester Airport in later years) a week prior in advance and book the first-class rail tickets with seat reservations when travelling by TransPennine Express to Windermere (before it went to Northern), York or Durham which were regular journeys we once made. We used the booking office at Wilmslow when travelling to Shrewsbury, Ludlow or Hereford on what were the Class 175 Arriva services which departed from that station and always booked the tickets some days earlier, as we often were in Wilmslow shopping at the iconic Hoopers department store, that had a nice restaurant.

Sad to relate, I have not made a rail journey of note since my wife died early last November and we were on our fourth issue of the three-year Senior Citizen railcards.
 
Last edited:

D365

Established Member
Joined
29 Jun 2012
Messages
9,354
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
EMR app used to do that (not anymore after the latest update), but I still find that I need to turn my brightness up to 100%, in order to get a good read!
 

yorkie

Forum Staff
Staff Member
Administrator
Joined
6 Jun 2005
Messages
58,579
Location
Yorkshire
It was our policy to go to the booking office (usually at Manchester Airport in later years) a week prior in advance and book the first-class rail tickets with seat reservations when travelling by TransPennine Express to ...
You can still do that, but I prefer to go to a website which calculates the cheapest combination of fares, gives me a seating plan to choose from, and I can simply do that wherever I happen to be.

I then get an e-ticket which I don't have to faff around collecting and I can't lose. If I need to change the journey, I can do so on the website and not have to return any physical tickets. If I get delayed I simply upload the single PDF file to the TOC website; no need to line the tickets up and take a photo.
 

johncrossley

Established Member
Joined
30 Mar 2021
Messages
1,351
Location
London
It was our policy to go to the booking office (usually at Manchester Airport in later years) a week prior in advance

And how many people would be willing to do that? People would just use the car instead. And that's what they did before internet booking started. Therefore internet booking (especially e-tickets) means that more people use the train instead of the car.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
77,641
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
And how many people would be willing to do that? People would just use the car instead. And that's what they did before internet booking started. Therefore internet booking (especially e-tickets) means that more people use the train instead of the car.

Online booking is without doubt a good thing, but I think this is slightly hyperbolic - people did book at stations or purchase walk-up fares on the day. What online booking has done is pushed a switch from Advances being fairly niche fares for bargain hunters to being the norm.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

Veteran Member
Joined
17 Apr 2011
Messages
29,372
Location
A semi-rural part of north-west England
And how many people would be willing to do that? People would just use the car instead. And that's what they did before internet booking started. Therefore internet booking (especially e-tickets) means that more people use the train instead of the car.
When we went to Manchester Airport railway station, it was not just for the purpose of booking tickets. We then treated ourselves to a bus ride from the interchange bus station on the 199 bus to Buxton, which we both enjoyed, which cost us naught as we used our ENCTS bus passes.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
77,641
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
When we went to Manchester Airport railway station, it was not just for the purpose of booking tickets. We then treated ourselves to a bus ride from the interchange bus station on the 199 bus to Buxton, which we both enjoyed, which cost us naught as we used our ENCTS bus passes.

Most people don't, of course, have the time for that kind of outing - it's very much an option for retirees only. I'd say "and the unemployed" but they'd likely not be able to afford the journey to start with unless it was for an interview.
 

johncrossley

Established Member
Joined
30 Mar 2021
Messages
1,351
Location
London
Online booking is without doubt a good thing, but I think this is slightly hyperbolic - people did book at stations or purchase walk-up fares on the day. What online booking has done is pushed a switch from Advances being fairly niche fares for bargain hunters to being the norm.

Of course they did, but there were people who were put off by ticket office queues and general lack of awareness on fares and times. Business travel in particular became a lot more attractive, especially when offices started to have their own ticket machines in their offices. A lot of the time they weren't even buying Advance tickets.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
77,641
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
Of course they did, but there were people who were put off by ticket office queues and general lack of awareness on fares and times.

To some extent, yes.

Business travel in particular became a lot more attractive, especially when offices started to have their own ticket machines in their offices. A lot of the time they weren't even buying Advance tickets.

I doubt this had any effect whatsoever. Most larger companies had a corporate travel department who would do it for you anyway. Those working for smaller firms would just use the TVM.

I'm all for e-tickets and online sales, but I think you're overstating this effect. It's nice to be able to get up 10 minutes later so as not to have to allow time for ticket purchase on the day, but it is just a minor convenience, not anything that would influence whether people travelled or not, particularly on business.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

Veteran Member
Joined
17 Apr 2011
Messages
29,372
Location
A semi-rural part of north-west England
Just as a matter of curiosity, do people flying into Manchester Airport not have pre-booked onward rail tickets from there, as many times when we have been at the booking office there, there have been discussions between the booking office staff and the prospective rail passengers on onwards rail travel that tickets needed booking for. With e-ticketing in mind, would these overseas passengers be aware as British rail travellers of how rail tickets in Britain are booked?
 

Dai Corner

Established Member
Joined
20 Jul 2015
Messages
4,342
But in those days TVMs were very basic, only selling tickets to local destinations and they only accepted cash.
In that case they'd use the ticket office, take some money out of petty cash or buy in advance from their local rail-appointed travel agent.

I'm not sure what this has got to do with e-tickets. It should be in the History and Nostalgia forum.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
77,641
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
But in those days TVMs were very basic, only selling tickets to local destinations and they only accepted cash.

Widespread online sales came quite a long time after e.g. Virgin Trains introduced the all-destinations Shere FastTicket machines. But before that there was the booking office.

My point is that it was not groundbreaking and definitely did not cause significant increases in passenger numbers. What online sales is is one of those business "win wins" - it's good for the customer (as they don't need to queue) and it's good for the business (as it externalises costs). Not good for staff of course.
 

skyhigh

Established Member
Joined
14 Sep 2014
Messages
2,536
With e-ticketing in mind, would these overseas passengers be aware as British rail travellers of how rail tickets in Britain are booked?
I expect the majority would do a little internet research, the same as I do when I travel in Europe.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
77,641
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
I expect the majority would do a little internet research, the same as I do when I travel in Europe.

Indeed. Travellers will either book a package trip or will do their research online. Literally nobody just rocks up in a foreign country with no clue as to what they are going to do next, unless they're just going to take a taxi to the hotel and do it there.
 

Xenophon PCDGS

Veteran Member
Joined
17 Apr 2011
Messages
29,372
Location
A semi-rural part of north-west England
Indeed. Travellers will either book a package trip or will do their research online. Literally nobody just rocks up in a foreign country with no clue as to what they are going to do next, unless they're just going to take a taxi to the hotel and do it there.
In the vast majority of the cases that I made reference to at the booking office at Manchester Airport, the enquirees were from inward flights from the Indian sub-continent and were usually in family groups.
 

Haywain

Established Member
Joined
3 Feb 2013
Messages
8,192
Business travel in particular became a lot more attractive, especially when offices started to have their own ticket machines in their offices. A lot of the time they weren't even buying Advance tickets.
20 years ago business travellers rocked up at the station and bought a ticket using either a travel warrant or credit card to pay - it didn't become more attractive because of the ability to book online. Advance booking was much more about leisure travel at that time.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
77,641
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
In the vast majority of the cases that I made reference to at the booking office at Manchester Airport, the enquirees were from inward flights from the Indian sub-continent and were usually in family groups.

That's actually slightly surprising, because in India and Pakistan (don't know about Bangladesh) railway tickets book up literally months in advance, so one would never* rock up and expect to get one for that day.

* Except unreserved second class, but that makes the pre-COVID Northern Line at Bank at 8:45am look like a "driver, guard, one man, dog and bicycle" branch line. Most people won't even consider that an option, and having done it (in "adventure tourist" type mode) I can see entirely why.
 

Dai Corner

Established Member
Joined
20 Jul 2015
Messages
4,342
In the vast majority of the cases that I made reference to at the booking office at Manchester Airport, the enquirees were from inward flights from the Indian sub-continent and were usually in family groups.
The chances are they were either returning from visiting relatives in the Indian sub-continent or from there themselves visiting relatives over here. Either they would know about the British railway ticketing system or the relatives would have advised them what to buy.
 

Haywain

Established Member
Joined
3 Feb 2013
Messages
8,192
in India and Pakistan (don't know about Bangladesh) railway tickets book up literally months in advance
That's the case for long distance travel, but not for local urban journeys. And if coming to the UK and having done a bit of research, people will have learned that booking ahead isn't necessary, especially if this was many years ago.
 

Bletchleyite

Veteran Member
Joined
20 Oct 2014
Messages
77,641
Location
"Marston Vale mafia"
That's the case for long distance travel, but not for local urban journeys. And if coming to the UK and having done a bit of research, people will have learned that booking ahead isn't necessary, especially if this was many years ago.

Which comes back to the fact that they had done their research (potentially in a tourist guidebook rather than online back then, I guess) and not simply, as was being suggested, rocked up at a booking office and hoped for the best.
 

CaptainHaddock

Established Member
Joined
10 Feb 2011
Messages
1,908
The railway is not going to stop people purchasing tickets at stations. And there will not be a requirement to possess a smartphone to travel by train.

How many times do we have to say this….

Not yet but that's clearly the long term plan, in the same way as that when the banks introduced online banking a few years ago it wasn't to make life easier for its customer it was so that eventually they could save costs and increase profits by mass closure of branches and associated redundancies.

Personally I enjoy the best of both worlds; the convenience of booking in advance online and the reassurance of being able to collect a physical paper ticket that easily fits in my wallet and gives both me and the rail staff who inspect it all the information we need.

Take for example ticket inspections on trains – if I have a paper ticket I simply show it to the guard, he clips it and moves on – the whole process takes a matter of seconds. Whereas if I had an e-ticket I would have to switch my phone on and wait a couple of minutes for it to boot up, then try to get an internet connection, log onto the website I booked it on, download the ticket, then try to find where my phone has stored it and hope that the file hasn’t got corrupted as pdf files often tend to do. If any of these steps fail or if my battery’s dead or the display isn’t working and I get a jobsworth guard, I could have to buy a new ticket, pay a penalty fare and perhaps even get charged with fare evasion and end up with a criminal record! I know which option is easier and more convenient for me and it certainly isn’t an e-ticket!
 

Xenophon PCDGS

Veteran Member
Joined
17 Apr 2011
Messages
29,372
Location
A semi-rural part of north-west England
That's the case for long distance travel, but not for local urban journeys. And if coming to the UK and having done a bit of research, people will have learned that booking ahead isn't necessary, especially if this was many years ago.
Thanks for that clarification concerning local urban journeys. In the last instance that I saw at Manchester Airport, Blackburn seemed to be the destination that the large family group were heading for, in order to visit relatives, there. Despite people saying that the majority would be aware, this particular family flying in had no idea whatsoever of onward rail travel from Manchester Airport to the Blackburn area.

I am not sure if any National Express coaches run to Blackburn from Manchester Airport.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Top