If you register, you can do a lot more. And become an active part of our growing community. You'll have access to hidden forums, and enjoy the ability of replying and starting conversations.

West Somerset Railway General Discussion

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by gwr4090, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    3,089
    Likes Received:
    1,289
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Very comfortably early retired
    Location:
    1029
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer

    It sounds like a solution looking for a problem.
     
  2. 6960 Raveningham Hall

    6960 Raveningham Hall Member Friend

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2016
    Messages:
    467
    Likes Received:
    777
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Retired.
    Location:
    St. Austell and Blue Anchor.
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    When I present my pass to the TTI he issues me a paper ticket, and another to each guest
    who is travelling with me.
     
  3. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    3,089
    Likes Received:
    1,289
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Very comfortably early retired
    Location:
    1029
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer

    People like collecting tickets for memories, whether it's in a box or stuck on bedroom/kitchen walls.

    I doubt that many normal people do that :)
     
    Paul Kibbey and jnc like this.
  4. MellishR

    MellishR Part of the furniture Friend

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2009
    Messages:
    5,252
    Likes Received:
    2,970
    So the ideal would be a machine that does that but spits out an appropriately printed Edmondson card. That looks like a perfect challenge for someone called (as I believe nowadays) a "maker", using a Raspberry Pi computer and some mechanical gubbins, possibly 3D printed or old-fashioned Meccano. Fed with card blanks (previously cut to size by another machine) and incorporating the print head from an inkjet printer. Sorry to say I don't have the expertise to take that concept beyond armchair engineering, but I am sure there are people who do. As an additional challenge, but non-essential, it could have several stacks of differently coloured blanks for different kinds of ticket.
     
    Another Yorkshireman likes this.
  5. 35B

    35B Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2011
    Messages:
    13,906
    Likes Received:
    11,094
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Grantham
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Sounds a bit like an APTIS machine.

    Coat, taxi...


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  6. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    5,844
    Likes Received:
    7,686
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Former NP Member
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    Is that 'free' leasing or 'paid for' leasing, so Capital cost plus finance over the period of the lease (loan)?

    Strange that a Company reported to be in such a financial state has managed to obtain lease finance.............(OK, leasing is easier to get than bank loans but also more expensive for that reason)

    I genuinely am surprised that volunteers are do readily taking on board learning a new, electronic system. My experience of reports from several other railways is that there was considerable front line resistance amongst volunteers to changing from a system they knew and understood to something completely different.

    Is does truly seem to be 'different in Somerset'!

    Steven
     
  7. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2007
    Messages:
    5,844
    Likes Received:
    7,686
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Former NP Member
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    As I have just commented in reply to Ian, I am genuinely surprised that volunteer booking clerks consider the new system as 'easier' than something they already know. I totally agree that 'behind the scenes' stuff can be modernised and indeed should. Much of the pain of adding up with Edmondson is removed by using a spreadsheet for cash up and I am sure the system of printing numbers would enable an app to read them if you really wanted to but I suspect most people would prefer to type them in!

    I do feel that the method of issue and what is issued are pretty public - the ticket buying experience is the first part of the heritage experience for many passengers and the older ones will remember the 'clunk' of the date press and the type of ticket issued. My wife enjoys train travel but wouldn't describe herself as an enthusiast, eyt has card tickets dating back many years that she has kept.

    Underlying it all is the cost of EPOS systems, and that is the biggest reason I am astounded that now has been seen as the time to introduce them on the West Somerset. Still, I suppose they are an essential element of the 'Dartmouth-style' experience!

    Steven
     
    Forestpines likes this.
  8. Captain Fantastic

    Captain Fantastic New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2016
    Messages:
    461
    Likes Received:
    184
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Guido Killer Pimp
    Location:
    47603
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Really well I'm sure that system would cost mere pence to design and implement, but oh hang on posters are saying older volunteers would in no way countenance anything new, so that's a non starter, people on here really should start seeing the big picture, if the WSR is having trouble with volunteer numbers anything that makes their "job" easier has got to be seized let alone the much cheaper cost of paper tickets verses card that only a tiny proportion of passengers care about, take a step back and think people really think ,is it that important in the big scheme of things really is it?
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2019
  9. Ian Monkton

    Ian Monkton Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    871
    Likes Received:
    867
    Location:
    South Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I didn't sell tickets at Crowcombe under the previous system because I didn't want to spend a lot of time checking that the ticket stocks agreed at the beginning and end of the day. For the amount of tickets we sell at Crowcombe it can take longer to do that than actually selling the tickets! Now I can be up and running in a matter of minutes, and the machine does all the maths for me, and it produces a report at the end of the day just as quickly.

    As to the type of lease - no idea!
     
  10. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    3,089
    Likes Received:
    1,289
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Very comfortably early retired
    Location:
    1029
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    I spent many years as a volunteer booking clerk on a narrow gauge railway. My experience with card tickets and manually booking up at the end of the day as well as the weekly balance certainly mirrors that described here. I would have welcomed an electronic issuing and accounting system
     
  11. LC2

    LC2 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2012
    Messages:
    707
    Likes Received:
    767
    Occupation:
    IT
    Location:
    70B
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    Absolutely, it's far easier to lose something that looks like a till receipt than an Edmonson (or even something like a network rail) ticket.
    I was frankly disappointed so get a receipt handed over to me at Watchet for the £99 I paid for my weekly ticket last week, and so was the mrs (who is a normal and was using the train to travel into Minehead to save on driving / parking).
    You're right, I suspect normal adults don't collect tickets, but I bet their young kids do (and that can spark an interest in railways that bring them into the hobby).
    As above, my mrs, who isn't an enthusiast, said of the 'ticket' we were given, "that's a bit cheap and nasty isn't it".
    That was said privately to me, and not to the staff which is the British way "don't complain, just don't go back".

    Is it a deal breaker? No. Does it diminish the heritage experience? Yes.
     
  12. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,550
    Likes Received:
    327
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Newport (South Wales)
    Not sure what you mean exactly by that statement.

    I keep all my heritage railway tickets, and for a long time kept all my mainline tickets.

    But I also keep football tickets, music gig tickets, tickets from attractions etc. I'm sure many people do this in one form or another, such as scrapbooks etc.

    Also, in punching it makes a mockery of an old practice in my opinion.
     
    35B and Forestpines like this.
  13. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,550
    Likes Received:
    327
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Newport (South Wales)
    I have to disagree with this statement. Yes, some people are more hoarders and collect more than others, but people do keep hold of stuff from holidays, days out, good times - particularly women.
     
    echap likes this.
  14. Ron Sidewater

    Ron Sidewater Member

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2014
    Messages:
    162
    Likes Received:
    383
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Dog Walker
    Location:
    Edge of Exmoor
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer
    But I bet they don't tear off something approaching 200,000 raffle tickets each year!
     
  15. michaelh

    michaelh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2006
    Messages:
    3,089
    Likes Received:
    1,289
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Very comfortably early retired
    Location:
    1029
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer

    Do you stick them on your bedroom/kitchen walls?
     
    1472 likes this.
  16. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,550
    Likes Received:
    327
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Newport (South Wales)
    Well some people do, on such as noticeboards.

    I have mini gig posters, A5 size, and football ticket designs with my address on to show the different style of tickets, which they use for the post, from one season to the next on my bedroom walls.
     
    echap likes this.
  17. Bayard

    Bayard Part of the furniture

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2015
    Messages:
    1,200
    Likes Received:
    2,537
    Gender:
    Male
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    This is still assuming that the tickets themselves are financial documents. If the tickets are simply treated as stock, so that the financial transaction is done electronically, but the ticket is just treated like a bar of chocolate, or anything else you'd buy in a shop, all the booking clerk would need to check is that they had enough stock for the day, not how many tickets they'd sold and whether the stock levels corresponded with that.
     
  18. JBTEvans

    JBTEvans Member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Messages:
    1,550
    Likes Received:
    327
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Newport (South Wales)
  19. Aberdare

    Aberdare Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2016
    Messages:
    96
    Likes Received:
    840
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    West Somerset
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    Yes I am an active volunteer

    I was never involved with the selling of tickets on the WSR but I was aware of some of the issues involved. A few snippets of information may help others to understand the background.

    As far as I am aware the WSR after it opened to Williton has never had a ticket office at every station , so some tickets have always been issued in non-Edmondson form from the Guard or TTI on the train.

    The WSR has printed its own tickets, and tickets for others, in a print room at Dunster station using an Edmondson machine for many years, the machine shop at Minehead was often repairing various components for it. Obtaining card of the correct thickness and density was an issue back in the 1990's and I expect it has not got any easier. If I remember correctly the card had a very tight tolerance on thickness and samples from various batches would be bought over to the shed for checking the thickness when they jammed up the machine. If a single card jumped out of the machine or became jammed because of thickness the whole run of about 250 was scrap due to the sequential numbers now having one missing.

    At one time the number of different tickets available to travel on the WSR was around 1,200 (yes 1,200). To have all of these in Edmonsdon card form was not practical and so the less used ones were sold in paper form from a separate ticket book, or issued from a "Setright" machine.

    Why 1,200? I can't list them all but I can make a significant start. With 10 stations each having a possible destination to one of the other 9 stations makes 90 ticket combinations. For each of the 90 ticket combinations there will be single or return making 180. For each of those 180 there will be child, adult, senior, discounted and wheelchair, 5 x 180 making 900. Add to these such things as rover tickets, dog tickets, family tickets and once upon a time there were through tickets to Taunton using the dedicated bus link. It would not be practical to issue Edmondson type tickets for all these. Alternative would be for the WSR to close 7 stations which would make life a lot easier, but that certainly would not be what we want.

    Andy.
     
    ianh, Athelwulf, stimpy and 9 others like this.
  20. misspentyouth62

    misspentyouth62 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2017
    Messages:
    847
    Likes Received:
    935
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    34D, now flexible
    Heritage Railway Volunteer:
    No I do not currently volunteer
    If a young person wanted to get into collecting tickets, surely those issued from a railway such as Ffestiniog where each ticket has different colour photo of the locomotives would be more attractive to keep that another piece of card?

    I can't help ask the question, who out there on NP would decide not to travel to a heritage railway, more especially the WSR because the tickets are not what they would prefer?
     

Share This Page