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Edmonson tickets a lost "cause" for ever?

Discussion in 'Heritage Railways & Centres in the UK' started by steamdream, May 5, 2011.

  1. Harleyman

    Harleyman New Member

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    I am in 100% agreement here; though my hoard of old tickets for journeys/concerts/life etc is somewhat more sporadic and ruled by my untidiness and laziness as much as by any conscious desire to archive memories!:)

    Exchanging the printed-out on-line voucher for a "real" ticket is realistically no different from exchanging one for cash or a credit card. Indeed, comparing it to the "real" railway it's probably even cheaper to use Edmonsons; a recent trip to my daughter's saw me being issued with enough cards to consider playing patience with them to while away the journey!
     
  2. JohnDevon

    JohnDevon New Member

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    That argument overlooks two things. First: once the deadline for posting tickets out passes, there is a need to continue selling on the web, and what arrangements get put in place?
    Second: I am reliably informed that some folk want to book tickets on line, quite often using a mobile phone, even when booking for a departure in 1/2 hour's time!
    It can all be overcome, given enough time and effort. For roll up customers, the Edmondson ticket must continue to be used as it is, as others have said, part of the heritage experience.
     
  3. SR-Simon

    SR-Simon New Member

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    We still issue Edmondson ticket at Epping Ongar Railway, and you get one even if you buy online (we exchange your bar-code for a ticket at the window). We feel it is part of the "stepping back in time" for our visitors, both older and younger, both to have the ticket and to have it clipped. The ticket design is based on a LNER original, and the platform tickets are an exact copy of the GER platform tickets - even printed in two colours! (and well worth the £1.50)

    We are even printing special LU150 tickets for the forthcoming LU150 event at EOR... watch this space!! :eek:)

    Simon, GM, EOR
     
  4. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Nat Pres stalwart

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    I still don't see the problem. You need some physical token of your permission to travel (complicated way of saying "you need a ticket!"). If you buy it online at notice that is too short to have it sent out by post, you will need to queue up at a ticket office to obtain it, having proven that you have actually bought a ticket. Given that, no reason why it needs to be anything other than an Edmondson ticket for those lines that have the capability to produce them.

    The issue of online booking of tickets is a red herring, IMHO. You need a physical ticket to demonstrate your permission to travel, and that ticket needs to be unique so it can only be issued once [sup]*[/sup]. But it can take any form that the railway chooses. If you buy at a ticket window - exchange your cash for an Edmondson. If you buy in advance online - receieve an Edmondson through the post. If you buy in advance at short notice - you have to queue up somewhere (e.g. at a ticket office) and exchange your receipt / booking reference number for an Edmondson ticket. So I don't see why online booking suddenly seems to preclude "traditional" tickets.

    [sup]*[/sup]For example, to prevent potential fraud by people buying tickets at short notice, you would probably want to reconcile that the person claiming the ticket had both a reference number and was in possession of the card that had been used for teh purchase - that would stop several people trying to claim the same ticket on the same emailed receipt.

    Tom
     
  5. Andre

    Andre New Member

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    We do not add any extra amount. The total fare paid by the customer (passenger!) is identical whether or not they choose to Gift Aid.

    Day Rover £15.00

    Day Rover with GA £15.00

    The only difference is that the latter ticket results in the railway receiving an extra £3.75 from the taxman and the customers (passengers) ticket is valid for platform entry for 12 months (so they can easily come back to spend in the gift shop & buffet!)
     
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  6. Chris Walton

    Chris Walton New Member

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    Severn Valley still issues traditional Edmonson tickets.
    We do also use EPOS as an accounting and statisitical tool as an improvement to accounts office former paper based processes
     
  7. Kje7812

    Kje7812 Member

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    In most ways it is a shame that the SVR doesn't send out Edmondsons for online booking (or it didn't if it's changed in the past 3 weeks or so), it's concert style ticket made from thin card (if you take that an Edmondson is quite thick really). If nothing else, the Edmondsons are easier to grip!
     
  8. 40F

    40F New Member

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    Edmonson tickets in use at the Amerton Railway, sequentially numbered and used as a check on sales recorded on the EPOS system. Printed by one of our members too, who prints for a wide variety of outlets, please PM me if contact details required.
     
  9. ryan.hogg1890

    ryan.hogg1890 New Member

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    Tanfield Railway use Edmonton tickets and I'm sure South Tynedale did last time I visited.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  10. marty

    marty New Member

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    Eaton Park Miniature Rly has this year started using Edmondsons (same printer as for Amerton Rly) and they are v popular with our visitors. There is really no excuse for heritage railways to not use them. They are part of the experience of a vanished railway and its associated way of operation. If you're gonna cut these out on cost/operation grounds, then also cut out steam as costly and ineffecient too! A few years back I considered volunteering on a local "heritage" narrow gauge railway. I learned that they only issued till receipts for tickets (containing all other shop purchases too!) and I thought, they don't really take this seriously, so didn't bother. Cost element is 2.2p - a fraction of a heritage rly ticket costing £££s and they can provide all the statistical data that epos can. Each ticket taken away is your PR which you won't get with a till receipt which, if thermal printed, will turn to blank after a period!
     
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  11. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    I am afraid this is wishful thinking on your part. By all means issue Edmondson pattern tickets as an "extra" for the reasons you give but for the 21st century tourist attraction they don't suffice. Electronic ticketing facilitates advance ticket sales, invaluable when the competition is seeking to divert your business, makes administrating Gift Aid (a vital part of charity income) easier and, with online booking, gives some idea in advance of possible loadings.

    PH
     
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  12. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    Sorry Paul, but a lot of that simply isn't the case. Advance tickets have been sold for many years in many places with no EPOS in sight. How many lines make you book a particular return seat? Short lines that go nowhere might be sure people will come straight back, but most lines have somewhere that a journey can be broken, if only to use the tea room. A number of lines allow 'freedom for the day' on a full line return (or sell such a ticket for a small additional price). Hence, loadings data comes best from passenger counts, and spending £10,000s on EPOS systems doesn't help with those. I know quite a few lines do require selection of specific trains when booking online (how much does that 'improve the product' or encourage a relaxing day out?), but there is no reason why advance Sales need to be on the same system as Booking Office Sales, just as on train sales usually don't involve carrying a full Edmonson ticket rack or EPOS terminal around (I know some lines do use handheld EPOS).

    Let's not get into how sustainable claiming Gift Aid on travel tickets is - let's just say there are differing views and indeed differing agreements with HMRC and the one thing that tells me is that sooner or later, the whole thing will be reviewed! Whether delaying ticket sales to complete declarations or having them 'at the next window' is better is also a question to be asked!

    Oh, and if you use spreadsheets to cash up Edmonson, the data on Sales is readily available. Mind you, I do wonder how many preserved lines actually have the resources to do all that the suppliers of EPOS claim can be done with the data it produces, or how many EPOS systems actually are set up to produce genuinely useful data.

    Steven
     
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  13. 30854

    30854 Part of the furniture

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    Sorry Steven, although your post is factually correct, manually wheedling the reams of information it's possible to glean from even basic ticketing really is one for the lotus eaters.

    Many small miniature lines (i.e. those operating to no published timetable, or which sensibly throw in the towel when the weather's so bad there are no swarms of potential customers) don't bother with tickets in the first place, so there's nowt - barring cost - to prevent issuing a souvenir Edmonson type ticket. It's a jolly nice keepsake which takes up very little room (although the whereabouts of all those I've so methodically retained since the RH&D's 40th anniversary is another matter!). The 'clipping' ceremony was part of the railway scene from the introduction of corridor carriages until there were no more tickets to clip and wathcing the anticipation on the faces of juvenile passengers (of all ages!), so yes .... I do see an important reason to maintain that bit.

    Running any timetabled service north of a miniature line ain't cheap and while Edmonson ticketing can be used as Steven suggests, that's another layer on the daily "to do" list which modern ticketing takes care of by design.

    There again, it's technically possible to overprint a barcode or one of those "QR codes" on an Edmonson and if you don't want to see it, just print in something requiring UV light to be read ..... simples! For that matter, it's probably perfectly feasible to encode a magnetic strip on 'em too - if they're ordered with 'em .... so long as you don't mind losing the 'authentic look' which was the attraction in the first place!

    Perhaps, in our increasingly cashless society, it'd be simpler to make the POS receipt the 'official' bit and the Edmonson 'ticket' a merely ornamental component of what's being sold.
     
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2018
  14. Kje7812

    Kje7812 Member

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    Additionally, EPOS doesn't count pass holders which can make up a large portion of the passengers on a train. The SVR started doing passengers counts on some trains due to this a coupe of years ago and found that on average 25% of a train could be travelling on passes (some trains were closer to 40-50%, though those were often the last trains of the day when the numbers were low anyway).
     
  15. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    Actually, Steven, with a properly organised system it takes a booking clerk zilch time to deal with Gift Aid. Like you, I do wonder how long Gift Aid is for this world.

    Taking this a little wider, I do get some amusement from the propensity of enthusiasts to strain at gnats in the form of such things as pasteboard tickets whilst swallowing camels in the use of express locomotives and rolling stock on branch lines,

    PH
     
  16. Bean-counter

    Bean-counter Resident of Nat Pres

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    I am rather confused by some of the points you make. I can assure you that sorting relevant information from system generated reports can be every bit as hard as extracting what you want from a spreadsheet (or even written Edmonson ticket book), but most systems ensure that writing bespoke reports is far harder, or shall we say, 'more lucrative' for their suppliers, than setting up a summary page of a spreadsheet with financial and passenger number information needed for other purposes. I have even heard of electronic systems that simply decide to refuse to 'talk' to the outside world and won't 'give up' the data they have collected.

    I really can't see how Edmonson systems add more to the 'to do' list than a modern, computerised system. Yes, the tickets are bespoke and hence comparative costly for what they are (moderately precision cut and printed bits of card) but the paper/card supplies for an EPOS system won't be cheap as they will be system specific, and the systems will have annual support fees (usual tech system - make original purchase seem reasonable, and ensure more than inflation increases in vital support costs). Electronic systems can take a lot more reprogramming for variations in fares (or need this advance programming) compared with inputting amounts on a spreadsheet - if you have any sense by cut and past from the fare chart - and writing them on the wooden strips of the rack, which are then changed by - turning the strip around!

    What I am saying is that any user of any system has to decide what information it needs as opposed to what vast range of information an EPOS salesman (or woman) might convince it that it would be 'nice' to have (yep, 'WIBN'!) Then it needs to decide how much of this is actually available from what they already have (answer - probably lots if you look!) and how much is it willing to spend getting that information, in terms of up-front equipment costs and on-going costs like support fees. If genuinely useful information is readily available and won't generate further costs of extra staff to process it into a useful form, then go for such a system but 'new' is not necessarily better and my experience suggests that many preserved lines don't have the resources to fully exploit the information they have, let alone handle greater amounts which may only succeed in acting as the 'trees' in which to lose the 'wood' of what you really need to know.

    Steven
     
  17. flying scotsman123

    flying scotsman123 Resident of Nat Pres

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    I don't understand much about ticketing and the pros and cons of either, all I do know is that some of the biggest heritage railways and some of the smallest all manage to make Edmondson tickets work in one form of another (even if it's just a front) therefore I see no reason why cardboard tickets should be doomed.

    @paulhitch yet again you try to derail a thread by going on about your personal pet hate of express locos and a branch line on a thread about ticketing, give it a rest for once!
     
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  18. marty

    marty New Member

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    Sounds very much like epos salesmen have done a very good job at some railways convincing them of all the data extras they "need" to "compete". Really, if you see your heritage railway as nothing more than a tourist business there are many other things you could do to be more efficient, like abolishing steam, demanning stations and running modern paytrains only, to fast timetables to get the punters on and off again as quickly as possible. Ultimately sales can be completely automated and the booking clerks made redundant, or "customers"" could buy tickets from vending machines. Or use their smartphones as a ticket. Where do you draw the line? Much of the data generated by epos systems is really of interest only to data nerds. And as for advance-booking, we do this without epos and it works fine for us, it gives an indication of advance loadings and provides all the data we need with nothing more than Excel or Access.

    But a supermarket till receipt as a railway ticket?.....Really?
     
  19. Wenlock

    Wenlock Member Friend

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    Surely any free or concessionary pass issued on the day at a ticket office will have been entered into the EPOS system?
    As a K&ESR member I am entitled to a certain number of days free travel, each day that I use this facility one of the boxes on the back of my card is crossed off and I am issued with the free travel ticket. That free travel ticket is recorded by the ticketing system in the same way as a paid ticket. If I start my day from one of the outlying stations then I would probably be issued an Edmondson ticket, which will have been accounted on the sheet just as a paid ticket would.
    I'm sure we're not alone in processing passes in this way, certainly the last time I travelled on the MHR I was issued an Edmondson when I showed my grade card.

    Numbers on each train is a different matter, as many lines issue "all line rover" tickets which do not specify which train is to be used. About the only way of controlling loadings is therefore with group travel bookings (such as coach parties) which can be for specified services.
     
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  20. paulhitch

    paulhitch Guest

    Temper temper! I raised this back in Post No. 31
     

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