I've just written about what my day involves been a TTI at the Great Central Railway. Posted on my Blog: It's a bit of long read but you may find it interesting and you may not. Maybe a useful read for those who might want to do something similar at their local Preserved Line.
Before I begin a little background information. I'm currently a Trainee TTI (Travelling Ticket Inspector) on the Great Central Railway in Loughborough, Leicestershire. This Weekend GCR held a Weekend dedicated to the Class 33 Locomotive and the 4-CIG Slam door Train, a type of train heavily used in the Southern Area for the past 40 years until about 2 years ago when all but 2 were withdrawn. Picture: http://gcrailway.fpic.co.uk/p28843532.html
My Journey to GCR involves me getting up at 6am, Bus at 7am and eventually arriving at Loughborough at 10:15, so I live quite a fair bit away.
I'm told to work the 11:15 Service formed of a Set of Carriages (In this case the RKB Set. RKB stands for Restaurant Kitchen Buffet) and a Steam Locomotive to Leicester North and back. Ticket Inspecting can be uneventful at times and this service wasn't any different with only the odd couple of families missing a ticket or two. It seems unfair to charge them for an another ticket as 99% of people don't want to fare evade. In these cases the tickets turned up later on in the day . After a chat with the Station Staff at Leicester about there recent Vandalism, sadly Leicester North Station is vandalised occasionally. In this instance the Benches were broken or dumped nearby.
Arriving Back at Loughborough with a quick cross-platform interchange, that's an advantage of the GCR is the Common Island Platform Design meaning no crossing Footbridges just a quick 5 second walk to the opposite Platform. The 12:30 CIG was there waiting to depart and off we went. A quick introduction to Phil the Guard and off I wondered to the rear cab to prepare the almighty round of inspecting. As I had anticipated there were a large number of "Diesel Bashers" as I like to call them. Most are quite friendly folk but others can be people you would want to avoid due there rudeness. The ones who you wish you didn't want on your train are the people who think that they can do whatever they like on the train. In this case it was a normal dose of Hogging Every Window, Feet on Seats, Sat in First Compartments (I normally don't mind) and the flow of alcohol. One however said "WHY SHOULD I SHOW YOU MY TICKET?!?" and I kindly pointed out to him the fact that I was a Ticket Inspector. Friendly bunch of folks, aren't they?
For the rest of the day I was on the CIG back and forth to Rothley. Having a Friendly Chat with a South West Trains Driver (Where our 4-CIG was previously operated by) and with other GCR Workers. General Chatting like this makes the GCR worth volunteering for as it is a friendly atmosphere among Staff sort of like a 'Family' and you can gain some useful knowledge at the same time. One last Trip on the 3:30 Trip with about 45 People on board with a final ticket check of the day. An enjoyable day out on the 4-CIG although I expected a slightly bigger turnout.
I then took a trip to my favourite signalman of the railway (You know who you are!!) and just chatted in the box with other people for 45 minutes or so.
That's it really. A Day in the Life of a Ticket Inspector.