Collecting tickets at Liverpool Lime Street/large ToD collection

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by gray1404, 9 Jan 2019.

  1. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    I am collecting a large number of tickets tomorrow from Liverpool Lime Street. I wondered that given both Northern and Virgin have TVMs that will print such tickets off, does that mean that both the Virgin and Northern offices at the station can also print tickets off too? I would rather avoid the machine.

    If that is not possible are the Norther or Virgin machine more reliable then the other? If there is a problem by the time you fetch a member of staff someone else might have used the machine. I do find that the Northern machines are often overlooked by passengers but I have always (annoyingly ) found that whenever I start using one someone will start to form a que behind me.

    I am assuming the TVMs can hold a lot of tickets and staff keep on top of them throughout the day.
     
    Last edited: 9 Jan 2019
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  3. island

    island Established Member

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    Booking offices are only meant to print off ToD when there is no ticket machine or it’s not working.

    I’d use the Virgin machine as it’s liable to be faster.
     
  4. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    I would always use the Virgin TVMs. They print it out nicer IMO and they usually work pretty well. It's always worth videoing the process though, so if there are any issues you can prove what printed (ideally make sure the slot is empty before starting, and then count out the number of coupons dispensed in front of the camera).
     
  5. smsm1

    smsm1 Member

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    I have frequently picked up tickets from the ticket office at Ipswich (Greater Anglia) without issue. Can be quicker than the machine when there's no queue.
     
  6. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    You may have problems if it's more than 100 items on a single CTR.
     
  7. SickyNicky

    SickyNicky Verified Rep - TrainSplit.com

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    Surely that's supposed to never happen? I know we had to put a limit of 99 coupons per CTR in our TIS.

    In any case, to go back to the original post, ticket retailers would prefer that you used the machines. The costs for collection from a ticket office are surprisingly high - so much so that on all but very high value tickets, it will lead to a loss for the retailer.
     
  8. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    It's happened to us on several occasions, someone with excellent split ticketing knowledge is causing us problems until we move onto the next software update.
     
  9. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    How high are we talking comparing to using a TVM?
     
  10. mallard

    mallard Established Member

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    No, your software limitations are causing the problem. It's not the passenger's fault your system can't handle their request.
     
  11. _toommm_

    _toommm_ Established Member

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    I've had 8 or 9 different tickets covering a journey from Edinburgh to Plymouth on a direct train - once the reservation coupons printed out, along with the receipt, it was a good 20 tickets!
     
  12. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    I'll just reference this quote

     
  13. Clip

    Clip On Moderation

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    A TVM only needs filling up every so often and the energy costs are low to power it and even the server at the other end for the selling infrastructure whereas for a ticket office you not only have to pay the wage and pensions and insurance you also have to light and heat and provide welfare facilities and maintenence and a TIS all of which will dwarf the cost of a TVM week in week out year after year
     
  14. gray1404

    gray1404 Established Member

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    Collected tickets from Liverpool Virgin TVM. I had 3 reference numbers, the first 2 with only one ticket on and the last with the bulk collection. The first TVM I went to printed tickets quickly but really bad print quality. I tried a second and this was fast and excellent print quality but entering the reference number took forever as the touch screen was not very responsive to the number keys. Managed to print the rest off here.

    However, it printed all the tickets in the old style format which really confused me. I have been using the same online retailer and had all my tickets in the new format for ages now. However, I have been using the Northern TVM. So, is it down to the retailer used that determines the format (new or old style) of the tickets or the operator of the TVM used (or indeed both)?
     
  15. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    No. As far as I am aware, all of Virgin Trains' ticket vending machines print tickets in the old format.

    The format will depend on the way the machine is set up, and what the ticket type is.
     
  16. ForTheLoveOf

    ForTheLoveOf Established Member

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    It is purely the TVM that determines the style. Virgin TVMs are one of the last holdouts of the old style; almost all operators have changed over to the new style for their TVMs, though quite a number of ticket offices still use old style.

    However, Virgin's TVMs are clearly capable of printing in the new style, as for example the ones at Wolverhampton have been rebranded as WMR ones after the change in station operator there, and they now print in the new style. I have heard rumours that they will be changing all their TVMs to new style "soon" but I don't know just how soon that actually means.
     
  17. Starmill

    Starmill Events Co-ordinator

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    Indeed. I'm sure that the situation is as island describes, but lots of booking office staff just feel free to ignore those directions.
     
  18. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    No it's a combination of how the ticket is set up to print and if the machine is set up to use CCST-X or the earlier format.
     
  19. londonbridge

    londonbridge Member

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    Depending on how many you have. I once saw a row kick off where a bloke had taken the tickets and started to check through them and the guy behind him told him to move away from the machine and check them somewhere else.
     
  20. yorkie

    yorkie Administrator Staff Member Administrator

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    Perhaps we could gather evidence of this, as the train companies are charging hefty fees to retailers for printing tickets at ticket offices. I suspect this may be an abuse of a dominant market position, and therefore illegal.

    The system has a 99 coupon limitation but if any retailer has not imposed the 99 coupon limitation, then arguably that's a bug with their implementation.
     
  21. Wallsendmag

    Wallsendmag Established Member

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    I've not seen an instruction to that effect.
     
  22. maniacmartin

    maniacmartin Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    I once collected 35 separate CTR references in one go. I went to a large station with many TVMs at an off peak time when there were few people wanting to buy tickets. I used 2 TVMs - one would be printing whilst I was keying the reference into the other. No-one seemed to mind. I expect it would be a different matter if I was hogging the only TVM in a small station at peak time though!

    Also a bug in the central NRS - it should reject attempts to insert bookings that don't conform to the spec.
     

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