Edmondson tickets - how it was done!

Discussion in 'Fares Advice & Policy' started by Waldgrun, 1 Nov 2011.

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  1. Waldgrun

    Waldgrun Member

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  3. mikeg

    mikeg Member

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    Ah, but it says on the ticket 'for alternative routes se the B.R. book of routes'.

    You don't need the routeing guide to using tickets nowadays, the shortest most direct service (presumably what's printed on the ticket) is always valid.
     
  4. SickyNicky

    SickyNicky Verified Rep - TrainSplit.com

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    Does anyone have a copy of the "BR book of routes"?
     
  5. OwlMan

    OwlMan Established Member

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    Although it does state "For alternative routes see BR book of Routes" so not really much difference

    Peter
     
  6. mikeg

    mikeg Member

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    When was the Book of Routes discountinued and any reasonable route introduced? (going off topic slightly, I know). Someone on the forum mentioned having read the (1956?) book of routes and stating that it was shorter than the Routeing Guide. If that could be done with so many more routes that existed pre-Beeching, why couldn't they do something similar today?
     
  7. tony_mac

    tony_mac Established Member

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    and when the shortest direct service only runs once a day?

    I don't think that they could fit that route into 16 characters ;)
     
  8. Deerfold

    Deerfold Established Member

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  9. Mutant Lemming

    Mutant Lemming Established Member

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    By the time it had half a dozen holes punched in it the information on the ticket would be rather difficult to glean.
     
  10. MikeWh

    MikeWh Established Member Senior Fares Advisor

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    Not a valid one. Trains haven't served Ventnor for years.
     
  11. Waldgrun

    Waldgrun Member

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    I would think the most clips that one half of that ticket would had been given would have been 4.(remember that you would only clip on the side that appertains to the leg of the journey being undertaken). That is if LT used ticket punches.other wise 3 .Once at North Harrow, then Waterloo, Portsmouth Harbour, and finally at Ryde Pier Head.
    On train punches unlikely on Portsmouth Line slow services, 2 Bil & 2 Hal very difficult to work through, although more chance on a fast, 4 COR, 4 RES, 4 BUF ,or even 4 GRI!
    The return half should have been readable at the end of the outward journey.
     
  12. John @ home

    John @ home Established Member Fares Advisor

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    I have two copies of the 1952 book. I don't know of any editions other than 1952.
    Are you assuming that there was a single date on which the Book of Routes was discontinued and the concept of a reasonable route introduced? I don't know whether that is so or not. My own assumption has been that the 1952 Book of Routes was an attempt to codify the practices of the big four companies following nationalisation.
    See this post.
    Much of the Book of Routes was rendered redundant by Beeching. For example,
    Barnsley Court House (railway station) was closed in 1960 and Sheffield Victoria in 1970. Most Doncaster - Penistone journeys are now via Meadowhall, which didn't open until 1990.

    The main difficulty in writing today's National Routeing Guide on a few dozen small pages of paper would be that the Guide is not recursive. Today's equivalent of the 1952 rules for a Doncaster - Penistone journey would be:
    (plus one other route more rarely used)

    If the Guide were recursive then these rules would automatically apply to all tickets valid via Doncaster and Penistone. Changing back to a recursive system would be dramatic. There would be winners and losers. It could only be done with full consent and involvement from the beginning of the process by DfT, the train companies and the passenger representatives. It is therefore thought to be unlikely.
    wiki states that Ventnor station closed in 1966. I deduce from that, and my memory of medium and long-distance rail fares in the 1960s, that this 56/6 (£2.82) 2nd class return North Harrow - Ventnor was a price charged not long before closure, perhaps even an unsold ticket removed from North Harrow booking office after Ventnor closed.
     
  13. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    I worked in the Passenger Commercial area of BR in the early 1970s.

    The arrangements as I remember them were as follows.

    Tickets were available generally "by any reasonable route", which of course then was somewhat easier to identify of course.

    Firstly we need to look at the fares structure. Fares at that time were primarily mileage-based, but certain journeys were subject to what was known as "Selective Pricing", that is the mileage was the basis for the fare but then there was an add-on to artifically raise the fare to reflect the level and type of service, such add-ons were not massive, however to get around the situation of a journey such as say Levenshulme to Euston or Stechford to Euston which would be cheaper by a considerable margin, the SPM would instruct to use the fare from Piccadilly or New St as appropriate.

    Not all fares were shown in the SPM. The fares shown there were based upon traffic flows and these were varied as required by discussion between the Divisional Passenger Manager within each Divisional Manager's Office (DMO), and the regional General Manager's office (GMO).

    All local fares were the responsibility of the DMO and were published separately in Divisional Fares Manuals. Copies of these were sent to all of the GMOs, where they were then in turn distributed to the relevant DMOs, the Areas and major booking offices. Obviously onlt relevant DFMs were circulated within each Region, for example London had everything, whereas Birmingham had only these immediately surrounding (London/Stoke/Gloucester) whilst Leeds for example would have Newcastle/Doncaster/Manchester/Preston.

    The DFMs were generally matrix or triangular based tables covering a route or a number of routes. Some stations had each local destination shown, plus major stations depending again upon the level of demand.

    Any journey from insignificant station A to insignificant station D would pretty much always include an available fare from the the SPM, and by adding on the three elements, the through fare could be established.

    Where a through fare was not shown in either the SPM or the DFM, then the station would either ring its managing station or call the DMO for the relevant add-on. Alternatively the famous phrase "rebook at XXXX" was used.

    Clever booking clerks used to make a note of the fare in a book so that it could be used again. ;) It was the job of the junior clerk(s) to update this each year when the fares rose.

    So that is how we used to work out a fare from insignificant station A to insignificant station D.

    To establish "availability", which by the way is a completely different thing to "validity", the following criteria was used.


    1 - The Selective Fares Manual (SFM)
    The SPM would indicate the route where there were variations for example. A good case would be London to Cambridge which was priced differently from Kings Cross and Liverpool St.


    2 - Reasonable Route
    Is the passenger travelling by a reasonable route ?

    Where a route was not shown the determination was by any reasonable. Unlike these days people were more sensible and would not try to argue ridiculous variations to the extent that people seem to try to do these days. It was also helped by the fact that the fares structure followed the train service, so for example Weston Super Mare was priced via Bath/Bristol Parkway, but NOT via Westbury.

    Mostly this was an easy thing to establish as there were some standard easements, such as anything from London to north of Birmingham was available via Oxford, anything north of Manchester was available via Oxford and St Pancras/Derby/Sheffield/Leeds.

    Carisle/Newcastle were interchangeable but not for break of journey on the off-route line.

    Glasgow/Edinburgh and anything north thereof was available via the ECML/WCML/S&C and variations.

    Taunton and westwards was available via Bristol, both routes, as well as via the WoE.

    Exeter and west was available to Paddington/Waterloo.

    I dare not comment on the Southern as it is a complete mystery to me, even today.

    The general rule however was that if there was a train service or a group of services that took the passenger in the direction without being silly, then this was acceptable.

    3 What if the Passenger is Off-route ?
    Where the ticket was say via a specific route and the passenger was off-route then an excess fare was charged. This would be the difference between the original fare paid and the correct fare. This pretty much always only required the excess difference along the main route from intermediate station B to intermediate station C.

    For example a passenger travelling from Crystal Palace to Cheadle Hulme via Derby would be off-route from London. The excess therefore would be calculated as follows.

    Step 1
    Original fare minus London to Cheadle Hulme.

    Step 2
    The sum of St Pancras to Derby, plus Derby to Stoke, plus Stoke to Cheadle Hulme

    Step 3
    Calculate the difference between step 1 and 2. This is the excess, subject to when using an Ordinary Return, half the difference only is payable unless the passenger is returning via Derby.

    As a general rule this method worked for about 99% of cases.

    What if the Route is completely Unreasonable ?
    The passenger would generally be TI'd mainly to obtain details to go on record in case they came to notice again.

    Hope this helps a little.
     
  14. Bedpan

    Bedpan Member

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    Even in those days savings could be made by splitting tickets though. As far as I can recall, ordinary return fares were twice the single fare, and day returns were only available for shorter journeys. As an example I remember going to Cardiff for a day trip when I was in the sixth form at school and having to buy London - Didcot, Didcot - Swindon, Swindon - somewhere else, (probably Newport) and from there to Cardiff. I don't know whether you could buy tickets from any station at station booking offices, but I bought mine at a local travel agent. (Do travel agents still sell train tickets?).

    My recollection is that when you bought a ticket, the booking clerk used to insert the ticket into an upright cylindrical machine on the desk top which made a dull clunk as he did so. If it was a return he used to turn the ticket round and then put the other end in too. I always assumed that this printed the number on the ticket - I can't think what else it could have done - so that all tickets issued, wherever they were to, were in sequential order.

    The ticket which is the subject of this thread has a number. so if I'm right it wouldn't be from redundant stock after the closure of Shanklin - Ventnor stretch of line in 1966.

    I'm surprised that the ticket exists at all though, If a ticket was bought to a more unusual destination, the clerk used to use a blank tickets and handwrite the destination in.
     
  15. John @ home

    John @ home Established Member Fares Advisor

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    My understanding is that it stamped the date on the opposite side of the ticket to the one shown in the link in post #1. For a return ticket, the date needed to be stamped on both halves. If I'm right, we don't know whether this ticket has been issued without seeing the other side.
     
  16. bb21

    bb21 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    In the itinerary you described above, it is most likely that rebooking is required. In an age where the majority of origin / destination permutations are pre-printed on ticketing stock, most stations will only hold those with an origin there. Some larger stations might have a small quantity of tickets originating elsewhere in nearby locations, however I am not entirely sure about it.

    Yes, they still do, and I believe a substantial number of Rail Appointed Travel Agents still exist in many parts of the country.
     
  17. Bedpan

    Bedpan Member

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    Yes you are right John@home, of course it was a date stamp. How daft of me to forget that, so sorry for doubting you. Come to think of it, the ticket number is printed the same way up on the ticket for sale. that would not have been the case if it was printed at the time of purchase.

    Thanks for the additional info bb21 also.
     
  18. sbt

    sbt Member

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    This is all from very vague memory of a book I once read...

    Ticket numbers were printed and recorded centrally. Blocks of sequentially numbered tickets wet to booking offices and that was recorded. Tickets were sold in sequential order.

    That way there was an 'audit trail' for any that went missing or had problems. You knew where the ticket had been issued from and the sequential order of issue allowed you to work out who would have been on duty when it was issued. Forgery could also be countered in this way.

    Remember that the pre-printed tickets were in effect 'cash' and therefore valuable.
     
  19. Old Timer

    Old Timer Established Member

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    Correct, were a bit like your bank account. The ticket stock was classed as money and obviously had a financial value. You therefore started with a debit which in theory was reduced each day.

    All ticket stock had to be kept locked up in the safe and as was pointed out earlier, at the end of shift the closing number for each ticket had to be taken so that the money paid in matched the value of the tickets sold.

    The normal (stupid) fiddle was for a clerk to take out a ticket further inside the stock and sell it off and pocket the cash, this was only detected when the clerk who sold the previously numbered ticket than came to cash up and found that they were £xx short. A similar situation in recent years could be found with books of tickets like the WM day travel cards, which were simply packs of card tickets stapled together.

    Selling out of sequence fiddles were always traced back because the person always left a trail, and usually was the only one who never sustained the "loss". Relief clearks were easier to track down because the trail spread out over a number of their stations.

    I remember once sitting in the main booking ofice on the line with about £500,000 on the table, which the Chief Clerk was counting as part of the monthly audit. This was the first time I had seen such a large amount and remarked on this. My Clerk said in so many words "You can trust me absolutely with the money on this line, you do know that don't you ?". When I asked him how I could ever be certain he smiled and said "When I take BR it will be for a LOT more than this ! £500k would only last me about a year and then what would I live on ???. No if I was going to do it, I would steal £Millions so that I never needed to worry about running out of cash for the rest of my life!". :lol: :lol:

    Selling out of sequence was a very demoralising occurrence as for a period as obviously neither we nor the remainder of the Clerks knew who was doing it, and it was especially pernicious if done when a new starter without a history arrived.

    Many Clerks obviously built up a trust with Management and we relied on these guys to help us out with surrepticious observations until we nailed down the culprit.
     
  20. Indigo2

    Indigo2 Established Member

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    Yes I remember reading a story about how Albert Reynolds, former Irish politician, when he was a CIE booking clerk in the 1950s, did something like this when someone came to him wanting to emigrate to England from a small town in the west of Ireland. He knew this person could barely afford the rail/sail ticket to Liverpool or wherever it was so took a ticket from a bundle that he knew wouldn't be checked for a long time, and gave it to the man for free.

    The man came up to him in England years later and thanked him for it, thinking he had done him a personal favour, and didn't realise that Mr Reynolds had actually cheated CIE of the fare.

    I can't find a link to the story now so maybe it wasn't on the internet that I read it.

    Weren't the pre-printed tickets often stored in a rack that made it quite awkward to take one out of sequence?
     
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