Last Aptis

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metrocammel

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The last APTIS machine on the Northern Rail network was issued late last week: http://www.northernrail.org/images/upload/News Release - Pick Picks Up Last Ticket - 08_09_06.pdf

Out of interest, the bloke in the picture, on the right Alex, was one of the people who i "shadowed" on my work experience with Northern a couple of weeks ago. In retrospect, Im annoyed I didn't ask him if anywhere still used APTIS, as I assumed it had gone already throughout Northern. I needed a platform ticket off Congleton's machine, as I had one from nearly every station in the "Manchester area", but not blo*dy Congleton!

Anyway, now APTIS is pretty much dead, surviving only in very limited numbers down south, namely (afaik), at Greenwich (due to Oyster-ant being required), City Thameslink (but not for issuing tickets - Oyster validation only), South Kenton (not confirmed, but apparently still is main TIS and Oyster validation), also London Marylebone still has one machine, however it is simply there as a backup for the notoriously slow new Cubic "FasTIS" machines, which are having lots of "teething troubles"- unlike with ARJIS (which is the computer system which allowed reservations to be made in conjunction with APTIS, ie you reserved a seat / booked an APEX ticket on the computer, then printed the ticket out on the APTIS machine) the new system doesn't let you check multiple journeys at once, all journeys have to be searched manually, so in theory much slower than the system it has replaced. Anway, I shall stop before this digressed into a rant about new fangled technology. Also, if anyone knows of a station still with an APTIS machine (a big grey coloured square boxy ticket machine, that prints on non-shiny ticket stock) please let me know!
 
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Tom C

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Kings Cross Thameslink still have an APTIS machine for Oyster cards although just recently new annual season tickets on APTIS stock because of complaints of how quickly SHERE and TRIBUTE issued seasons seem to last before they need to have an encode exchange.

I miss APTIS to work on because it was a lot quicker than the PC based systems and faults were quite rare.

Manchester Piccadilly used to have an APTIS at the back of the booking office for some reason even when they had gone onto TRIBUTE, not sure if it is still there.
 

metrocammel

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Kings Cross Thameslink still have an APTIS machine for Oyster cards although just recently new annual season tickets on APTIS stock because of complaints of how quickly SHERE and TRIBUTE issued seasons seem to last before they need to have an encode exchange.

I miss APTIS to work on because it was a lot quicker than the PC based systems and faults were quite rare.
Cheers for that Tom, I will have to go there to see if I can get some of my blank Platform stock issued on the machine(s). Lots of people agree that APTIS is far superior to the newer systems, especially for local tickets- (ie, at my local station, Ashton, it now takes the ticket clerk longer to sell Greater Manchester tickets, which is a step-back, but the plus point is the quickness of issuing Advanced tickets -which required a barcode
from a book, read with the "wand" (though not many people buy advanced tickets at Ashton!)

Manchester Piccadilly used to have an APTIS at the back of the booking office for some reason even when they had gone onto TRIBUTE, not sure if it is still there.[/QUOTE]

I'm pretty sure that has now gone, someone told me Euston had a similar "APTIS" window for a long time after Tribute was introduced, but I think this has also gone.



Plymouth still use them.

Mart

When I went about a month ago, they had replaced them with Fujitsu Star, and I asked if they had any old ticket stock, and said it had all been thrown away, so unless they have brought them back, I'm sure they have gone.
 

devon_metro

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Can anybody give an example of a ticket issue by them, is it different?

EDIT found one, i have a Devon day ranger issued at Newton Abbot by one of them:p Been replaced now though.
 

metrocammel

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I know the IT project manager (Brendan Dawson) for APTIS
Really, he wont have much of a job anymore then!! I imagine there are only about 20 machines (perhaps less than that!) left in use in the whole country!! AFAIK, the company who "controlled" the APTIS machines was "Cubic", who have made the TIS, which was basically one of the final nails in the coffin for the system, FasTIS. I can't imagine that the remaining APTIS / SPORTIS machines lasting out next year, as spares etc will get hard to source, due to market simply not needing spares. For example, Northern (Western) now operate a single SPORTIS machine, (which is at Eccles station, due to a number of factors that restrict it from having a Cubic). This machine is currently costing over £1K per week(!) due to it being the sole machine yet still requiring a DRU, and someone to "bleed" it, which is very uneconomical for one machine. If of course there are problems with Tribute, like the aforementioned mag-strip encoding quality, APTIS is a good backup, but will soon become uneconomical to continue with. Even the RH&D (which use PORTIS) are ceasing this, for the same reasons.

Can anybody give an example of a ticket issue by them, is it different?
http://therailticketgallery.fotopic.net/

Theres loads'a APTIS tickets there, along with SPORTIS, and older (plus their replacements).
 

Tom C

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Cheers for that Tom, I will have to go there to see if I can get some of my blank Platform stock issued on the machine(s). Lots of people agree that APTIS is far superior to the newer systems, especially for local tickets- (ie, at my local station, Ashton, it now takes the ticket clerk longer to sell Greater Manchester tickets, which is a step-back, but the plus point is the quickness of issuing Advanced tickets -which required a barcode
from a book, read with the "wand" (though not many people buy advanced tickets at Ashton!)
I go to KCM regularly at work and CTK so drop me a line and I will see what I can do :). Both are on window 99, although at City it is the middle window which is always closed save for a SHERE failure (Don't forget City has 2 APTIS, Holborn and Ludgate ends :D)

APTIS was the perfect TIS for the smaller stations because the Top 24 made issuing local fares a doddle.

Blue Button (Destination), Green Button (T/Type), Orange Button (MOP)

AP fares were a problem because the TOC's were slow in sending out the barcodes. At Blackfriars and City Thameslink we used to use RJIS to sort out reservations and issue the tickets through APTIS because most of the Virgin and MML fares were under the spare ticket type however the GNER ones had to go through the wand and GNER took a couple of months to send the barcodes and by then SHERE was about to take over the main windows.

Also the servicing contracts were run down to a basic package of fixing a fatal fault although the biggest advantage of APTIS was the operational spare sites which you used to swop dead machines to minimise window down times and it was the same with SPORTIS and the DRU machines which we also lost in april :( but I was sad and bought a ticket on the last day I used a SPORTIS and APTIS plus I kept my EOS from APTIS as a little momento.

One more station I can think of is Gunnersbury, that had an APTIS a couple of months ago :)
 

joy54.gen

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I have found most staff very friendly when issuing platform tickets on these machines and the only ones left really are the Tube/NR stations. CT were fine with issuing them same with SK. Gunnersbury is gone its Tribute (although I couldn't get a good view into the back). I am unsure whether the whole of FGWL is gone and if the whole of Chiltern are gone but the numbers are certainly dwidling to the few who MUST keep them.
 

metrocammel

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It must be, as that ticket was only issued on the 1st September (so unless its been removed in the last 16 days, it will still be there). I'm pretty sure it will issue Wessex Stock still. Most "carpark" style ticket machines, like the Autoslot88, still issue "British Rail" stock, (like the machine at Shaw, nr Oldham), so it will probably issue "Wessex" stock until the machine is replaced- which may not be too long given that it is very much non-standard.
 

metrocammel

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Ashton, Lancashire
Ive found a really good APTIS-equipped travel agent in Kendal. If anyone likes the old APTIS tickets (rather than the naff new shiny stock issuing TIS's), Gates Travel in Kendal (for people in the north) is the place to go. It is the last APTIS machine in the (northern part of) "Midland" region, so I think it could be the last to print "M" as the window number (eg, M01 after the NLC) . The NLC is 1601. So if anyone wants rail rovers (that say issued at "Gates Travel") on good old red-logo stock - get to Kendal! (and you can get some Mint Cake while your there!)

http://www.gatestravel.co.uk/rail.php
 
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