Northern Ticket Machine Update Issues

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by Jozhua, 14 Jul 2019.

  1. Killingworth

    Killingworth Established Member

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    I recently found where Poynton was when I happened to walk by. It has a ticket office and two ticket machines. I thought I'd found a heritage railway. It's well worth a visit. IMG_20190412_115306.jpg
     
  2. Dr Hoo

    Dr Hoo Established Member

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    Yes, Poynton is lovely. There is a nice counter to rest your insulated coffee cup on whilst you complete your transaction, a corner at the end of the counter which you can lean your umbrella against, a roof to keep the rain out, walls to keep the sun out and doors to keep the wind out (and toddlers and dogs in).
    The Victorians clearly recognised what was useful to make ticket purchase a dream. Can we have some of these features at Hope, please?
     
  3. Killingworth

    Killingworth Established Member

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    In Poynton they still know how to make passengers feel welcome, this being the second waiting room on the other side. A Northern station, I believe. Sorry, I didn't picture the ticket machines. This digression has probably gone far enough, back into a different age. IMG_20190412_114551.jpg
     
  4. CheshireCrusty

    CheshireCrusty Member

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    Is that a platform ticket machine on the left hand side of the first photo?

    Back to the main point of the thread - my wife is disabled and can only stand for a couple of minutes maximum. Would she be able to use the ticket machines? Not so worried about time in the queue - people are usually very understanding and will keep her place while she sits (or more often perches) nearby. She will normally use a manned station and will book assistance but there are times when she may travel from an unmanned Northern Station.

    Is a prebooked "Fast Ticket" collection genuinely fast using these machines - she can't use a smart phone, but can use a home p.c. prior to travel and has been able to enter the code on the older ticket machines.
     
  5. Tim33160

    Tim33160 Member

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    Cuddington, like most stations on the Mid Cheshire Line, does not have a booking office or staff - nor, if you believe National Rail, does it have a ticket machine! https://www.nationalrail.co.uk/stations/CUD/details.html

    Lostock Gralam does not have a TVM "as there are too few passengers to warrant installation" - perhaps based on presumed footfall as many people using the station cannot buy a ticket

    Mobberley doesn't have a ticket machine as there is "no suitable electric supply" - the platform lights do work - presumably the wrong sort of electricity !
     
  6. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    Cheers, I'll DM you with the details if it will help track the problem.

    In terms of buying a ticket, as others have said there are probably a few too many clicks in the process, but it certainly doesn't take the 10 minutes claimed up thread. I've bought a couple in the last week and the process generally takes around a minute, a little too long in honesty but not as bad as some are making out. However ticket collection is fast, I regularly see people picking them up in under 30 seconds so if you wife is concerned that buying at the TVM might cause her problems I'd certainly recommend buying online. She might even save a bit more depending on which booking site she uses!
     
  7. Killingworth

    Killingworth Established Member

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    If your wife could collect tickets from previous machines, and the present machines before the latest updates, she should have no difficulty. That bit hasn't changed.

    The present screens allow the display to be dragged down to make it easier for shorter people or anyone in a wheelchair.

    The old 1d platform ticket machine at Poynton is not in use.
     
  8. jtuk

    jtuk Member

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    Ah, I see, I've just tried using it now and was a bit confused as to why I couldn't find any for love nor money, was under the impression they were live already. Fair enough.

    Just been able to buy for a different station to where I was for future travel with minimal issues, although it was helped that my destination was top of the suggested stations (Nottingham when buying at Stockport, oddly enough). Would suggest:

    - Have many more destination options for the first screen, just trying at Stockport now it gave two, both of which were the same destination, just different validity. I would have thought you would have access to data that'd tell you the most purchased destinations from any given station, if you have, say, 10 spots, propagate half from your main list, 3 from what people are actually buying and then 2 common zonal/rover/ranger tickets
    - When digging deeper, offer up a list of fares at the same time as offering the journey planner. Once I've picked a start point and destination combo, there's enough real estate on the screen to list available tickets at the same time as the journey planner. I know what I want to buy, I shouldn't need to pick a specific train which I might not use anyway when anything is the same price as I'm buying a walk up fare
     
  9. Saperstein

    Saperstein Member

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    Can anyone explain why TVM’s that only take cards (so no security risk) are sometimes hidden indoors thus only available during booking office opening hours?

    Rainhill (RNH) I’m looking at you!

    I only saw it by chance when waiting for my delayed Lime Street train...

    Saperstein.
     
  10. xotGD

    xotGD Established Member

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    Tried again today. Still couldn't figure a way to avoid having to select itineraries.
     
  11. daodao

    daodao Member

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    The ticket office at Rainhill, like most stations in Merseyside, is open nearly the entire time that trains call there, so this is a very minor problem.
     
  12. Saperstein

    Saperstein Member

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    Granted stations on Merseyside have good opening hours but there’s always someone who wants a ticket at “stupid o’clock“ ;)

    BTW, I quite like the ticket office there, very “BR’ish” and that sort of atmosphere that reminds you of bygone days. :)

    From the pictures of the rocket loco? and I think I noticed a model with the old Northern Loco there?

    Something to do with loco trials in the 1800’s - someone will know what I’m on about but I’m rapidly drifting way of topic...

    Saperstein.
     
  13. YorksDMU

    YorksDMU Member

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    I’m new to the software upgrade, and had to make a purchase of an Off Peak Return ticket to Hull, from Beverley in the early afternoon today the 18th, August. The train was the 13.12 to Hull from Beverley which was on time.
    On Beverley station there is one machine in the Booking Hall, on the downside of the station, and one on the up platform next to the footbridge.
    I tried to purchase the ticket from the machine in the Booking Hall - the ticket office is closed all day each Sunday. I did not, and could not, make an advance purchase of a ticket since I did not know I would need to travel before this afternoon.
    I managed to get the machine started, and was able to get as far as the list of popular destination stations. That’s when the machine froze and would not accept any of my commands regarding my destination station. I tried repeatedly hitting the screen on Hull, but it made no difference.
    I then noticed the box about other destinations, so went there and input Hull. The machine froze again. I deleted Hull, and went back to the page I had just come from, and there it was. In the box for the destination station was Hull!
    So I decided to plough on, on got directed to those different times for the return journey, but on an Off Peak Return ticket, on the Scarborough branch, on a Sunday, they don’t apply.
    Anyway, I then noticed the box which was on the right, and it had the list of ticket types. So I selected the correct ticket type.
    I was then directed to Plus Bus. No interest or use for that, so I was finally, after wasting about ten minutes of my very valuable time, able to pay for my ticket.
    I will not be using the machine again.
    Neither can I always pay for a ticket in advance. So I feel I’m in a difficult situation. Any advice would be gratefully received.
     
  14. ALEMASTER

    ALEMASTER Member

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    If the software used on the TVMs was on a booking office system operated by trained staff it would be fine.

    For a customer self service machine, it is way too complicated and unclear what you are meant to do! Additionally the touch screen doesn't always work correctly.

    The actual functionality is excellent, the user interface and process needs making much simpler and clearer.

    Also the issue of not being able to buy tickets for trains that are imminent or delayed needs addressing. In one example at Dore & Totley station the machine made customers choose timed trains but wouldn't offer the delayed 0828 departure, only the next one at 0954 - which is off peak and cheaper!
     
  15. plugwash

    plugwash Member

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    I suspect installation and maintenance costs are lower indoors, installation because it's easier to get power and connectivity and maintenance because no matter how much you try to seal something like a TVM against the weather, sooner or later seals will get damaged, water will get in and electronics will be destroyed and because it's less exposed to troublemakers.
     
  16. Killingworth

    Killingworth Established Member

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    Trains at 7.57, 8.04, 8.24, 8.28 then nothing until 9.54! But that 8.28 is late so often that many rely on it, watching its progress to ensure they get an extra few minutes at home.

    One machine, programmed as it currently is, can't sell tickets to all those passengers. The opening screen now extols use of the Northern app. Many must be using it because a large proportion of travellers at this time don't go near the machine.
     
  17. plugwash

    plugwash Member

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    Can they not select the later train, then select the more expensive ticket? or does it force you to buy the cheapest ticket available for the train you select?
     
  18. Bantamzen

    Bantamzen Established Member

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    It seems then that those travellers have already solved the problem, buy before you leave home. And to be honest whilst I too will often watch real-time progress of a late running train, we all know that sometimes the data used by some apps doesn't match what's happening in reality.

    Of course there will always be those without web access, but then they would be at the station for 8:28 because they would have no means to track the train to know its late....
     
  19. DC2001

    DC2001 Member

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    From 08:23, they cannot select that service as trains 'disappear' from the journey planner 5 minutes before they are scheduled to depart!
     
  20. joke2711

    joke2711 Member

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    @northernman is aware of this issue as the same happens at Rainford. I had to assist another passenger this morning who was trying to buy a return ticket to Bootle Oriel Road but the machine wouldn't show the 0712 departure. As nothernman explained .. in this situation you just choose a different departure times and then select Anytime Return as the ticket type. Do I think it works well .. probably not ... but until any further upgrade happens we are stuck with it.
     
  21. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Presumably this is to stop people buying an Advance for a train they then miss - but surely it would make sense just to block Advances?
     
  22. DC2001

    DC2001 Member

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    Presumably, it would be much easier if you could just select a ticket - maybe have the option to select a service but not make it mandatory to select.

    I have had to reassure quite a few people that they don't actually need to travel on the specified trains - sometimes the system comes up with a tight connection that is often missed or a really long wait when there is another service in just under the minimum connection time.
     
  23. Muenchener

    Muenchener Member

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    TVM 's vs Northern App
    I've used the app for over a year now. It gives you the control of when you buy the ticket without having the pressure of a dozen people behind you tutting as the clock ticks away to the next departure. As with the TVM's; you can't buy a Ranger or Round Robin ticket but, as advised by Northernman upthread, it's being addressed and one for the future. I'm classed as a leisure traveller these days so the app suits me fine; no season tickets to manage.
     
  24. SteveM70

    SteveM70 Member

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    The descriptions Northern give their tickets is also misleading to the uninitiated....

    On their app (And I think the TVMs) the two options for a return ticket are described as "return" and "open return best suited for travel flexibility"

    If you didn't understand the minutiae of the ticketing system, and were making a day return but unsure what time train you were coming back on, 99.9% of people would buy the more expensive but unnecessary open return
     
  25. ainsworth74

    ainsworth74 Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Certainly on the app after you select what train you want on your outward journey it takes you to a screen where it shows the different returns available and what the difference is. For example using the app to search for a journey from Stockton to Whitby tomorrow morning with an open return it identifies the 0944 from Stockton changing at Middlesbrough, click on that takes you to "Ticket Options" where it shows the Off-Peak Day Return described as "Any off-peak train. Return same day." with a flag showing it as the "cheapest", it also shows the Anytime Day Return described as "Travel any time of day. Return same day." and then finally the Anytime Short Distance Return described as "Any time of day, return within one month."

    I mean I think it'd be pretty hard for someone wanting to come back the same day (just not sure of when that would be) to choose the period return when confronted with that information!
     

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  26. DJBut

    DJBut New Member

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    One Northern station in Lancashire really looks after any Aussie visitors ! For Aussie visitors.jpg
     
  27. exesoundtech

    exesoundtech Member

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    :)

    Where is that? May need to make sure it gets "twinned" with somewhere in Aus...
     
  28. exesoundtech

    exesoundtech Member

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  29. northernman

    northernman Member

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    Oh Dear! Where is this please, to save me checking many many machines. :)
     
  30. DJBut

    DJBut New Member

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    To save you the bother - do a handstand at Langho and all will be clear!
    Sorry, I meant Langho International.
     

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