Northern Ticket Machine Update Issues

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

  1. xotGD

    xotGD Established Member

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    You missed out the final question: Do you want a receipt?

    No, but after that experience I could do with the number for The Samaritans!
     
  2. Killingworth

    Killingworth Established Member

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    You've omitted the multiple options for railcard and other discounts, some with time limitations. There must be about 20 possibilities.
     
  3. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    It should be perfectly feasible with an appropriately specified system.

    I have probably bought tickets from the TVMs operated by 15 or so TOCs. The new Northern ones take much longer than average .... as well as the mutiple unecessary steps, it dosen't help that the screen is so big it is difficult to scan quickly to find the correct button.
     
  4. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    I agree about the big screens - they are a pointless and difficult to read gimmick. Having a relatively low (so usable by a wheelchair user or a child) but angled upwards 14" ish screen as per most Scheidt & Bachmann machines seems to work best. And the least said about the GWR large screen machines where you have to squat on the floor to use the card machine (it's about a foot off the ground) the better - at least it's more sensibly positioned on the Northern ones.
     
  5. sheff1

    sheff1 Established Member

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    I haven't used a large GWR one (the older ones are/were? fine) ..... sounds like probably best to keep it that way !
     
  6. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Quite. The fundamental problem with this kind of design is that they make the assumption that disabled=wheelchair. This is sort of fine when it comes to toilet facilities and ramps/lifts, because those things are not negative to anyone and are useful to those with prams, luggage and the likes. But if you design everything (cash machines, ticket machines etc) with everything low down, they become unusable to what you might term "ambulant disabled" e.g. older people - and there are far, far more of those than there are wheelchair users. And hugely complex UIs and screen layouts make things hard for people with mental/learning type disabilities.
     
  7. janb

    janb Member

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    Yes that would be the ideal. The complication lies in a) the creation/existence of Advance Purchase on the day tickets, and b) the commitment made that TVMs will offer the lowest fare.
     
  8. YorksDMU

    YorksDMU Member

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    I had a query about a ticket purchase which I was able to get answered by the lovely lady in Beverley station booking office. I’m travelling to Hull on Wednesday, but the time of day makes it so that I will have to use the TVM - there’s a shift change between 13.15 and 13.30. I was informed that the TVM, in the booking hall is out of use, and has been since last Wednesday. I looked at it and there is a notice on it to that effect.
    I then asked about the situation if the TVM on the up Hull platform is out of use, and, of course, I would be able to purchase a ticket on the train.
    I’m left wondering if Northern will ever get the issues with these machines sorted out. If it’s not the software, it’s the hardware.
     
  9. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    If there is no opportunity to purchase a ticket at your origin (the ticket office is not open AND there are no working TVMs on the station at all) you may pay on board or at your destination, yes, or at an interchange point if there is time but you do not have to miss a connection to do this.

    You do have to use a TVM on another platform if present and working.
     
  10. thejuggler

    thejuggler Member

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    Another day, another abandoned attempt due to someone trying to use the machine for the first time.

    List of services shown, wouldn’t accept a press on any of the services.

    We tried for 8 minutes to buy a ticket. No idea if he was successful as I had to leave ticketless as my train was due.
     
  11. DaveB10780

    DaveB10780 Member

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    A quiz how many button presses to buy a return ticket with railcard from furness vale to manchester. Answer about 20
    Manchester not on fast buttons
    List to select from 4 goes before I click the right line
    Add railcard
    When am I travelling
    Which train out and back
    Plus bus
    Reserve seats really ....... please fix this
    Routing via stockport ok
    Payment
    Receipt
    This is complete and utter rubbish and my finger now hurts.
    NEVER AGAIN
     
  12. DaveB10780

    DaveB10780 Member

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    Interestingly I bought a weekly season for my daughter with 3 big button taps. Only issue there was at 2000 in the evening I could not buy a ticket starting the next day. This is perfectly valid so why not allow select next day. Anxious travellers like to be prepared.
     
  13. Kaydee

    Kaydee Member

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    I wholehearted agree, having the same experience at Disley last week. It took me 3 minutes to buy a return to York, and that was with some experience of how the wretched interface works. As a retired IT professional who once worked on system usability I feel qualified to venture the opinion that the TVM interface is an abomination. At least it didn't ask me for my mother's maiden name before it letting me into the basket! Intelligent most certainly not!
     
  14. Gems

    Gems Member

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    Is there any that work these days?
     
  15. Killingworth

    Killingworth Established Member

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    "Work" is a difficult description. Our one machine works most of the time. That may not be what a passenger tells a guard on the train.

    It takes so long for an inexperienced user that 5 or 6 others may not have time to get a ticket before the train arrives.

    "It doesn't work for me" is possibly a truer explanation, and those in the queue may report it's out of order.

    However the machine is sensitive. If a debit/credit card is left in the slot for too long the machine will resent the intrusion and may close down. It may then reset itself automatically, but that may take 2 or 3 critical minutes. In theory it should be automatic, but there are a range of reasons why the machine can close. If whoever controls it notices it can often be reset/rebooted in minutes. There may be some conditions that will trigger an automatic reboot, but it's too slow. Too often nobody centrally seems to notice and it stays shut until one of us phones or tweets to tell them.
     
  16. js1000

    js1000 Member

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    Quite. In terms of usability the ticket interface is an absolute disgrace. On the couple of occasions I have tried to buy and ticket from the machine and given up I think there is no way in a million years my grandmother would be able to buy a ticket from that. In a era where the DfT and train companies are looking to minimise manned ticket offices that's clearly not acceptable.

    Fundamental to my everyday job is demonstrating a duty of care and reasonable skill. The individuals who thought this user interface was good and somehow acceptable should be embarrassed. No duty of care has been exercised in producing this overly complicated user interface and many elderly (less technologically savvy) or those who are less able will have no chance in working these machines.

    Nor has reasonable skill has been exercised that even the user interface is simple enough for those who would consider themselves technologically savvy! Not acceptable. But then we have train that are not accessible so maybe it's not so irrational that the railway industry seem to thinks it is above the law when it comes to accessibility.
     
  17. DaveB10780

    DaveB10780 Member

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    The effect of varifocal glasses should also be considered since does tend to take screen areas out of focus. However the hardest by far for me was selecting from a list of stations, I actually selected the line above 4 times before success and there was no back button I could see at that point just back to home. The analogy to me is like playing Snakes and Ladders without having any of the latter.
     
  18. _toommm_

    _toommm_ Established Member

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    I've got to say the design of the recessed contactless pad is absolutely awful - getting it to communicate with my rather large phone is a pain in the backside, and I often fail to get a connection at all...
     
  19. R G NOW.

    R G NOW. Member

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    Having read the first post, I cannot believe people are having problems with machines. All I can say is, the GWR ones are a breeze, You touch the screen and get a list of available tickets, then click on Cheltenham Spa ANYTIME DAY RTN, and press a complete button, then it askes to insert card or scan it and tickets print, lovely.
     
  20. R G NOW.

    R G NOW. Member

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    Well you'll find that a card attached to the platform lampposts.
     
  21. xotGD

    xotGD Established Member

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    Please try buying the same ticket at a Northern machine and let us know how you get on!
     
  22. R G NOW.

    R G NOW. Member

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    Would love to, but could not afford to travel up north, my rent takes nearly all of my money.
     
  23. ALEMASTER

    ALEMASTER Member

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    Ah well you see on the Northern ones it won't give you a list of tickets until you've told it what time train you are getting there and back...
     
  24. SteveM70

    SteveM70 Member

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    Exactly! Surely even Northern realise that the price of the ticket might inform the choice of at least the return train (I’m being generous and assuming people using these machines are at the station and want to start the outward journey asap)
     
  25. Kaydee

    Kaydee Member

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    Bought a return to Manchester today from Stockport using a Virgin machine - heaven! less than 1 minute including entering card PIN etc.(and selecting which of the 12 or so available tickets, but that's another story) Previous time using Northern machine - 3 minutes and considerably raised blood pressure...........)
     
  26. exesoundtech

    exesoundtech Member

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    Of course, the other story may actually be a key part of the story here. Those 12 or so available tickets (which are, of course, daft) are likely part of the reasoning behind the interface on the new Northern machines. While the VT machine is quick if you know which ticket you need, if you don't know how would you work it out? Faced with all those options, most passengers not "in the know" will likely buy the £4.10 any permitted single to be "on the safe side". When I played with them, this seems to be the purpose of the train selection. I've noticed that if you chose a ticket rather than a train it greys out the trains you can't use - so on Stockport to Manchester you'd have a chance to use the TfW only £2.30 single if you happened to be there at the right time! ;)
     
  27. exesoundtech

    exesoundtech Member

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    The full horror of the daftness being illustrated by this snippet of a Trainline search for next Sunday afternoon:

    Capture.JPG
     
  28. Jozhua

    Jozhua Member

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    Salford Crescent machines appear to be having much worse touch registration than Manchester Victoria machines.

    I'm guessing the touch calibration varies across the board? My guess is that some machines have always been a bit off perhaps, but the new software requires more accurate presses so has brought the issue to light.

    I'd guess they're built to be sturdy and cheap, rather than massively accurate, which is fine, as long as the user interface is designed to compensate, with nice big software buttons/keyboards rather than more fiddly stuff.
     
  29. northernman

    northernman Member

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    Good morning all. Apologies for radio silence from me on this for a few weeks. We are progressing some screen changes with the supplier, based on your feedback, and that of customers, stakeholders and staff. By the end of this week all 'quick select' screens (the first screen with the top 10 most commonly requested journey/ticket combo will be updated. We will also remove the reservation question, therefore reservations apply only to tickets where the condition is mandatory. Still lots more to do, and further updates to follow when I can confirm dates and changes.

    Ian Borthwick
    Retail Systems Manager, Northern Rail
     
  30. DC2001

    DC2001 Member

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    I actually quite like the reservation system, particularly if making a longer distance trip as it does save having to visit a ticket office before returning.
    Will the 'Quick tickets' screen be full with 10 tickets at each station? Currently some only seem to have a couple of 'quick tickets' listed.
     

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