Northern Ticket Machine Update Issues

northernman

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Thanks for the above Ian. Obviously we are not there yet in terms of a seamless dispenser of tickets.
My question is when, or if, Northern intend to dispense Rangers and Rovers via the TVM's? It can be a frustration at my local station when, despite normal operating hours, staff are not in the ticket office which then requires a return visit to buy the ticket.
There is currently a restriction in Rail Settlement Plan that prevents us from vending rangers and rovers on TVMs. However I recognise that often its the best product, therefore we are exploring our options for including rangers and rovers in a future release, at this moment in time I do not have a timescale
Before this new fangled design was rolled out I was able to purchase tickets from Brighouse to Trowbridge and or Westbury or Melksham without any problems (as part of my job I may be sent out at the last minute to commute to various suppliers). Sadly I'm unable to do this now and is highly fustrating, so as xotGD has stated above "Can we please have the old software reinstated?".
Sorry to hear that you are having problems, please feel free to message me with where you struggled and I'll see if I can help
 
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northernman

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At the beginning of the month, the ticket machine at Navigation Road on the Mid Cheshire Line had only Leeds showing as a popular destination, “ticket not available” if you select Manchester Piccadilly but no duo tickets

Now Navigation Road has had its software updated. The ticket machine now automatically offers you a Duo fare if you buy tickets for two people, Now the bad news. The machine thinks it is on the Calder valley line? as the initial popular destinations screen still have “Leeds” which has now been joined by “Halifax”! Still cant get a ticket to Manchester Piccadilly!

Cuddington TVM does not seem to have been modified – still no Duos. If you spell out Metrolink, you are offered various zone combinations but then only season tickets. They also offer Tyne and Wear Metro as a tease (bu no tickets available).
We have a few machines where the top 10 products/destinations are not quote how we want them, its work in progress.

The same for popular destinations, which is why Navigation Rd thinks Leeds is a popular destination, we are on with fixing that.

Cuddington is due for upgrade this week. I will look into the Metrolink query
 

northernman

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Ian, I tried to use the machine at Brighouse on Sunday and the machine was frozen on the ITSO screen. I reported it to the social media team and they said they would log the fault.

Are there any plans to install a machine on the opposite platform at Brighouse (platform 1). I would expect that the vast majority of departing passengers use Platform 1 rather than Platform 2 as this is where the Leeds via Dewsbury / London KX / Huddersfield trains depart from. It’s circuitous walk from Platform 1 to Platform 2.

Hi apologies for that, I have checked and Brighouse is up and working. There is nothing in the plan for a second machine there, however we have not completed roll out so I will check with the project team. I'm not familiar with that station, but we do have to consider access, comms and power routeing. But let me look at it.
 

Muenchener

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There is currently a restriction in Rail Settlement Plan that prevents us from vending rangers and rovers on TVMs. However I recognise that often its the best product, therefore we are exploring our options for including rangers and rovers in a future release, at this moment in time I do not have a timescale


Sorry to hear that you are having problems, please feel free to message me with where you struggled and I'll see if I can help
Ian many thanks. Good to know that it is at least on your radar.
 

Bantamzen

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First world problems, experienced by people in the first world? Who'd have thought it? We are experiencing a wide-scale rollout of ticket machines to more places with no alternative vending options and fewer facilities than has commonly been the case in the past. Compared to an optional-to-use ticket machine, or one in an area where most journeys are done via Oyster, you are going to experience far more problems of all types. A shelf is a potentially very useful and reasonable adjustment which could make the machine usable by a whole range of people who struggle a lot currently, whether it's coffee they are struggling with or a bag or something else they are holding. Sure it's not a software upgrade, but it's a pretty cheap off-the-shelf (as it were) item which is available pre-designed for a whole range of environments.

The new northern machines are actually worse for this than other machines because they've been designed with no flat surfaces so even if you can reach you can't put anything on the top, and you can't lean something against the screen without worrying about damaging or possibly accidentally pressing random buttons and ending up with an open return to Penzance
I'm sorry, I just don't see why this is such a issue? I am not convinced in the least bit that bolting a shelf onto a TVM is really going to massively differences in user interaction time, compared to say offering a more streamlined user interface? And in time, more & more passengers will switch to e-ticketing solutions that reduce their need to use TVMs meaning that you really are solving a problem that is at best a minimal one.
 

northernman

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Perhaps you can help @northernman ... the software has been upgraded at Rainford and this morning I attempted to get a promise to pay as I only had cash with me. On the ticket machine I selected Promise to Pay and then it gave me a screen with popular journeys or plan your journey.
I selected the plan your journey option and entered Manor Road (MNR). It then gave me a list of departures and arrival times but not for the 0712 service. This transaction was being undertaken around 0706. I didn't know what to do, so left it, and with no guard selling tickets on the short hop to Kirkby I bought my return ticket on arrival there. Have I missed something?

Hi, you do not have to select a train, just a fare. But good feedback we will look at that. I have just tried it at that TVM and it works fine.
 

northernman

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-m sorry, but can you gaive a list of current locations where such an arrangement is already in place?

I can't think of any places on the SouthEastern route that does - inside the station building TVMs or at the shacks, out in the open.

I'm tall enough to reach up and put my paper and coffee on top, but I do have to remember to pick them again!

Personally, I think the manufacturers and TOC'S are just being a little shelfish about the whole thing.

"shelfish".....I see what you did there :)

I must be honest, I was not expecting shelves, hooks etc to come up as feedback. I have a concern about how we would fit that to the TVM design, and for it not to be an area that collects rubbish, copes with spills, and doesn't protrude and catch someone. However, its customer feedback, so I will give it some thought
 

800002

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"shelfish".....I see what you did there :)

I must be honest, I was not expecting shelves, hooks etc to come up as feedback. I have a concern about how we would fit that to the TVM design, and for it not to be an area that collects rubbish, copes with spills, and doesn't protrude and catch someone. However, its customer feedback, so I will give it some thought
I can see the lawsuits being generated already!
Personal injury resulting from bashing the protrouding shelf.

Perhaps a handy set of 'attachment' 'holes' cut into the frame which can becut out - depending on local placement / design where the shelf could be affixed to? Although that may create more problems than it solves!
 

sheff1

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On the question of location - most tickets are bought in the morning (which is presumably why many booking offices are just staffed for the early shift) so its seems sensible that TVMs should be sited to avoid morning sun shining directly onto the screen.

There is currently a restriction in Rail Settlement Plan that prevents us from vending rangers and rovers on TVMs.
Can you elaborate ? TVMs installed by other TOCs sell rover tickets and have done for some time.
 

Bantamzen

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I can see the lawsuits being generated already!
Personal injury resulting from bashing the protrouding shelf.

Perhaps a handy set of 'attachment' 'holes' cut into the frame which can becut out - depending on local placement / design where the shelf could be affixed to? Although that may create more problems than it solves!
Well I can foresee at least one small problem at my local station, the TVM is surrounded by it's own little canopy so installing a shelf is going to mean rebuilding it altogether. But if it means a coffee shelf for a station with no coffee retailer or vending machine for at least a mile in any direction.... ;)
 

Killingworth

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Well I can foresee at least one small problem at my local station, the TVM is surrounded by it's own little canopy so installing a shelf is going to mean rebuilding it altogether. But if it means a coffee shelf for a station with no coffee retailer or vending machine for at least a mile in any direction.... ;)
Shh, isn't the next phase coffee vending machines all round? 8-) Then come toilets on all stations. Dream on.
 

800002

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Well I can foresee at least one small problem at my local station, the TVM is surrounded by it's own little canopy so installing a shelf is going to mean rebuilding it altogether. But if it means a coffee shelf for a station with no coffee retailer or vending machine for at least a mile in any direction.... ;)
Front mounted? Only needs tobe 4 inches square for goodness sake! ;)
That's probably why the local population may have oneof these...
Travel mug.jpg
Hehehe

EDIT: to pour water onto the on the oilfire of my tongue in cheek post:- preferably at child headheight to teach the buggers to look where they're going!

Shh, isn't the next phase coffee vending machines all round? 8-) Then come toilets on all stations. Dream on.
Ahh, that would be what the smell was! :D
 
Last edited:

Bantamzen

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Front mounted? Only needs tobe 4 inches square for goodness sake! ;)
That's probably why the local population may have oneof these...
View attachment 66396
Hehehe

EDIT: to pour water onto the on the oilfire of my tongue in cheek post:- preferably at child headheight to teach the buggers to look where they're going!


Ahh, that would be what the smell was! :D
Now if everyone had one of those, we wouldn't need shelves on TVMs.....
 

Dr Hoo

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Well I can foresee at least one small problem at my local station, the TVM is surrounded by it's own little canopy so installing a shelf is going to mean rebuilding it altogether. But if it means a coffee shelf for a station with no coffee retailer or vending machine for at least a mile in any direction.... ;)
Well at my local stations in the Peak District (definitely not coffee stall/kiosk territory) plenty of people get out of their cars or are dropped off whilst carrying re-usable insulated drinks containers (and then faff around with the ticket machine).

Seriously, one of the keys to a successful project is actually observing real passengers interacting with machines in real life - not the development suite.

Completely at random today I have seen two people struggling with dog leads at Hope, another person completely fail to be able to collect a pre-booked ticket for a complex cross-London journey and with reservations at a station in Essex (at least the machine was in a shelter) and three passengers struggling with an umbrella and getting soaked at a station on the Uckfield line.

The general ‘vibe’ on the platform is one of stress and “why do the train people make things as difficult as possible”.

This has got nothing to do with privatisation or fragmentation. In the 1980s I had the challenge of inheriting an appallingly specified and implemented ticket machine and station de-staffing project in British Rail days. It was a complete disaster and we ended up withdrawing the surviving machines (some having been burnt out, vandalised or even ripped out by heavy towing machinery), actually putting staff back at four of the stations, recruiting a new cadre of part-time assistant ticket examiners and finally confessing to the sponsoring PTE that their investment had been totally wasted on BR advice. I wrote the ‘lessons learned’ report, which was widely circulated at the time. Besides the many technical deficiencies of the machines this also included conclusions on ‘user reluctance’.

I have never looked at a ticket machine in the same way as I did before that formative experience.
 

takno

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Now if everyone had one of those, we wouldn't need shelves on TVMs.....
That's exactly how I was assuming everybody would be carrying their coffee anyway, and it still needs to be put down to buy a ticket without at least 30 seconds extra faffing. I imagine a disposable cup would be literally impossible
 

Bantamzen

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Well at my local stations in the Peak District (definitely not coffee stall/kiosk territory) plenty of people get out of their cars or are dropped off whilst carrying re-usable insulated drinks containers (and then faff around with the ticket machine).

Seriously, one of the keys to a successful project is actually observing real passengers interacting with machines in real life - not the development suite.

Completely at random today I have seen two people struggling with dog leads at Hope, another person completely fail to be able to collect a pre-booked ticket for a complex cross-London journey and with reservations at a station in Essex (at least the machine was in a shelter) and three passengers struggling with an umbrella and getting soaked at a station on the Uckfield line.

The general ‘vibe’ on the platform is one of stress and “why do the train people make things as difficult as possible”.

This has got nothing to do with privatisation or fragmentation. In the 1980s I had the challenge of inheriting an appallingly specified and implemented ticket machine and station de-staffing project in British Rail days. It was a complete disaster and we ended up withdrawing the surviving machines (some having been burnt out, vandalised or even ripped out by heavy towing machinery), actually putting staff back at four of the stations, recruiting a new cadre of part-time assistant ticket examiners and finally confessing to the sponsoring PTE that their investment had been totally wasted on BR advice. I wrote the ‘lessons learned’ report, which was widely circulated at the time. Besides the many technical deficiencies of the machines this also included conclusions on ‘user reluctance’.

I have never looked at a ticket machine in the same way as I did before that formative experience.
That's exactly how I was assuming everybody would be carrying their coffee anyway, and it still needs to be put down to buy a ticket without at least 30 seconds extra faffing. I imagine a disposable cup would be literally impossible
Well the guy from Northern has taken both your thoughts away, though don't be surprised if they don't commission some urgent coffee cup holder solution. I must confess the last time I had a drink-TVM situation, I used the human-Earth interface to facilitate the temporary storage of my liquid containing vessel. It seemed to work quite well, although acknowledging that some passengers may struggle to bend low enough I note that all TVMs can still be used quite adequately with one hand by many...

Honestly I cannot for the life of me understand why this irks you so. How do you cope with other situations where two hands might be slightly more preferable but you can only use one due to carrying a drink?
 

takno

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Well the guy from Northern has taken both your thoughts away, though don't be surprised if they don't commission some urgent coffee cup holder solution. I must confess the last time I had a drink-TVM situation, I used the human-Earth interface to facilitate the temporary storage of my liquid containing vessel. It seemed to work quite well, although acknowledging that some passengers may struggle to bend low enough I note that all TVMs can still be used quite adequately with one hand by many...

Honestly I cannot for the life of me understand why this irks you so. How do you cope with other situations where two hands might be slightly more preferable but you can only use one due to carrying a drink?
I tend to put the cup down for a bit on a handy shelf
 

Dr Hoo

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The last time I put a coffee cup down on Mother Earth at a frustratingly shelfless station another passenger kicked it over.
 

Grumpy

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I have no issues with the machines myself, and appreciate the facilities they offer. However I’m a fairly regular user. The problem is that there is only one machine at my local station (unstaffed) and queues build up when irregular passengers have to work out how to use the machine. As the train arrival time draws near with the queue hardly moving there is a lot of anger and anguish around with much criticism of the system, especially with the fear engendered by the threat of penalty fares. From comments I’ve heard I believe they are actually deterring some passengers from using rail.

Installing a second machine would ease matters, but I appreciate there is a cost to this. It would surely be a cheap aid if some posters were displayed demonstrating how the machines should be used-for example where people are queuing to use the machine-so it would not be so daunting when they reach the front of the queue. It would also be helpful if the itinerant ticket inspecting gangs were taught how to use the machines and instructed to help, rather than stand in the car park smoking.

I also wonder if there is a place for a cheaper stripped down simple machine issuing perhaps one or two tickets-thus at my station I suspect that a machine just selling returns to Leeds would deal with 80% of the passengers.
 

NorthernSpirit

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Sorry to hear that you are having problems, please feel free to message me with where you struggled and I'll see if I can help
I can't seem to Private Message you.

When I'm attempting to purchase tickets from the newly updated TVM at Brighouse for travel towards Trowbridge, Melksham or Westbury - it comes up with a message on screen stating that no tickets were found. Prior to the recent update to the TVM's I was able to purchase a return from Brighouse to the aformentioned stations above.

Where I'm struggling is when I've selected Trowbridge [TRO], then select return on the machine and I go and try and purchase it - the machine just keeps on bring up a message that there were no tickets found. I have tried it around four times and on every single attempt the machine simply refused me the ticket, despite knowing the fare (£111.20 return TRO/WSB, £105 return for MKM) the machine wasn't having any of it.

I'm having to, in the short term, obtain a Promise to Pay / Permit to Travel and explain the situation to the guard. To be honest, it'd be easier to staff* Brighouse as I wouldn't have to use the now unworkable TVM and instead ask the human behind the desk for my ticket, I didn't see anything wrong with the previous layout, as it was clear, easy-to-use, fast and importantly it worked! What Northern should do is temporarily roll back to the previous version and instead use that for the addtional on-screen extras such as MCard, as people will eventually refuse to use the machines and guards will start getting annoyed that passengers don't have a Permit to Travel simply because the TVM's have become so unreliable.

* The installation of a Portakabin placed under the A641 road bridge wouldn't be too difficult, nor would connecting up a power supply to the nearby shelter to provide electrics for a ticket office.
 

tony_mac

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* The installation of a Portakabin placed under the A641 road bridge wouldn't be too difficult, nor would connecting up a power supply to the nearby shelter to provide electrics for a ticket office.
I always thought that the video link idea was a good one - a call centre should be much cheaper to run than lots of ticket offices.
https://www.railforums.co.uk/thread...w-ticket-machines.146049/page-21#post-3804016

Does anyone know how South West are getting on with theirs?
https://www.southwesternrailway.com/train-tickets/how-to-get-your-ticket/virtual-ticket-office

Where I'm struggling is when I've selected Trowbridge [TRO], then select return on the machine and I go and try and purchase it - the machine just keeps on bring up a message that there were no tickets found.
That's exactly the sort of thing that should be caught by automated testing!
 

Killingworth

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When I'm attempting to purchase tickets from the newly updated TVM at Brighouse for travel towards Trowbridge, Melksham or Westbury - it comes up with a message on screen stating that no tickets were found. Prior to the recent update to the TVM's I was able to purchase a return from Brighouse to the aformentioned stations above.
A fairly common failing I suspect. You imagine it's only you until hearing others having the same or similar issue.
 

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NorthernSpirit

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A fairly common failing I suspect. You imagine it's only you until hearing others having the same or similar issue.
The funny thing is, the previous edition was brilliant in every way that you could get singles, returns and even promise to pay within seconds. Now its minutes.

I'm suprised someone hasn't put their fist through the videowall screen on this machines yet, as I can imagine someone with a more complex journey than mine losing their rag as the machine refused to sell them their ticket.
 

Killingworth

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The funny thing is, the previous edition was brilliant in every way that you could get singles, returns and even promise to pay within seconds. Now its minutes.

I'm suprised someone hasn't put their fist through the videowall screen on this machines yet, as I can imagine someone with a more complex journey than mine losing their rag as the machine refused to sell them their ticket.
It's enough to make one give up on paper tickets and use an app:s
 

Bantamzen

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I tend to put the cup down for a bit on a handy shelf
And if there isn't one, because the last time I looked many places you might interact with technology didn't have handy shelves for coffee, especially ones easily usable with one hand?? The point, again, is that the design of the Northern, and indeed many others does not lend itself to just popping a shelf on, is by no means any sort of priority, and just something we as humans will just have to figure out for ourselves, as we do in all sorts of situations. Even if they did decide to install such things, you'd doubtless have the problem of people using it to dump their empty cups onto, as well as any other crap they want to dump at the same time. So then there would come the great bin placement debate, followed by the great not enough bins to service the coffee cup shelf, and so on. It really, really isn't worth the cost & effort, all in my humble opinion of course. :D

In the words of Capt. Mainwaring: Ahh, yes. I was wondering who was going to be the first to spot that.
It's an easy close up and squeeze between the knees jobbie ;)
The beauty about the sealable, reusable cups is that they are both better for the environment and their more robust design means they can be placed in things like rucksack packets, bags, or even balanced on the floor.....

Anyway I think TVM ShelfGate has been done to death now, its in Northern's hands so we will await the coming of the mythical coffee cup dumping ground, sorry shelf..... ;)
 

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