Onboard vending machine

Prestige15

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I've seen some number of trains such as Italo High speed, SNCF, Shinkansen's etc, Even some commuter trains and see they have onboard hot & cold drinks and snacks vending machine as well as having onboard trolly/buffet service, Out of curiosity why dosen't tains here have onboard vending machine?

Could it be down to robbing seats/lauggage space or the weight/cost or possibly reduce the need of trolly service? not a clue...
 
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hwl

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I've seen some number of trains such as Italo High speed, SNCF, Shinkansen's etc, Even some commuter trains and see they have onboard hot & cold drinks and snacks vending machine as well as having onboard trolly/buffet service, Out of curiosity why dosen't tains here have onboard vending machine?

Could it be down to robbing seats/lauggage space or the weight/cost or possibly reduce the need of trolly service? not a clue...
Specified for HS2 rolling stock for both hot drinks and snacks.
 

Ash Bridge

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I think BR trialled this as long ago as nearly 60 years back with the Mk1 auto-buffet vehicle W25189, it was assigned to the Cambrian Coast Express service. The vending equipment took up the space of just one compartment apparently.
 

87 027

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I guess it depends how well they are used. Where I work, half the vending machines were taken away because of not enough patronage.
 

stj

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There are vending machines at most stations in Italy I have visited many small and remote.I dont think they would last long in the UK before they became targets for vandalism and theft even on board trains.
 

Darandio

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There are vending machines at most stations in Italy I have visited many small and remote.I dont think they would last long in the UK before they became targets for vandalism and theft even on board trains.
There are already vending machines at hundreds of stations here and have been a for a number of years.
 

chubs

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Far less vending machines in stations (and in general) than there were in the past though.

All the ones in the tube stations are long gone.

Not needed or wanted.
 

Bletchleyite

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Far less vending machines in stations (and in general) than there were in the past though.

All the ones in the tube stations are long gone.

Not needed or wanted.
There are plenty of the red Selecta ones knocking around various stations on the mainline. They tend to blend into the background so you don't notice them unless you want to use one.

Regarding coffee, though, it's almost inevitably vile. Except the Costa machines you get in shops and garages, which I find produce a nicer result than someone doing it manually in one of their regular shops.
 

Darandio

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There are plenty of the red Selecta ones knocking around various stations on the mainline. They tend to blend into the background so you don't notice them unless you want to use one.
And many are in the process of replacement with grey/white versions, making them stand out even less.
 

cactustwirly

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There are plenty of the red Selecta ones knocking around various stations on the mainline. They tend to blend into the background so you don't notice them unless you want to use one.

Regarding coffee, though, it's almost inevitably vile. Except the Costa machines you get in shops and garages, which I find produce a nicer result than someone doing it manually in one of their regular shops.
The lavazza coffee vending machines do decent coffee.
 

davetheguard

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Far less vending machines in stations (and in general) than there were in the past though.

All the ones in the tube stations are long gone.

Not needed or wanted.
As an aside, so slightly off topic, I'm sure others of a certain age remember stations having those red, wall mounted, Nestle chocolate machines. The ones that often took your money, and then when you tried pull the tray out to get your mits on your bar of fruit & nut, duly jammed up with the tray half way in and out. Suddenly one day, I realised that they had all disappeared; not sure what year that would have been. Anyone know?
 

AY1975

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As an aside, so slightly off topic, I'm sure others of a certain age remember stations having those red, wall mounted, Nestle chocolate machines. The ones that often took your money, and then when you tried pull the tray out to get your mits on your bar of fruit & nut, duly jammed up with the tray half way in and out. Suddenly one day, I realised that they had all disappeared; not sure what year that would have been. Anyone know?
I remember them being around in the 1970s and '80s when I was a kid. I think they'd gone by the '90s, though. For a short while in probably about the late '80s or early '90s I remember seeing a sign in the ticket office window at Alfreton station saying the chocolate machine was out of order and bars of chocolate could be bought from the ticket office, but I think they soon gave up on the idea altogether.

Some stations still have vending machines selling various snacks and cans, cartons or small plastic bottles of drink where you key in the code for the item that you want, but they often don't work either.
 

AY1975

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BantamMenace

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I did a piece on this at university which proposed that the half-carriage shop/buffet on long distance services was equal in size to the smallest Greggs, Costa and Subway franchises and was there a market for leasing out half of a carriage as if it were fixed retail space in a station. In short I found that staffing would have to double or treble from 1 to 2 or 3 albeit at reduced non-unionised cost, footfall was restricted/reduced and that delivery of supplies had to be condensed to 3am-6am before first service and to all overnight stabling locations; this couldn't mirror deliveries throughout the day like fixed retail locations receive.
 

hexagon789

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I think BR trialled this as long ago as nearly 60 years back with the Mk1 auto-buffet vehicle W25189, it was assigned to the Cambrian Coast Express service. The vending equipment took up the space of just one compartment apparently.
There's a good photo in Modern Railways April 1962, there are vending machines arranged three on the back wall and three on each side; nine machines in total.

Six machines had 12 "snacks" at 2/- each, one machine dispensed cigarettes (of course ;)), and two dispensed cold drinks in bottles.

The picture reminds me of the Febo seof-service vending machine takeaway restaurants in The Netherlands. Put money, open glass door, eat... 8-)
 

61653 HTAFC

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Those Cadbury machines that were on every tube station platform back in the 1990s were pretty much bulletproof. When they were removed I'd have liked to get my hands on one.
 

hexagon789

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Those Cadbury machines that were on every tube station platform back in the 1990s were pretty much bulletproof. When they were removed I'd have liked to get my hands on one.
I'm think there's a station with a old Nestlé one which can't be removed as it's listed
 

Bald Rick

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I presume you mean the longer-distance Networkers such as the Class 166, 365, and the never-built Class 371 and 381 "Universal Networkers" for Thameslink 2000 and Class 471 for Kent Coast services. According to Wikipedia the Class 471 was going to have refreshment trolleys, though. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/British_Rail_Classes_371,_381_and_471
Nope, the suburban ones as well. I will have a picture of the concept drawing somewhere, probably from a Railnews in 1986/7
 

Tom B

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I think the removal of the LUL machines was down to reducing clutter and, possibly, fire risk?

A properly integrated buffet system between station/train could include resupplying at termini (from an outlet of the same crowd who run the buffet on the train), but integration seems to be a nasty word in today's network.

Similarly, if they put vending machines on board, you know there'd be arguments when people went to try and find the gripper to get a refund, only for him to shrug his shoulders and ask them to call a random phone number and eventually be posted a cheque for 85p six weeks later.
 

yorksrob

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As an aside, so slightly off topic, I'm sure others of a certain age remember stations having those red, wall mounted, Nestle chocolate machines. The ones that often took your money, and then when you tried pull the tray out to get your mits on your bar of fruit & nut, duly jammed up with the tray half way in and out. Suddenly one day, I realised that they had all disappeared; not sure what year that would have been. Anyone know?
I remember those on Ashford station. They weren't there when they rebuilt it in the early 90's.
 

Ash Bridge

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There's a good photo in Modern Railways April 1962, there are vending machines arranged three on the back wall and three on each side; nine machines in total.

Six machines had 12 "snacks" at 2/- each, one machine dispensed cigarettes (of course ;)), and two dispensed cold drinks in bottles.

The picture reminds me of the Febo seof-service vending machine takeaway restaurants in The Netherlands. Put money, open glass door, eat... 8-)
I've got an official BR picture of it too, not in Modern Railways but fair chance it's the same one you've seen. Looks quite impressive for its time doesn't it? One wonders if the rail operators of the other countries that currently use vending machines actually took the idea originally from the early BR model?
 

hexagon789

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I've got an official BR picture of it too, not in Modern Railways but fair chance it's the same one you've seen. Looks quite impressive for its time doesn't it? One wonders if the rail operators of the other countries that currently use vending machines actually took the idea originally from the early BR model?
It's a very similar design to that seen in some "automated" restaurants of the period, with updated technology it's obviously easier to provide them now, but it's very possible others took inspiration from the BR design
 

gimmea50anyday

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As I remember it Voyagers were originally proposed to be fitted with vending machines, maintained by the train manager. This is where the union arguments of “glorified kit kat sellers” originated. There’s also an issue with H&S legislation insisting that drinks being carried on a train were kept in bags and with lids on. As you cannot guarantee a vending machine user would comply with such requirements and with the union arguments not wanting the train manager to poach the catering crews jobs, the vending machines were dropped, and will probably remain so on board trains. Of course I’m not complaining as the voyager shops got me started working on the railway
 

AndyW33

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I've got an official BR picture of it too, not in Modern Railways but fair chance it's the same one you've seen. Looks quite impressive for its time doesn't it? One wonders if the rail operators of the other countries that currently use vending machines actually took the idea originally from the early BR model?
I think in fact BR took the idea from the US Southern Pacific Railroad (along with a few longer lasting ideas such as TOPS) which had begun replacing staffed dining cars with "automats" several years previously in an attempt to contain losses. They included customer operated ovens so hot food was available. Like BR, they eventually gave the idea up and the few passenger services that survived to the Amtrak era either had staffed diners, or none at all.
 

Ash Bridge

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I think in fact BR took the idea from the US Southern Pacific Railroad (along with a few longer lasting ideas such as TOPS) which had begun replacing staffed dining cars with "automats" several years previously in an attempt to contain losses. They included customer operated ovens so hot food was available. Like BR, they eventually gave the idea up and the few passenger services that survived to the Amtrak era either had staffed diners, or none at all.
Ah I see; that's interesting to learn, thanks for that. Perhaps BR could claim to be at least first in Europe then?
 

Leeds1970

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I cannot remember which set(s) it was but at least one class 150 had a tea/coffee vending machine fitted in what was at the time the lockable mail/parcels area.
 

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