Slightly Odd Question from a Guard

Discussion in 'UK Railway Discussion' started by FelixtheCat, 2 Dec 2018.

  1. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    I was on a Leeds to Skipton train today. I boarded at Shipley with a Hellifield to Shipley return ticket. When I showed this ticket to the guard he asked "do you live in Hellifield?" I said that I didn't and that I was travelling onwards to Lancaster, showing him my ticket onwards to Lancaster. He then asked "do you live in Lancaster?" I didn't. I said that I didn't. He then did the usual scribble on my ticket and continued his rounds.

    Because I was slightly taken aback at the question, I hadn't fully processed everything in time to ask him what the reason was for asking the question.

    Is there a reason to ask these questions? Does it help with something railway-related which only insiders know about?
     
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  3. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    A slightly odd way of working out if you were short-faring?
     
  4. DarloRich

    DarloRich Veteran Member

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    maybe he was just trying to have a friendly chat and start a conversation!
     
  5. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    Possibly, although I'm not entirely sure that would help.

    I had fairly large headphones on at the time. It was also quite a crowded service. He also didn't seem like the starting a chat kind of guard (not that my judgement is good for these things).
     
  6. Ken H

    Ken H Member

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    on the pull? :)
     
  7. Carlisle

    Carlisle Established Member

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    Are there just a very small number of guards who’ve made it their own personal crusade to try and oppose split ticketing and all that ?
     
  8. tsr

    tsr Established Member

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    I don’t see why they’d bother (and any issues with split tickets probably come from misunderstandings of the rules, however likely or not the individual may or may not be to change their misunderstandings!).

    It’s not like it’s anyone should be relying on dealing with split tickets for their job to be worthwhile. And only a tiny fraction of passengers know or care about them.
     
  9. rg177

    rg177 Established Member

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    I've had 'where are you from?' as a conversation starter before, from conductors in Ronse (Belgium), Bergamo (Italy), and...Lowestoft :lol:

    Usually it's more because my accent sounds funny/out of place or I have an unusual ticket (Interrail in both the European instances) but never 'are you from x, y, z'
     
  10. Carlisle

    Carlisle Established Member

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    I agree, there’s only been one or two characters over the years I’ve got the impression were as I described.
     
  11. Qwerty133

    Qwerty133 Established Member

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    I was on a XC service last weekend where the guard started conversation with some tourists by asking where they were from which led to him pocketing the change from the tickets he sold them (with the customer's permission).
     
  12. Iskra

    Iskra Established Member

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    Perhaps they were just making sure you got off at the right stop, or similar?
     
  13. daikilo

    daikilo Established Member

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    Fundamentally, it is none of the guard's business where you live (or why you are going somewhere). Everyone has a right to buy any ticket they like independent of where they live. I would recommend ATN rethink if the idea came from them.
     
  14. mmh

    mmh Member

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    In the non-paranoid world, guards who take an interest and try to get you in the right direction are a good thing and it's great that so many still do
     
  15. Ken H

    Ken H Member

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    Skipton
    Maybe he was confused as to why the OP was on a Leeds- Skipton train when a Hellifield stopper would have stopped at Shipley later.
    Maybe the OP had a dales railcard and he suspected the user wasn't entitled as it has a postcode requirement.
    Is a Hellifield - shipley return with dales railcard cheaper than a skipton - shipley return - he may think the OP was using the railcard against its T&C's (Just looked. a hellifield -shipley day return with railcard is £5.00. Skipton - Shipley is £7.20)
    Not saying the OP was doing anything naughty. Just trying to guess what the guard was thinking.
     
  16. Iskra

    Iskra Established Member

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    Agreed.
     
  17. muz379

    muz379 Established Member

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    Why what's the issue with asking .

    If the person doesn't want to answer or doesn't want to answer truthfully then they are under no obligation to do so . I do it sometimes if someone is going to a place I rarely sell tickets to in a way to just try and strike up a conversation .
     
  18. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    I'm not paranoid, just genuinely curious as to why he asked the question. In the years I've been travelling (often to very small stations with a tiny patronage), I have only once been asked that question during a ticket check. The context there was someone who had missed their stop (they hadn't requested to be set down at a request stop) and the guard asked me if I was from the area and knew any taxi firms nearby.
     
  19. Whistler40145

    Whistler40145 Established Member

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    In the years I've travelled by train have I ever been asked if I live in the Starting or finishing point of a ticket, not necessarily does someone come from the place they live in.
     
  20. Starmill

    Starmill Veteran Member

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    Who are ATN?
     
  21. Whistler40145

    Whistler40145 Established Member

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    Presumably the poster meant Arriva Trains Northern, which isn't the correct name of the TOC.
     
  22. uww11x

    uww11x Member

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    Nothing to do with him where you live.
     
  23. basfordlad

    basfordlad Member

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    Definately on the pull. !!!!
     
  24. mmh

    mmh Member

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    Exactly. There've been a fair few times I've either had or bought an "unusual" ticket which has started, not a conversation, but a nice exchange.

    There's a reason a guard might ask where someone is going that people seem to be ignoring here - they're concerned about the passenger, not the ticket.
     
  25. robbeech

    robbeech Established Member

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    Maybe he lives there himself? Or is thinking of moving there? Perhaps if you had said yes he might have asked what it’s like or some other question or maybe just gone on his way.
     
  26. FelixtheCat

    FelixtheCat Established Member

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    He might well have done.

    There seems to be an assumption that I dislike or am hostile to the guard asking those questions. I'm not. I'm just interested, given that he asked for both Hellifield and Lancaster, given that the train was quite crowded (he didn't ask anyone else those questions) and given that I was wearing headphones which tends to say "I don't like talking to people". I'm happy to (and have had) some long conversations with various members of train crew. Although, these usually take place on quieter trains at weird times of day and on rural routes.
     
  27. mmh

    mmh Member

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    Perhaps I'm being too judgmental, or middle aged, here but maybe if you'd taken your headphones off he might not have been as concerned? I'd think it a little strange, sorry .
     
  28. grumblingalong

    grumblingalong Member

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    We do get missing persons information circulated to us sometimes, perhaps there might have been some information about someone matching your description? It's not a question I have otherwise ever felt the need to ask!
     
  29. Iskra

    Iskra Established Member

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    I think that is more relevant to some of the posters who posted after you, rather than being specifically aimed at you. Chill.

    A further possibility: he wanted to know what connections to announce at whatever stations were coming.
     
  30. dk1

    dk1 Established Member

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    I was just thinking that are there request stops on that journey? Therefore he/she would need to know if a rover/ranger/pass.
     
  31. Bletchleyite

    Bletchleyite Veteran Member

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    Though that is more a question of where you want to get off, not where you live!
     

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