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Edmonson tickets a lost "cause" for ever?

Discussion in 'Heritage railways & Centres in the Uk' started by steamdream, May 5, 2011.

  1. bse35

    bse35 New Member

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    I don't know how it was done but when I was TTIing (Trainee) at the NR last Saturday they printed half singles (Presumably they'd run out of Edmonsons in the office) on 2'x1' peices of card but the same writing had been printed on the card that is usually on the Edmonsons.
     
  2. peterb33

    peterb33 New Member

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    Hi,

    Just come across this forum, and quite agree with all the comments about Edmondson tickets and there demise.

    I have always been a fan of using a genuine railway type ticket on any preserved railway and with this in mind I purchased enough equipment to print Edmondson tickets from a chap who was retiring with a view to continue the production of tickets for existing and new customers.

    This is a "hobby" type "business" or even pass time, so tickets can be produced to meet almost any need, double sided and numbered etc. I have not advertised this service but if anyone is interested or needs more information please get in touch. Further details are on Chris Whites Edmondson ticket website, see link.

    www.ChrisWhiteTickets.yolasite.com

    Peter
     
  3. JohnDevon

    JohnDevon New Member

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    The real problem starts when a railway wants to sell tickets on-line. The purchaser won't have access to the specialist blank ticket stock on which to print an outline faux Edmondson style ticket; they'll just have bog-standard A4.
    Yes, the voucher/ticket that is printed out onto A4 could be exchanged for Edmondson ticket(s) on arrival at the railway, but if you do that, it removes some of the advantages of having booked on-line, and increases the cost.
    It's a problem that SDR will have to deal with before moving to an on-line ticket availability.
     
  4. Andre

    Andre New Member

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    The K&ESR has Edmondson tickets available at all stations. However at Tenterden the default is currently a computerised style ticket, but "proper" tickets are available on request. Whilst accounting & analysis is made easier by a PC system, the primary reason for this was to permit the rapid collection of Gift Aid.
    The Harz mountain railway are still issuing Edmondson style card tickets from a PC printer. Anyone know who makes these printers?
     
  5. sbt

    sbt New Member

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    Equipment for 'Computerised Edmondson' Tickets might be available from Japan.

    Acording to Wiki they have retained the Edmondson format but with a Magnetic Stripe on the back, so they can be used with automated gates. Since these are issued from Vending Machines I assume they must be printed on demand. Apparently the gates actually punch the ticket as you pass it through them, rather than printing or just recording the action on the Magnetic Stripe.
     
  6. martin butler

    martin butler Part of the furniture

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    How long do you think before someone decides that automatic gates will be a good idea at their Railway? imagine, you could have computorised platform tickets to stop joe public walking on at will ,even when your closed, you could make sure that no one has the wrong ticket , (they just wont get though) and you can sting them for another ticket , more income , the only down side is that your railway would go bust because no one would want to visit
     
  7. David Buttery

    David Buttery New Member

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    There's a thread elsewhere about CWR and the loss of "clickety clack", and I think this is rather a similar thing. It's not something that would make or break a decision to travel (for most people) but nor is it something that's completely irrelevant. The fact that the SVR does Edmondson tickets, which you buy from booking offices rather than shops, is a plus. Similarly, you could have had Kidderminster Town selling tickets from a little brick hut, as London Midland does over the car park. But it could never have had the atmosphere and presence that the "real" (albeit not original) SVR station building provides.

    I'd prefer an operational steam railway with almost any compromises -- full CWR, till-roll tickets, colour-light signals, plastic benches or whatever -- to a closed-down steam railway. If the day comes when the SVR no longer issues Edmondson tickets, I won't stop going. But I think Man of Kent earlier on had a point: there is a danger of shaving away at the edges of an "experience" until you only have the core remaining -- and you could then find that the "core" alone is, well, not very tasty.
     
  8. dave885

    dave885 New Member

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    At Didcot we are looking for a edmonson ticket machine to use to gain access to the railway centre when first great western update the station and put in ticket barriers. we have managed to agree with first great wetern that an edmonson ticket can be purchased at the station and used as a valid ticket to gain access to didcot railway centre at the barriers. if anyone has an edmonson ticket machine not doing anything that they would like to donate to us or sell us then we would be very gratefull. please message me.
     
  9. steamybrian

    steamybrian New Member

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    Some railways that still issue Edmondson tickets-
    Spa Valley Railway at Tunbridge Wells West, Groombridge and Eridge
    Lavender Line at Isfield
    Talyllyn Railway
    Mid Hants Railway
     
  10. steamybrian

    steamybrian New Member

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    London Underground had Edmondson tickets ( as late as the 1990s) with computerised backs until they went over to the modern computer issued card tickets
     
  11. Steve Huddy

    Steve Huddy Member

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    The West Somerset print Edmonson tickets at Dunster, I think they print them for other railways as well.
     
  12. West Somerset Wizard

    West Somerset Wizard Part of the furniture

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    They certainly do, Steve. And not just for other railways - anyone wanting a classic ticket for any event. For a quote just contact the WSR.

    Steve E
     
  13. martin butler

    martin butler Part of the furniture

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    Our preserved railways are in danger of loosing their appeal , there is a creaping commercialation slowly taking over, and many railways now are just a day out just the same as a visit to the nearest country attraction, whilst there is a balance to be made some railways have gone to far away away from their beginnings or what makes then unique , in the name of this same view that we must be like what ever attraction we are in competition with and in doing so ignore what attracted people to start with, it doesnt help that in some cases managers do not even understand the business they are in because they have been brought in from outside the industry , after all would you have a bus driver run your local power plant?

    Getting back to tickets what i would prefer is a computorised system that prints a edmonson type card ticket , so then you get the benifits of a computorised booking system but that still gives the passenger that heritage item they expect it cant be that difficault , unless of course you dont think that a ticket isnt that important , but i think its an indication of what preserved railways have to be very carefull about, modern methods, might be ok in the shops, or resturant, but not in the first thing that the customer might see , think about it, you park up, the station looks like its a time wharp back to the 50's or 60's then you go to the booking office to be presented with a chip & pin machine , and your ticket is a computorised print out whilst i dont mind chip and pin machines, they should be kept out of sight behind the counter .
     
  14. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie Part of the furniture

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    Personally I think that that is a very blinkered view. You accuse heritage railways of succumbing to 'creeping commercialisation', as if it is a bad thing. If heritage railways did not commercialise, they would not survive. Since the 1990s the leisure market has become ever more competitive and commercialised due to various reasons, and heritage railways must keep up with this trend if they are going to remain competitive as atttractions. They are attractions, not railways, if you take my meaning, and they have to be operated as such.

    It is all about balance, I fully accept that - people wouldn't visit a heritage railway made up of Pacers and Bus Shelters. But with the difficulties of maintaining ever ageing infrastructure and rolling stock in a difficult economic climate, tough decisions have to be made - and sometimes heritage has to lose out. But more often than not it doesn't. You accuse heritage railways of moving away from their 'beginnings', and are no longer 'what attracted people to start with' - I can name many, many volunteers on the SVR with 40 and 45 year long service badges. They are realistic enough to accept that changes have to be made. Sometimes yes, the change is a shame from a heritage perspective, but if the commercial pressures are too great then as with any attraction a railway must acquiesce to them in order to survive. I would rather a railway survives with 20% of its length CWR and with printout tickets than goes under for want of 60' bullhead lengths and expensive Edmondsons. Heritage railways are very, very different from what they were in their earliest days - look at the SVR now. Full rakes of pre-nationalisation carriages, beautifully restored and maintained stations, a high quality Visitor Centre - do you want it to go back to its beginnings? Look at the NNR - the quadarts, again beautifully restored and maintained stations, a wonderful array of East Anglian locos - do you want it to go back to its beginnings?

    I don't think that heritage railways have lost sight of their past and the heritage that they try to display to the public - I think, given the developments in the leisure industry and economically in the last 40 years, they are doing splendidly.
     
  15. Axe

    Axe Member

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    50 years of service on the SVR?

    According to the SVR wikipedia website, the Severn Valley Railway opened on 1st February 1862 and closed in January 1970 (Bewdley Station). It goes on to state that the Severn Valley Railway Society was formed in 1965, only 47 years ago. :confused:

    Chris
     
  16. steamdream

    steamdream Member

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    If I remember well the NNR use Edmonson tickets yet!
    Okye for your analysis but a bit too much "realistic"!
    regards
    noel
     
  17. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie Part of the furniture

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    :redface: Ooops! I got a bit carried away there...of course, I mean 40 and 45 year long service badges! In all serious I can think of several volunteers with them.

    Noel - both the SVR and the NNR still use Edmondson tickets, as I hope the majority of lines will for years yet. My post was directed at Martin's paragraph that made no mention of Edmondson tickets, just objected to commercialisation.
     
  18. Steve

    Steve Resident of Nat Pres Friend

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    I'm pretty much in agreement with Martin, here; and by default, in disagreement with Jamies subsequent post. We are in the entertainment business as far as Joe Public is concerned and we are essentially selling nostalgia, not a theme park ride. We need to be commercially astute, but not at the expense of traditional methods. The more nostalgic add ons that we can provide, the better is both the quality and the ambience. Yes, some things have to come into the twenty-first century, so we have to comply with current legislation and we have to have clean toilets and chip & pin but anything that can be delivered as it was 50 years ago without detracting from the visit, is a good thing. That includes Edmondson tickets, jointed track, compartment coaches, steam locos and smartly uniformed guards, amongst many other things. Moving on from Joe Public, the volunteers who staff our railways generally wish to retain traditional methods and issuing an Edmondson ticket through a small glass window is part of doing just that. Cashing up a ticket register at the end of the day isn't exactly a huge job, either. We don't have a huge variety of individual tickets to account for.
     
  19. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie Part of the furniture

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    I don't think you and I are of that different an opinion, Steve.

    As you say, we are in the entertainment business and selling nostalgia - I do agree with you. You also say that we need to be commercially astute - again I agree with you. The point where perhaps we differ is I think sometimes we need to accept the loss of traditional methods to some extent in order to survive. I agree that the more nostalgic add-ons we provide - such as Edmondons - the better, and that the more we can give 'as it was' 50 years ago the better, but sometimes commercially that is not possible, or if it is, not reasonable. Some things need to be lost for the greater good.

    If the SVR tomorrow sold off all the locos and carriages that would not have been seen on the line 50 years ago and ran an exact replica of the 1962 timetable with the prairies and three collett coaches, it wouldn't last the summer. Heritage railways are already very, very different to how they would have looked and operated in their service days. Even at steam galas, aimed at us Enthusiasts who are probably the sector of the audience most in want of 'authenticity', large named locos are practically a necessity, real ale tents, photo exhibitions - all very different to 'how it was'.

    I'm not saying that we should 'sell out' and become 'attractions' - we are 'heritage attractions', and that oughtn't be forgotten. But we must accept that what we do is very different to what BR, the Big Four and the pre-Groupers did, and sometimes we have to change in order to survive. A balance must be struck. What I object to is those who darkly warn against 'creeping commercialisation' and 'the thin end of the wedge' - it's as if they think that there is some form of anti-heritage conspiracy at work, which I think is anything but the case, and ignores the very obvious benefit commercialisation and staying competitive gives us - our survival.
     
  20. 44662

    44662 New Member

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    As recently stated by Martin Butler the best solution is computerised printing of Edmonson tickets in the booking office(hopefully including the benefits of gift aid).Remember that to be truly authentic the ticket would be collected at the end of your journey and outward halves of return tickets torn off this was not just to prevent reuse by passengers but was an integral part of the auditing system. Tickets for "special" trains were endorsed "ticket may be retained at the end of the journey " this would normally be for example an enthusiasts private charter train.The revenue from tickets is the oxygen on which all our railways depend and keeping that revenue secure is essential to our survival.
     

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