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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. David Buttery

    David Buttery New Member

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    True enough, and that's the case in most sectors of the broad "nostalgia" industry. Another of my interests is historic motorsport, and I enjoy going to Shelsley Walsh hillclimb. Although that's not a "preserved track" as such, and brand new racing cars do run on it, there is a very strong historic/classic element, and without that I think the place would struggle to survive. It's probably about as close as you can get now to the atmosphere of "old time" motorsport. However, in the 1930s there were no burger vans, impact-absorbing crash barriers, website addresses on advertising banners, monitors listing competitors' times, etc etc. Without those innovations the place would struggle to survive, too.

    I have my reservations about Gift Aid* and in any case the current government intends to lift several million people out of income tax -- which as things stand would also remove them from the GA reckoning. But if a computerised Edmondson ticket could be made to work, I'd be all for it. By "made to work" I mostly mean that the result should look, well, not too computerised!

    (* I dislike the general principle of a "voluntary" donation that people are made to feel embarrassed about being unable/unwilling to pay.)
     
  2. Andre

    Andre New Member

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    I agree, but that's an issue with the way some organisations operate Gift Aid, not GA itself.
    'My' line for example merely asks if a customer would like to GA their fare. There's no extra 'voluntary donation' added to the fare if GA is applied: a GA customer pays an identical amount to a non GA customer, but the railway gets an extra 25p per pound.

    Anyone speak German? Please ask the Harz Mountain Railway who makes the computer printers that dispense perfect Edmondson tickets.....
     
  3. Talyllyn07

    Talyllyn07 Member

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    So what you mean by that is, they are already paying the 'full line fare' plus the 10% extra to be applicable for GA...
     
  4. 46118

    46118 Part of the furniture

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    Just looking at the third class Privilege Return issued to me last weekend at the SVR's "Members & Shareholders" event. It is an Edmonson, and it takes me back to buying such a ticket on the big railway as a youngster, so much nicer than some computer printed piece of paper.

    Only difference from those days of yore was that (at least at Kidderminster) the date was applied using one of those office type daters with little rubber characters. To complete the nostalgia trip itwould be nice to see--and hear-- one of those upright cast steel dating machines that every booking office had, that the booking clerk thrust the ticket into and there was a rather satisfying clunk as it dated the ticket! I wonder how rare that piece of kit is in railwayana circles?
     
  5. guard_jamie

    guard_jamie Part of the furniture

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    Edmonson tickets a lost "cause" for ever?

    Not very rare, you see them about; next time you visit the SVR, buy your ticket at Arley - you'll be pleasantly surprised!
     
  6. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    They will mean less and less to people as the years go by. Like starting handles on motor cars.
     
  7. b.oldford

    b.oldford Member

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    Re: Edmonson tickets a lost "cause" for ever?

    IIRC also at Bridgnorth.
     
  8. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    All the more reason for keeping them then! Afterall, apart from the fact that we are businesses, we are also (in most cases) "preservationists" and that means trying to give a picture of how things used to be: that means the small things (like tickets) as well as the big things (like locos). As with many such small details, they may not be top of most people's list of what they are looking for at a preserved railway, but it is the steady accumulation of such small details that adds to the poverall picture; or, worse, when they are missing you may not notice one or two missing details, but after a while you suddenly start to think "something's not right".

    One for each line's Heritage Standards Committee to consider. Your line does have a Heritage Standards Committee, right? :smile:

    Tom
     
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  9. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Small enough not to need one! Edmonson tickets remain in use anyway but online booking is increasingly significant. It's all an illusion anyway and it is going to become more and more difficult and expensive to maintain the really important illusion, i.e. steam haulage, as the decades pass. Things that lines don't absolutely have to have, such as cardboard tickets may have to go. If it is a choice between steam haulage and cardboard ticket (daft I know but you get the point) then there is only one decision.

    PH
     
  10. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    The "You" was a gentle tease of the whole preserved railway community, not specifically the W&LLR!

    Anyway, I don't see why online booking and Edmondson tickets should be necessarily mutually exclusive. When I have bought heritage railway tickets online, the physical tickets have been sent out by post - no reason why suitable Edmondson tickets couldn't be included rather than the somewhat soulless printouts from the "electronic" ticket machine. Afterall, that is what happens if you attempt to buy a ticket using a credit card at a station that uses Edmondson tickets: you get the receipt stub from the EFTPOS machine, but the actual physical token of your ability to ride is the Edmondson ticket.

    Tom
     
  11. paulhitch

    paulhitch Part of the furniture

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    Thanks Tom.

    I don't disagree really and I think issuing a cardboard ticket as an additional "souvenir" is widespread but the really busy places find the electronic records rather useful both for financial control and ensuring enough vehicles appear on a train.

    I would not like to exaggerate the cost issue but these are only marginally viable businesses which will get more difficult to finance as the years proceed. An expense which can be stripped out without a new generation really noticing is likely to be a victim when money needs to be found sometime in the future.

    Paul H
     
  12. samuel7802

    samuel7802 New Member

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    Re: Edmonson tickets a lost "cause" for ever?

    We also have one at Hampton Loade, not working at the moment though.
     
  13. brasso1

    brasso1 New Member

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    Theres no reason why a computerised EPOS system could not be used to sell tickets then taken from a rack and handed over. You could even print a barcode on the back and scan them for speed and stock control.
     
  14. ADB968008

    ADB968008 Resident of Nat Pres Account Suspended

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    sorry but to me this is a moot point

    your selling a day out. The old fashioned ticket is not just a part of that day out, but a long term souvenir, reminder and indeed talking point for future marketing.

    I have my last edmondson from the MHR in my wallet, I find it when i dig out the credit cards to pay yet another bill and it reminds me of a fun time gone by.
    A photograph, facebook page or a till receipt boarding pass wont do that.

    Like an airline, you buy a ticket and exchange it for a boarding pass... there's no reason why a prepaid online ticket could not be exchanged for an edmondson. it is all part of the experience.


    I may be different, but I have a collection of over 3000 airline boarding passes, and hundreds of rail tickets.. that has defined my career and life to date... each one is a reminder to a journey made, whether for work or pleasure, the ryanair print outs don't make the grade. You'll be surprised what people collect.
     
  15. Corbs

    Corbs Well-Known Member

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    I have to agree, we were all a bit disappointed by our 'new' tickets at Llangollen compared to the 'old school' ones from the AVR.
     
  16. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    Why all that complication? The beauty of the Edmondson system is that the tickets are numbered and issued in order; so a simple check of the ticket number on the top of each pile gives the number of tickets of that type issued.

    To me it still comes down to what we are trying to achieve: we're supposed (in the main) to be trying to recreate the past. It may only be a small part of the experience, but it is a slippery slope once you start moving away from doing things in a "heritage" way simply because it might be a bit simpler for your back-office processes.

    Interestingly, in New Zealand earlier this year, we travelled from Palmerston North to Wellington on the mainline, (a regular trip, not a heritage trip) and had Edmondson tickets issued!

    Tom
     
  17. Kje7812

    Kje7812 Well-Known Member

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    Kidderminster does have them, but I seem to recall only 2. That said, it depends if they are working, which the other week they were.
     
  18. b.oldford

    b.oldford Member

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    If they are not working at HL too, perhaps it's time for someone knowledgeable to take on servicing and repairing them.
     
  19. JohnDevon

    JohnDevon New Member

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    You need to think about why heritage railways are going to e-ticketing or web-ticketing. It's essentially to sell tickets to those who live electronically and who perhaps wouldn't otherwise have bought tickets. Once they have their ticket/boarding pass, it's undesirable for them to have to queue to get a souvenir Edmondson ticket. That's crowd control. On the other hand, if the EPOS system allows them to print tickets at home, the system has to guard against fraudulent duplication. The role of TTIs, (revenue protection officers!)moves on.
     
  20. Jamessquared

    Jamessquared Resident of Nat Pres

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    No need to print a ticket at home: if you buy online, in my experience the railway concerned sends you physical tickets by post: given that, there is no reason why those physical tickets shouldn't be Edmondson tickets.

    Tom
     

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