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Author Topic: Ticket checks at Paddington?  (Read 1714 times)
Surrey 455
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« on: September 01, 2020, 08:28:22 pm »

After a 10 mile walk yesterday into Windsor from Sipson and a suitable rest outside the castle, it was time to leave to get home. Initially I planned to use a QR ticket on my GWR app for the journey Windsor Central to Slough to Paddington. However the app insisted that reservations were compulsory for the second train. It offered to book a reservation, which way did I want to face?, table or airline seat? My choices confirmed it then decided that no reservations were available and I could not continue. I walked to the ticket machine, bought a paper ticket with no mention of compulsory reservation. At Slough I boarded the train to Paddington. Plenty of seats, The green/red reservation lights were all switched off so I don't know why the app was giving me a hard time.

I got to Paddington put my ticket in the barrier - Seek Assistance. I tried the next one and got the same message so I sought out one of the gateline staff and showed him my ticket. His response was "Can I see your railcard please". Once shown he let me through.
Was this a spot check or was I just unlucky with a faulty ticket?
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Phantom
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« Reply #1 on: September 02, 2020, 11:04:01 am »

After a 10 mile walk yesterday into Windsor from Sipson and a suitable rest outside the castle, it was time to leave to get home. Initially I planned to use a QR ticket on my GWR app for the journey Windsor Central to Slough to Paddington. However the app insisted that reservations were compulsory for the second train. It offered to book a reservation, which way did I want to face?, table or airline seat? My choices confirmed it then decided that no reservations were available and I could not continue. I walked to the ticket machine, bought a paper ticket with no mention of compulsory reservation. At Slough I boarded the train to Paddington. Plenty of seats, The green/red reservation lights were all switched off so I don't know why the app was giving me a hard time.

I got to Paddington put my ticket in the barrier - Seek Assistance. I tried the next one and got the same message so I sought out one of the gateline staff and showed him my ticket. His response was "Can I see your railcard please". Once shown he let me through.
Was this a spot check or was I just unlucky with a faulty ticket?

I would expect this to always be checked.
Whenever someone has a ticket checked on a train now, if a railcard was used to purchase the ticket, the matching railcard is always asked for now
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ellendune
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« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2020, 11:45:14 am »

I would expect this to always be checked.
Whenever someone has a ticket checked on a train now, if a railcard was used to purchase the ticket, the matching railcard is always asked for now

But would you expect the ticket barrier to reject it so that the railcard can be checked?
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ChrisB
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« Reply #3 on: September 02, 2020, 12:25:26 pm »

Quite often yes - the gates can be set to 'assistance required' for every railcard-discounted ticket. I have learned to have my railcard open in the railcard app before getting to the barrier.
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grahame
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« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2020, 09:39:59 am »

I don't know if others feel the same - but if I have a ticket that the gate rejects, and I have to seek assistance, I have a "dirty" feeling almost as if I've been caught doing something wrong.    In the days of my youth, in the days of manual ticket checks on leaving major stations, with on train ticket checks, there is not the same feeling; the single check on each occasion feels / felt like a positive validation and was not picking up on the automating indicating that something might not be quite right.

For the single checks, I'm also perfectly happy to produce ID card to show it really is my season ticket, or senior rail card.  But again once a barrier has refused and marked me "dirty" then I want a minimum of further checks and would appreciate an apology from the person doing the second check that the rail industry provided barrier has failed to correctly pass a rail industry provided ticket!
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CyclingSid
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« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2020, 09:55:21 am »

Presumably an example of the personal service the purchase of a rail card provides?
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TaplowGreen
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« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2020, 10:05:05 am »

I don't know if others feel the same - but if I have a ticket that the gate rejects, and I have to seek assistance, I have a "dirty" feeling almost as if I've been caught doing something wrong.    In the days of my youth, in the days of manual ticket checks on leaving major stations, with on train ticket checks, there is not the same feeling; the single check on each occasion feels / felt like a positive validation and was not picking up on the automating indicating that something might not be quite right.

For the single checks, I'm also perfectly happy to produce ID card to show it really is my season ticket, or senior rail card.  But again once a barrier has refused and marked me "dirty" then I want a minimum of further checks and would appreciate an apology from the person doing the second check that the rail industry provided barrier has failed to correctly pass a rail industry provided ticket!

In my experience at Paddington, 9 times out of 10 the bloke on the gate just opens it and lets you through without checking your ticket anyway, especially during the rush hour.
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Sixty3Closure
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« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2020, 12:03:04 am »

What is this 'rush hour' you speak of?   Wink
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Bob_Blakey
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« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2020, 09:05:37 am »

...and would appreciate an apology from the person doing the second check...

Are we now to expect an apology from service provider representatives who are, after all, just doing their job properly?

Of course if every single rail passenger was demonstrably 100% honest the major inconvenience of a time consuming secondary ticket check at the exit gate would be rendered redundant.  Grin

The obvious cure would be to digitise all railcards and have the ticket delivery system, be it human or electronic, scan and encode onto said ticket(s) the railcard details. Like that is ever going to happen!
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2020, 01:22:58 pm »

Unlike Graham I don’t feel “dirty” if a gateline rejects my ticket; indeed I got quite used to it when using an All Line Rover because the only station in the country I found that the gateline actually let me out was at Ipswich, and even there it wouldn’t let me back in again...

But what annoys me (and this happens quite frequently on the exit to the new footbridge at Chippenham) is when it happens and the gateline is unmanned. It is then necessary to walk back to the assistance point and show the ticket there. That in itself only takes a few seconds (although I don’t see why I should be delayed because GWR can’t be bothered to man that exit), but I have had examples when the gateline staff at the main entrance don’t answer the help point (either through lack of them or being involved with other customers).

This, as I said, really annoys me. If an unmanned gateline rejected my ticket on the way in, would GWR hold the train for me? I think I know the answer...
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ellendune
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« Reply #10 on: September 10, 2020, 10:14:39 pm »

Had that problem at Rotterdam Centraal once huge station no one on the gate and no help button.  Eventually a cleaner let me through!
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PhilWakely
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« Reply #11 on: September 11, 2020, 09:45:21 am »

This, as I said, really annoys me. If an unmanned gateline rejected my ticket on the way in, would GWR hold the train for me? I think I know the answer...

So, are you admitting to turning up at the last minute for your train rather than in a timely manner?  Wink
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Robin Summerhill
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« Reply #12 on: September 11, 2020, 08:17:33 pm »

This, as I said, really annoys me. If an unmanned gateline rejected my ticket on the way in, would GWR hold the train for me? I think I know the answer...

So, are you admitting to turning up at the last minute for your train rather than in a timely manner?  Wink

No  Grin

I was simply making the point (albeit obiquely) that in the matter of delay what is sauce for the goose is most definitely not sauce fot the gander.
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grahame
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« Reply #13 on: September 12, 2020, 04:24:48 am »

So, are you admitting to turning up at the last minute for your train rather than in a timely manner?  Wink

Headed off on a tangent ... there are times that one is 'last minute' through no fault ... thinking at Paddington where there are problems on the buses or tubes so that you get onto The Lawn (or the bridge) perilously close to departure.

Even more of a tangent are the connections that fail when they should not.  Three examples ... the train from Melksham, 10 minutes late and with a 10 minute connection into a train headed to The West ... at the moment the train from Melksham came to a stop, the Plymouth train started moving; never mind, there's another in 2 hours or you can go via Bristol - "it was a timetabled connection so you'll be allowed  via that route".   Again from Melksham, we pulled into the bay at Swindon a few minutes down, while a train for Kemble waited on Platform 3; station staff managed to dispatch the ongoing train before a somewhat sluggish train manager let us off the arrival.  But the prize award went to the train manager at Westbury on the Sunday morning Weymouth train, instructed to wait for the late running arrival from Swindon (phone calls had been made) who did wait ... promptly self-dispatched once the connection arrived and as the fastest passenger ran up to his train at the front of platform one; next train, 4 hours ... very embarrassed staff, dozens with their day trip ruined.

I know trains cannot be held but there are just times one really wonders!
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