Partly as a result of the pressure we have been exerting there are lots of changes in the pipeline this year to rail tickets. More helpful information, less useless information and greater clarity. This should help passengers know what they are buying and what they have bought. Hopefully the days of ‘see restrictions…’ are numbered. Linked to better ticket vending machines this should be a step in the right direction.

This cannot come too soon. When my family headed to the coast at half-term I bought train tickets in advance. When they arrived there were 17 separate tickets! Four tickets out, four back and four reservation tickets to go with each, plus a receipt. Given that you now cannot reserve on South West Trains all the reservation ticket did was tell you which train you were booked on.

My mistake I suppose – will do print at home next time – but cutting down on all this paper will help. Also, are those orange credit card receipt tickets recyclable? They have a magnetic stripe down the back so I am not sure – does anyone know?


  1. Andrew S says:

    No, magnetic stripe tickets are not recyclable, or at least not welcome in bulk as the magnetic slurry leads to too many impurities in the resulting new paper.
    They could cut down on the number of cards if all 4 passengers were shown on one ticket, but for tickets not just valid on a specific train that would severely reduce flexibility if you decided once you were there not to come back together. The separate reservation ticket may seem odd, but there isn’t really much space for more information on a ticket, so the ticket itself would have to be bigger (and a non-standard size) which would rather defeat the object. So far as print-at-home goes, I may be unusual but I tend to prefer a fairly robust piece of card over a flimsy A4 sheet with ink that smudges if it gets wet! I’d certainly want a separate receipt for my credit card records; perhaps this could be optional, but that would make the purchase more complex.
    In summary, this is probably not the biggest problem on the railways at the moment!

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