Our new Parkeon Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs) ….

Posted on March 5th, 2012, by The Chairman

As it was sunny this morning, I thought it would be a good time to go out for pictures of our two new ticket vending machines (TVMs) along the line.

Arriving at Northwich on time, here’s the new TVM in the background seen with 142062 waiting to leave and with our “hump” alongside the unit.

The driver seems bemused as I take a picture with the Café at The Zone in the background.

Toni from the café stands alongside the TVM as passengers file past on their way off our train. The G4S staff member waits to check their tickets.

The formal picture ….

Toni and a customer outside the café door under our clock. It’s currently stopped, we think because the electricity supply is off whilst the ticket office is refurbished.

The notice in the booking office. G4S are also staffing the booking hall selling tickets whilst the booking office is closed; the TVM is also available and for when they’re not there.

Then into Toni’s Café for a cuppa before joining the next train back to Knutsford. If you’re around at lunchtime, try his pies from local Northwich butcher, Birtwhistles. They’re delicious!

Arrival at Knutsford on time with 150205. The passengers have joined, the conductor checks the doors, then it’s off.

Here’s Knutsford’s newly-commissioned machine.

The electric notice along the top says – “Credit Cards Only”, then says “Exact Amount Only” ….

I’m going to London on Wednesday from Wilmslow. I booked my ticket at breakfast time this morning using TransPennine Express (they have special offers on TPE for customers buying tickets through their site, as do Northern). Knutsford was not on the drop down menu of Ticket On Departure (TOD) stations, probably as it’s so new. Not to worry, as so long as you have your booking reference, you can get your ticket out of any TVM, never mind what you’ve told the system!!

Here are the tickets, numbers 116 and 117.

Then off to Booths for some quick shopping (I’m rather partial to some of their local cheeses and meats), before returning to the station for the 1249 back to Mobberley. Whilst I waited, some more passengers used the TVM rather than queueing at the ticket office.

Then onto the 1249, 142062 again and again on time.

The conductor told me he thought quite a few people were using the machines – they can tell due to the way the Parkeon TVMs print the tickets in a crisper font than those from the Scheidt & Bachmann TVMs and those sold in ticket offices.

We understand we’re also to have a TVM at Greenbank. Other stations were also considered, and these were selected for our first tranche.

Please leave a comment

  1. The Chairman Says:

    We hear the clock at Northwich is now fixed and back on time.

  2. Edd Says:

    The timing on the clock at Northwich was a couple of minutes out yesterday afternoon.

  3. Cheshire rail user Says:

    Having seen the interface on these machines I think when the software gets upgraded they should also upgrade the user interface to be more like the TP Express machines.

    On the Northern ones if you want to enter a station like ‘Rainhill’ which wouldn’t be in the most popular lists you have to look at the most popular stations, then look at more popular stations, only then do you get the option to type in a station. On the TP Express machines there is a button at the bottom of the first list appearing allowing you to proceed to the manual station entry.

    On the Northern ones you have to ‘touch to start.’ Why don’t they give you two options on this screen – touch here to buy tickets for today and then touch here to collect purchased advance tickets.

    I don’t know what cards they accept. In general off-line cards such as the Visa Electron can’t be used to buy rail tickets. If you have a card only machine at Greenbank which doesn’t accept off-line cards then won’t that mean a large number of users of that station can’t buy tickets from the ticket machine? Although, in this post it says ‘credit cards only’, is that actually correct meaning debit cards like Maestro aren’t accepted?

    Also, the pictures also show the G4S ticket inspection staff standing between the ticket machine and the exit. Does this mean they aren’t going to let people on to the platform to use the ticket machine at times when they are present unless they already have a ticket?

  4. Edd Says:

    In response to “Also, the pictures also show the G4S ticket inspection staff standing between the ticket machine and the exit. Does this mean they aren’t going to let people on to the platform to use the ticket machine at times when they are present unless they already have a ticket?”

    G4S ticket inspectors were at Knutsford earlier and they weren’t letting anyone through the booking office door on to the Manchester bound platform without a ticket. Presumably if someone had a ticket for today ready to collect from the machine then they would have been let through.

  5. The Chairman Says:

    The Knutsford TVM has just been updated; it now takes coins and notes.

  6. Edd Says:

    According to a post on the Northern Rail Facebook page the TVMs at Knutsford, Northwich and Greenbank are now running on new software and consequently issue a new design of ticket and are able to provide train running information. The full list of updated TVMs: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=715971848425864&set=p.715971848425864&type=1&theater

  7. Edd Says:

    Northern appear to be removing these TVMs and replacing them with a new style of TVM.

  8. Edd Says:

    A second TVM has appeared at Northwich. Are there plans for any more additional TVMs on the Mid-Cheshire line? I’ve found them quite unreliable for Ticket on Departure even if the touch screen is more responsive than on the old machines.

  9. Simon Barber Says:

    Hi, Edd,
    Northern committed in their franchise bid to install a TVM at every station so we would expect more, yes. They have not so far shared their plans for this with MCRUA. We have previously asked for a second ATM to be installed at busy stations where there is independent access to both platforms so that passengers did not have to visit both platforms, and if we get that it will mean a second ATM at Greenbank and Knutsford, for example; but this wouldn’t apply at Northwich! So at the moment this is a puzzle.

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