September 9, 2014

Negotiating train kiosks in England

Trains at London's Paddington station
Trains at London’s Paddington station

I have to admit that, for someone who travels a great deal, I am sometimes confused by ticket kiosks. And there’ll be a lot of them on my upcoming trip to England, with  train journeys to and from London, Cambridge, Exeter, Cornwall.

So I took a few minutes this afternoon to refresh my memory on what is, admittedly, a simple procedure.

For anyone whose similarly prone to confusion, here’s a simple guide and quick video that explains the process.

The main points are:

  1. Tickets are of two types. Print-at-home and print- at-station.
  2. Look at your Rail itinerary and be sure to print the “print-at-home” tickets before you leave home.
  3. For print-at-station tickets, get to the station at least 30 minutes before your train departure time to allow time to find a kiosk, print the tickets, and get to your boarding platform.

At the kiosk:

• Insert any credit card with a magnetic stripe just to activate the kiosk
• Enter your e-ticket confirmation code
• Print tickets
• If you have a round trip ticket, print both outbound and return tickets before you board the first train
• Keep your ticket with within easy reach so you can  hand it to the ticket-taker during the journey

Cornwall train track
Cornwall train track

Then, sit back and enjoy the view.

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