West Croydon ticket machine offers unexpected option

I was rather surprised to find a ticket machine at London Overground’s West Croydon station offering me the option of a ticket valid for travel “By West Anglia Great Northern only” when I was buying ticket to Brighton on 23 February 2014.

Problems:

  1. WAGN ceased to exist at the end of March 2006.
  2. When it did exist, it didn’t go anywhere near Croydon* or Brighton.

As the GN part of WAGN was merged with Thameslink to create the franchise which is currently held by First Capital Connect, I suspect a database somewhere has got confused and output WAGN when it really means FCC.

I would get out more, if I could find the right ticket.

(as to why I was trying to do this: Croydon to Brighton tickets routed FCC only are cheaper than any permitted tickets. And there are usually shorted queues for the ticket machines at West Croydon than at East Croydon.)

* The Croydon in Cambridgeshire doesn’t have a station.

Croydon after the riots

Tramlink electrification at Reeves Corner damaged by rioting

Some photos of damage to London Tramlink infrastructure at Reeves Corner in Croydon on Wednesday 10 August 2011, after the rioting of Monday 8 August. The overhead lines were down, a mast looked scorched, and the stuff which the rails are embedded in had been damaged.

On Wednesday tram services were running from Wimbledon to Reeves Corner tram stop, and from the eastern branches to East Croydon, but the town centre loop was out of action.

Fire damaged Tramlink track at Reeves Corner

Tramlink electrification damaged by rioting

Church Street Tramlink stop after the riot
Church Street tram stop, fenced off.

Croydon - cleaner & greener

An unfortunate sign.

The Surrey Iron Railway on a cash machine

Surrey Iron Railway on East Croydon cash machine

I recently spotted a cash machine outside East Croydon station with a message on the screen which says:

“Welcome to Croydon
Home of… The world’s first horse drawn
railway in 1803 (Croydon to Wandsworth)”.

A nice touch, however horse drawn railways were already long established by the time the Surrey Iron Railway opened in 1803. The first railway for which documentary evidence is currently known is apparently the Wollaton Wagonway, near Nottingham, which was referred to as a “passage now laide with railes” in a document dated 1 October 1604. This used horse power, as did many subsequent lines in mining areas of the northeast of England.

The claim to fame of the SIR is that it has long been widely described as the world’s first public railway; previous railways had been private lines for the use of the owners of a mine, quarry or similar. However there is now doubt as to the accuracy of this claim, as it appears that the SIR was in fact preceded by the Lake Lock Rail Road, near Wakefield, which opened in 1798 but doesn’t seem to have had as good PR.

In a moment of boredom I contacted the operators of the cash machine. Not only did I get a reply, it was longer and politer than I expected (or deserved?). Apparently they obtained the information from the Wikipedia article on the SIR, and “these screens are due to be changed and this information will then be removed”.

I promise to get out more.

Grenoble ticket machine thinks it’s in Croydon

Grenoble tram ticket machine message

Visting the French city of Grenoble back in May 2005, I was impressed to discover that the ticket machines on the tram stops offer an English language option. As I don’t speak French, this was rather useful.

Unfortunately, after buying a ticket in English, the display says that Croydon Tramlink wishes you a good journey!

Croydon Tramlink wishes you a good journey

The the unofficial Croydon Tramlink website has oodles of information about Croydon Tramlink, and its ticketing systems – presumably Grenoble used the same software!