Railway Tickets have been issued since the earliest days of the railways - starting as paper sheets sometimes handwritten. As the railway system expanded Thomas Edmondson came up with a card ticket about 2" x 1" that was first used on the Manchester & Leeds Railway. When the Railway Clearing House opened in 1842 these tickets were adopted for all railways. A special machine was designed by Edmondson that was bolted to the ticket office counter and when the ticket was inserted the date was stamped on.

The final Edmondson tickets were issued in February 1990.

 Many tickets have survived even from the early days as they were a very easily collectable item, particularly for youngsters, and were small enough to be stored away for a lifetime. The value generally increases with age but BR tickets can still fetch large sums 

Railway Tickets break down into two main types:-         1)      PLATFORM TICKETS

                                                                             2)      TRAVEL TICKETS

Both types being very collectable at this point in time. Prices vary from a few pence to many hundreds of pounds per ticket with ones from early station closures being the most sought after.

         PLATFORM TICKETS             

Platform tickets have always been very collectable as the name on the ticket was the station from where it was issued and so it became a challenge to collect an area, a region, closed stations etc.

Tickets still exist from the pre grouping companies as can be seen from the CALEDONIAN, LBSCR & LSWR examples pictured below.


However there are far more survivors from the Big 4 Companies.


 Of these probably the most sought after are Southern Railway tickets. Most stations on the Southern Railway issued Platform Tickets but their survival was fairly random so you will find that some small stations that you would expect to be rare are common and vice versa. SR tickets were often still used in BR days until the station ran out of their stock and in fact some were still being issued in the 1960's.

The most common SR platform ticket appears to be MICHELDEVER suggesting that a large batch were rescued at some point.
Platform Tickets from the main  London Terminus stations are generally readily available as vast numbers were issued. If you really get into Platform tickets then there are many different examples that can be acquired even for just one station. Below we show three different tickets from Bembridge Station on the Isle of Wight.


Platform tickets are also, rather surprisingly, available from London Transport Underground stations but these do not have a large following of collectors. Some early examples are pictured below.


The price you will have to pay to buy a ticket will vary from around 50p to a few hundred pounds - the price depending on age and scarcity.


Enormous numbers of travel tickets still exist ranging from the earliest days of the railways until the final Edmondson travel tickets were issued in February 1990.
Railway Tickets break down into two main types:-     SINGLES and RETURNS                                                 
  Single tickets would generally have the name of the issuing station in small letters at the top and the destination in larger letters below. Returns could be in landscape or portrait format but the outward half would be at the bottom on portrait style or on the right if in landscape format. Single tickets are more collectable as the returns were usually torn or cut in half at the end of the outward leg of the journey and so become rather small. Some return tickets would be like singles with such legend as "& BACK".

                    Shown below are some examples of early tickets.                                 




After the grouping the Big 4 Companies issued their own tickets - some examples are below.


Tickets were not just for ordinary passenger journeys but could cover all sorts of other activities. A sample of such tickets are shown below.

Tickets offered advertising opportunities and some tickets were produced as two separate sides so that an advert could be placed in the centre. An example is shown below.

 After nationalisation in 1948 new BR tickets were issued but in most cases the existing stocks of Big 4 tickets continued to be used until they ran out and in some cases these were still being issued in the 1960's. Some examples of BR tickets are shown below.

Tickets issued after 1990 are very efficient and clever but lack any style and as they pretty much all look the same they are not particularly collectable.

If you are interested in starting a collection there are regular ticket auctions or you can make a start by following the railway tickets on ebay. There are always plenty available and are at prices to suit all pockets. Most people start by collecting from their local area or from holiday destinations but there are many different paths that you can follow.

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