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
Railway Tickets break down
into two main types:- 1)
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 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.
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
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
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 "&
below are some examples of early tickets.
After the grouping the Big 4
Companies issued their own tickets - some examples are
Tickets were not just for
ordinary passenger journeys but could cover all sorts of
other activities. A sample of such tickets are shown below.
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.
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.
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.