Train in vain

On Friday, Dr B (who's in charge of such matters) picked up our tickets from York station for two fairly simple return journeys we had booked. Two people, two return journeys. Each trip involved one change of train at Peterborough. Pretty simple stuff.

Now that could be four documents, couldn't it? One ticket per person per return journey, with all the relevant information printed on each. But no. Apparently twenty-five makes more sense.

How utterly absurd is that? The information you need is unnecessarily duplicated and segregated, and some of it is completely useless – we could've done without the two seat reservation tickets that simply said "there are no seat reservations". The whole ticketing system needs a serious rejig, and not just for us travellers, but to make the actual trains and stations more efficient. Imagine how much quicker a ticket inspector could get down a train if every single passenger didn't have to shuffle a deck of cards before finding the right one?

It reminds me of Tyler Thompson's mission to redesign boarding passes to make them useful and readable. Somewhere along the way, ticket designers forgot about humans. No doubt the next step will be to stick a designwart QR code on them just to make the world that little bit more hateful. With the profusion of rail providers, the old system is simply not fit for purpose any more.

One journey, one ticket. How hard is that?