That’s the ticket

The ticket machines I’ve used for the last two years at Ealing Broadway’s National Rail station are archaic. They’re always breaking down, or they won’t take bills, or you need exact change. And they don’t accept cards for payment. It’s a real pain for someone like me who travels frequently, but not quite frequently enough to make a weekly or monthly pass worthwhile.

It’s worse in recent months: the machines are just always on the fritz, meaning I’ve got to queue for tickets, and I often miss my train. I got fed up a few weeks back and sent a nasty email to First Great Western’s customer service line.

Last Friday, four shiny new ticket machines suddenly appeared in Ealing Broadway station. Touch screens, accepting cash or cards for payment. Sweet!

Yesterday I finally got an email reply from the rail company’s customer service department: they told me that some new machines were planned for Ealing Broadway, and they were sorry that this doesn’t help me in the short term, but they’re coming. Okay: left hand, meet right hand. Still, at least they replied.

This morning was my first time taking the train since the new machines. I used one this morning. Paid with my debit card. It was, indeed, sweet.