Letter: A ticket to travel anywhere

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The Independent Online
Old people such as I may be forgiven for finding it difficult to understand why there should be any difficulty for the 25 new privatised railway operating companies maintaining through ticketing from all staffed stations to all other destinations within Great Britain. Until 1923, there were about 120 separate railway companies in this country, all of which could offer through bookings with very few exceptions (such as to some Tube stations) to any other station.

More, through bookings from many larger stations were available to places as varied as tiny stations on small Swiss private mountain railways such as Grindlewald, or cities such as Cairo via Istanbul and Syria, while "combined coupon tickets" could be m a de up from anywhere to anywhere by agencies such as Cooks and some of the railways themselves.

And all this without so much as a calculator, let alone computer controlled ticket issuing machines.

Gordon Hafter Middlesex

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