Region’s smallest rail stations to get ticket machines for first time

Thursday, 28 June 2018

Customers at some of Greater Anglia’s smallest rail stations will soon be able to buy tickets and get 24/7 customer support as brand new ticket machines are due to be installed this summer for the first time.

29 rural stations across the network will benefit from being better connected, with 24-hour live help and the ability to buy the cheapest ticket available thanks to the new state-of-the-art “virtual ticket agent” machines. In addition, customers can use the machines to pick up tickets they’ve ordered online.

If people have a query while using the new machines, or are not sure what to do, they can press a button which will put them straight through to a real person who can help them buy tickets and find the best fares.

Greater Anglia’s Director of Customer Service, Andrew Goodrum, said, “It will be like giving these small stations a 24-hour ticket office which will be such a huge benefit to the communities they serve, making it much easier for people to get the right ticket quickly and conveniently.”

“We know that customers sometimes feel apprehensive about buying tickets from a machine as they are unsure of how it works or which is the best ticket for their journey. So being able to connect straight to a friendly voice who can help means that we can improve customer service at these stations too.”

The new machines are due to be installed over the summer at Acle, Attleborough, Brandon, Brundall, Cantley, Darsham, Derby Road, Dullingham, Elmswell, Gunton, Haddiscoe, Hoveton & Wroxham, Kennett, Lingwood, Melton, Needham Market, Oulton Broad North, Oulton Broad South, Reedham, Roughton Road, Sheringham, Thurston, Trimley, West Runton, Westerfield, Whittlesea, Wickham Market, Worstead and Wymondham.

Greater Anglia is the first train operator in England to roll out the “virtual ticket agent” machines, which have the technology that means passengers can connect - via an audio link – to one of 13 Greater Anglia ticket sellers who provide the contact centre service 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The investment programme is part of a series of station upgrades across the Greater Anglia network which the company is delivering as part of its franchise commitments. Already many stations are benefitting from upgraded customer information systems, extra seating, better lighting, re-surfacing of platforms and car parks and repainting schemes.

Jessica U, Customer Account Manager at Scheidt & Bachmann UK Ltd added: “We are delighted that the new ticket machines are a success. Our goal was to offer our customers a simple product to improve customer support at unstaffed stations and reduce queues at busier stations; not just with the new machines but also with the existing ones. We are proud to work with Greater Anglia to provide this customer benefit.”