Originally Posted by James Shields
Would it be unreasonable to expect the TVMs to make it possible to buy a ticket to any station in the country, especially since many stations have vastly reduced the ticket office opening hours since TVMs went in?
Not in the slightest bit unreasonable. If I go to a ticket machine in the UK, not only can I buy a simple train ticket to any station in the UK, I can also, among many other things:
- Buy a ticket to any port or railway station in Ireland, covering the train in both countries as well as my choice of ferry route. Likewise for the Isle of Man, Isle of Wight, Netherlands and Scottish islands.
- Buy a PlusBus ticket that allows me to use town bus services in the town I'm departing and/or arriving in by train
- Buy a ticket to certain places without a railway station that covers rail travel to the nearest rail-connected town, and onward bus travel to my final destination
Closest thing we get to any of that from a ticket machine is the Luas/Bus 90 add-on, and there's a fixed price for that. The rail revenue stays with Irish Rail.
In the UK, some of the tickets above need revenue shared between participating bus companies, ferry companies, all the various UK train companies, the Dutch/Irish train companies, etc.