MSE News

Rail passengers across the country complain of ticket machine problems this morning

A widespread issue affecting ticket machines across Britain has prevented rail passengers from collecting prepaid tickets this morning – prompting a flurry of complaints.

Update: Industry body the Rail Delivery Group says that this issue was resolved as of 10am.

So far, Greater Anglia, ScotRail, Southeastern, Southern and Thameslink have admitted that customers are having problems this morning collecting prepaid tickets at some machines. The issue does not appear to be preventing commuters from buying tickets to travel today.

If you're travelling this morning, you may need to go to a staffed ticket counter to collect your prepaid ticket, and it may be worth taking proof of purchase with you.

What is the issue?

Customers at various stations have reported being unable to use ticket machines to collect tickets they've already paid for.

Some of their complaints are below:

I'm affected – what should I do?

At the moment, most rail firms are telling customers on social media to try to use staffed counters to collect their booked tickets.

  • ScotRail for example wrote: "Unfortunately there's a problem with some ticket machines this morning – so customers are having to collect pre-booked tickets from the counter. Our supplier is working to resolve this ASAP."

  • Southeastern said: "Reports of a network issue with prepaid collection of tickets at some of our ticket machines. If you are unable to collect your ticket please seek a conductor/OBM [onboard manager] who should have ability to issue ticket."

  • Southern said: "There is a known problem with collecting tickets this morning. You will be able to apply for a refund on the tickets you haven't collected."

  • Thameslink said: "Please present staff with an electronic copy of your ticket and you will be able to make your journey whilst we are working on fixing this."

  • Greater Anglia, however, said customers could travel with an email confirmation. It said: "We have been made aware of an issue regarding collection of prepaid tickets from some ticket machines across the Greater Anglia network. If you are unable to collect your ticket, please travel with your ticket confirmation email."

But electronic ticket confirmations don't seem to be being accepted by all operators. One passenger wrote on social media this morning: "Tried to go through gates with my email receipt to collect tickets in Edinburgh, but request refused, which seemed a little unreasonable in the circumstances."

The Rail Delivery Group – which represents rail firms – says that if people miss their train as a result of the issues, they should contact their train company about any refunds or compensation, and the firm will look at claims on a case-by-case basis. 

What does the Rail Delivery Group say?

A Rail Delivery Group spokesperson said: "Passengers with some train companies have this morning been experiencing problems collecting tickets from machines.

"We're sorry for the inconvenience caused and are working with the relevant supplier to fix the problem as soon as possible. People affected should speak to their train company or visit the ticket office."

MSE weekly email

FREE weekly MoneySaving email

For all the latest deals, guides and loopholes simply sign up today – it's spam-free!