11 January 2007

The Cheese Shop

This evening I have to make a short train journey just outside of the zones covered by my TravelCard so I need a single ticket to cover the extra part of the journey. To avoid buying this ticket at Waterloo Station during the evening rush hour I thought that I'd simply stroll along to Euston Station at lunchtime and buy it there. No such luck!

I queued for the British Rail (as most people still call it) ticket office only to be told that they don't issue these sorts of tickets. Previously I have bought also sorts of tickets from all sorts of stations, e.g. from Richmond to Newcastle at Brixton Station, so I have no idea why I could not do that there and I was too stunned to stay and try and find out.

The next port of call was the Travel Information Desk. They confirmed that the ticket office does not sell these tickets (but, again, no explanation why) but offered to sell me one themselves. My joy was short-lived when they realised that I only wanted a single journey ticket (cost £1.80) rather than a one day TravelCard that would have allowed me to make this journey (£4.90).

The best that they could offer was to suggest that I try the ticket office in the underground station which is, er, under Euston Station. I declined this advice fairly certain that a) the underground station will only sell underground tickets and b) there will be a long queue of people who are unsure of where they are going, how they plan to get there and what ticket they need to do this.

So, if you want to buy a rail ticket then Euston Station is like the Cheese Shop in Monty Python, i.e. devoid of the article it purports to sell. I now have to decide between trying to get a ticket at Waterloo or risking the £10 fine for travelling without one. We'll see...

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