Official Railway Guide "Coupon Station"

This forum is for discussion of "Fallen Flag" roads not otherwise provided with a specific forum. Fallen Flags are roads that no longer operate, went bankrupt, or were acquired or merged out of existence.

Moderator: Nicolai3985

Official Railway Guide "Coupon Station"

Postby rhallanger » Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:53 pm

I was looking at an old Official Railway Guide and several locations have a "+" next to the location. It says "coupon" station. What did that mean.

On older ORG's I also saw that there were several that had a special symbol for telegraph office. Why was that worthy of noting in the guide back then? I noticed many more telegraph offices than coupon stations.

Anyone care to share a little history?
Posts: 73
Joined: Wed Jul 13, 2005 3:44 am
Location: MP 200.1 Roseville Div/Fresno Sub UP

Postby BaltOhio » Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:12 pm

My memory is extremely hazy, but I believe "coupon station" meant a station that could sell interline tickets, which came in multiple "coupons" depending on the number of railroads to be used. Not every station could handle this kind of function, since it required a considerably more extensive file of tariffs plus some expertise in constructing a rate.

Telegraph stations were pretty much what the name implies, indicating a station that could send telegrams, back in the days before e-mail, cell phones, or even cheap long distance calls.
Posts: 432
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2004 10:05 am
Location: Baltimore, MD

Postby JimBoylan » Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:39 pm

BaltOhio wrote:"coupon station" meant a station that could sell interline tickets, which came in multiple "coupons" depending on the number of railroads to be used.
Corect. The autobiography "The Situation in Flushing (Mich.)" has a chapter about the Grand Trunk Western agent who kept spoiling coupon sets as he wrote a round trip ticket over Chicago to the West Coast. When he ran out of 6 coupon strips, he changed the reservations to use an extra road and started spoiling 8 coupon strips. The process continued through more and more complications and longer strips of coupons until he got one done without a mistake. The passenger, who didn't realize how large a country she inhabited, spent about a month traveling on her round trip!

At that time before about 1920, I think coupon tickets were in strips, instead of individual pages stapled into a booklet.

You will find ads in the "Guide" by some railroads that only one coupon is needed between any 2 stations on their "family" of lines, while other roads will warn that a separate coupon is needed on either side of a gateway station or on a subsidiary road!
Posts: 3265
Joined: Mon Apr 12, 2004 2:33 pm

Re: Official Railway Guide "Coupon Station"

Postby Mitch » Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:55 pm

Coupon books were a post WWII invention by Rand McNally when they were in the ticket printing business. Not every road used them. The South Shore sold strip interline tickets up to Amtrak day.

Give me that old "Association Ticket Paper" made by La Monte and Sons of Nutley, New Jersey.
User avatar
Posts: 141
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2008 9:27 am
Location: The cornyards of No.Cent. Indiana

Re: Official Railway Guide "Coupon Station"

Postby younger » Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:15 pm

In February of 1972, some stations, at least, (such as the L&N station Birmingham, Ala.)were still using strip tickets (Southern had abandoned them in the fifties). I bought a RT ticket from Birmingham to San Francisco (and did not go through San Francisco) which gave me a circle tour west of Chicago: Birmingham-Louisville-Chicago-LA(via SFe)-San Diego-LA-Portland-Seattle-Minneapolis-Chicago-Louisville-Birmingham; twelve coupons in all. On that trip, I also made use of the old railroad tariffs which gave me a free side trip to San Diego.
I am glad that Amtrak no longer uses the airline form that it was using in the eighties.

When your travel was interline, it was possible to go to a coupon station and buy a ticket from your non-coupon origin to your destination; your trip had to have at least one leg on the road which issued the ticket.
Also, there was a time when there was a note in the Guide showing stations with public telephones.
Posts: 13
Joined: Sat Sep 18, 2010 4:06 pm

Re: Official Railway Guide "Coupon Station"

Postby Arborwayfan » Thu Aug 09, 2018 8:03 pm

younger wrote:On that trip, I also made use of the old railroad tariffs which gave me a free side trip to San Diego.

How did that work? Pre-amtrak tariffs applied on Amtrak routes for a while?

Come to think of it, what happened to people who bought tickets for after A-Day on trains that were then cancelled? Or was there enough lead time to prevent that from happening?
Posts: 772
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2004 11:27 am
Location: Terre Haute, Indiana

Return to General Discussion: Fallen Flags

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests