• pre-Amtrak railroads and how and when conductors "punched tickets" for coach passengers

  • General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.
General discussion of passenger rail proposals and systems not otherwise covered in the specific forums in this category, including high speed rail.

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  by JohnP
 
This is a question about pre-Amtrak railroads and how and when conductors "punched tickets" for coach passengers.

I know that when traveling between railroads (interline) the tickets had multiple "parts" (coupons) for each railroad.

Q1: Were there two coupons for EACH railroad? One which the conductor kept (when he initially lifted the ticket) and one for the passenger to keep (a receipt)?

Q2: (Assuming Q1 is "Two"): Did the conductor punch his coupon AND the passenger's coupon (to "cancel" it)?

Q3: When a new crew came on a train, I vaguely recall that the new conductor would walk though the coaches and punch the tickets again. Is this true? Was this done with each new crew?

Q4: (Assuming Q3 is true). What was done in the middle of the night? Were the coach passenger woken up?


Thanks.

John
  by ExCon90
 
Q1: There was just one coupon, which the conductor punched. On short local trips he might place it in a clip mounted on the back of the seat ahead of the passenger; on longer trips he retained it and issued a seat check which he placed in the clip; approaching the last stop he would pass through the car collecting (lifting, In railroad parlance) the tickets and checks; the tickets, or coupons of interline tickets, were turned in to the ticket receiver at the destination station, who would in turn forward them to the Auditor, Passenger Receipts -- the start of a long journey through the revenue-accounting process. On some railroads seat checks were used at all times, even on short suburban routes. Various practices were used to indicate on the seat check the destination shown on the ticket: the color of the check, the location on the check where the punch mark was placed, an abbreviation printed on the check, or even tearing off a corner of the check.

Q2: See Q1.

Q3: Practices varied. At one time I made a number of trips on the NYC from New York to Buffalo; the first conductor lifted my ticket and placed a Buffalo seat check in the clip, and successive conductors simply glanced at it in passing. On Western transcontinentals the first conductor lifted the entire ticket, including coupons for later segments of the trip, and "pouched" it, placing it in a brown envelope which bore a serial number on the envelope and repeated on a perforated stub attached to the flap, which he tore off at the perforation and handed back to the passenger. Nobody asked to see a ticket for the rest of the trip. The envelope containing the rest of the ticket was returned to the passenger shortly before arrival at the passenger's destination. I assume the conductor wrote the seat or room number on the envelope, so there was no need for successive conductors to disturb the passenger.

Q4: A friend of mine used to travel regularly from New York to somewhere in Vermont on the Rutland (a very long time ago); upon arrival at Troy at oh-dark-30 the crew would flip on all the lights and walk through the coaches, loudly calling out TROY, TROY! THIS STATION IS TROY! I believe something of the sort happened in many places.
  by Gilbert B Norman
 
Although the lifting procedures noted by Mr. Ex Con were largely correct, some roads, UP notably, afforded Coach passengers the same privilege as were Pullman by lifting and pouching tickets once on the journey. Thus the C&NW Conductor at Omaha was "not exactly" the Rutland counterpart Mr. Ex Con notes.
  by GWoodle
 
west point wrote: Sat Dec 12, 2020 2:17 am With all the paperwork how could a conductor keep track of what the engineer was doing ? Or for that matter even now on Amtrak ? Thinking of 188 and Talgo in Washington.
Most of the time there would also be a fireman in the cab of the diesel. Both would work together to read signals & roadside signs. Train orders were given to both engine crew & conductor. Even today there is huge debate over having 2 engine crew or not. Not sure when dead man switch first appeared in cabs for engineer to press.
  by ExCon90
 
Gilbert B Norman wrote: Sat Dec 12, 2020 9:15 am Although the lifting procedures noted by Mr. Ex Con were largely correct, some roads, UP notably, afforded Coach passengers the same privilege as were Pullman by lifting and pouching tickets once on the journey. Thus the C&NW Conductor at Omaha was "not exactly" the Rutland counterpart Mr. Ex Con notes.
I guess I didn't make it clear that I was thinking of both coach and Pullman passengers when speaking of the Western transcontinentals. They were a different world. For one thing, since all seats were reserved, the conductor knew where every passenger was getting off, and passengers destined to the next stop were discreetly approached and informed that their stop was coming up.
  by ExCon90
 
GWoodle wrote: Sat Dec 12, 2020 12:44 pm
west point wrote: Sat Dec 12, 2020 2:17 am With all the paperwork how could a conductor keep track of what the engineer was doing ? Or for that matter even now on Amtrak ? Thinking of 188 and Talgo in Washington.
Most of the time there would also be a fireman in the cab of the diesel. Both would work together to read signals & roadside signs. Train orders were given to both engine crew & conductor. Even today there is huge debate over having 2 engine crew or not. Not sure when dead man switch first appeared in cabs for engineer to press.
Also, the conductors, being fully qualified, remained "situationally aware" while doing paperwork; if the train slowed down or speeded up at an unusual place they would sense it without looking up.