ArrowrIcon Home icon
ArrowrIcon

Train fares mid 20th century

ArrowrIcon
ArrowrIcon

Train ticket inspection in
1940s and 1950s Britain

Ticket inspection at the start of a train journey

1940s ticket collector checking a passenger's train tickets as he enters a platform at a large city rail terminus

Entering a platform at a large terminus. The gate is half closed.

1940s ticket collector checking and collecting passengers' train tickets as they leave a platform at a large city rail terminus

Ticket collector collecting passengers' train tickets at the end of a journey.

1940s ticket collector checking and collecting passengers' train tickets at the end of a journey to a small rural station

Ticket collection at a small rural station.

Enhanced details of screenshots from old films.

To get onto a railway station platform, we had to show our travel tickets or platform tickets to a member of station staff who would be standing at the platform gate. There was usually one or more of them on duty - although this wasn't always the case. Sometimes the tickets were snipped to confirm that they had been seen. Automatic barriers were years away.

Ticket inspection at the end of a train journey

To leave the platform at the end of a journey, we had to give up our tickets to a ticket collector who stood at the platform gate. I never understood how tickets could be inspected properly when hoards of passengers streamed on and off a busy train, but some passengers certainly were called back, so there must have been some cheating.

Guest contribution

Platform gates: half open, fully open or shut?

The gates to platforms in mainline stations were half-closed for passengers entering, as shown in the first photo. This ensured single file and prevented anyone bypassing the checking process. The gates were fully opened for passengers leaving the platform, so minimising the crush of so many passengers leaving together. Platform gates were completely closed where there was currently no service.

Douglas Adam

Ticket inspection on trains

Tickets were not normally checked on the train although there were random inspections.


If you can add anything to this page or provide a photo, I would be pleased if you would contact me.


Text and images are copyright


facebook icon twitter icon