Automatic Fare Collection on London Transport Railways
London Transport (LT) and its predecessors have long realized that self–service ticket issuing was an essential adjunct to the traditional purchase of tickets from ticket offices. LT was at the forefront in developing self–service machines which were also very simple and quick to use.
With the arrival of the Underground's Victoria Line in the 1960s it was thought that further automation was necessary to avoid the need for huge numbers of additional staff. This led to the proposal to automate ticket inspection as well as the ticket issuing process.
This publication tells the story of all this from the earliest day until AFC (Automatic Fare Collection) was developed as an all encompassing concept in the late 1960s. The task should not be underestimated as station-based computers were just a dream and all examination had to be undertaken using then novel diode-diode technology. The article covers the scale down in the late 1970s (for the technology wasn't really up to the job.
In due course the story of automatic ticket issuing and ticket examination on the London Underground will be brought completely up to date.
Any comments, or additional information, will be especially welcome.
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