Card tickets stand the test of time in CR’s enduring vintage collection

Written by Neha Kulkarni
| Mumbai |
Published: February 27, 2018 9:42 am

Central Railway card tickets Card tickets are still manually printed by booking clerks with details like date of travel and ticket fare and stations in Hindi and English. (Express Photo by Deepak Joshi)

JOURNEY TICKETS on Mumbai’s suburban railways have undergone various changes over the years. However, 12 stations on various sections of the Central Railway (CR) continue to issue card tickets to commuters, a system discontinued nearly a decade ago at all other stations in the city. Card tickets are manually printed on by booking clerks. Details such as date of travel and ticket fare, as well as originating and terminating stations are printed in Hindi and English on the tickets.

According to senior railway officials, card tickets are also numbered, in order to keep an account of sales. Until 2007, the manually-printed card tickets were ubiquitous across Mumbai’s suburban stations. Stations from where card tickets are still issued are: Navade Road, Dolavali, Kasu, Kelavali, Chikhli, Nidi, Hamrapur, Rasayani, Chouk, Juichandra, Mohope and Louji ? all on the Panvel-Roha, Diva-Vasai and Kasara-Karjat routes.

“Such tickets continue to be issued at stations that account for low passenger earnings and footfall. In these stations, the daily footfall never exceeds 500 and daily average passenger earnings remains between Rs 2,000 and Rs 3,000. The ‘Unreserved Ticketing System’ (UTS) of printing tickets is yet to be implemented in these stations,” a senior railways official said. Officials have to manually feed earning details from these stations into the system.

“We have to rely on manual records and cross-check with the sale of tickets. It is a tough process, but does not make a huge difference to the suburban railway ticket fare collection as these stations don’t account for a significant contribution to the system,” an official said.

Senior booking clerks recalled that rolls of such manual tickets were a common sight at ticket offices in the past. The tickets were printed in two different colours ? green for first class and yellow for second class. “A unique thing about these tickets was the time printed on them. This would always be advanced by an hour so that the commuter would be in no haste to board the train to start the journey. Thus, a ticket issued at 11.15 am will be valid from 12 noon till the next hour lapsed,” a railway official said.

Presently, only single journey tickets are issued from these stations. First class suburban journey tickets are not issued. For many daily commuters, travelling from these stations gives them an opportunity to collect such “vintage tickets”. Neeraj Bhate, a regular commuter on the Central Railway, said, “I go to Navade Road once in two weeks as my office is there. While travelling back to Dadar, I get the card ticket. I’ve preserved some. After all, they may no longer be in circulation in the future.”

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