North West rail passengers travel for free

Northern Rail said its ticketing system is now working as normal after it broke down allowing train commuters in the North West to travel for free on Tuesday morning.

A Northern Rail spokesperson said: "At 06.30am this morning a server failure occurred affecting our ticket offices across the North West. This happened at 67 stations and the problem has now been rectified.

"We provide our customers with alternative opportunities to purchase tickets, 25 of these stations have a Ticket Vending Machine (a self-service ticket machine), and customers also have the opportunity to purchase a ticket on board trains, and we have no reported wide spread issues with this service."

Passengers who were travelling on the Manchester to Liverpool line and lines connecting Blackpool, Preston and Manchester were unable to buy tickets.

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It is a frequent announcement on the trains back from Manchester to Southport that they are sorry but they cannot issue tickets on this service because of a shortage of machines in Manchester. However, the passengers are so crammed into the two carriages that arrive at peak time – often leaving people stranded – that no one could check or issue tickets anyway. If they had enough machines to collect all the fares they might be able to pay for more carriages so we were not squashed like sardines night after night!

By Squashed traveller