There was a time when train travel was the height of luxury, reserved for the refined and elegant members of the aristocracy who would consult their Bradshaw's Railway Guides for the best route to the south coast of France.
Now, you usually find yourself jammed into the armpit of a fellow disgruntled commuter who’s eating a disgusting pie and listening to terrible a tish-tish-tish sound coming from their smartphone.
It’s no good seeking solace in your own smartphone by trying to read V3 – signal dropped out ages ago and you won’t be back online for another 25 minutes, when you finally reach the civilisation of the next station.
However, help is at hand. Network Rail is promising superfast mobile broadband connections for 70 percent of rail travellers by 2019 while East Coast trains is also working to improve its WiFi. At V3 we are hugely supportive of these plans. In fact, we want more technology improvements on our railways. So we’ve put together our list of improvements for railway technology, which would probably cost about the same as HS2.
10. Better touchscreen terminals for tickets
In some ways railway stations were ahead of their time with the introduction of touchscreen ticket dispensers. However, much like the Victorian-era network, the technology behind these machines is now woefully out of date.
Now, using these machines is a deeply frustrating experience as they fail to register your finger when it presses the keys, or require you to press a few inches to the side of a button to select it. Which destination you end up buying a ticket for is anyone’s guess.
However, touchscreens are now part of our lives and we’re all comfortable using them. We’d love to see slicker, faster and easier-to-use touchscreen terminals at stations. It should help cut down on the huge queues for tickets too.
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