Automation, mechanisation, miniaturisation, and train station; there is a connection.
Over the past 40 year there have been massive changes to the way we live and work. In our field of hot drinks vending the days of the office tea lady are long gone, as have the original wardrobe sized drinks machine where very often your drink selection could have traces of the previous vend. Hot chocolate after someone had just chosen tomato soup was never great! Today our fresh brew systems produce hot drinks of the finest quality from equipment not much larger than a couple of shoe boxes.
Across the country many smaller railway stations have gradually seen their booking offices close or hours severely reduced with sophisticated 24 hour ticket machines accepting cash and cards replacing that familiar human interface! All well and good until the criminal fraternity realise there are potentially rich picking to be had from the cash payments held inside them.
This week two East European members of an organised crime gang were sentenced to three and four years respectively for raiding over fifty train ticket machines across the UK. They are believed to have plundered almost £72,000 in total, which I calculate at around £1500 per machine. But here’s the real rub, £433,000 worth of damaged was caused to ticket vending machines extracting that cash, plus clear inconvenience to rail users whilst they were out of action. Maybe the station staff behind that little glass screen issuing tickets still makes commercial sense on many stations.
Written By: Colin from KSV.