UK RAIL STATIONS have been hit by an IT glitch that led to travellers being unable to purchase tickets during the morning rush hour on Thursday.
The displays showed that the machines had "no online connectivity" which meant that they had no way of authorising card details, the BBC reports.
The network of machines are operated by the individual franchises, but share a common infrastructure from German software company Scheidt and Bachmann.
At present, it's not clear what caused the outage, but Manchester's Metrolink tram service was affected alongside national rail companies including Southern, Great Northern, Greater Anglia, Thameslink and Scotrail. These are the ones confirmed so far, but it looks likely that if one was down, they were all down.
The Rail Delivery Group, the umbrella organisation of train companies, confirmed that the service was fixed at just before 9am, but not before thousands of commuters got caught in the mess.
Some complained that although they were at an unstaffed station, they were fined for not having a valid ticket, which carries a charge of £20. Of course, someone will always try it on in these situations.
Meanwhile, Thameslink, which also has to deal with the ongoing redevelopment of London Bridge making its route a daily roulette wheel said: "We apologise to customers who were unable to buy their tickets using their credit cards this morning due to a technical problem with some of our ticket machines.
"The problem is now fixed and all our machines are able to accept credit cards. Anyone who was unable to buy a ticket as a result of the problem will not be penalised."
Despite the assertion that the problem has been resolved, there are still lots of angry travellers using Twitter to report problems with card payments across the country. As is so often the case in these situations, station staff may need to switch the machines off and on again. µ
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