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Posted by ticketmachines on October 18, 2009 Slideshow

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5 Comments

Reply Andrew Jeffreys
5:04 PM on November 30, 2010 
[KK 69521]


Were there that many SMD machines in circulation in the first place? I suspect that like the "plastic Gibsons" they weren't really replaced as such - if they were being used by conductors, they probably got their Gibsons back (as the conductors at Bromley (central bus) garage where the PDRs were trialled in crew format.

The same book does refer to LCBS buying some second hand Almexes and "a few Setrights" from Luton Corporation, presumably these were non-standard after United Counties took Luton over.

Another thought or two - is it known where the SMDs (and plastic Gibsons) were used in service?


The TELs were initially used at Harlow before ending up at Godstone. I believe the SMDs were at Watford area garages. The *fact* AFAIK that the PDRs were by far the largest contingent of the mag-tape trial machines rather suggests that they were LT's preferred choice in the first place - hence the subsequent orders for standard Almex A machines.

Off-topic here at least, but didn't LCBS pass on some Setrights when Stevenage area route 44 was transferred to UCOC in the latter 1970s?
Reply KK 69521
2:14 PM on November 30, 2010 
Andrew Jeffreys says...
It is known that the Setright contribution to the magnetic tape trials was spectacularly unsuccessful, but it is not clear exactly when the ill-fated SMDs were replaced and what replaced them whether more PDRs, standard Model A machines or even Setrights.


Were there that many SMD machines in circulation in the first place? I suspect that like the "plastic Gibsons" they weren't really replaced as such - if they were being used by conductors, they probably got their Gibsons back (as the conductors at Bromley (central bus) garage where the PDRs were trialled in crew format.

LT then LCBS were buying new Almex As. in the late 60s / early 70s. The David Stewart book "London Country" (Capital Transport, 1984) refers to Almex As gradually replacing Setrights on Green Line services, the Setrights being cascaded to conductors to replace Gibsons, which had all been replaced by 1974.

By the end of the 70s, the remaining conductors had been issued with Almex As and the Setrights withdrawn.

The same book does refer to LCBS buying some second hand Almexes and "a few Setrights" from Luton Corporation, presumably these were non-standard after United Counties took Luton over.

Another thought or two - is it known where the SMDs (and plastic Gibsons) were used in service?
Reply Andrew Jeffreys
3:57 PM on November 22, 2010 
I'm unaware of the exact quantities of the 'PDR' machines or whether there was more than one batch but 00534 seems to fit the bill of being a PDR from the lack of the trip wheel facility, something I'd overlooked in my original comment. It is known that the Setright contribution to the magnetic tape trials was spectacularly unsuccessful, but it is not clear exactly when the ill-fated SMDs were replaced and what replaced them whether more PDRs, standard Model A machines or even Setrights.
Reply KK 69521
4:26 PM on November 19, 2010 
00534 - think this also would have been a PDR but possibly a later batch. 00551 is currently in my possession, and it appears to be a PDR that was later rebuilt into standard Almex casing.

It no longer prints the border round the fare value.

The machines that stayed as PDRs kept the border round the fare (or at least mine - 0155 - and the other ones I've seen did), but were adapted to print X Yp rather than X/Y - interestingly the "/" bar was / is on the pence print plate, and only numbers 1 to 9 were re-made, so with a very minor tweak, it is possible to get it to print pre-decimal tickets, but only X/10 and X/11 values...
Reply Andrew Jeffreys
4:47 PM on November 4, 2009 
Interesting to see that the machine number on the middle ticket is slightly taller than on the tickets to left and right. 00014 and 00064 are presumably from the experimental mag-tape batch of Almexes evaluated by LT from 1967; but 00534 might be from a different batch - perhaps of standard Almex A machines?