Official Railway Guide "Coupon Station"

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Official Railway Guide "Coupon Station"

Postby rhallanger » Wed Aug 29, 2007 11:53 pm

I was looking at an old Official Railway Guide and several locations have a "+" next to the location. It says "coupon" station. What did that mean.

On older ORG's I also saw that there were several that had a special symbol for telegraph office. Why was that worthy of noting in the guide back then? I noticed many more telegraph offices than coupon stations.

Anyone care to share a little history?
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Postby BaltOhio » Thu Sep 06, 2007 5:12 pm

My memory is extremely hazy, but I believe "coupon station" meant a station that could sell interline tickets, which came in multiple "coupons" depending on the number of railroads to be used. Not every station could handle this kind of function, since it required a considerably more extensive file of tariffs plus some expertise in constructing a rate.

Telegraph stations were pretty much what the name implies, indicating a station that could send telegrams, back in the days before e-mail, cell phones, or even cheap long distance calls.
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Postby JimBoylan » Mon Sep 10, 2007 8:39 pm

BaltOhio wrote:"coupon station" meant a station that could sell interline tickets, which came in multiple "coupons" depending on the number of railroads to be used.
Corect. The autobiography "The Situation in Flushing (Mich.)" has a chapter about the Grand Trunk Western agent who kept spoiling coupon sets as he wrote a round trip ticket over Chicago to the West Coast. When he ran out of 6 coupon strips, he changed the reservations to use an extra road and started spoiling 8 coupon strips. The process continued through more and more complications and longer strips of coupons until he got one done without a mistake. The passenger, who didn't realize how large a country she inhabited, spent about a month traveling on her round trip!

At that time before about 1920, I think coupon tickets were in strips, instead of individual pages stapled into a booklet.

You will find ads in the "Guide" by some railroads that only one coupon is needed between any 2 stations on their "family" of lines, while other roads will warn that a separate coupon is needed on either side of a gateway station or on a subsidiary road!
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Re: Official Railway Guide "Coupon Station"

Postby Mitch » Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:55 pm

Coupon books were a post WWII invention by Rand McNally when they were in the ticket printing business. Not every road used them. The South Shore sold strip interline tickets up to Amtrak day.

Give me that old "Association Ticket Paper" made by La Monte and Sons of Nutley, New Jersey.
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Re: Official Railway Guide "Coupon Station"

Postby younger » Sun Sep 19, 2010 6:15 pm

In February of 1972, some stations, at least, (such as the L&N station Birmingham, Ala.)were still using strip tickets (Southern had abandoned them in the fifties). I bought a RT ticket from Birmingham to San Francisco (and did not go through San Francisco) which gave me a circle tour west of Chicago: Birmingham-Louisville-Chicago-LA(via SFe)-San Diego-LA-Portland-Seattle-Minneapolis-Chicago-Louisville-Birmingham; twelve coupons in all. On that trip, I also made use of the old railroad tariffs which gave me a free side trip to San Diego.
I am glad that Amtrak no longer uses the airline form that it was using in the eighties.

When your travel was interline, it was possible to go to a coupon station and buy a ticket from your non-coupon origin to your destination; your trip had to have at least one leg on the road which issued the ticket.
Also, there was a time when there was a note in the Guide showing stations with public telephones.
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