Offline Card Payments

So – there I was – train back from a meeting in London. The wonder of the modern railway. Sure – I was late in both directions – however I was on a super fast train down and back – almost questioning the need for HS2 (given the fact that HS1 for the SouthEastern users is now what – like a pound extra to knock 20 mins off of a journey that is PAINFULLY slow up to the point it changes tracks… yes… lets have have more of that! (or… just let Virgin trains have a look at the route)). I digress…

On the way down I was trying to work through some online study materials with use of either my wireless dongle, or my phone as a hot spot. The coverage was pretty patchy. Curiously tending to drop out in stations… and no rhyme or reason to it otherwise. I am pretty confident that speed is a factor – the trains are the full on tilting types – be they the SuperVoyagers, or the Pendelino’s… they are going to be in and out of cells before they get the chance to acquire. At over 100mph that is going to be tough.

So – as you would imagine – the card payment system for the train manager …the guy who cells the tickets… uses an offline mechanism – as you would expect.

HOWEVER the shop (like trains these have come along a bunch – nice Nero branded beans to coffee unit – not bad) has had an “upgrade” – riiiiight – their card machine connects over the wonder of the t’internet. In fact – it … doesn’t – hence me here, now, writing about this. GENIUS. The little screen saying GPRS and connecting – insistently as we whistled through the countryside past cars on the M1 comparatively pootling along.

So – whoever sold them that solution – BRAVO. Well. Done. May there be a special circle in hell for you where you are stuck on a train a bunch – that’s late, too hot, no toilet, and plenty of food and drink but you have no change. #winning. With so much done right – it just seems a bit of a screaming oversight?

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