I used to have a habit of holding my train ticket in my mouth while I transferred my wallet to my backpack. This habit appeared to be quite harmless until last week. For some reason, the ticket stayed in my mouth a little bit longer and became damp with saliva. Perhaps the ticket was extra tasty?
My saliva had softened the paper, and consequently the ticket corner fell off. I was left with a slightly damaged ticket. Unfortunately the expiry date of the ticket had gone but I was sure the ticket would be accepted by the machines. There was quite a lot of the front edge remaining, and the magnetic strip was intact.
Luck was against me. It seems that the ticket machines grip the ticket on the corner that was missing. No matter how much I jiggled the ticket, it would not be accepted. I went to the ticket office to see if I could get a replacement but was told this is not possible and all I had to do was show the ticket to the City Rail main at the gate.
Going home wasn’t too difficult as the City Rail staff dont mind people trying to get on to the train with a dodgy ticket. I just had to show my ticket, mumble something out it being damaged and I was waved throught.
It was a different situation when I exited at North Sydney or at a City station. I showed my ticket to the ticket gate attendant. He studied it carefully, looked at me suspiciously then swiped the ticket in a machine to read the magnetic strip.
After a few days of this I decided to end my morning journey at Waverton station (no ticket machines) and walk to the office. This turned out to be a refreshing morning walk away from the crowdss.
The moral of the story? City Rail tickets are not meant to be eaten, tasted or put into the mouth. They are only made of paper and need to be treated with great care.
I now treat my flimsy paper ticket with respect and keep it away from moisture.