Earlier this month Yosef Sa'ar forwarded these images and asked,
"Have you ever heard of platform tokens?" I hadn't, and he kindly provided some additional information per Wikipedia.
A platform ticket is a type of rail ticket issued by some railway systems, permitting the bearer to access the platforms of a railway station, but not to board and use any train services. It allows people to walk with their friends, associates and loved ones all the way to the passenger car at stations where the general public is not admitted to platforms. Trainspotters can also purchase platform tickets and enjoy their trainspotting hobbies. They vary in type: some may only allow limited access and a sharply limited time of usage, while others may have totally free access to enter the platform area. During peak usage hours or rush hours, the platforms may only be available for passengers who intend to travel.
Platform tickets emerged in the 19th century. At that time passenger coaches had no internal corridor, as they have today. In order to inspect tickets, conductors had to move along the outside of the train while it was in motion. Although trains moved much slower than today, there were numerous accidents. Therefore, railway operators began to check the tickets on the platform before passengers boarded the train. Passing these checkpoints required either a ticket for travel or the platform ticket, which was only valid for access to the platform. After railcars were changed, people and conductors could move from carriage to carriage so checking the tickets outside the train was no longer necessary. Most railway transport systems abolished this in the second half of the 20th century. As soon as there were no more checks, the platform ticket was unnecessary and generally was abandoned. However, as there are now automated ticket barriers, railfans and trainspotters buy these tickets to get past the barriers and onto the platform
"In Serbia several bus and at least one rail station platform tokens were used. Same usage as platform tickets in the Wikipedia description above.
The images are of tokens listed in the Ranko Mandic book, "Token Catalog of the Countries of Former Yugoslavia".
"If you are into Harry Potter, I suppose this is also a platform token. My daughter says Platform 9-3/4 is where you board the Hogwarts Express, the train Harry takes to Hogwarts School. Have a scary ride."
For all your Harry Potter Platform 9-3/4 merch, see:
To read the complete article, see:
Wayne Homren, Editor
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