Bus Museum - Ticket Machines - Almex
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The first machine is 1041 118319 numbered 0218 and comes from Southend Transport. It is a short range model with fares up to £9.99. Registers show total tickets and £1, 10p and 1p units.
It has an additional fare stage selector in the form of a small lever to the left of the fare bands. The plastic handles were easily broken and this machine has been fitted with a more durable metal one.
The ticket shows stage boarded 90, fare paid £1.00, ticket type return, ticket number 967, stage alighting (or route) 18, issued on 06 December 1997.
  A ticket from 0218
This one, 1994 207980 numbered 0484, is from BeeLine who operated in Berkshire in the 1990s.
It is a long range machine giving fares up to £99.99. Registers show total tickets and £10, £1, 10p and 1p units. The pod on the right, below the lever, contains the total ticket counter.
A label reading 'PLEASE TAKE YOUR TICKET' indicates that this machine was used on pay as you enter buses.
The ticket shows fare paid £2.30, ticket type day return, ticket number 450, stage boarded 60, issued on 11 September 2003.
  A ticket from 0484
I have these two examples of the Almex 'A' machine. We had a couple of these on trial shortly after decimailsation in 1971, while I worked on Hants & Dorset at Southampton. The company however remained loyal to Setright until the introduction of electronic machines.
The Almex A uses a plain paper roll to print tickets and automatically cuts the ticket. The fare stage boarded is set by turning a small wheel on the side of the machine. The ticket type is selected by sliding the red band to the desired position. Two green bands select the price in pence while one or two yellow ones select the pounds (in UK money). Some machines, like 0046 and 0218, have two extra green bands to select the fare stage for alighting. The second band, at the far left, is static with a lever which moves up and down.
To the left of this is a paper level indicator, to warn of the need to change the roll. Some machines were fitted with a ticket punch and both of mine have a slot in which prepaid tickets can be cancelled. The sliding bands can be reset by pulling back on the lever. A lock on the right side prevents accidental ticket issue and the ticket roll door can be locked, although most keys including mine seem to have been lost quite quickly.
To change the date you have to open the side of the machine. Strangely, the first ticket printed shows the previous setting of the date. For this reason, a zero ticket needs to be printed at the start of each day.
The door on the side opens to reveal the date selector, the ticket roll and the audit roll.
The door on the side opens to reveal the date selector, the ticket roll and the audit roll. Thie audit roll could be analysed at the garage. Also visible in this picture is the fare stage dial.
The Almex A was carried on a strap by conductors or it could be mounted on the cab door for driver operation.
Almex As are prone to jamming, resulting in the need to completely dismantle and rebuild them. This is well beyond my abilities and I have lost two machines as a result. I haven't been able to find replacement ribbons recently nor a suitable ink for re-inking an old one. Water based inks may damage the mechanism and should not be used. Re-inking is a messy business but is likely the only alternative.
A strap for an Almex.
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