Robot Ticket Agent Books Train Space in 45 Seconds (Sep, 1950)
Robot Ticket Agent Books Train Space in 45 Seconds
ELECTRONICS is now making train reservations at New York’s busy Pennsylvania Station. And the new semi-automatic system gets your space in 45 secondsâ€”the old method sometimes took 45 minutes.
The big saving in time is made by eliminating all direct contact between the ticket seller and the file clerk who actually assigns train space. This clerk now receives teletype requests only for space known to be available, and need not waste time in looking up vacant space and then relaying this information to the ticket seller. The Intelex, developed by International Telephone and Telegraph Corp., is already being used on the Pennsylvania’s New York-Chicago trains. By next year it will handle all reservations.
1. When customer asks for reservation, all clerk has to do is turn dial to code for train and date. He hears recording that lists all space still unsold, thus knpws at once what is available.
2. Ticket seller’s penciled order is then tele-typed in code from ticket office to the central file room in the station. Files contain cards, called “diagrams,” listing space in each car of train. All assignments of space must be made . from diagrams to insure against duplicate sales.
3. Teletyped order automatically makes correct file shoot out of cabinet. Order is also printed on receiving teletypewriter. Clerk, called “distributor,” writes order serial number in diagram, then teletypes back to ticket office the space and car number she has assigned.
4. The 45-second transaction is finished when the ticket seller gets back completed teletype giving information he needs to write and sell ticket. Typical teletype strip is superimposed on photo above. This one says, in code, that T. P. White wants a duplex room to Chicago on the Broadway Limited leaving New York July 1. “XH W9” at end assigns him duplex H in car W9.