A little bit of history: cash railways (not the usual type of railway I post about)

I’d been told this segment was coming up on Coxy’s Big Break, and it finally aired on Sunday: a look at the cash railways at the shop I worked at part-time as a teenager, Hattams in Elsternwick.

Apparently these are some of the few still working cash railways in Victoria. They were common in medium to larger shops early last century, as a way for money to be relayed to a central cashier, and change sent back.

For more on cash railways, check the Cash Railway web site.

  • Completely unrelated: The Age has an article today about new Myki gates being no faster than the hybrid Metcard/Myki “frankenbarriers” they replaced. This is based on this great blog post from earlier in the week by Marcus Wong. Well worth a read.
If you enjoyed this post, please consider leaving a comment or subscribing to the RSS feed to have future articles delivered to your feed reader.

3 thoughts on “A little bit of history: cash railways (not the usual type of railway I post about)

  1. A car parts place in Elizabeth St (near Queensberry) called W.L. Ryan’s had one of these systems up until some time in the mid eighties, I think. It was fascinating, but very slow.

  2. Cooool. There was one in an antiques store somewhere on the New England tablelenads near Armidale (NSW) in the mid 1990s but I don’t know if it was functional.

    Good work Marcus.

    And I can personally confirm that the TfL barriers (Oyster card) are much, MUCH quicker than Myki or frankenbarriers. No hard data but just back from London with a lot of tube use they seemed to take about 1.5s per person, most of that walking through rather than reading/processing the card. I worked it out by counting 2 people every 3 seconds, consistently. Pretty much as soon as the gate started to open the reader was ready for the next person, and confirmed the reading in less than half a second. You really don’t have to pause at all.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>