Temporary part time barriers at Darlington Railway Station, designed to prevent ticket fraud by ensuring that travellers accessing the platforms have a valid ticket to travel, are to be made permanent in the New Year. This is to be introduced right the way down the East Coast Main Line.
This means that only people intending to board the train will be allowed on the platform. No more touching scenes of tearful goodbyes or cheerful hellos, as young lovers part or meet. No more helping your old gran with her luggage onto the train back home. No more frantic waving to your friends on board as the train pulls in.
When I was a kid you could buy a platform ticket for a few pence to gain access to the platform. Then for many years it was a free-for-all. Now the heavy hand of bureaucracy has spoken and these scenes, so much a part of everyone's memories, as well as countless film scripts, will be no more.
As "Simon" from National Express "Customer Relations" says, "People will no longer be allowed on the platform without a ticket. This is going to be implemented on every station up and down the East Coast line. We do not have any plans to issue a platform ticket in the foreseeable future."
I think this is a real shame: they're taking half the fun and romance out of travelling by train.