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Home > Archives > Self Serve Ticketing kiosk, late 1980s.

Self Serve Ticketing kiosk, late 1980s.

Color photograph of a passenger using the new Self ServeTicketing kiosk at New York Penn Station, c. late 1980s.

Self Serve Ticketing kiosk, late 1980s.
According to the January 1980 issue of Amtrak NEWS, automated ticketing machine prototypes went into operation at Washington Union Station and Philadelphia 30th Street Station in summer 1980. They had an 8086 processor and green screen display. Activated with a credit card, the INSTA Ticket machines initially dispensed coach tickets for unreserved Northeast Corridor trains; a passenger with a reservation could also enter the reservation number to retrieve tickets.  In early 1987, Amtrak introduced improved Self ServeTicketing kiosks in heavily-trafficked stations such as Washington, Philadelphia, New York and Los Angeles. In this photo, the sign above the screen lists the cities where Self ServeTicketing  was available. Customers could use the machine to buy a reserved coach seat on the Metroliner Service; unreserved coach seat to any of the cities listed on the machine; and one-way, round-trip tickets. A ticket could also be obtained for a previously made reservation. Photo from the collection of John Carten.