Adult Rail Date to Date

Page last modified/checked: Friday, 4 October 2002
The Victorian Railways had long offered monthly, quarterly, half yearly and yearly tickets as a convenience to its regular patrons. These ranged from thick cardboard to a small metal token. They did, however, have one thing in common - they were only available to cover a calendar period.

The new zone system bought entirely new and simplified procedures to the issue of longer duration tickets. A new, standardised ticket known as "Rail Date to Date" was provided. Note, however, that the ticket is headed "Adult Periodical". This was filled out in triplicate - the bottom thin yellow card was the travel coupon and this was issued in a yellow plastic Vicrail wallet. (Some stations used up supplies of older blue wallets). The format of the new date to date tickets was based closely on a series of other "blank utility" cards in use since 1980. In this case, however, the two boxes previously necessary to show the number of sections was now increased to three for the zones. Rail staff were advised that these tickets were temporary - for the remainder of 1981 only.

Rail date to date was available for a minimum of 10 weeks to a maximum of 52 weeks, commencing from any date. The fare was calculated on multiples of a "weekly unit rate" as follows:
One zone - $6.80, Two adjacent zones - $8.50, Three zones - $10.20, Plus two - $2.40, Plus four - $4.80, Central Area - $3.40.

There was no reference to these new tickets or arrangements in the brochure describing the zone system. It is assumed periodical ticket holders were informed by station staff and the new application form at the time of renewal. Lastly, existing periodical ticket holders could upgrade to the new date to date at no extra cost and take advantage of the fact that it was available on all rail services within the zones specified.

Rail Date to Date for 1982-1983

Commencing in early January 1982, rail date to date was supplied as a more durable plastic card with blue print and raised, black travel details. These were manufactured by Jenkins Security and were standard credit card size.

These tickets went through a "metamorphosis" in 1983 and are shown again in our section "Formation of the Metropolitan Transit Authority".

Periodical Pass

This mysterious ticket is virtually unknown and a used example will never be found. For station staff, it was a "saviour". Often an application for a date to date ticket could not be processed on the spot (peak hour queues would only grow longer). An application form was submitted and the passenger would receive a periodical pass at the cost of the return fare to their destination. This cost was then credited against the ticket applied for. The date to date would be prepared during the course of the day and the passenger, on surrender of the periodical pass that evening, would pay the balance and be issued with their new date to date ticket.

Periodical passes were last used during the zone system when all stations held a single, blank issue and some busier locations retained their printed issue to Melbourne. The very last supplies were printed in blue ink. As date to date tickets could be renewed up to 14 days in advance, the use of these passes would have been limited. It is not known what arrangements applied when plastic rail date to date were introduced.