I now have two gold cards in my pocket. The existing Cambridge - London Terminals one and a new King's Cross Thameslink - City Thameslink (Route NOT UNDERGROUND). The new ticket is £384, which works out significantly cheaper than either the new £1.80 rip off paper singles (they were £1.50 last year, so £1 with evening discount) or the existing and unchanged £1.50 oyster singles. In fact I only need to use it for 3.5 days a week to be better off. So much for oyster being cheaper.
The only downside is that I will have to start convincing staff to open the gate again when it inevitably demagnetises.
Where do you keep your ticket for it to keep demagnetising? I haven't had a gold card demagnetise yet in 5 years and it lives next to my oyster card, debit cards etc in my wallet. You must have a strong magnet close to where you're keeping it.
It's the convenient magnetic closures on the pockets and wind flap of my coat. Despite keeping my tickets in pocket at the end of the sleeve they occasionally brush against at magnets and hence die. Strangely I've never had a problem with New York metrocards or credit cards, which must be made with a more robust material. Still better than dropping my wallet through forgetting to do up zips though.
Well if any gate is a bit dirty it's probably the ones at KCM. Sometimes they don't even open immediately when the reader accepts a ticket, so the passenger stands there looking confused for about 15 seconds before the gate finally decides to open. I suspect that there is a leak in one of the air pipes.
I'm not a million% convinced that tickets "go bad" as a direct result of magnetics on cloths/ bags etc.
If I may, a story from the earlier days of plastic cards and hole in the wall cash machines.
A friend was issued such a card, used it a couple of times after which it stopped working for no apparent reason.
He naturally got in touch with his bank who issued a replacement. The same thing happened.
This scenario happened a number of times until eventually the bank asked if they could send someone to spend a normal working day with him.
The bank employee met up with their customer and accompanied him to his place of work, upon going in to his office he took his jacket off and hung it up, at which point the bank investigator burst out laughing asn asked if that's where our man normally hung his jacket, to which the reply was "Yes".
He then pointed out to him that he was hanging his jacket on the end of the mainframe computer and that the electrical signals were wiping the magnetic strip on the card.
(It was a long time ago so the details are vague, but you get the gist I hope).
As a schoolboy, when I visited the "big city LU stations" like Chancery Lane, in the late '50's - early '60's I was gobsmacked on the rare occasions I saw these ticket machines being reloaded with a whopping big roll of card......
ps: Bit of irony / dry humour here as most folks say: "Chancery WHERE?" I remember the introduction of the rear, brown, magnetic coating on the tickets.... then after about 1974, I fell out of touch with LU ticketing, and what the heck is an Oyster Card ?