I was surprised to see that what was once York Railway Station’s main ticket office now houses a Sainsbury supermarket ‘Local’.

Over many years we have had first class service by the staff of this office (and King’s Cross).

I understand that at York the ticket office has moved and will remain open, but the proposal of mass-closure of the majority of railway ticket offices elsewhere is unbelievable.

Real people cannot be replaced by iPhones, computers and the internet for resolving problems that always arise.

My wife and I have just travelled to Germany by train and two days before return departure we saw - to our consternation - our tickets from Cologne to Brussels did not include seat reservations.

We tried the internet and calling by ‘phone but, after much stressful time wastage, decided to visit the ticket office at Bonn Hauptbahnhof (station) as standing for several hours (as a family member had to recently from King’s Cross to York) is not an option at our age, or acceptable.

Only one man was on duty but he was absolutely brilliant and worth a thousand phones and computers.

He spoke excellent English, renewed our tickets, showed us the plan of the carriage and then seated us opposite the luggage rack so we could observe our luggage for security. What a star!

Keith Massey,