“On track” to a world record ticket-collecting teen attracts attention from rail supplier

While many parents will be complaining that their teenagers are ‘going off the rails’, one 18-year-old student from Huddersfield is using the train track to his advantage, after deciding he wants to break a new world record by collecting the highest number of used magnetic train tickets.

Hearing of the challenge that James Connelly has set himself, Paragon ID, the leading supplier of magnetic tickets to train operating companies throughout the UK, was inspired to contact the Huddersfield teenager to hear more about how he intends to break the world record.

Hearing about his feat, the company has committed to working with the young man to help him to fulfil his dream.

Before tickets go paperless next year, James hopes to increase his collection to more than current record holder, Frank Helker from Germany, who was awarded the title back in 2004 after managing to amass an impressive 163,235 tickets.

Printed rail tickets have been in use since 1843, after Thomas Edmondson invented it when working as a station master on the Newcastle and Carlisle railway. As smart ticketing is set to roll out next year, Paragon ID want to mark this occasion by championing the young man and his record breaking dream.

This year alone, James has managed to collect around 70,000 tickets. With a specialist company who have a worldwide reach by his side, he is bound to reach his goal and take the title as a world record holder.

When approached by Paragon ID, James Connelly was taken aback. He said: “I never thought I’d attract attention from such a big company and I was really happy when they said that they wanted to help out!

“It was around May 2014 that I started my collection with about 50 tickets from various journeys and I thought that it’d be good idea to try to break a world record. It just continued from there. Who knows? With a bit of luck, I could be making it into the Guinness Book of World Records.”

Key account director for Paragon ID, Sarah McLaughlin, said: “I noticed James’ story and simply couldn’t resist getting in touch to hear more about it. As a leading ticketing provider that has been manufacturing magnetic products for the rail industry for more than 100 years, we are certainly well placed to help out.

“As passengers and train operators move towards smart products, we are pleased James is marking the transition from ‘tangerine tickets’ in such a visible and celebratory way. We wish him all the very best of luck!”

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