Whilst replying in the August issue of the CILT magazine Focus, to an earlier correspondent, Eric Stuart CMILT (Chartered Member of the Institute of Logistics and Transportation [UK]) referenced this from the 1960s about travel on the Far North Line. The mention of the travelling ticket inspector (TTI) knowing virtually every passenger shows that at least one thing hasn't changed!
'(A) survey on the 6.40am from Inverness to the north in about 1962... gives a fascinating insight into what had probably held good over decades. The train consisted of nine vehicles... Two out of the four vans were brakes, one of which was used by the guard as a working or road van, from which he could pick up and drop off parcels and so on along the way and do his "admin". There was a lot of mail to be put off. The load with the guard included two calves, four boxes of day-old chicks, a stubborn goat (who refused to leave the train) and a sheepdog pup, the last presumably on its way to its first place of employment. The guard was thus kept very busy. Passenger accommodation was a Brake Second and a Composite for Wick and the same for Thurso, plus a... Restaurant Car... which at that time was transferred to the southbound working at Kinbrace .. . There was a TTI and the... survey included a report of some of the conversations between him and the numerous "regulars" breakfasting in the Restaurant Car.
The TTI seemed to know virtually every passenger, they him, and he was an intermediary between them and other people in the area! The TTI would be available for basic revenue protection, but | suspect he was also there to assist the busy guard, take note of the request stops where passengers wished to alight (to advise the loco crew of same) and collect any fares as necessary. But this was a line where staff had to work well together. The surveyor of this trip commented that the railway revenue from the non-passenger complement far outweighed that from the human cargo!'
The full letter about Driver Only Operation is worth reading.