Before the advent of computers and electronic ticket machines an army of clerks worked for the railways processing the vast amount of paperwork needed to keep the system running smoothly. It seems there was a form for every transaction and they all had to be filled in and sent off. The clerks issued tickets and looked up long distance fares. They also had to balance their cash takings on every shift in the days long before credit and debit cards.
The porters had more manual jobs. They had to meet every train as it arrived, call out the station name, and collect tickets from arriving passengers. On the early shift they issued tickets for the first trains of the day and lit the waiting room and office fires. They also swept the platforms and station yard. At busy times the clerks helped the porters unload parcels from the guards’ compartments on passenger trains and the vans on parcels trains.