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Smart Tickets

Save paper (and get peace of mind) with smart tickets

See all your options for going paper-free and buying your ticket digitally.

What are smart tickets?

Smart tickets are any kind of digital train ticket. You can load a smart ticket onto a smartcard, keep it on your mobile, or print it at home if you also prefer a physical copy to bring with you on your journey.

Benefits of smart tickets

You can’t lose a smart ticket – they are stored safely and can be easily accessed and managed. You save time by avoiding queues at the station, and changes, cancellations and refunds can be done at any time. You can also sign up to receive updates and alerts about your journey. Plus, going paperless helps the environment.

Types of smart tickets

There are 3 main kinds of smart tickets – smartcards, eTickets and mTickets.

  • Smartcards are reusable, credit-card sized cards where you can store tickets. You can put multiple tickets on a single smartcard. You use your smartcard to tap on a reader to get into or out of a station. Check with your train company to see if they offer smartcards

  • eTickets are digital train tickets that have your travel information contained in a barcode. They are emailed directly to you as a PDF. You can store your ticket on your device or print it

  • mTickets are digital train tickets that have your travel information contained in a barcode. They are stored on your mobile phone, and accessed via an app – for example, your Apple or Google wallet, or a train company or ticket retailer app. They need to be activated before use

Where can I use smart tickets?

Across Great Britain; all train companies will have a smart ticketing option whether it is a product held on a barcode or smartcard.

National Rail Smartcard Manager app

The National Rail Smartcard Manager app lets you load, view and activate your smartcard tickets – all in one place.


No, there is no extra cost involved for a smart ticket.

You must always have a valid ticket to travel and be able to show it. If you can’t show your smartcard or digital ticket, you will be treated the same as any customer who can’t show any other type of ticket, in line with the train company’s ticketless travel policy. However, if you can retrieve your original ticket you might be able to apply for a refund. And remember, eTickets can also be downloaded and printed before you travel.

Yes, you can get the same Railcard discounts on smartcard tickets, eTickets and mTickets.

For smartcards, please contact the train company or retailer that issued your card to report it lost, damaged or stolen. They will cancel your card and arrange to give you a replacement, as well as being able to advise you about recovering any unused tickets stored on your smartcard.

It is not possible for eTickets and mTickets to be lost, damaged or stolen, unless your phone is. The ticket remains in your email, digital wallet or app. You can reprint eTickets, but you can only use them once.

Yes, you can have more than 1 ticket on your smartcard. For example, your annual Season ticket and a Day return.