Smart week banner link to benefits of smart tickets link to operators page link to smart map link to calendar of events PDF

 

We want to provide you with more flexibility and an enhanced rail experience when you travel by train, which is why we have been developing a range of new smart ticket technologies to improve the way you buy and use your tickets across the National Rail network.

 

Smart tickets are a great way to make train travel more convenient. A smart ticket is a rail ticket that can be loaded onto smartcards, mobile phones in the form of a mobile ticket or printed at home. This way you can buy your ticket in a way that best meets your needs and travel requirements.

 

Here is why you should switch to smart tickets

 

smart ticketing banner

Smart Ticket Types

Smartcards - What is a smartcard?

A smartcard is a credit card sized card that stores rail tickets on a microchip and is used to tap in and out of stations. They are available online from train operators websites and at stations. Smartcards are durable and reliable for regular use over many years.

How do I use a smartcard?

Set up and use your card in 4 easy steps:

  1. Register for your smartcard
  2. Choose delivery to smartcard when you purchase tickets 
  3. Tap your smartcard on a reader to load tickets, go through gates and start your journey
  4. Use your card again and again. You can have multiple tickets on your card at any one time.

 

You will start to see the smartcard symbol

 

 

 

 

This symbol represents where you can:

  • Purchase tickets for your smartcard
  • Load pre-purchased tickets
  • Tap to begin and end your journey

 

 

Mobile Tickets - What is a mobile ticket?

There are two types of mobile ticket:

  • eTickets - An eTicket is a train ticket that is emailed directly to you
  • mTickets - An mTicket is a train ticket that is held on your mobile device in a rail travel app.

Both types include a barcode that holds your ticket information, which is scanned to validate it for travel.

 

How do I use an eTicket?

  1. Purchase your tickets online and select the eTicket delivery option
  2. Open tickets from the email on your phone or print at home
  3. Scan in and out at the ticket gate to go through and start your journey.

How do I use an mTicket? 

  1. Purchase your tickets online and select the mTicket delivery option
  2. Open tickets in your mobile app and when you are ready to travel, activate your mTicket
  3. Scan in and out at the ticket gate to go through and start your journey.
generic eticket image

 

Helpful hints for a smooth smart ticketing experience

  1. Smartcards can take up to 5 days to arrive by post. Why not register now and have it ready for when you want to use it?
  2. Save time now by creating an account with the train operator you use most frequently
  3. Be prepared: download a rail app or digital wallet to store your mobile tickets in one place
  4. When using mobile tickets ensure your phone is charged and your screen is in good condition so that the barcode can be scanned and validated
  5. Always remember to tap your smartcard or scan your mobile tickets at the start and end of your journey
  6. If a smart ticket reader is not available ask a member of staff, who will be able to assist you
  7. On board, simply show your smartcard or mobile ticket to the train crew for them to scan.

How are Smart Tickets different?

 

It's simple but significant: Smart Tickets are held on your phone (in an app or an email) or on a smartcard. Tickets can be tracked from creation through to use, allowing train operators to understand their customers better and offer a more personalised and enhanced service.

Are Smart Tickets available for my journey?

 

To see what ticket types are available for your journey please visit our smart ticketing map to enter your journey details and you will be presented with the ticket options available to you.

To see what Smart Tickets are available by train operator, please visit the operators site whose services you wish to use, where you will find detailed and local information

How do I buy Smart Tickets?

 

To buy smart tickets, please begin planning your journey and when making your purchase you will be presented with the smart ticket options available to you. 

Barcode tickets
Customers can also buy barcode tickets via participating apps or online. In some cases, barcode tickets can also be bought from a train guard, some ticket machines and some ticket offices. Barcode eTickets are delivered as a pdf document attached to an email and can be stored in your phone wallet, copied or printed. Barcode mTickets are delivered to your app and stored there.

Smartcard Tickets
To use smartcard tickets you first need to hold a smartcard. Register for a smartcard with the train operator you use most frequently and this will be sent to you in the post. Tickets purchased at the time of registering for a smartcard are pre-loaded and contained within the card when it arrives. Smartcard holders buying subsequent tickets can select smartcard as the delivery option and the tickets must be loaded onto your smartcard via smartcard-enabled collection points (including: ticket gates, ticket vending machines, ticket office machines and platform validators), at the station or certain retail outlets. Simply tap to load and you are good to go, it’s that easy.

How do I use Smart Tickets?

 

Barcode Tickets - Scan it 
Scan your ticket on the barcode reader at the gate line, or present to rail staff when requested. 
mTickets are barcode tickets that are stored in your app and require activation before you travel. To activate your ticket, tap activate in the app and your ticket will be ready for use. Activated tickets will appear in full colour.

** eTickets do not require activation before use **

Smartcard Tickets - Tap it 
Once your ticket is loaded, tap your smartcard at the gate line or platform validator or present to rail staff when requested.  Customers are advised to allow up to 2 hours between purchasing online tickets and collecting them at the station. Smartcard tickets bought at ticket vending machines or a ticket office are loaded instantaneously and can be used for immediate travel.

How do I register for a smartcard?

 

To use smartcard tickets you first need to hold a smartcard. Register for a smartcard with the train operator  you use most frequently and this will be sent to you in the post. Tickets purchased at the time of registering for a smartcard are pre-loaded and contained within the card when it arrives.

Smartcard holders buying subsequent tickets can select smartcard as the delivery option and the tickets must be loaded onto your smartcard via smartcard-enabled collection points (including: ticket gates, ticket vending machines, ticket office machines and platform validators), at the station or certain retail outlets. Simply tap to load and you are good to go, it’s that easy.

Can multiple people travel using the same Smart Ticket?

 

Barcode
Yes, you can buy tickets for a group and store in the same place. Some mTickets can be transferred between apps on different phones but cannot exist on more than one device at the same time. Check with your app provider for instructions on how to do this.

Smartcard

No. Smartcards are linked to individuals for their use only.

Can I transfer my current season ticket to a Smart Ticket?

 

Yes, participating train operators will be able to swap existing season tickets onto smartcards or supply as a barcode. Train operators are actively encouraging the transfer of season tickets to smart as they are more reliable, less prone to damage and delivered digitally.

Can Smart Ticket media hold multiple tickets for different journeys?

 

Barcode
Yes.

Smartcard
Yes, however there is a limit to the number of tickets (usually 5) that can be held on the smartcard at any one time. Please check with the train operator or retailer that provided your smartcard.

What should I do if my phone battery dies or screen is cracked?

 

Barcode
You must always hold a valid ticket to travel and must be able to show it. If you are unable to show a valid barcode, it will be treated the same as any other customer unable to provide any other type of ticket, in line with the train company’s ticketless travel policy. However, if you are able to retrieve your original tickets it may be possible to apply for a refund. 

Note: eTickets can be downloaded and printed before travel.

Do I need to be connected to Wi-Fi/4G to use a Smart Ticket?

 
Barcode
You will need to be connected to receive your ticket, but not to scan it or show it and not to activate mTickets.

Smartcard
No. Your ticket is loaded onto your smartcard without the need for you to be connected to WiFi/4G

Can I get a refund or make changes to my ticket?

 

Barcode
You will need to check the Terms & Conditions of your ticket as to whether it is eligible for a refund or is flexible. Please note, mTickets that have been activated are non-refundable.

Smartcard
You will need to check the Terms & Conditions of your ticket as to whether it is eligible for a refund or is flexible.

Is there a charge for a Smartcard?

 

In most cases, your first smartcard is provided free of charge. Some train operators charge a nominal fee for replacement cards.

Can I still use my Railcard, including Gold Card, and get discounts on my tickets?

 

Yes. Railcard discounts apply in the same way as for paper tickets. You will still need to travel with your Railcard for the discount to be valid.

How do I get a replacement Smart Ticket if it is damaged, lost or stolen?

 

Barcode
Barcode tickets stored electronically will not be able to be damaged, lost or stolen, unless your phone is. The ticket will continue to exist within your email, phone wallet or app. eTickets can be reprinted but only used once.


Smartcard
Please contact the train operator or retailer that issued your card to report your card as damaged, lost or stolen. Your card will be cancelled, to avoid misuse, and they will make arrangements for a replacement card to be provided. You will need to speak to the issuer about recovering unused tickets that were stored on your card.

What happens if I am unable to show my ticket?

 

You must always hold a valid ticket to travel. If you can't show a ticket, you will need to buy another ticket and may be charged a penalty fare. Be aware that smartcard tickets bought online must be loaded to your smartcard at smartcard-enabled collection points at the station or certain retail outlets. eTickets can be printed or scanned from your mobile device; mTickets require activating before use.

What do I do if a ticket gate or validator doesn’t recognise my Smart Ticket?

 

Please show your smart ticket to station staff and ask them for assistance.

What happens if my Smart Ticket isn't downloaded on to my smartcard?

 

Smartcard tickets bought online are loaded onto your smartcard via smartcard-enabled collection points at the station or other certain outlets.

Customers are advised to allow 2 hours between purchasing online tickets and collecting them. Tap your smartcard at the gate, ticket vending machine or platform validator to download your tickets. Please ask station staff for assistance.

Do I need a smartcard for each operator?

 

No, you can buy tickets from any participating operator for use on your smartcard.

Are tickets the same price regardless of being smart or otherwise?

 

Yes, the cost of your journey will be the same regardless of the way you receive and present your ticket. Smart Tickets are the same price as paper tickets (not withstanding any promotional fares that a train operator may choose to offer).

How can I buy a Smart Ticket for someone else?

 

mTickets

The person travelling will need the same app you are using, and when you purchase tickets give the name of the person travelling instead of your own. Then forward the booking confirmation email to whoever is travelling. They should then download the mTicket to the app on their own device.

 eTickets

Simply forward the email to the traveller who can open the eTicket attachment on their phone or print off a paper copy.

Smartcard

The person travelling will need to have their own smartcard. When you purchase tickets you need to select to fulfil the ticket to the travelling person’s smartcard.