It's time to say goodbye to your paper ticket. Switch to smart tickets

What are smart tickets?

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.

Where are smart tickets available?

Use our interactive map to find out if smart tickets are available on your journey

Here is why you should switch to smart tickets

We want to provide you with more flexibility and an enhanced rail experience when you travel by train.

That is why we have been developing a range of new smart ticket technologies to improve the way you buy and use your ticket across the National Rail network.

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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
 

Helpful hints for a smooth smartcard experience

  • 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?
  • Always remember to tap your smartcard or scan your mobile tickets at the start and end of your journey
  • If a smart ticket reader is not available ask a member of staff, who will be able to assist you
  • On board, simply show your smartcard or mobile ticket to the train crew for them to scan.

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.

Helpful hints for a smooth mobile ticket experience

  • Save time now by creating an account with the train operator you use most frequently
  • Be prepared, and download a rail app to store your mobile tickets in one place
  • 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
  • Always remember to scan your mobile tickets at the start and end of your journey
  • If a smart ticket reader is not available ask a member of staff, who will be able to assist you
  • On board, simply show your mobile ticket to the train crew for them to scan.           
Specimen image of an eTicket on a mobile device

 

Smart Tickets Questions & Answers