Train operator Northern announces plans to replace cardboard tickets with smartcards

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Cardboard train tickets could be done away with as Northern rolls out a plan to replace tickets with smartcards.

Transport for the North, working in partnership with Northern and TransPennine Express, will this week begin a pilot of the scheme – known as Smart on Rail.

Train operator Northern announces plans to replace cardboard tickets with smartcards

Train operator Northern announces plans to replace cardboard tickets with smartcards

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Customers’ tickets will be changed from paper to smartcard, starting with passengers buying season tickets on a smartcard at a ticket office.

This has been enabled with the upgrade of station ticket offices across the north in readiness for the move to smartcards and will eventually support contactless, capped payments right across the bus, tram and rail network.

The pilot scheme will be run on rail lines between Hull, Scarborough and Malton, before being rolled out into Lancashire and across the network.

Programme Director, Alastair Richards, said: “Working in collaboration with Northern and TransPennine Express has allowed us to develop and begin delivery of a Smart on Rail project across the rail network in the North.

“The launch of the smartcard project is a vital first step in the delivery of an even more ambitious, integrated smart travel system for the whole of the North.

“We hope it is well received by customers and sets the standard for future smart innovations.”

Passengers will soon be able to buy online and load tickets on to their smartcards at gatelines without having to queue at ticket machines or ticket offices.

Mark Powles, Commercial Director, Northern said: “This trial is an exciting development in improving our customers’ overall experience.

“Smart tickets will modernise the way our customers buy tickets, adding greater convenience and introducing significant benefits for our season ticket holders.”

This is the first phase of Transport for the North’s Smart Travel programme.