Smartcard

An handy alternative to paper Season tickets

Our Smartcard makes buying, renewing, and traveling with Season Tickets simple. You’ll no longer need to queue to collect tickets – just tap your Smartcard onto the reader at our ticket gates or ticket machines.

What is a Smartcard?

  • A credit card sized card that stores Season tickets
  • Can be loaded with weekly, Flexi Season, monthly, or annual Season Tickets and Season Travelcards
  • Tap in and out of ticket gates with ease
  • More hard-wearing than paper tickets

How can I get a Smartcard?

The easiest way is to order online and you’ll receive your Smartcard in the post within five working days.

Order a Smartcard

You can also pick up a Smartcard from our staffed stations.

How do I buy and load tickets for my Smartcard?

Once you have your card, you can buy Season tickets for your Smartcard on our website, app and collect them on smartcard readers at stations.

If you’re on an Android device with NFC or iPhone with iOS 13 or later, you can buy Season tickets from our app and load tickets straight from your smart device onto your Smartcard.

Each option is described in more detail below:

  1. Use our online Season ticket calculator or app and select the Season Ticket you want to buy
  2. Select the ‘load from app’ Smartcard collection method
  3. Buy your season ticket
  4. Open the LNR app and go to My Tickets
  5. Tap the orange smartcard icon
  6. Hold your Smartcard up to your phone’s NFC zone (usually the back)
  7. Any tickets ready to be loaded, will appear on screen.
  8. Tap in and out of ticket gates or platform validators
  1. Use our online Season ticket calculator or app and select the Season Ticket you want to buy
  2. Select the ‘collect at station’ Smartcard collection method
  3. Choose your collection station
  4. Buy your season ticket
  5. After two hours, find a yellow card reader on the ticket gates, platform validator or self service ticket machines and tap your Smartcard.
  6. Any tickets ready to be loaded, will be loaded onto your Smartcard.
  7. Tap in and out of ticket gates or platform validators

If you’re at the station, you can buy tickets from the ticket office or ticket machines and load them straight onto your Smartcard.

Where can I use it?

You can use the LNR smartcard right across our network:

  • All mainline services south of Northampton (Northampton to London)
  • Birmingham to London
  • Birmingham to Liverpool
  • Crewe to London via Lichfield Trent Valley
  • Bletchley to Bedford (Marston Vale). Includes Thameslink Bedford
  • Watford Junction and St Albans Abbey (Abbey Line)
  • All West Midlands Railway services within the West Midlands region

London Underground

If you purchase a Travelcard, your card can also be used across the Transport for London network on the Underground, Overground, bus and tram network.

Other operators

You can use our smartcard to purchase tickets for travel on other operator services, such as:

  • CrossCountry services to/from Birmingham New Street from Tamworth and Nuneaton.

Please note we are unable to offer Local Authority tickets at this time on our smartcard, this may include zonal journeys within the West Midlands (nTrain) and journeys within the Merseytravel area.

Frequently asked questions

Please see some frequently asked questions below regarding Smartcard

Our Smartcard is an electronic card which stores Season Tickets for travel. It forms part of the Department for Transport’s wider programme of introducing Smartcards for rail travel across the network.

No. Oyster is a wholly separate system operated by Transport for London (TfL) for travel within the London boundary. Our smartcard will support commuter travel on Season Tickets and Season Travelcards valid between one week and one year, it does not support Pay As You Go (PAYG) travel like Oyster or Contactless within the London boundary.

The London Northwestern Railway Smartcard is available to commuters who regularly purchase a Weekly, Monthly, Custom Duration (e.g. three months) or Annual Season Ticket for travel on our services.

Customers with Annual Season Tickets on their smartcard are entitled to Gold Card benefits, just like a paper ticket. This is provided via a Gold Record Card which is either issued in conjunction with, or sent to you separately after, purchase of an Annual Season Ticket.

Please sign up to the registration link on this webpage. Once you have signed up for a smartcard, you will receive your card in the post.

Once you receive your card in the post, there are three ways to buy a Season Ticket:

  • Online –Use our online Season ticket calculator or app, selecting a ticket to purchase and nominating your smartcard and collection station to collect your ticket from. The ticket will be made available to collect after 2 hours at the station and can be collected from a Self Service Ticket Machine, or ticket gates where available. Alternatively you can lod your ticket straight to your Smartcard using our app.
  • Booking Office – simply take your new smartcard to your local LNR station and purchase your next ticket as normal from the booking office window, we can load your ticket to your smartcard.
  • Self Service Ticket Machine – by taking your new smartcard to your local station and using the Self Service Ticket Machine to select a ticket to purchase and load directly to your card. This is currently for weekly tickets only.

Simply browse fares from the LNR homepage using the new 'Flexi Season' button on our widget, or via the App.

You can then select the fare you wish to purchase, nominate your collection preference, entering your smartcard number (this is the 18 digit number on the front of your smartcard starting 633597) and paying for your ticket.

Yes you can. If you have a London zones Travelcard loaded on your Smartcard you can tap in and out at TfL's Oyster card readers and ticket gates, at Overground stations, and on London buses.

Yes. If you've purchased your Season Ticket from LNR, you can now exchange that paper Season Ticket or Season Travelcard to smartcard from your local LNR booking office.

Please visit your local LNR booking office and we can swap over your ticket to your smartcard.

Once you have loaded your smartcard with a valid ticket, your card can be checked electronically onboard our services – please remember to retain your National Rail Photocard ID as you will be asked to show this in conjunction with your card (if you do not have a Photocard ID, you can apply for one from your nearest booking office).

Alternatively, we may also accept a nationally recognised form of ID, such as a driver's licence, should you be unable to acquire a Photocard ID.

Yes, just as you can with a paper Season Ticket, you are welcome to use intermediary stations as part of your journey.

Yes, if you purchase an 'Any Permitted' Season Ticket you can board other operator services, this includes for example Avanti West Coast or Southern services from Rugby or Milton Keynes Central, CrossCountry services from Tamworth or Nuneaton, Southern services from Milton Keynes Central, or London Overground services from Watford Junction.

Please visit your nearest LNR booking office or gate line for assistance, or alternatively call our smartcard support team on 0333 311 0006 who will be able to assist you.

If you encounter any problems with your smartcard on another train operator's service or station, or while travelling on the Transport for London network, please call our smartcard support team on 0333 311 0006 who will be able to assist you.

We have a dedicated online form for Season Ticket refunds, which can be used for smartcard Season Tickets. This is available using this link.

When submitted your application, you will be asked to provide a copy of your ticket - please submit an image of the front of your smartcard (showing the 18 digit card number, starting 633597, on the front of the card).

Unfortunately it is not currently possible to apply for a changeover for a smartcard ticket. Should you wish to change your ticket, you will need to apply for a refund on your original ticket and then purchase a new ticket.

Yes, for the LNR smartcard a supporting Photo ID is required for Season Tickets or Season Travelcards with a duration of more than 7 days.

If you do not already have a Photo ID, you can apply for one for free at any LNR booking office (please bring along a passport sized photograph for your ID).

Alternatively, should you travel on a part of the network that does not have any booking offices and therefore cannot visit a booking office to acquire a Photo ID, we may also accept nationally recognised forms of ID such as a driver's licence.

Yes, if you purchase an Annual Season Ticket for your smartcard, a Gold Record Card will either be issued to you at the point of purchase or will be sent out to you in the post, which you can use to obtain Gold Card benefits.