If your journey is essential, you can travel safely with our contactless smartcard.
The Key contactless smartcard
The Key is our contactless smartcard which means you can buy and download your tickets at home and fast-track through the station.
The Key’s contactless technology allows you to hold the card over the reader at the ticket gate. It’s also wipeable and easy to clean, leaving you in control.
You can use your Key to buy single, return and season tickets, it’s totally flexible. You are also able to buy tickets for most other train companies across mainland Britain and TfL, so you get straight to your destination with just one purchase.
The government has delayed the annual change to rail fares from January until 1st March 2021. Fares are increasing by 2.6%, the lowest amount in 4 years, and if you do need to travel by train, you can still purchase or renew tickets at 2020 prices.
Please only travel if your journey is essential or for other legally permitted reasons, in line with the latest travel advice and essential information.
If your Key is lost or stolen, we’ll block it so you won’t lose out, plus we will replace it for free. Should you need to get a refund, simply log into your account and follow the easy steps. The money will be refunded directly to you. Plus, if your journey is delayed by 15 minutes or more it is easy to claim compensation under our Delay Repay scheme.
By having The Key, you’ll also get access to our Rewards Plus program. Simply sign up to receive our promotions and offers emails and you’ll automatically be added into the Rewards Plus program and receive exclusive discounts, offers and competitions from attractions and brands.
4 steps to using The Key
Buy single, return and season tickets and load them on to your Key by simply tapping your card onto the back of your phone.
You are now ready to travel on our trains, allowing you to tap in and tap out at the station.
To find out more about The Key please visit our Key FAQs.
If you do not want to use our app, once you've setup, simply login to your online account and buy tickets on our website. Go to your starting station and tap The Key to the yellow card reader on the automatic ticket barrier, this will load your ticket onto your Key.
If there is no automatic ticket barrier at your starting station you don’t need to tap in but you will need to tap out if there are barriers at the end of your journey. When buying tickets in this way you will need to allow 2 hours between purchasing your ticket online and loading it onto The Key.
Remember to keep The Key card separate from other contactless cards to prevent ‘card clash’ when touching the reader.