Key Smartcard Extension and Smart Week


 Message posted on behalf of Govia Thameslink:

This week, Govia Thameslink are marking national Smart Week (14-18 October), with a new look Key Smartcard and an expansion of the Key network to cover more stations and services, giving more of our passengers access to the latest smart ticketing services.

The Key Smartcard can already be used at 255 stations across the Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern network. From Monday 14 October, it can now be used at 10 Southeastern stations beyond Bexhill on the East Coastway route, from St Leonards Warrior Square, via Hastings to Ashford International. Twenty-six additional stations across Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Kent are planned in the coming weeks.

During Smart Week, the GTR Key Smartcard team is promoting the new-look smart ticket and registering passengers for the Key Smartcard at the following stations, following events on Monday at Brighton and Stevenage:

  • Tuesday 15 October: Luton;
  • Wednesday 16 October: Epsom;
  • Thursday 17 October: Eastbourne;
  • Friday 18 October: London Bridge.

The fresh design incorporates the head of an origami swan to indicate the swan song for paper tickets as GTR starts the process to make its cards work on other operators’ systems across the UK.

Furthermore, to celebrate national Smart Week (14-18 October), one Key Smartcard holder a month can win back the value of their season ticket in a prize-draw worth as much as £6,000 for some annual journeys. Key Smartcard holders should search ‘Win-Big’ on the Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern websites.

Next phase in the roll out

We are continuing to work closely with other operators to secure further expansion of the Key Smartcard availability to more of our passengers who use stations not managed by GTR. In the coming weeks the Key will also be available to use at 26 other stations between:

  • Cambridge and Kings Lynn;
  • Dartford and Rainham;
  • Swanley and Sevenoaks;
  • And at Tonbridge on the Redhill-Tonbridge route (other stations were already enabled).

Buying Key Smartcards at stations

We are also rolling out the ability for passengers to pick-up Key Smartcards directly at stations.

Key Smartcard Kiosks will soon be installed at 12 of the busiest stations on the network outside London from where our passengers can register and receive immediately their first Key Smartcard before loading virtual tickets at the nearby ticket machine.

In addition, in a roll-out between November 2019 to spring 2020, ticket office staff at Southern, Thameslink and Great Northern stations will also be able to issue the Key Smartcard direct and sell virtual tickets to be immediately uploaded to it.

Why choose the Key Smartcard?

The Key Smartcard is an easier and faster way to buy, renew and use train tickets. It’s completely free, won’t wear out, and comes with lots of additional benefits.

  • For season ticket holders, the Key makes journeys more convenient with a simple tap in, tap out system. Tickets can be bought online and added to the smartcard as the passenger taps on the ticket gate to open it, avoiding ticket office queues at the station;
  • Key Smartcards are more secure than a paper ticket: if anyone loses a smartcard, it can be instantly cancelled, and a replacement issued with the same ticket pre-loaded;
  • Key Smartcard holders can opt in for automatically-generated Delay Repay claims that can be submitted with just a click of a button.
  • Passengers can also set up a pay-as-you-go KeyGo account which links their Key Smartcard to a bank or credit card and guarantees the best walk-up fare simply by touching in and out at the start and end of their journey.

If you have any questions regarding Smart Week, the Key Smartcard or ticketing then please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


Best wishes,



Stakeholder Manager


Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR)

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