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St Albans commuter Sarah Tyrell pictured with Station Manager Harsitt Chandak
St Albans commuter Sarah Tyrell pictured with Station Manager Harsitt Chandak

Press release -

Lucky St Albans commuter jets off to Caribbean thanks to Govia Thameslink Railway

A delighted St Albans woman is the first Govia Thameslink Railway commuter to win the value of her season ticket.

Civil Servant Sarah Tyrrell entered GTR’s competition for Key Smartcard season ticket holders to win back the value of their season ticket, scooping £3,500. The monthly competition is open to Key Smartcard season ticket holders across GTR’s Thameslink, Great Northern and Southern brands.

Sarah, who commutes into London, is now looking forward to splashing out on a holiday to the Caribbean for herself and boyfriend Jimmy. She said: “Having a Key Smartcard is easier to find than a paper ticket and it’s better for the environment because it lasts longer and doesn’t get damaged. It’s great to win – it’s really exciting!”

Govia Thameslink Railway’s Chief Operating Officer Steve White said: “Congratulations to Key Smartcard user Sarah on her win. Key Smartcards are a great alternative to paper tickets; they are quicker and easier to use, more secure, and any Delay Repay claims are generated automatically.”

Passengers can register for a Key Smartcard online at Thameslink, Great Northern or Southern websites -, or – through the section on tickets. The Key Smartcard is sent to the customer’s address. Key Smartcard users can then buy tickets online and tap on a ticket gate or station validator to pick up the electronic ticket.

Key Smartcard benefits for passengers, compared to travelling with a paper ticket, include:

  • more durable
  • time-saving - no queues at the ticket office and a simple tap in, tap out 
  • more secure - lost Key Smartcards can be instantly cancelled and replaced
  • automatically-generated Delay Repay claims submitted with just a click of a button

To enter the monthly competition, visit



Govia Thameslink Railway

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) operates Thameslink, Great Northern, Southern and Gatwick Express services as follows:

  • Thameslink – cross-London services between Bedford/Peterborough/Cambridge and Brighton/Horsham/Littlehampton/East Grinstead, and between Luton/St Albans and Sutton/Wimbledon/Rainham; plus services between London and Sevenoaks
  • Great Northern – services between London and Welwyn, Hertford, Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn
  • Southern – services between London and the Sussex coast (Brighton, Worthing, Eastbourne, Bognor Regis, Hastings) and parts of Surrey, Kent and Hampshire (Ashford International, Southampton, Portsmouth)
  • Gatwick Express – fast, non-stop direct services between Gatwick Airport and London Victoria

GTR is currently the most punctual of the large and complex operators in UK rail according to 'On Time' statistics released by the Office of Rail and Road for May, June and July 2019, and fourth of all train operators in the UK

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