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Smart way to travel now available from a railway kiosk near you

Press release   •   Mar 10, 2020 15:22 GMT

Touch-screen smart travel: Thameslink Managing Director Tom Moran tries out the new self-service Key smartcard kiosk

Thameslink, Great Northern and Sothern passengers can now pick up a free, highly convenient reusable Key Smartcard directly from kiosks at 12 of the operators’ busiest stations outside London.

It takes just two minutes Instead of having to apply online and wait five days for a card to arrive in the post.

As soon as they have a card, passengers can buy and load tickets onto it from a nearby ticket machine, then tap in and go.

Key Smartcards save passengers time and are more secure and robust than paper tickets. They can also automatically identify and generate compensation claims for delays.

The stations with Key Smartcard kiosks are: Eastbourne, Brighton and Worthing on the south coast; Haywards Heath, Horsham and Three Bridges on the Brighton Main Line; and St Neots, Hitchin, Stevenage, Bedford, Luton and St Albans north of London.

Tom Moran, Managing Director for Thameslink and Great Northern, said: “With these new kiosks, we are making it easier for customers to make the switch to the Key Smartcard.Passengers no longer have to wait to have a smartcard delivered to them in the post.

“I am delighted that more of our customers will be able to enjoy the benefits of travelling smart. The Key Smartcard lasts longer than paper tickets, and if lost, can be easily cancelled and replaced with all tickets intact.”


Notes to editors

To obtain a Key smartcard from a kiosk, passengers simply use the touch screen to enter their name, email and postal addresses. They are then sent an email to set up their account password, but can buy a ticket on the card immediately, before receiving the email.

Soon, staff at all Thameslink, Great Northern and Southern’s managed ticket offices will also able to issue the cards and sell tickets directly onto them. They will also be able transfer existing paper season tickets onto the card.

Passengers can also link a payment card to their Key Smartcard. This enables both automatically-generated Delay Repay claims by email, which passengers can submit with just the click of a button, and “KeyGo”, which is the Key’s Oyster-like pay-as-you-go facility, guaranteeing passengers the best walk-up fare for any number of journeys made on that day.

Compared with paper tickets, benefits of Key Smartcards for passengers 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

Passengers with season tickets on their Key Smartcard can also enter a monthly draw to win back the value of their ticket. 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