Making it easier and quicker for peak passengers to buy a season ticket


In partnership with Transport for the North, TransPennine Express and Northern, Smart cards are now available for season ticket holders. You can make the switch at your nearest Ticket Office at your next renewal date or if you're a new season ticket customer. Soon you'll also be able to do all this online or at a ticket machine in a station.

Saying goodbye to paper tickets will give you a faster and easier way to buy and renew season ticket at your convenience.


Using your Smart Season Ticket

Once you have picked up your card and it’s loaded with a season ticket, just board your train as usual. A conductor will scan and check your ticket.


You can renew your Smart Season Ticket at any time at your local ticket office. Soon you'll also be able to do so online on the Northern website, via the Android Northern App or at a ticket machine in the station.


Frequently asked questions 

What is a Smart card?  

It is a plastic card with a microchip embedded in it for storing tickets.

How does a Smart card work?

The ticket on your card can be read by conductors and station staff as well as ticket vending machines and barriers.

What are the benefits of using a Smart card?

They are convenient, last longer and will soon be easy to top-up online, via the Northern mobile app on an Android phone or ticket machine saving you having to queue to renew.

What tickets can be loaded to a Smart card?

Currently only season tickets. This can be done at a Ticket Office, with more options rolling out very soon.

Does the Smart card replace my existing photocard?

Whilst you do not need a photocard to accompany your season ticket, you may be asked for another form of identification to validate your Smart card. 



How do I get a Smart card?

Smart cards are now available at Ticket Offices across the north. You should be offered the option to switch to a Smart card at your next renewal. You will soon also be able to request one on the Northern website.


What information will I have to provide when getting a Smart card?

Title, Forename, Surname, Address, email address, contact phone number.

Do I have to pay for a Smart card?

No, they are free-of-charge.

Can I get a Child (Under 16) ticket on a Smart card? 

Smart cards are currently available for Adult weekly, monthly and annual season tickets only.

Which tickets can I buy for my Smartcard?

Smartcards are currently available for weekly, monthly and annual season tickets only.


Can I use my railcard discount when I buy tickets to load onto the Smart card?

Not at the moment as the cards are limited to season tickets only.

How long do I have to wait after registering before requesting a paper transfer?

At the moment paper tickets cannot be transferred to Smart card.

How do I buy and load a ticket onto my Smart card?

At the moment tickets can only be loaded at ticket offices. You will soon be able to also do so online, via the Northern App on an Android phone, and at ticket machines.

Where can I purchase my smart season ticket in person?

Smart cards are now available at the majority of ticket offices at train stations across the north.

Do I need a new Smart card when my ticket expires?

No. but you do need to add another season ticket to travel.

Can I transfer my paper Season ticket to my Smart card?

You will only be able to switch to a Smart Season Ticket at your next renewal or if you are a new season ticket customer.

Where can I use my Smart card?

Smart cards are being rolled out across the Northern networking during 2019. When Smart cards become available at your station you will be offered one instead of a paper ticket.

Which services can I use my Smart card on?

You can use your smart card on any valid route that you have purchased and loaded a season ticket for.

Can more than one person travel using the same Smart card?

No. The ticket loaded on the card comes under the same regulations as paper tickets. Tickets are non-transferable.

How will my Smart Card be inspected during the journey?

The conductor can scan your card to check it holds a valid ticket for the journey.

Ticket usage – How will tickets be activated and validated?

Cards are valid for travel as soon as a ticket is loaded.


How do I get a replacement Smart card if it is lost or stolen? 

A dedicated telephone customer helpline is available for queries and to report lost cards: 0333 2220127.  

How do I change my personal details?

To change your personal details please go to the ticket office.

How will customers be supported in inadvertent fraud scenarios?

If a card is lost or stolen, it needs to be reported to the ticket office or the dedicated support line who will arrange for the card to be disabled. This must be reported to enable a refund to be issued.

How do I change or get a refund on a Smart ticket?

For tickets bought at the ticket office, return to the ticket office.

Can I claim under the Delay Repay scheme?

Yes. Your rights under delay repay are exactly the same.

Customer personal information – What information will you collect and share about me? 

Full details on Northern's Privacy Policy can be found here:

Customer personal information - How will data about my actual journey be collected and used? What say do I have over that?

We study overall journey data to help improve service.  We will not study individuals.  All journey data is anonymised.