The Northern Smart card - we’re making it easier and faster for regular peak travellers to buy tickets


In partnership with Transport for the North and Trans Pennine Express. Northern Smart cards are now available for season ticket holders. We're now also giving you the chance to win back the cost of your Smart season ticket in June and July - view the competition.


First thing’s first, what is a Smart card?


Good question. It’s a plastic, contactless card with a microchip embedded inside it that stores your Season Tickets. The Smart card technology is an upgrade to paper tickets. It gives you a quicker, easier and hassle-free way to buy and renew your Season Ticket [Insert Link for updated Season Ticket Page] when it suits you. You can also travel through the station far quicker as you ‘tap and go’ instead of feeding your ticket through the gate.

What are the pros of having a Smart card?


Simply put, Smart cards are far more convenient, last a lot longer and you’ll also soon be able to easily renew online.

Saying “goodbye” to paper tickets will give you a faster and easier way to buy and renew season tickets at your convenience. They’re completely free, they don’t wear out and by buying your tickets online you can beat the usual Monday morning rush to renew. You can use a Smart card with weekly, monthly and annual season tickets.


Are Smart cards available now?

Yes. Almost all Northern ticket offices are now able to issue Smart cards and Smart season tickets on their routes.

As we roll them out, you should be offered a free upgrade to a Smart card 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.


How do I get a Smart card?


Season ticket holders new and old can travel smart in just three easy steps:


How do I use my Smart card?


Now you’re all set up, using your Smart card is easy. Simply board your train as you normally would, and the conductor will scan and check your ticket as per usual. Done!


How do I renew my Smart card?


You can easily renew your Smart card at a time that suits you at your local ticket office. Soon you'll also be able to do all this online, on the Northern Android App and at ticket machines – we’ll keep you posted on the progress, and let you know as soon as this is available.


Frequently asked questions. 


How does a Smart card work?

Your Smart card has a microchip inside of it that stores your season ticket on it. This Smart card can be read by conductors, station staff and ticket vending machines and barriers as per usual.

Does my Smart card replace my existing photocard?

You don’t need a photocard to accompany your season ticket, but you might be asked to show another form of identification by the revenue protection team.

Can I get a Smart card for a child?

Not at the moment. For now, you can get only a Smart card for Adult Weekly, Monthly and Annual Season Tickets.

How do I get a Smartcard?

We’re currently rolling out Smart technology across the Northern network, with most Northern stations now able to issue Smart tickets. As soon as Smart cards become available at your station, you will be offered one instead of a paper ticket at the ticket office when it’s time to renew.

Can I still get a Smart card if I don't have access to the website?

Definitely! Ask for one at your nearest Northern station’s ticket office.

What information do I have to provide to get a Smart card?

Your Title, Forename, Surname, Address, email address and contact number.

Do I have to buy a Smart card?

No, you can upgrade to a Smart card at no extra cost.

What Tickets can I put on my Smart card?

You can put your Weekly, Monthly and Annual Season Tickets on your Smart card.

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.

Where can I get a Smart card?

Smart cards are now available at Ticket Offices across the north. This includes the following stations: Accrington, Adlington (Lancs), Alderley Edge, Alnmouth for Alnwick, Altrincham, Appleby, Ashton-under-Lyne, Atherton, Appleby, Ashton-under-Lyne, Atherton, Barnsley, Barrow-In-Furness, Beverley, Bingley, Birchwood, Blackburn, Bolton, Bradford Forster Square, Bradford Interchange, Bramhall, Bredbury, Bridlington, Brinnington, Broad Green, Broadbottom, Bromley Cross, Buckshaw Parkway, Burnage, Burnley Central, Burnley Manchester Road, Buxton, Chassen Road, Cheadle Hulme, Chorley, Congleton, Crossgates, Daisy Hill, Davenport, Deansgate, Dinting, Disley, Driffield, Earlestown, East Didsbury, Eccles, Eccleston Park, Edge Hill, Farnworth, Flixton, Garforth, Garswood, Gatley, Glazebrook, Glossop, Goole, Gorton, Grange-Over-Sands, Greenfield, Guide Bridge, Guiseley, Hadfield, Hag Fold, Hale, Halewood, Halifax, Handforth, Harrogate, Hartlepool, Hattersley, Hazel Grove, Heald Green, Heaton Chapel, Hebden Bridge, Hexham, Hindley, Holmes Chapel, Horsforth, Horwich Parkway, Hough Green, Huyton, Ilkley, Keighley, Knutsford, Lea Green, Leeds, Levenshulme, Leyland, Littleborough, Liverpool Lime Street, Lostock, Manchester Oxford Road, Manchester Victoria, Marple, Mauldeth Road, Meadowhall, Menston, Mexborough, Moorside, Morpeth, Mossley, Mossley Hill, New Mills Central, New Mills Newtown, New Pudsey, Newton For Hyde, Newton Le Willows, Northwich, Parbold, Poynton, Prescot, Rainhill, Redcar Central, Reddish North, Roby, Rochdale, Romiley, Rose Hill, Rotherham Central, Salford Central, Salford Crescent, Sandbach, Sankey for Penketh, Settle, Shipley, Skipton, St Helens Central, St Helens Junction, Sunderland, Swinton, Swinton (Greater Manchester), Thatto Heath, Thorne North, Todmorden, Ulverston, Urmston, Walkden, Warrington Central, Wavertree Technology Park, West Allerton, Whaley Bridge, Whiston, Whitby, Whitehaven, Widnes, Wigan Wallgate, Wilmslow, Woodsmoor, Workington, Worksop.

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

Not right now, as Smart cards are limited to Season Ticket purchases only.

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

Right now, Smart season tickets can only be loaded at ticket offices, but online renewals are on the horizon.

Where can I use my Smart card?

You can use it during your regular train travel, just like you use your paper ticket. The same terms and conditions for travel apply.

When can I use my Smart card?

You can use your Smart card on any chosen route you’ve bought a season ticket for.

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

No, because the ticket loaded on to your card comes under the same regulations as paper tickets.

How will my Smart card be inspected during the journey?

The conductor will simply scan your Smart card to confirm that it holds a valid ticket for the journey you’re making.

Can I get off somewhere, then catch a later train to complete my journey using my Smart card?

Not at the moment. Break of Journey isn’t available on Smart cards right now.

Ticket usage – How will tickets be activated and validated?

You’ll be able to travel on your Smart card as soon as your Ticket is loaded onto it!

How do I replace my Smart card if it’s lost or stolen?

We’ve got a dedicated customer helpline for any queries you have or so that you can report lost or stolen cards: 0333 2220127.  

How do I change my personal details?

You can change your personal details at the ticket office.

How will I be helped in a situation of Smart card fraud?

If your Smart card is lost or stolen, be sure to report it at your nearest ticket office or you can give us a call on our support line. Once you report it, we’ll be able to arrange for your Card to be disabled. This must be reported to enable a refund.

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

For tickets bought at the ticket office, you can simply return to the ticket office.

Can I claim under the Delay Repay Scheme?

Absolutely. Your rights under Delay Repay are exactly the same.

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.

What information will you collect and share about me? 

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

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.