Train stations get smart with card technology

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A NEW smartcard system is being introduced on the Midland Main Line railway between Sheffield and London.

Operator East Midlands Trains is installing card reader machines at 25 stations across its network, including Chesterfield and Sheffield.

A company spokeswoman said: “We are working on an innovative scheme to introduce smart ticketing on the East Midlands Trains network using the Government’s preferred ITSO technology.

“Once introduced, StagecoachSmart travel cards will allow East Midlands Trains passengers to buy their train tickets and have details stored on an electronic card instead of a paper ticket.

“To test the technology, we have provided StagecoachSmart travel cards to around 90 East Midlands Trains annual season ticket holders across the network.

“In addition, we will shortly be inviting 1,000 monthly season ticket holders to register for a smartcard in place of their paper ticket.

“Once the technical trials are complete we look forward to expanding the scheme to even more East Midlands Trains passengers.”

The scheme is being installed following a pilot at sister firm South West Trains, which is also owned by Stagecoach and runs services between London and the South West.

The new tickets will only be suitable for use on East Midlands Trains services to begin with but Department for Transport plans for smartcards to be rolled out across the network nationwide on all other franchises using the same technology.