Smartcard

To make your travelling experience easier, we're replacing old paper tickets with brand new paperless Smartcards.

A ScotRail Smartcard will store your tickets electronically, so you just need to touch in and out at the gates, giving you a faster, smoother journey.

Smartcards offer better value and feature great promotions - Season Ticket holders who travel on annual, monthly and weekly tickets can already enjoy the benefits. New routes will be rolled out to our customers this summer - you'll find an even bigger selection of ticket types and our best value fares exclusively on Smartcard.

If you encounter any problems or would like more information, contact our Smartcard Team on 0344 811 0141.

1. Apply for your Smartcard

Apply online or call our dedicated Smartcard Team. You'll need an unobscured photo of your head and shoulders that's roughly passport sized (35x45mm). You'll receive your Smartcard within about seven working days. Click on the FAQs tab for full details.

2. Load tickets onto your Smartcard

Season tickets can be added to your Smartcard online or at the station and will start from the date you choose. Soon you'll be able to add other types of tickets onto your Smartcard. Our staff are also on hand to help.

3. Use your Smartcard

To use your Smartcard, hold and hover it on the yellow card reader at the ticket gates or on a Smartcard validator. Wait a couple of seconds until the light turns to green and then carry on. Do the same to exit a station. Click on the FAQs tab for full details.

Getting rid of your old paper ticket will make train travel much easier. Here's how using a Smartcard will benefit you:

Great value

Our best promotional offers and discounts will appear exclusively on Smartcards. Customers buying Season Tickets on Smartcard will get an array of benefits online:

  • A third off Standard Off-Peak single and return tickets for you and three adults aged 16+ when you're travelling together
  • A £5 First Class upgrade on off-peak travel for both you and three adults travelling together on your usual Season Ticket route

Fast and flexible

You won’t need to queue for tickets anymore and getting through the ticket gates is a lot smoother. You can choose from an array of ticket choices and great deals to suit all types of journeys.

Durable

Plastic Smartcards are tougher than paper tickets, so there’s less wear and tear, no ticket rejection at the station and you’re less likely to need a replacement.

Transparent

You can access your secure Smartcard account online showing recent journeys and transactions.

Secure

Your Smartcard will be registered in your name, meaning your tickets are protected if your Smartcard gets lost or stolen.

No, your ScotRail Smartcard is completely free.

  • The photograph that goes on your Smartcard needs to be roughly the same shape as a passport photo (35x45mm)
  • The image should be a good recognisable likeness of you
  • We prefer colour pictures but black and white images are acceptable too
  • Your head and shoulders should be in close-up, with your face clearly visible
  • Your face should fill approximately 70% of the frame (in the same way it would for a passport or driving licence)
  • The image must be in sharp focus
  • Your face must not be obscured by hats or hair
  • We won't accept photos if they are not appropriate and will ask you for a more suitable image
  • The file of your photo must be either a .jpg, .bmp, or .gif with a resolution of at least 300dpi
  • Photos must not exceed 2mb in file size
  • To upload your photo select 'browse', find the image you want and upload

We issue cards according to the age you put on the application form. You won't be able to load age specific products on your card if it doesn't match the age you applied with.

No. At present you can only use one Smartcard per person.

Yes. As long as you're using a Smartcard with your photograph on it, you'll no longer need to carry your photocard.

Yes, you can call our Smartcard Team on 0344 811 0141 or pick up an application pack at participating ScotRail stations.

You may be asked to provide proof of age if your are travelling with a Smartcard designated as a Child Card. This is the same for paper tickets too.

Once we receive your application, your new Smartcard will be posted out to you within seven working days.

No. Smartcards are unique to you.

Single and return tickets are not available yet but will be in the near future.

You can buy them online and at a ticket vending machine.

  • If you purchase online, your ticket will be loaded onto your card when you present it at a ticket gate or platform validator
  • ​Ticket vending machines will also be able to load your ticket if you've bought it online - hold your card over the reader and follow the instructions
  • You can also buy them at any ticket vending machine - just hold your card over the reader and follow the instructions

Refunds are available for unused portions of Monthly or Annual Season Tickets or for the remaining unused portions of longer Season Tickets.

Contact our Smartcard Team on 0344 811 0141 to ask about a refund - please be aware that we may charge you an administration fee.

Not yet, but this is a service we hope to introduce soon.

Yes, current cards can hold up to four products and newer cards will hold up to eight. We advise that you purchase one ticket per transaction (there is no additional cost), as there's currently a limitation on how many tickets we're able to send to the gate or validator in a single transaction.

Smartcard tickets are the same price as paper tickets, but being a Smart Season Ticket holder will entitle you to other benefits. Click on 'What are the benefits?' on the tab above for more details.

No. At the moment, Smartcard tickets can only be used on the following routes:

  • Edinburgh - Glasgow via Falkirk High
  • Edinburgh/Glasgow - Stirling/Dunblane/Alloa
  • Glasgow Central - Ayr/Ardrossan/Largs

We are extending Smartcard ticketing to more and more routes, so keep checking this site for further updates.

Click on the map image to view current Smartcard routes.

Smartcards are only valid for travel on ScotRail services but we intend to add other non-rail travel benefits in the future, such as bicycle hire.

It sometimes takes a couple of seconds for the card to validate with the yellow target area. If the problem persists, please let a ScotRail representative know and continue on your journey or contact our Smartcard Team on 0344 811 0141.

Yes, you can break your journey at any point between your origin and final destination.

Not at present. You can only purchase tickets online with ScotRail or from selected ScotRail self-service ticket vending machines.

On-train staff will carry hand-held readers to check the tickets loaded onto your Smartcard.

Since there'll be no way of knowing if you have a valid ticket for your journey, you may be asked to purchase a new ticket and then apply for a refund.

  • The easiest way is by logging into your online account
  • The self-service ticket machines at the station will also display the tickets you have on your Smartcard
  • ​When touching out at a platform validator, your ticket expiry will be displayed

Just call our Smartcard Team on 0344 811 0141 anytime between 07:00-22:00 Monday to Friday.

Just call our Smartcard Team on 0344 811 0141 anytime between 07:00-22:00 Monday to Friday.

When you first purchase a ticket online, you'll be asked to enter your card number. The ISRN number is on the back of the card.

Call our Smartcard Team on 0344 811 0141. They'll arrange for a new card to be issued with your remaining entitlement on it. They'll also cancel your old card to make sure no one else can use it.

Yes. However, although a ticket is loaded to the card immediately, it will only appear in your online account the next day.