Want to travel quickly, easily and with a great value ticket? Join a revolution of smarter travellers and sign up for a free ScotRail Smartcard. You can buy tickets online or at any ScotRail station booking office or ticket vending machine, load onto your Smartcard instantly, and go!
How Smartcard works
Whether you're a pre-planner or a last-minute buyer, Smartcard is the easiest way to travel by train.
When you travel with your Smartcard, there are a few different ways to buy and load your tickets:
Through the ScotRail website
You can buy all our Smartcard enabled tickets on our website. Just select the Smartcard delivery option towards the end of your purchase.
Season Tickets and Flexipasses bought online can be loaded to your Smartcard instantly. See Step 2 below for details.
For Single and Return tickets, you’ll need to buy at least three hours in advance. We recommend using mTickets via the free ScotRail App instead. Advance, Single and Return tickets can be bought and ready to use instantly!
The ScotRail App
Our free ScotRail App makes traveling with Smartcard easy. It’s also the best way to load tickets to your Smartcard, from the comfort of your home or on the way to the station.
Flexipass, Single and Return tickets are all available for purchase within the ScotRail App.
We especially recommend using the app to purchase Flexipass – you’ll be using the app to load your tickets onto your Smartcard and check how many you have left and when they expire. See here for more details.
Season Tickets aren’t technically available via the app. When you click the seasons button on the app home screen, you’ll be taken to our mobile friendly Seasons site, which works just as well.
A ticket vending machine at a station
Buy and use your Smart ticket instantly when you use a ticket vending machine at the station.
A ScotRail station booking office
If you’re unable to buy your Smart tickets any other way, take your Smartcard to any ScotRail booking office, and our staff will be able to help you make your purchase.
Bought online? You have two options –
- We recommend loading your ticket to your Smartcard using our free ScotRail App. Remember, Flexipass and Season Tickets are available to load instantly, Single and Return tickets can take up to three hours to be available for loading.
- Collect at your chosen station. When you complete your online purchase, you’ll be asked to select a delivery option (Smartcard), and then choose your collection station. This will default to the origin station of your journey. Previously stated load times apply here too. When you arrive at the station, simply tap your Smartcard at any platform validator or gate line to collect your ticket.
Bought at a ticket vending machine? When your payment’s complete, the machine will prompt you to tap your Smartcard to instantly load your ticket.
Bought at a booking office? Your ticket’s already loaded – you’re ready to go.
Once your ticket is loaded, tap your Smartcard at the ticket gates or platform validator and wait for the beep. You’re tapped in and ready to roll!
Avoid busy ticket queues and go paperless
With a Smartcard, you can buy online or through the ScotRail app so that when you arrive at the station you can head straight to the ticket gates. As Smartcards are paperless, you'll be contributing to making travel greener, too!
Make the most of your Smartcard
With Smartcard, not only can you buy tickets online, skip the queues, and glide through the ticket gates. You can get access to Smart Rewards – exclusive to Smart Season Ticket holders. To check out the range of discounts available across retailers, restaurants and supermarkets, just log in to your My ScotRail account for more details and to access Smart Rewards.
Get 50% off train tickets on selected routes if you live in the Highland Railcard area.
Aged 16, 17 or 18? Get 1/3 off most single or return rail fares, 50% off weekly or monthly tickets and 1/3 off most advance purchases.
Age under 25? Save 10% on Advance fares on ScotRail services, for Standard Class travel on a range of longer distance routes. Exclusive to Smartcard.