How Smartcard works

Buy. Load. Then tap to travel.

As part of our response to COVID-19, you cannot load tickets to your Smartcard at booking offices, for the time being. You can still buy and load tickets at ticket vending machines in our stations, or buy online and load tickets onto your Smartcard using the ScotRail App.

Buy tickets and load them onto your Smartcard. Whoosh – you’re ready to travel.

Step 1 – buy

Buying ahead? Book your Smart tickets online or on the ScotRail app four hours before you travel so we have time to check your order and have your tickets waiting to load. Or buy on-the-go from any ScotRail station booking office or ticket vending machine.

Step 2 – load

Bought at a booking office? Your ticket’s already loaded – you’re ready to go.

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 online or with the ScotRail app? Tap your Smartcard at the ticket gates or platform validator.

Did you know you can load tickets you've bought online via the ScotRail App? Available on Android and iOS devices. Find out more here.

Step 3 – tap to travel

Tap your Smartcard at the ticket gates or platform validator and wait for the beep. You’re tapped in! At the end of your journey, do the same again.