Contactless Rail Travel to London coming

14 May 2022

TFL contracted to extend contactless travel

The contactless payment system used so successfully in London (and licensed to other major cities worldwide) is being extended in area.

It is planned that over 230 mainline rail stations, including it appears Guildford, around London are to be brought into Transport for London’s contactless payments system over the next couple of years, under an agreement between Department for Transport (DfT) and Transport for London (TfL).

The DfT have decided that around 233 stations would be upgraded to accept contactless payments to allow customers to travel to/from London using a single tap in/tap out with their bank card.

The upgrade is part of a wider initiative to make it simpler to catch a train without the hassles of selecting which sort of ticket a person should buy in advance in order to avoid paying more than they should.

TfL already runs a large contactless payments system that offers what the DfT is looking for, thus TfL are contracted to supply the equipment and the on-going service. The project’s cost of circa £68 million cost is being fully covered by the DfT.  The validation equipment will be the same as used on TfL.

An initial 53 stations will be added into the TfL system by end of 2022, with the remaining 180 stations being completed by 2024.

The scheme covers bank cards but there is no intention of providing validators for Oyster cards which are declining in use in London.  South West Rail are looking at a similar contactless scheme across their network how fare structures integrate between SWR and TfL will be a interesting question!  Bus travel is not curently included in the scheme.

The map below gives a draft view of the extent of the scheme as documented in 2019


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