We are proud to be the first franchised train company to offer m-Tickets across all ticket types and routes, on both the West Coast and East Coast Mainlines.
The bar-coded m-Tickets which customers download to their smartphones or other mobile devices will be offered for journeys on Virgin Trains services purchased through our (east coast) website or app*.
The app means that customers can both buy and use their tickets on their mobile for maximum convenience. It also means that customers wanting to buy their tickets on the day can download the app via the free Virgin Trains station Wi-Fi, avoid queues, and select their ticket via a simpler interface than ticket machines.
This follows on from our participation in the industry pilot scheme looking at making buying and using train tickets simple. As part of this pilot we have been able to increase our overall mobile ticket sales to over 170,000 since July 2015, from less than half that amount.
Both companies are looking at ways to bring m-Tickets to even more customers and move away from paper tickets completely, which are easily lost or confused with tickets for other journeys. We will only remove all tangerine tickets once we are sure all of our customers are ready for the change.
Rail Minister, Claire Perry commented, “We want to build a 21st century railway that provides better journeys for all, and much simpler and smarter ticketing is a vital part of that. We have been clear that we will support the industry with ticketing innovation but that we also want rail companies to do what is best for their passengers, without government interference. The expansion of mobile tickets means more Virgin Trains customers can enjoy the benefits of this new technology, and it will help us get rid of outdated paper tangerine tickets.”
Graham Leech, Group Commercial Director, Virgin Trains added, “We always want to be on the side of passengers and make their experience with us the best it can be. That’s why we love innovating for our customers, which is why we were the first train company to introduce automatic delay repay and why we’re now the first franchised operator to bring in m-Tickets in this way.”
*The m-Ticket offering goes live on the following dates:
- 23 February: West coast journeys can be booked via the app for mobile m-Ticket fulfilment (excluding season tickets)
- 1 March: East coast journeys can be booked via the east coast website for mobile m-Ticket fulfilment (Applies to all routes and ticket types except journeys to Leeds, Stevenage and North of Edinburgh where m-Tickets are available on Advance fares only). Excludes season ticket holders.
- Early April: the Virgin Trains app and the Virgin Trains (east coast) website will both sell m-Tickets for both franchises.