Avanti West Coast customers are set to benefit from a new convenient way to travel after the long-distance operator launched its own smartcard scheme.
The alternative to paper ticketing comes as AWC has partnered with Realtime Trains to provide more live information directly to customers, including the location of onboard facilities such as toilets, wheelchair spaces, bike storage and the shop.
Alongside digital tickets, which now accounts for 65% of Avanti West Coast customer journeys, the introduction of the smartcard will give rail users another option for moving away from traditional paper tickets, ensuring less waste.
Following a successful trial, customers are now able to store tickets securely on one card, preventing issues around paper tickets being mixed up or damaged.
Rail Minister Chris Heaton-Harris said: “The introduction of the smartcard scheme will allow passengers to choose a modern alternative to the paper ticket, providing simpler journeys and reducing time spent in stations.
“As we build back better from the COVID-19 pandemic, this Government is committed to smarter ticketing. Avanti West Coast’s scheme will allow for more convenient travel and will improve the passenger experience once it is safe to return to the railways.”
The information on Realtime Train’s ‘Know Your Train’ feature will include the type of rolling stock allocated to each service, with handy information about number of carriages.
In addition, “Know Your Train” will allow enthusiasts to easily find out if their favourite Pendolino or Voyager is in service, including the popular Pride Train (set number 390119).
Before signing up with Realtime Trains, users could only track Avanti West Coast trains’ progress, including calling points, platforms and timings. Now, by pairing up live data feeds from Network Rail with an Avanti West Coast rolling stock database, the site can provide more detailed information.