The first stations to get Transport for London (TfL) style contactless tap in/out payments for train travel have been named. In total, some 200 stations in a ring around London will get the contactless payment upgrade, with the first 53 stations named today.

Pay As You Go contactless payment is already available at over 350 stations across London and the South East stretching from Reading and Gatwick Airport all the way to Shenfield and Welwyn Garden City. Today’s announcement, in partnership with TfL, C2C, Southeastern, South Western Railway, London Northwestern, and Chiltern, will see the total number of tap-in-tap-out stations in England jump to over 400 by the end of the year.

The £20 million rollout is being funded by the Department for Transport (DfT) and carried out by TfL with the provision of in-station validation equipment carried out by Cubic Transportation Systems, who already provide the same kit to TfL.

Due to the older technology used, the expansion will not include Oyster cards, just the newer bank card-based contactless payments. That mirrors the way the Elizabeth line was extended to Reading, with Oyster only working as far as the edge of Zone 6, after which only bank card contactless will work.

Around three-quarters of trips on TfL services now use contactless payments, showing that the option to pay without queuing to buy a ticket, and the daily/weekly caps to ensure people don’t get unexpected bills is popular.

Rail Minister Huw Merriman said: “One of the best ways to get more people using our railways is to make journeys as simple, flexible and convenient as possible and the government’s programme for rail reform prioritises exactly that.”

“By removing the stress of finding the best deal in advance or having the right ticket ready to go at the barriers, the extension of tap-in tap-out ticketing is the next step of our plan for rail reform and we’re working towards Pay As You Go being rolled out beyond the South East through the Midlands and up to the North.”

Pay As You Go ticketing will be available at all of these stations by the end of December 2023 with individual openings dependent on the amount of existing technology at the stations. Further information on when each station will be introduced will be available at each station.

The rollout is running late though, with the rollout of the first 53 stations due at the end of this year, when they were expected to be live by now.

Full list of stations that will have Pay As You Go technology by the end of this year:

  1. Apsley
  2. Ashford (Surrey)
  3. Basildon
  4. Bat & Ball
  5. Beaconsfield
  6. Benfleet
  7. Berkhamsted
  8. Bletchley
  9. Bricket Wood
  10. Chalkwell
  11. Cheddington
  12. Datchet
  13. Denham
  14. Denham Golf Club
  15. Dunton Green
  16. East Tilbury
  17. Egham
  18. Eynsford
  19. Garston
  20. Gerrards Cross
  21. Hemel Hempstead
  22. High Wycombe
  23. How Wood
  24. Kempton Park
  25. Kings Langley
  26. Laindon
  27. Leigh-on-Sea
  28. Leighton Buzzard
  29. Otford
  30. Park Street
  31. Pitsea
  32. Seer Green & Jordans
  33. Sevenoaks
  34. Shepperton
  35. Shoeburyness
  36. Shoreham (Kent)
  37. Southend Central
  38. Southend East
  39. St Albans Abbey
  40. Staines
  41. Stanford-le-Hope
  42. Sunbury
  43. Sunnymeads
  44. Thorpe Bay
  45. Tilbury Town
  46. Tring
  47. Upper Halliford
  48. Virginia Water
  49. Watford North
  50. West Horndon
  51. Westcliff
  52. Windsor & Eton Riverside
  53. Wraysbury

The DfT is also working with Great British Railways transition team (GBRTT) to agree Pay As You Go pilots in the Greater Manchester and the West Midlands by the end of the year.


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  1. Richard Delahoy says:

    All very well,, but what about Railcard users? Tap in/out is no use if we can’t get our discounts! Whilst a railcard can be linked to an Oyster Card (or at least, my Senior one is) there is no facility to do the same for a bank card.

    • MilesT says:

      I hope this change does not foreshadow withdrawal of railcard discounts within the London “commuter” area (some of which I think already have Rail TOC installed ITSO card readers, but those are unattractive and fiddly to use for occasional travellers; not against having an ITSO card but it doesn’t support the sort of travel I want to do–once a week, evening off peak day return, network card discount.

      Waterloo station recently also disabled free use of gateline for railcard discounted tickets, you now have to show your ticket and railcard to a person; the additional time needed can be the difference between catching and missing a train.

    • Edvid says:

      Railcard discounts (at least the national variants*) are planned for the second phase of Project Oval (IanVisits, May 2022), but I suspect implementation is at least two years away.

      (* I’m guessing the nonpresence of Network Railcard fares on PAYG is Oyster back-office incompatibility with weekday time/fare restrictions. If so, would Project Proteus solve that issue?)

    • Edvid says:

      To clarify, I mean the Railcard-specific rules (no weekday discounts before 1000, minimum weekday fare £13, weekends fully discounted). Hmm, thinking about it again it may well be the minimum fare that’s the primary issue.

    • ianVisits says:

      Then carry on using the method you already use — this isn’t replacing, it’s an optional extra.

  2. Mike Hudgell says:

    so they are going for separate, incompatible technology in Greater Manchester and West Midlands?

    That won’t help long term when the entire of England should be a contactless travel zone.

    • ianVisits says:

      Why do you think the rollouts elsewhere would use incompatible technology?

  3. Annabel says:

    These days, when you buy a railway ticket, you can often choose to have it as a QR code on your phone, and there are readers at most stations. On a recent trip to Europe, every major city we visited offered an app you could buy your tickets on and display them as a QR code, although to be fair, they didn’t have gated stations. If TfL could install QR readers at stations, it would be possible to buy our tickets – with or without discounts – and check them in that way. Much easier! (And in Europe, paper tickets were available for those who preferred them).

    • SteveP says:

      Isn’t it interesting how some public transport functions without gates and barriers? It’s almost as if it is being run as a public service and not some dystopian “business”

  4. David says:

    I’d say the big issue is do you trust them to charge you the right, cheapest fare? This works on TFL where it’s a simple fixed fare structure. But beyond London you have single, return, peak, off peak, super off-peak, returns for a day or for a month, etc.

  5. 100andthirty says:

    As all these comments are showing, enebling pay-as-you-go and bank card contactless is only part of the issue. Simplification of the fares structure is also needed and a means of using railcards. For most occasional rail users rail fares are an incomprehensible minefield. There are, for example, just over 10 different fares from my local station (one stop outside these 53) to London depending on time of day and (in)flexibility between operators.

  6. Aled says:


    Any inside gossip on when the Upper Halliford/Shepperton lines will be contactless? Asking for a friend…as half of my company uses the Upper Halliford station 🙂

    • Edvid says:

      All the stations listed (including the two you refer to) will be contactless by December 2023.

  7. GaryJW says:

    No doubt dumb question, but what’ll happen if you use your card on the way in to say Bletchley, then head north to MK or Northampton? Then again, I guess that happens now at Euston – all down to how clued up the customer is and switched to the appropriate method as and when – bank card or get a real (QR!) ticket

  8. Basil Jet says:

    I took the trouble to organise the stations. The list consists of every station on the following lines…

    Tilbury Town / West Horndon – Shoeburyness

    Watford North – St Albans Abbey
    Kings Langley – Bletchley

    Denham – High Wycombe

    Ashford (Surrey) – Windsor & Eton Riverside / Virginia Water

    Kempton Park – Shepperton

    Eynsford / Dunton Green – Sevenoaks

  9. Frank Ward says:

    There needs to be contactless from Tottenham Hale to Stanstead airport – not sure what the problem is as Gatwick has contactless.

  10. Gerry says:

    TfL were all set to take over the running of the Southeastern metro services and stations, resulting in four trains per hour and all stations staffed from the first train to the last.

    Sadly this was vetoed by Failing Grayling almost seven years ago. Driver-only trains and unstaffed stations with gates left open are a godsend for fare dodgers and ne’er-do-wells; this discourages rail use, especially by lone females and after dark.

    Metroisation by TfL should provide consistent standards of services, fares and ticketing systems as far out as Tunbridge Wells. It’s crazy that the benefits of TfL extend far and wide to Reading and Shenfield but SE London and NW Kent still lose out massively from this ongoing lack of joined-up thinking.

  11. Victoria says:

    Thanks for the update. What seems to be unclear (no one explicitly says) – is this change going to bring with it a reduction of standard fares too? E g at the moment the last station accepting contactless on the line towards Sevenoaks is Knockholt (zone 6), peak single adult fare 7.70 (4.80 offpeak). The next station Dunton green (only a few mins extra on the train) – the ticket is 13.60 at peak time.
    Surely it cannot cost almost 6 pounds to go between the two stations? Hope this is going to be fixed by reduction of the fares and aligning with London fares.

    • Joe Jackson says:

      My understanding after asking at a station is no — this isn’t going to lead to Dunton Green, Sevenoaks etc joining TfL’s network and being given a zone and access to reduced fares. So the triumphant letter we all got from useless Sevenoaks MP Laura Trott declaring victory now seems bit premature.

      As a Sevenoaks resident I was initially chuffed about the change, wrongly thinking this would allow us to have capped daily [around £15] / weekly / monthly fares using the TfL/tube network. But after speaking to Southeastern staff at the station, they corrected me that it means you can now simply pay the existing rip-off fares on a touch-in, touch-out debit/credit card, rather than having to pre-book tickets. Not much of a great change IMHO.

      Why Watford, Reading, Gatwick etc all get to benefit from TfL network’s much-reduced fares and flexibility but we in Sevenoaks get ripped off on a daily basis by extortionate Southeastern is beyond me…

  12. June says:

    If I travel to Windsor Riverside can I use contact less from Gatwick airport via Clapham junction for entire journey.

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