Govia Thameslink Railway extends Great Northern’s smartcard to Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton

Date: 16 Dec 2015

the key card

Rail passengers at Meldreth, Shepreth and Foxton can now use Great Northern’s new smartcard ticketing technology ‘the key’ for season ticket journeys to and from London and stations in between.

David Innis, Commercial Director for Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR), which operates Great Northern along with Thameslink, Southern and Gatwick Express, said:

“We extended our smartcard ‘the key’ from Southern and Gatwick Express to Thameslink and much of Great Northern in September to give our passengers a smarter, easier way to travel.

“We have now been able to spread its availability this further north, beyond Royston, which was the previous limit of the scheme, to Foxton station. Next year, we hope to extend it even further – to Cambridge, Ely and King’s Lynn.”

As well as the season tickets already provided on ‘the key’, GTR is developing many more ticket types to roll out in future.

Mr Innis added:

“There are great benefits to using ‘the key’ – once passengers have it, they can buy tickets online and then load them up simply by touching one of our new ticket gate card readers, or they can buy tickets to upload to the smartcard at one of our ticket machines.

“And if anyone loses a card, it can be instantly cancelled and a replacement issued with the same ticket pre-loaded.”

The smartcard is supported by a recently-updated online ticketing system and updated app which is designed to make the whole ticket buying process easier.

•       ‘the key’ can be requested free online and posted to homes; passengers can then buy tickets using their card easily so there will be no need to queue at a ticket office to buy or collect

•       Purchases and renewals of season, monthly or weekly tickets can be made online and collected simply by touching a smartcard reader at the passenger’s specified station

•       The new mobile app will put customers’ ticket wallets at their fingertips, giving them a new way to buy season tickets

•       Passengers will also be able to buy tickets for ‘the key’ at station ticket machines outside the London Travelcard area

•       Passengers will be able to check the status of their tickets on the key and journey history either online, through our iOS or Android app, or by touching them onto ticket machines at stations

•       If a registered card is reported lost, it becomes “hot listed”, so cannot be used for travel.  A customer is then issued with a new card with their existing products already on the card 


Editor’s notes

For more information email or call

·         Southern and Gatwick Express press office: 0203 750 2030

·         Thameslink and Great Northern press office: 0345 470 0789

Govia Thameslink Railway

Govia Thameslink Railway (GTR) began running Thameslink (Bedford to Brighton, Sutton and Wimbledon) and Great Northern (London to Peterborough, Cambridge and King’s Lynn) rail services in September 2014. A small number of services and stations previously operated by Southeastern transferred to GTR in December 2014 and in July 2015 the Southern and Gatwick Express routes were incorporated into the franchise.

GTR is now the largest rail franchise in the UK in terms of passenger numbers, trains, revenue and staff: GTR carries about 273 million passenger journeys per year, employs around 6,500 people and generates annual passenger revenues of approximately £1.3bn.

Details of the franchise are below:

·         22% of all UK passengers

·         6,500 employees

·         £1.3bn annual revenue

·         £237m passenger journeys

·         £50m investment to enhance all 239 stations

·         50% increase in capacity

·         1,398 new train carriages

·         10,000 additional morning peak seats into London

·         Free Wi-Fi at 104 stations

·         20,000 days of customer service training for frontline employees

·         £1m per year for local communities to spend on improvements at stations


The GTR investment programme for stations includes funding for more CCTV, toilet refurbishments, new retail facilities, help points and car park improvements – as well as plans for increased motorcycle storage and improved transport integration.,,