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How travelling by train will become easier with new ticketing system

Train passengers travelling to and from 90 railway stations in the West Midlands and Greater Manchester will be able to use tap-in and tap-out ticketing from next year.

Ticketing changes are coming

Rail minister Huw Merriman confirmed the stations will be fitted with technology ensuring passengers get the best fare by tapping payment cards.

This pay-as-you-go ticketing is already used throughout London and other parts of south-east England.

The trials in the West Midlands and Greater Manchester are being part-funded by £100 million reallocated from curtailing HS2.

It comes as it was revealed this week that conductors on the West Midlands Metro will also soon be replaced with a tap-in-tap-out system of ticketing.

Mr Merriman said: “We want to encourage more people back onto our trains, with tap-in technology meaning using our stations couldn’t be easier. Our railways have a long history, but projects like these – part of the Government’s wider plans for reform - will ensure they have a bright future too.”

West Midlands mayor Andy Street said: “Our Swift smartcard already enables passengers to transfer seamlessly between our various local bus operators and Metro tram services whilst guaranteeing they get best value fares.

“Now thanks to this pilot scheme, we will now add rail to our offering – making Swift truly multi-modal and bringing us much closer to a London Oyster card-style system.”

Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham said: “We are transforming how people travel in Greater Manchester, with the aim for people to pay for journeys easily and seamlessly across buses, trams, trains and cycle hire.

“We look forward to progressing with these new contactless rail pilots, and working together to develop a more meaningful and accountable partnership that allows us to integrate local rail services across the city-region into the Bee Network by 2030.”

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