'Oyster' Scheme Coming To Great Eastern Mainline

27 March 2015, 08:28

A smart card scheme - similar to London's Oyster cards - is being brought in on East Anglia railways.

Abellio Greater Anglia are planning on launching it at the end of the year for season tickets on the mainline from Norwich and Ipswich to London.

It is part of the Department for Transport funded South East Flexible Ticketing (SEFT) programme,

The announcement has been made by Transport Minister Baroness Kramer. She said: "I am delighted by Abellio Greater Anglia's commitment to introduce a modern smart ticketing system to their passengers. This is another example of the rail industry making progress, with the government's support, in developing an easy and seamless transport network with the passenger at its heart.

"Harnessing the latest technology holds the key to offering passengers the best possible services. This is especially important as we embark on major investments in our railways to build a stronger economy and fairer society."

Abellio Greater Anglia will upgrade its ticketing systems and begin a phased introduction of smart cards, initially for season ticket products, on parts of its network.

This work will be done throughout 2015 with the aim of launching at the end of the year. Initial routes to benefit are between London Liverpool Street and Cambridge, Ely, Norwich and Southend Victoria.

For passengers this will mean:

  • easier purchase of tickets online and collection at stations;
  • shorter queues at ticket offices;
  • more durable tickets that do not wear out as quickly as paper ones;
  • much quicker and more reliable passage through automatic ticket barriers; and
  • potential for more flexible ticketing products that could not work on paper-based tickets.


Managing Director for Abellio Greater Anglia, Jamie Burles, said: "Abellio Greater Anglia are excited to be participating in this initiative, which will provide significant customer benefits and make rail travel even more attractive and accessible."

SEFT is a government sponsored programme, delivered in partnership with the rail industry and transport operators. It aims to promote seamless and convenient travel on different types of transport across the region by encouraging operators to introduce smart and integrated ticketing technology. 

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