How do you buy single tickets on a smart card?

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Martin54321

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I'm starting a commute from Reading to King's Cross. On most days it makes no sense at all to buy a season ticket - it's better for me to buy a single from Reading to Zone 1 and then a Single from Zone 1 to Reading with a Network Railcard. I'd ideally like to buy it in advance at home and load it on to a smart card. However, on the GWR website I don't get the option to do that. I can buy a season ticket and put it on the smart card, but not a single.

Is it impossible to do this, or are GWR keeping it hidden to discourage people buying cheaper tickets on a smart card?

Martin
 
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JonathanH

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On most days it makes no sense at all to buy a season ticket - it's better for me to buy a single from Reading to Zone 1
Is it actually going to be cheaper to use Contactless in this direction?

Is a mobile e-ticket for the Paddington to Reading section and Contactless on the underground possible? I think e-tickets for single fares rather than smartcards are probably the way they are taking future ticketing forward (but not on the underground).
 
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sammyg901

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I just checked my Chiltern Railways app and it will let me load a Reading-Paddington single to my smart card no problem. Not a ticket to Z1 though
 

Martin54321

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Thanks. If I use a barcode ticket then I can't buy a Reading to Zone 1, only Reading to Paddington, and then tap my debit card for tube travel. An off peak return with a network rail card cost £14.45, plus the £4.80 for the return on the tube. A travelcard costs £17.60 - £1.65 less. But you can't get a travelcard on a barcode ticket.

I'll try a chiltern smartcard instead of a GWR one - it sounds more user friendly.

Martin
 

Wallsendmag

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Thanks. If I use a barcode ticket then I can't buy a Reading to Zone 1, only Reading to Paddington, and then tap my debit card for tube travel. An off peak return with a network rail card cost £14.45, plus the £4.80 for the return on the tube. A travelcard costs £17.60 - £1.65 less. But you can't get a travelcard on a barcode ticket.

I'll try a chiltern smartcard instead of a GWR one - it sounds more user friendly.

Martin
They all work exatly the same
 

Haywain

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I'll try a chiltern smartcard instead of a GWR one - it sounds more user friendly.
The issue is not the smartcard but the website offering smartcard fulfilment. If you buy from another retailer who does offer smartcard fulfilment you should still be able to use your GWR smartcard.
 

island

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I believe zone U* tickets can only be issued onto traditional paper tickets (and not PRT, smartcards, or barcoded ticket)s), but I am open to correction.
 

Haywain

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I believe zone U* tickets can only be issued onto traditional paper tickets (and not PRT, smartcards, or barcoded ticket)s), but I am open to correction.
Possibly on smartcards if the price setting TOC has set it up, but not the others. Travelcards should be reasonably easily available on smartcards.
 

mattdickinson

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The issue is not the smartcard but the website offering smartcard fulfilment. If you buy from another retailer who does offer smartcard fulfilment you should still be able to use your GWR smartcard.
The Chiltern app only allows fulfillment to the Chiltern smart card
 

kieron

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Off topic, but thanks OP for raising this question. I've just discovered zone 1 tickets are a thing so you've saved me 70p vs a day travelcard.
If you're looking at any anytime day return from Reading to Zone 1, you could save a few more pounds by buying a return to West Drayton and a separate Zone 1-6 travelcard (costing £43.40 in total). This combination is valid on non-stop trains as one ticket is a travelcard, but it isn't valid via Ascot.

A ticket to "boundary zone 6" would cost 20p more than one to West Drayton, but you could buy a "change of route excess" to turn it into a "via Ascot" ticket for an extra £1.70 per direction, if you needed to. I don't think you can do any of this on-line, though.

This sort of thing is be less useful off peak, though, because of railcards.
 

Martin54321

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Thanks for the heads up on Chiltern being better than GWR for selling tickets that can be loaded on to a smartcard.

They still have some puzzling restrictions. For example, I can load a Standard Reading to London travelcard on to a smartcard, but not an Off Peak Reading to London travelcard.

Also, even though I can load that standard travelcard (which includes the tube), I can't load a single which includes the tube. Chiltern is a step forward, but the two best value fares still remain unavailable for smartcard use, despite it being technically possible.
 

Wallsendmag

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Thanks for the heads up on Chiltern being better than GWR for selling tickets that can be loaded on to a smartcard.

They still have some puzzling restrictions. For example, I can load a Standard Reading to London travelcard on to a smartcard, but not an Off Peak Reading to London travelcard.

Also, even though I can load that standard travelcard (which includes the tube), I can't load a single which includes the tube. Chiltern is a step forward, but the two best value fares still remain unavailable for smartcard use, despite it being technically possible.
Each TOC is different, we for example have only enabled seasons and day Travelcards for fulfiment to Smartcards.
 

mattdickinson

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Thanks for the heads up on Chiltern being better than GWR for selling tickets that can be loaded on to a smartcard.

They still have some puzzling restrictions. For example, I can load a Standard Reading to London travelcard on to a smartcard, but not an Off Peak Reading to London travelcard.

Also, even though I can load that standard travelcard (which includes the tube), I can't load a single which includes the tube. Chiltern is a step forward, but the two best value fares still remain unavailable for smartcard use, despite it being technically possible.
I attempted to buy 2 tickets on the Chiltern app using my Two Together railcard. It asked for two smartcard numbers. It successfully fulfilled to my girlfriend's smartcard, but wasn't visible to load on to mine. I'm just waiting to hear what their reply is to my e-mail.
 

alex8339

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If you're looking at any anytime day return from Reading to Zone 1, you could save a few more pounds by buying a return to West Drayton and a separate Zone 1-6 travelcard (costing £43.40 in total). This combination is valid on non-stop trains as one ticket is a travelcard, but it isn't valid via Ascot.

A ticket to "boundary zone 6" would cost 20p more than one to West Drayton, but you could buy a "change of route excess" to turn it into a "via Ascot" ticket for an extra £1.70 per direction, if you needed to. I don't think you can do any of this on-line, though.
This doesn't work for me as I have a 26-30 railcard. West Drayton + TC Z1-6 totals £37.30, compared to £37.05 for a U1-2. Though there's still a 45p saving if I needed a travelcard.

However, I have just discovered an any permitted Reading to Clapham Junction anytime day return is just £33.95. Think it's fine to break the journey at Victoria to spend a day in the office before continuing onto Clapham to see friends in the evening, but have no idea whether it's valid as my regular to St James' Park.
 
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lancededcena

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GA allows single tickets to be loaded to their smartcard from their app or on a TVM with a railcard (did it a few days ago).
This is what it shows on the GA app and NR smart card app (obviously expired):

IMG_1761.jpgIMG_1762.jpg
 
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