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For many journeys across our network, you can now access your train ticket on your phone. These tickets are commonly referred to as eTickets. They work the same as a paper ticket, but they save you time at the station as there’s no need to buy or collect your ticket before boarding your train.

Plus, as the ticket is held on your phone, it’s a secure and more sustainable way to travel, thanks to less paper. You can also use your Railcard to get the same discounts as you would with a paper ticket.

How does it work?

We’ve made it easy when you book with Southern. Our website will automatically select eTicket as your option during the checkout process, if its available for your journey.

You will receive an email with your eTicket, which can either be downloaded into your digital wallet, or easily scanned using your email.

If you’re buying tickets for more than one person and they have a smartphone, you can simply forward their ticket onto them.

This will save you all time at stations with ticket gates, as each ticket must be scanned.

As with paper tickets, you must ensure your eTicket is available for inspection at any point during your journey.

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When can I use an eTicket?

eTickets are now available for more than 150,000 journeys across our network. However, they are not available for every journey. The good news is that our website will automatically choose the eTicket fulfilment option for you, if its available.

Some of the main reasons we can’t facilitate eTickets for every fare include:

  • If you are starting or finishing your journey at a station we don’t operate, there might not be barcode readers available at that station
  • If you are purchasing a ticket that includes a London Travelcard, as there are not barcode readers available across Transport for London’s network
  • If your ticket is classified as a “cross-London” journey (particularly relevant for some Thameslink journeys). This is because a paper ticket enables you to take an alternative route through London, if you experience disruption on your journey
  • Some super off-peak journeys, due to a technical limitation currently that prevents an eTicket from having multiple time restrictions

We are working hard in collaboration with other operators, to enable more fares in the future.

When cant I use an eTicket?

eTickets can’t be used on London Underground services, even when a paper ticket for the same journey will be accepted.

This includes all journeys which include a cross London transfer on London Underground services.

As well as inter-available journeys where paper National Rail tickets, can be used on London Underground services, which include journeys between Moorgate and Kings Cross St Pancras Tube stations.

Further information