Sign up for a smarter way to travel across West Cornwall

Customers will soon be able to tap in and tap out of stations across West Cornwall – with a new time-saving smartcard guaranteeing the best value fares.

Great Western Railway has teamed up with Cornwall Council to launch the pay-as-you-go touch smartcard, rolling payments and tickets into one.

Register now and be ready to use your new Cornwall pay-as-you-go card as soon as the new scheme starts on 15 November

Once a customer has registered for the smartcard and linked it to their bank account, they’ll be able to tap in out and tap out on yellow card readers at stations between Penzance and Par.

Watch Betsy Saunders from the Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership take a train trip using the new Cornwall pay-as-you-go card:

The introduction of the new card, only the second pay-as-you-go scheme on the GWR network, coincides with Network Rail’s multi-million-pound investment programme in Cornwall, replacing signalling equipment with brand-new, modern technology, and puts the county at the forefront of new digital fares technology.

Plans to extend to the rest of Cornwall through to Plymouth were included in Cornwall Council’s successful bid to the Government’s Levelling Up programme for the Mid Cornwall Metro and will follow as part of that programme.

Cornwall Council portfolio holder for transport, Richard Williams-Pears, said:

“We are committed to helping our residents get the best value and give them access to the most convenient ways to make the most of public transport in Cornwall. 

“Initiatives such as this and our bus fares reduction scheme under the Transport for Cornwall banner, mean that Cornwall is leading the way in making it easier for people to travel by public transport and is another step in encouraging more people to look to more sustainable ways of travel, leaving their cars at home and cutting their carbon emissions.” 

GWR Head of Strategic Service Development, Matt Barnes, said:

“We’re always looking at ways to make travelling with GWR a simpler, more accessible experience and believe this new pay-as-you-go smartcard will be well received by customers.

“We launched a similar scheme in Bristol last year and are excited about doing the same in Cornwall, supporting residents, visitors and local businesses. Cornwall Council has already done so much to support modal shift and sustainable travel and we are proud to be working with them on this next step.”

Peninsula Transport chairman, Cllr Andrea Davis, said:

“We need to make sure passengers have easy and convenient ways to pay for travel as we move towards a more integrated transport system for the South West.

“GWR’s Cornwall pay-as-you-go smartcard should take us further on that journey. We need to encourage more people to use public transport to take pressure off the roads and reduce carbon emissions. Making payments and ticketing as easy as possible is a very important part of that process and something I’m sure passengers will find helpful.”

Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership’s Michael Parker-Bray said:

“It’s great to see this hassle-free new way to travel being rolled out in Cornwall, giving passengers even more choice and convenience for their local journeys.

“To give people a sneak preview of how easy it is to use, we’re pleased to have produced a short video showing an example pay-as-you-go trip between Penryn and Truro. We’ll be promoting the video on social media to encourage as many people as possible to try this exciting new option.”

The GWR touch smartcard will be valid on GWR and CrossCountry services between Penzance and Par. The card will enable passengers to get *best value on walk-up fares for the day of travel, plus Weekly Season ticket price capping applied to end-to-end journeys between two stations over a Monday to Sunday seven-day week.

Train tickets and season tickets can also be stored on your smartcard with pay-as-you-go, except a Flexi Season ticket. GWR advises that a Flexi Season ticket is not used in combination with pay-as-you-go and customers should obtain a separate smartcard for these products.

Railcards can also be loaded on to your pay-as-you-go card, with discounts automatically applied, while a 50% child fare discount is available if you register your child.

How do I get one?

Register for your GWR touch smartcard now and start using from Wednesday 15 November.

  • register for a GWR.com account or login if you already have one
  • go to ‘Manage smartcards’ within your account and choose ‘Apply for a smartcard’ from the drop-down menu
  • fill out the form and submit your order
  • you should usually receive your free smartcard within five working days

For further information including answers to some frequently asked questions please click here.

*Best value walk-up, flexible fares as available on GWR.com. Excludes Advance Single tickets. Weekly Season ticket price capping applied to journeys between two stations over a fixed Monday – Sunday 7-day week. Unlimited day travel price capping only applies on journeys that start after 9am Monday to Friday and any time at weekends and bank holidays. Pay-as-you-go Anytime Day Singles generally half price of Anytime Day Return. Full terms at GWR.com/CornwallPAYG.

Contact Information

John Carter

Media and Communications Manager

Great Western Railway

0845 410 4444


Notes to editors

Pictured, left to right: GWR Head of Strategic Service Development, Matt Barnes; Cornwall Council portfolio holder for transport, Richard Williams-Pears; Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership's Michael Parker-Bray; and GWR Station Manager for West Cornwall, Sharon Holloway

The GWR pay-as-you-go touch smartcard features joint branding with Transport for Cornwall (TfC).  TfC is the partnership between Cornwall Council and transport operators in Cornwall working together to improve public transport.

About Great Western Railway
First Greater Western Limited, trading as “Great Western Railway” (GWR), operates trains across the Great Western franchise area, which includes South Wales, the West Country, the Cotswolds, across southern England and into London. GWR provides high speed, commuter, regional and branch line train services, and before the covid-19 pandemic helped over 100 million passengers reach their destinations every year. GWR has been awarded a National Rail Contract to continue operating the Great Western network, which shall run up to 21 June 2025, with the potential for a further three years at the Secretary of State’s discretion. Find out more here: https://www.gwr.com/about-us

About Cornwall Council

Cornwall Council is a unitary authority created on 1st April 2009. We merged Cornwall County Council with the six borough and district councils of Cornwall - Caradon, Carrick, Kerrier, North Cornwall, Restormel and Penwith. The Council has a revenue budget of over £1bn, with 87 local Councillors representing the 550,000 residents of Cornwall, delivering services to every community across the County. Our mission; Working with communities for a carbon neutral Cornwall, where everyone can start well, live well and age well.

About Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership
The Devon & Cornwall Rail Partnership is a non-profit partnership between local authorities, the rail industry and the University of Plymouth which works to make the most of the two counties’ rail network for the benefit of all.  It focuses particularly on the branch lines.  Core members include Cornwall Council, Devon County Council, GWR and the University of Plymouth where it is based.  More information about the Partnership can be found at www.dcrp.org.uk