Tapping into a smarter way to travel across West Cornwall – with the help of some tap dancers

A troupe of tap dancers took over Truro station today to help promote a new time-saving smartcard for customers travelling across West Cornwall.

To emphasise the ease of ‘tapping in’ and ‘tapping out’ at stations, members of Jason Thomas Performing Arts tapped on a super-sized Cornwall pay-as-you-go card transformed into a dance floor.

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

Register now for your new Cornwall pay-as-you-go card

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.

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.

For B-roll footage click here.

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, pictured above, 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 Regional Growth Manager, David Whiteway, said:

“We’re really grateful to Jason Thomas Performing Arts for helping to promote our Cornwall pay-as-you-go card. The smartcard allows you to ‘tap in’ and ‘tap out’ at stations across West Cornwall, calculating the best value fare on the day of travel.

“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 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 and Cornwall Rail Partnership’s Richard Burningham 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.”

CrossCountry’s Interim Regional Director for West and Wales, Sarah Gould, said:

“We’re pleased to support with the rollout of the new smartcard system in West Cornwall, which will make travelling by train that much easier for customers in our Wales and West region.

“It’s been fantastic to work with colleagues from across the rail industry and throughout West Cornwall to make journeys swifter and smoother for our customers.”


The GWR touch smartcard is valid on GWR and CrossCountry services between Penzance and Par. The card enables 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:

  • 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

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