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Journey by Journey => Thames Valley Branches => Topic started by: w056863 on February 22, 2021, 09:36:51 am



Title: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: w056863 on February 22, 2021, 09:36:51 am
Hello All,

I have heard a rumour that contactless roll out is going to be rolled out to Windsor/Marlow/Henley branches in March. I see this as being a great step forward removing islands of paper in the contactless sea of Paddington to Reading. Does anybody know anything more? Is this definite? Is it still going to be March?


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: grahame on February 22, 2021, 02:44:29 pm
Hello All,

I have heard a rumour that contactless roll out is going to be rolled out to Windsor/Marlow/Henley branches in March. I see this as being a great step forward removing islands of paper in the contactless sea of Paddington to Reading. Does anybody know anything more? Is this definite? Is it still going to be March?

Excellent question, and welcome to the forum.   I'm afraid I'm just saying "welcome" - don't have an answer for you, but lots of members visit the forum over a day or two and chances are that someone will know, and will follow up.


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: grahame on February 24, 2021, 03:24:55 pm
Hello All,

I have heard a rumour that contactless roll out is going to be rolled out to Windsor/Marlow/Henley branches in March. I see this as being a great step forward removing islands of paper in the contactless sea of Paddington to Reading. Does anybody know anything more? Is this definite? Is it still going to be March?

Bump ... anyone have an answer for our new member?

I had a look at the web site of the Maidenhead and Marlow Passenger Association to see if thy have anything that might provide an answer.  https://www.mmpa.org.uk/index.html . Clear sign of recent updates to the site including upcoming changes to train times in March for engineering, but no whisper I could see on ticketing changes.


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: eightf48544 on February 25, 2021, 11:27:12 am
Was discussed at MMPA Committee Zoom last night.

Have heard the rumour, but have heard nothing official from GWR. The  March date seems unlikely. As far as we know no work has yet started on installng the touch pads, certainly not on the Marlow Branch.




Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: Ralph Ayres on February 25, 2021, 11:51:27 am
I can't see any mention of the existing contactless pay as you go on the Reading-Paddington main line on GWR's own website.  Am I just not looking hard enough, or is it really not there?


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: eightf48544 on February 25, 2021, 12:13:58 pm
I think that's because it's TFL. It's very confuisng there are several threaads on this topic.

One I found is in All across the Great Western territory > Fare's Fair > What counts as PM off peak?


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: IndustryInsider on February 25, 2021, 12:26:00 pm
I can't see any mention of the existing contactless pay as you go on the Reading-Paddington main line on GWR's own website.  Am I just not looking hard enough, or is it really not there?

https://www.gwr.com/plan-journey/tickets-railcards-and-season-tickets/contactless-payment

Granted, it doesn't exactly leap out at you when visiting the website!  ;)


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: stuving on February 25, 2021, 01:43:40 pm
It's a confusing word, "contactless", isn't it? It's mostly used (outside transport) for payment using bank (debit and credit) cards, and TFL use it for that alternative to Oyster cards. But originally "contactless" applied to the near-field communications link used for those and also for mobile phones and ITSO cards (GWR's and others'). So I guess if GWR use the word they probably do mean the "touch" pads* on ticket gates, since their systems don't work with bank cards.

* the ones you don't need to touch with the ticket carrier!


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: w056863 on February 26, 2021, 12:13:59 pm
London to Reading works on the TfL contactless system, which is bank cards, and Oyster within the London zonal system. You just touch in and then touch out, and then all your travelling (including on tubes & buses) for the day is debited to the card - there are also daily and weekly caps. Telling people who are not so familiar with public transport that they can use their bank card, and no need to queue up at the ticket office simplifies things enormously, and encourages them to use in preference to their cars. No need to decide if a weekly season is needed in advance is a great benefit if you are not certain which days you might be travelling.


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: w056863 on March 02, 2021, 10:29:10 am
Interestingly the contactless fares have now appeared on BR Fares, but not for travel to London...

Here is an example Windsor & Eton Central to Slough: https://www.brfares.com/!fares?orig=WNC&dest=SLO (https://www.brfares.com/!fares?orig=WNC&dest=SLO)

Anytime Day Single Paper £3.10. Contactless Peak Single £2.00
Off Peak Day Single Paper £3.00. Contactless Off Peak Single £1.50
Anytime Day Return Paper £4.00
Off Peak Day Return Paper £3.10

There are no Return Fares with Contactless, but it makes sense when you do the maths, however if you travel one way in peak, and the other off peak, it is most advantageous to use contactless (notwithstanding the differences between the timing of peak and off peak for paper and contactless)


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: stuving on March 02, 2021, 11:12:15 am
Interestingly the contactless fares have now appeared on BR Fares, but not for travel to London...

Here is an example Windsor & Eton Central to Slough: https://www.brfares.com/!fares?orig=WNC&dest=SLO (https://www.brfares.com/!fares?orig=WNC&dest=SLO)

Anytime Day Single Paper £3.10. Contactless Peak Single £2.00
Off Peak Day Single Paper £3.00. Contactless Off Peak Single £1.50
Anytime Day Return Paper £4.00
Off Peak Day Return Paper £3.10

There are no Return Fares with Contactless, but it makes sense when you do the maths, however if you travel one way in peak, and the other off peak, it is most advantageous to use contactless (notwithstanding the differences between the timing of peak and off peak for paper and contactless)

Not just not for travel to London - they are shown with validity "not for travel" on BRFares. And GWR's web site still has an FAQ saying:
Quote
Can I use contactless pay as you go on the Henley, Marlow and Windsor & Eton branch lines?

Contactless pay as you go isn’t available on these GWR branch lines. You will need to touch in or touch out at the gateline of the mainline station and have a separate ticket for the branch line, or alternatively have a ticket for your whole journey.

So are they trying something out before announcing it then making it work? Perhaps letting you buy a GWR single to add onto your TfL trip into London? But usually these things appear well in advance in published and internal documents (and sites like London Reconnections), especially so if TfL is involved. 


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: TaplowGreen on March 02, 2021, 05:50:03 pm
London to Reading works on the TfL contactless system, which is bank cards, and Oyster within the London zonal system. You just touch in and then touch out, and then all your travelling (including on tubes & buses) for the day is debited to the card - there are also daily and weekly caps. Telling people who are not so familiar with public transport that they can use their bank card, and no need to queue up at the ticket office simplifies things enormously, and encourages them to use in preference to their cars. No need to decide if a weekly season is needed in advance is a great benefit if you are not certain which days you might be travelling.

Works really well on Reading-Paddington now that TfL are running the show, and it's timely given the huge changes in commuting which are afoot.


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: w056863 on September 27, 2021, 03:06:06 pm
I read elsewhere that Contactless on the Thames Valley branches is supposed to be working before 31st October 2021. The cabling is being fitted to enable the readers, so perhaps 31st October will be an appropriate launch date.


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: w056863 on November 22, 2021, 11:17:07 am
Cabling is underway, and therefore I suspect that contactless may be switched on for the January fares change.


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: Surrey 455 on November 22, 2021, 09:23:52 pm
Looking at National Rail Enquiries website for Henley, Marlow, and Windsor & Eton Central station, the ticket buying & collections tab states that none of these stations have smartcard validators. If that is correct then perhaps the cabling work is to install validators just for the GWR touch smartcard. I would be surprised if they also took contactless bank cards as well.


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: w056863 on November 23, 2021, 11:09:13 am
It is a commitment in the Direct Award (due 31/10/21), and the contactless fares are also in the fares database (with the exception of London fares), so I strongly suspect that it is going ahead.


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: sunshinehappyness on March 09, 2022, 08:36:06 am
Three machines now installed at Henley station.  They are on although say "Closed" so not in use just yet.  Any thoughts on a go live date?


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: w056863 on March 10, 2022, 02:07:25 pm
Being installed on the Marlow branch as I type. The commissioning and testing of these things always seems to take much longer than one would imagine


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: w056863 on March 23, 2022, 10:40:38 am
Contactless is due to go live on Windsor & Eton Central Branch as well as all stations on the Henley-on-Thames Branch line from Monday 28th March. Readers have been installed on the Marlow branch, but due to go live in April


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: Ralph Ayres on March 23, 2022, 10:54:03 pm
GWR still seem reluctant to publicise it. There are details about contactless pay as you go including that 28 March start date on https://www.gwr.com/your-tickets/choosing-your-ticket/smart-tickets/contactless-payments (https://www.gwr.com/your-tickets/choosing-your-ticket/smart-tickets/contactless-payments) but you won't find that page where you might expect it somewhere under Smart Tickets. It seems to be an orphan page that can only be reached by a direct link or a search result. Nothing in the Press area either. All very low-key.


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: eightf48544 on March 24, 2022, 09:42:30 am
I'm totally cofused!

We know they are being installed on the Marlow branch but what tickets you can by for what journeys is not clear.
 I
This raises a number of questions.

Do you have to register your bank card?

How do know if your journey is covered?

What happens if you tap in but not out (station with no reader)?

What about child fares?

What about railcards?

How does a TTI check you've tapped in?

Differentiating between between and off peak Fares.

I am sure there are other questions but tis is what comes to mind.




 


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: Ralph Ayres on March 24, 2022, 10:30:40 pm
I'm totally confused!

Don't overthink things - it's meant to be simple, convenient and flexible! Most of the queries about where, who, when etc are answered on the GWR page (link earlier) or on TfL's website https://tfl.gov.uk/fares/how-to-pay-and-where-to-buy-tickets-and-oyster/pay-as-you-go/contactless-and-mobile-pay-as-you-go?intcmp=55539 (https://tfl.gov.uk/fares/how-to-pay-and-where-to-buy-tickets-and-oyster/pay-as-you-go/contactless-and-mobile-pay-as-you-go?intcmp=55539). The "London's Rail & Tube Map" (hard copies available if you're lucky, or online) shows the existing contactless area and the branches are obvious.

Remember that you're not buying a ticket, you're recording the journeys you make so you can be charged at the end of the day. Fares are broadly comparable to buying actual tickets and in most cases you'll end up paying the same, but as it's based on the time you enter the station not when the train is timed to leave and there's no such thing as a return contactless fare then things aren't totally comparable. If you don't use the readers at both ends the assumption is you've made a long journey (on GWR they assume you've been to Paddington) and you will be charged accordingly; you shouldn't be travelling to a station without a reader. TTIs will use a reader to record every card they check but they won't know at the time if you touched in.  If at the end of the day there isn't a touch in and out either side of the check time, there will again be a long journey charge and if you keep doing it your card will be blocked for contactless travel so gates and readers won't accept it. If you go outside the area covered by the scheme you won't have a valid ticket and GWR will treat you accordingly; adding in the branches actually makes the area clearer.

Child fares, Railcards etc are some way off yet. All sorts of privacy, security, fraud and technical issues with linking a bank card to that information. Oyster can broadly cope as it was designed with that in mind, but Oyster itself has now been pushed to or arguably slightly beyond its geographic limit so couldn't be extended to Reading.


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: BBM on March 28, 2022, 10:18:15 am
I've just had an email from GWR announcing today's start of Contactless on Henley and Windsor branch lines:

Quote
From 28 March, more stations are going contactless
Henley-on-Thames – Shiplake – Wargrave – Windsor & Eton Central
 
Travelling with us is about to get even easier. From 28 March, there's no need to stop at the machines to buy a ticket. Just go contactless and enjoy the convenience of tapping in and out at more stations on the London Thames Valley Line.

There's then a link labelled 'Find Out More' which links to the following page which I think is an existing one with branch line stations added:

https://www.gwr.com/your-tickets/choosing-your-ticket/smart-tickets/contactless-payments (https://www.gwr.com/your-tickets/choosing-your-ticket/smart-tickets/contactless-payments)


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: eightf48544 on March 28, 2022, 10:33:08 am
RA thanks for the info. There are still a couple of points I'm unclear on:

Do you have to register your card? i couldn't find anything on your link unless I missed it.

Like a travelcard can it be used for any destinations in Zones 1 to 6.

it's no good for me as I have a railcard


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: paul7575 on March 28, 2022, 12:34:27 pm
AIUI a contactless ‘bank’ card will work anywhere TfL contactless works, so as well as in zones 1-6 all the existing extra bits such as Metropolitan and Overground out to Watford etc, out to Gatwick, Reading, and various other extensions.

Also AIUI you are not required to, but can optionally link a contactless card to an existing TfL account that you might already have, (eg for Oyster PAYG).  Or presumably one can setup a new TfL account. The linking to a TfL account allows you to more easily check your journey history, and to deal with incomplete journeys online.

I still use Oyster PAYG because I have a railcard discount set, but I did also set up my debit card on a precautionary basis, I keep my Oyster card in a separate holder to my wallet full of bank cards, so I thought if I ever lost the Oyster card I could temporarily use contactless.

Paul


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: RichardB on March 29, 2022, 10:56:33 am
This has just appeared

https://news.railbusinessdaily.com/gwr-branch-lines-tap-into-contactless-pay-as-you-go-technology/



Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: eightf48544 on April 01, 2022, 10:27:36 am
I think I've just about sussed out Contactless bar a couple of queries.

If you are travelling with someone can you tap twice to get 2 tickets otherwise I presume they have to use a second card?

Taplow and Gatwick airport both have readers so it would be possible use contactless to buy a ticket, but what happens if you go Reading tap in at Taplow out at Gatwick?

My research suggests contactless is only of use for pasengers over 25s and under Senior Card age who make 
 journeys within the area which cost less than the weekly season ticket.

Buyer beware.


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: Surrey 455 on April 01, 2022, 08:30:56 pm
I think I've just about sussed out Contactless bar a couple of queries.

If you are travelling with someone can you tap twice to get 2 tickets otherwise I presume they have to use a second card?

I'm fairly sure that each passenger needs their own card.

Quote
Taplow and Gatwick airport both have readers so it would be possible use contactless to buy a ticket, but what happens if you go Reading tap in at Taplow out at Gatwick?

My research suggests contactless is only of use for pasengers over 25s and under Senior Card age who make 
 journeys within the area which cost less than the weekly season ticket.

Buyer beware.

The TFL single fare finder ( https://tfl.gov.uk/fares/find-fares/tube-and-rail-fares/single-fare-finder ) says the following for Taplow to Gatwick:

Quote
Contactless

Peak : £25.80
Monday to Friday from 0630 to 0930.
Off Peak: £15.70
At all other times including public holidays.

Some journeys are charged via Zone 1 irrespective of the route taken.


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: Trowres on May 02, 2022, 08:34:36 pm
I am hoping to be able to travel from Heathrow Airport to Henley on Thames.

Is anyone able to confirm that Heathrow to HoT is achievable using contactless payment? Would the fare be cheaper changing at Hayes & Harlington? I gather that contactless is available on Heathrow Express (at higher  :o fares) so how does the system know whether I've used HEX or the slow train?


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: IndustryInsider on May 02, 2022, 08:57:02 pm
If you touch out/in at Hayes it can’t be a HEx, would be my guess?


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: Electric train on May 03, 2022, 08:14:54 am
I am hoping to be able to travel from Heathrow Airport to Henley on Thames.

Is anyone able to confirm that Heathrow to HoT is achievable using contactless payment? Would the fare be cheaper changing at Hayes & Harlington? I gather that contactless is available on Heathrow Express (at higher  :o fares) so how does the system know whether I've used HEX or the slow train?


Heathrow Express does not stop at Hayes & Harlington, TfL (soon to be Elizebeth Line) does.   I would check the terms of the TfL / GWR contactless between Hayes & Harlington and Henley.  The TfL Zone 6 ends at West Drayton


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: Ralph Ayres on May 03, 2022, 02:22:27 pm
TfL's Single Fare Finder https://tfl.gov.uk/fares/find-fares/tube-and-rail-fares/single-fare-finder (https://tfl.gov.uk/fares/find-fares/tube-and-rail-fares/single-fare-finder) shows a lower fare from Heathrow to Henley than from Paddington to Henley so assumes changing at Hayes & H. If you did travel via Paddington then contactless is clever enough not to charge more than the fare shown for the end to end trip. The Fare Finder also mentions that fares don't include travel on HEx unless stated (which it isn't); you would be charged separately for the journey to Paddington if you did use it (it uses separate platforms at Paddington with their own gates) so it would cost a lot more.


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: Trowres on May 03, 2022, 11:24:19 pm
Thanks for the various pieces of advice offered. Plan is to change at Hayes & Harlington. As I'm going one-way only the contactless fare of £11.30 seems much better value that the National Rail fare of £19.90.


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: GBM on May 04, 2022, 06:16:23 am
Yet again, general member of the public Joe wouldn't know about asking on a forum, or spend a while digging to look for cheaper fares than that automatically presented by a straight search on a TOC or NetworkRail website.

Rather sad really.


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: w056863 on May 10, 2022, 03:18:21 pm
The Marlow branch contactless capability was being tested yesterday and apparently is targeted to be switched on over the weekend 14th/15th May.


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: NickB on May 15, 2022, 08:19:53 pm
I happened to be buying tickets from Maidenhead to Marlow today and they were still firmly ‘paper only’.

As a related point I was quite surprised to find that with a decent sized festival taking place at Marlow today (Tom Kerridge’s Pub in the Park) and with the organisers advising attendees not to drive and to take GWR, that a 2-car turbo once per hour was expected to convey everyone back to the mainline. Is there no capacity to enhance that service for events, be that length or frequency?


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: Ralph Ayres on May 15, 2022, 10:44:44 pm
Events similar to the Pub in the Park in towns just beyond London have sometimes in the past led to trendy Londoners travelling out to the provincial station clutching Oyster cards only to find they are not valid there. Hatfield has been a particular problem, simplified/complicated more recently by it now taking contactless but not Oyster. In a sense it shows the opposite approach to the uncertainty about using any form of pay as you go expressed in some previous posts; it has become so established (and broadly trusted, I would say) in London that many Londoners just assume it's the way to pay for travel everywhere.


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: stuving on May 15, 2022, 11:59:46 pm
DfT and TfL have just agreed a new expansion of contactless (formally a contract placed by DfT). It won't go further than now on the GWR lines, but will involve all stations. It will eventually lead to using railcards with contactless, or at least some of them. There is no proposal to extend Oyster coverage, for technical reasons.

This article from IanVisits  (https://www.ianvisits.co.uk/articles/tfl-to-expand-contactless-payments-outside-london-54582/)provides the details, such as they are known now. It's based on the 2019 consultation, and the final choice of what exactly to do and where to draw lines on the map has not been announced.



Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: w056863 on May 19, 2022, 01:11:42 pm
Contactless on Marlow branch allegedly will be switched on over the coming weekend (in time for Liz Line opening).


Title: Re: Contactless on Thames Valley Branches
Post by: w056863 on May 24, 2022, 08:33:33 am
Looks as though Marlow branch was switched on over the weekend. Therefore all of the Thames Valley branches now have access to Contactless Fares, and the "paper islands" have finally been removed.



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