Northern Trains has completed one of the UK rail industry’s biggest rollouts of on-station self-service retailing terminals since BR privatisation, providing customers with simplified fares navigation, contactless payments and real-time information at the point of departure.

The train operating company partnered with specialist transport ticketing and payments company Flowbird to install more than 600 tablet-style touchscreen terminals across its network.

Northern has installed the terminals at 420 locations across the north. They provide access to a wide range of fares – including discounts and concessions to help customers save money. Tickets-for-tomorrow and anywhere-to-anywhere tickets are also available from all the terminals.

The project involved the installation of Flowbird’s RetailKiosk® and the smaller footprint RetailPanel® retailing systems. Both make the search, purchase and collection of tickets easier through customer friendly presentation of travel and fares information, while offering multiple payment methods, including cash, credit/debit card, contactless and mobile, along with smartcards.

Mark Powles, Customer and Commercial Director at Northern, said: “Our new machines provide more options and have greatly improved facilities for customers, particularly at unstaffed stations. The full touchscreen design is modern and intuitive and has a number of features, which means it is accessible for disabled customers too.

We plan to transform and digitise the way our customers pay for travel and this includes our Smart season tickets which can be renewed online any time or at our upgraded ticket machines.”

The terminals mirror tablet and smartphone touchscreen functionality and displays, improving the passenger experience through intuitive presentation of information such as fares, journey planning, running times and station maps. The operating software can also be configured to provide additional public-facing services, including multimodal travel updates, social media posts, news, weather and local area information.

Paul Rogers, Sales and Marketing Director at Flowbird, commented: “The completion of the rollout bridges the gap between on-station retailing and digital ticketing for operators by offering passengers an enhanced ticket purchase experience and real-time information at the point of departure.

“Our smart technology provides a consistent and fast self-service ticketing experience for all Northern customers with 24/7 access. Our flexible platform also provides a basis for further developments as additional functionality is integrated to continuously improve the customer experience.”