Rail travellers will soon be able to purchase tickets via a mobile application, the rail-services site Thetrainline.com announced on Friday.
Thetrainline's mobile app, currently available on Apple's iOS platform for viewing train times, will be expanded to other platforms and updated with functionality for buying rail tickets via the handset. The upgrade is expected by November. The new apps are currently going through the approvals process with the various app marketplaces, a company spokeswoman told ZDNet UK on Friday.
With the update to the existing app, people will be able to buy train tickets and collect them from any of nearly 1,000 stations. "Soon we will also be enabling the ability on selected routes for the ticket to be delivered directly to the phone as a secure barcode, replacing the need for a ticket altogether," Thetrainline's product development director Richard Rowson said in a statement.
The app, currently only available on iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices, will also roll out for the Symbian, BlackBerry and Android mobile operating systems. "Customer feedback has also shown us that people would like to have the same functionality on mobiles other than the iPhone, which is why for the first time, Thetrainline.com app will be available to download for free for use on other platforms," Rowson told ZDNet UK on Friday.
The app will allow ticket buyers to view timetable information and purchase tickets via their phone, once they have registered their payment card on Thetrainline's website. Users can complete ticket purchases by logging into their account via the app, selecting a ticket option, then inputting the final three digits of the security code on the back of their payment card. In return, they will receive a booking reference number, which they can use to print the tickets from machines at stations.
Thetrainline's existing iPhone app has had over 750,000 downloads and provides fare and ticket options for all mainland UK train companies.