STOURBRIDGE Junction and Town stations are among railway stations across the region to be fitted with new tap-in tap-out technology to make paying for train fares quicker and easier.

Lye, Old Hill, Rowley Regis, Coseley and Dudley Port are also set to get the new technology as part of a pilot scheme announced by the Rail Minister today (Thursday February 1).

The tech will enable passengers to pay the best price for travel with no need to plan or search for the right ticket from 2025, rail bosses have said.

Passengers will be able to use contactless debit or credit cards to enjoy London-style capped fares over a day or a week knowing they will not overpay and can continue to travel at no charge once a cap is reached.

The project is part of the Government’s plans to reform the railways and a result of the Trailblazer Deeper Devolution Deal agreed last year which gives the West Midlands Combined Authority and West Midlands Rail Executive a greater say in how railways are run.

It will also pave the way for the future roll-out of similar tech to more stations across the North and the Midlands, funded in part by £100m reallocated from HS2.

Rail Minister Huw Merriman said: “We want to encourage more people back onto our trains, with tap-in technology meaning using our stations couldn’t be easier.

“Our railways have a long history, but projects like these – part of the Government’s wider plans for reform – will ensure they have a bright future too.”

The West Midlands pilot will cover 75 stations across the Transport for West Midlands (TfWM) area and use existing ‘Swift’ smartcards so passengers can travel on local bus and tram services as well.

Andy Street, mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Our Swift smartcard already enables passengers to transfer seamlessly between our various local bus operators and Metro tram services whilst guaranteeing they get best value fares.

“Now thanks to this pilot scheme, we will now add rail to our offering - making Swift truly multi-modal and bringing us much closer to a London ‘Oyster card’ style system.

“This is a practical example of how the Deeper Devolution Deal we agreed with Government is delivering tangible benefits for local people right across our region.”

The project will see the number of tap-in-tap-out stations in England rise to around 500 in 2025.

The news comes as the Rail Delivery Group and industry partners – supported by £16.4m DfT funding – completed the final phase of rolling out barcoding technology, allowing customers to scan digital tickets at the gate.