Can anyone who uses a smart card advise - my commute is two trains, and I'm looking at using a smart card. I'm guessing I just beep in when I start my journey and beep out when I get to my last destination. However on my route there are often a lot of train conductors as well as the machines. How do conductors/ticket barrier workers do with smart cards? How can they 'check' them?
They have a little handheld machine. It will tell them that you started your journey at station x and what ticket you have.
Barriers work likewise. If you have a weekly or monthly just be aware that you get no warning that the ticket is about to expire.
Just a thought about remaining validity, ask the conductor how many day you have left. His hand held reader should tell him that or the credit left on the card.