Research is reported into the design, implementation and functionalities of a vision system that employs the human face as a biometric for enabling ticketless rail travel. The system has been developed to optimise performance in the relatively unstructured railway station scenario. In addition to establishing the working vision
system, major outputs of the work have included demonstration that 3D face recovery prevents ‘spoofing’ by use of photographs; and also the finding that incorporation of 3D data into facial modelling has enabled a 6% improvement in face classification. Our conclusion is that 3D data increase face recognition reliability significantly and will be the enabling factor for ensuring revenue protection when employing vision systems for implementation of ticketless rail travel.