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Old 16th July 2012, 01:17   #1
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Default RailUK Fares & Ticketing Guide - Section 6 - Discounted Fares

Section 6 - Discounted fares

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Old 16th July 2012, 01:17   #2
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6.1 Railcards

There are a number of Railcards offering discounted travel. Each Railcard has its own eligibility criteria and conditions of use. The details of national Railcards and Network Railcard are provided in the posts below. Additionally there are local area Railcards that are available for residents of, and use in, selected areas.

For travel within the London zonal area, you can use some types of Railcards to obtain discounts on off-peak Oyster Pay-As-You-Go fares and off-peak daily caps. The discount entitlement must be loaded manually onto your Oyster card. A detailed set of instructions for ticket office staff who are unfamiliar with this transaction is provided here.
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Old 16th July 2012, 01:17   #3
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6.1.1 16-25 Railcard

The 16-25 Railcard is available to everyone under the age of 26. It is also available to anyone in full-time education. The Railcard currently costs £30 for a year and is valid until the expiry date, even if the holder turns 26 during this period.

The 16-25 Railcard entitles the holder to 34% off all Standard Class single and return fares. The same discount is available on First Class Advance fares, but not on First Class walk-on fares. It also offers a discount on most ranger and rover products, usually 34% but please check.

If you travel between 04.30 and 09.59 on Mondays to Fridays, a minimum fare of £12 applies to all walk-on single and return fares. This means that if your fare is more expensive than £12, the minimum you will have to pay is £12. If your fare is £12 or less, you will not get any discount. If you regularly travel at that time on Mondays - Fridays, a season ticket might be more economical.

The £12 minimum fare does not apply at weekends, on public holidays or on any day in July and August, or to advance tickets.

London Travelcards have separate minimum fare arrangements. For details please see Section 5.9.5.

The 16-25 Railcard can be obtained from any staffed station ticket office or online. A 3-year version which is better value (currently £70) is available for online purchase only, but cannot be purchased after your 24th birthday. If you are a full-time student over the age of 25, you must have the relevant sections on your application form completed by your institution. You will need to provide a passport-sized photo (or an electronic photo if applying online) the first time you apply for a Railcard. The Railcard issued at a ticket office should consist of a Photocard and the Railcard itself. The Railcard issued online should come with your Photocard and the Railcard in one.

The commonly used code for the 16-25 Railcard in Ticket Issuing Systems is YNG, derived from the product's previous name of Young Persons Railcard, however the code printed on tickets with the relevant discount applied is "16-25."

In addition to the above, the 16-25 Railcard gives the holder access to discounted off-peak single fares and off-peak caps on National Rail, London Underground and Docklands Light Railway services within the London zonal area when using Oyster PAYG (Pay As You Go). You must ask for this entitlement to be added to your Oyster card manually. This can be done at any London Underground ticket office, amongst others. These are not subject to minimum fares, therefore you can touch in before 06.30 on a weekday and pay the discounted single fare, although this fare will count towards the undiscounted peak cap (which does not offer a Railcard discount), not the discounted off-peak cap. Once this has been added to your Oyster card, you must not give your Oyster card to anyone else to use.

Furthermore, some Train Companies offer additional discounts to holders of 16-25 Railcards, such as First Transpennine Express, who offer 50% off rather than the usual 1/3 on their Advance fares if booked through this dedicated link.
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Old 16th July 2012, 01:17   #4
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6.1.2 Senior Railcard

The Senior Railcard is available to anyone aged 60 and over. The Railcard costs £30 for a year currently.

The Senior Railcard entitles the holder to 34% off all single and return fares. It also offers a discount on most ranger and rover products, usually 34% but please check.

The Senior Railcard has no time restrictions if travelling outside the Network area. For journeys wholly within the Network area, the Railcard is valid at the same time the Off-Peak Day Return or Off-Peak Day Travelcard fare for the journey becomes valid. There are some exceptions so please check.

Minimum fares apply to London Travelcards. See Section 5.9.5 for more details.

The Senior Railcard can be obtained from any staffed station ticket office or online. A 3-year version which is better value (currently £70) is available for online purchase only.

The commonly used code for the Senior Railcard in Ticket Issuing Systems is SRN, however the code printed on tickets with the Senior Railcard discount applied is "SNR".

In addition to the above, the Senior Railcard gives the holder access to discounted off-peak single fares and off-peak caps on National Rail, London Underground and Docklands Light Railway services within the London zonal area when using Oyster PAYG (Pay As You Go). You must ask for this entitlement to be added to your Oyster card manually. This can be done at any London Underground ticket office, amongst others. These are not subject to minimum fares, therefore you can touch in before 06.30 on a weekday and pay the discounted single fare, although this fare will count towards the undiscounted peak cap (which does not offer a Railcard discount), not the discounted off-peak cap. Once this has been added to your Oyster card, you must not give your Oyster card to anyone else to use.
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Old 16th July 2012, 01:17   #5
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6.1.3 Disabled Persons Railcard

The Disabled Persons Railcard costs £20 a year currently and is available to anyone who;
  • is in receipt of disability-related benefits;
  • is registered blind or partially sighted;
  • is registered deaf or uses a hearing aid;
  • has epilepsy;
  • has bought or leased a vehicle through the 'Motability' scheme.

The Disabled Persons Railcard gives a 34% discount on all single and return fares, including most ranger and rover products, usually 34% but please check.

Discounted fares apply at all times without any minimum fare, except on London Travelcards (See Section 5.9.5). One accompanying adult can also receive the full 34% discount. One accompanying adult travelling with a child Railcard holder can also receive the full discount provided that the child Railcard holder does not receive a discount (ie. travelling at the normal child rate).

The Railcard is not available from ticket offices. A 3-year version which is better value (currently £54) is also available on application. You need to download the application form and send it to Rail Travel Made Easy, PO Box 11631, Laurencekirk, AB30 9AA. Renewals can be purchased online or over the telephone on 0845 605 0525 or textphone on 0845 601 0132.

The commonly used code for the Disabled Persons Railcard in Ticket Issuing Systems is DIS (for adults) and DIC (for children), however the code printed on tickets with the Disabled Persons Railcard discount applied is "DSB" (for adults) and "CHDSB" (for children) respectively.

In addition to the above, the Disabled Persons Railcard gives the holder access to discounted single fares and caps on National Rail, London Underground and Docklands Light Railway services within the London zonal area when using Oyster PAYG (Pay As You Go). You must ask for this entitlement to be added to your Oyster card manually. This can be done at any London Underground ticket office, amongst others. You are entitled to the discount of all fares and caps. Once this has been added to your Oyster card, you must not give your Oyster card to anyone else to use.
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Old 16th July 2012, 01:17   #6
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6.1.4 Family & Friends Railcard

The Family & Friends Railcard provides a 34% discount on adult fares and a 60% discount on child fares when at least one named adult travels with at least one child in Standard Class. Up to two adults can be named on the card. All passengers using tickets discounted by the same Railcard must travel together at all times. Discount is not available in First Class, except for upgrades to First Class at weekends (subject to availability) upon payment of the appropriate supplement.

The discount is available at all times on journeys which start or end outside of the Network area. For journeys wholly within the Network area, the Railcard is valid at the same time the Off-Peak Day Return or Off-Peak Day Travelcard fare for the journey becomes valid. There are some exceptions so please check. There is a minimum fare of £1 for each child on a Family & Friends Railcard.

London Travelcards have separate minimum fare arrangements. For details please see Section 5.9.5.

The Railcard is available for purchase at £30 per year currently (or £70 for 3 years) from any ticket office or online. No photograph is required.

The commonly used code for the Family & Friends Railcard in Ticket Issuing Systems is FAM. The code printed on tickets with the this particular discount applied is "FAM" (for adults) and "CHFAM" (for children) respectively.
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Old 16th July 2012, 01:17   #7
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6.1.5 Armed Forces Railcard

The HM Forces Railcard provides a 34% discount on adult fares and a 60% discount on child fares for accompanying children.

The HM Forces Railcard is available only to HM Forces personnel, their spouses and dependent children aged 16 and 17. It costs £15 and is available from Ministry of Defence staff administration offices.

Each Railcard holder can have up to four accompanying children at any time. Railcard holders who are dependents of forces personnel may not buy discounted child tickets for accompanying children.

Although the discount is available at all times, similar to the 16-25 Railcard, there is a minimum fare of £12 between 04.30 and 09.59 on weekdays. The £12 minimum fare does not apply at weekends, on public holidays or on any day in July and August.

London Travelcards have separate minimum fare arrangements. For details please see Section 5.9.5.

Discount is not available for regular travel to place of employment, duty or education. An accompanying child ticket may not be issued unless a discounted ticket is issued for the holder of the Railcard.

The HM Forces Railcard gives the holder access to discounted off-peak single fares and off-peak caps on National Rail, London Underground and Docklands Light Railway services within the London zonal area when using Oyster PAYG (Pay As You Go). You must ask for this entitlement to be added to your Oyster card manually. This can be done at any London Underground ticket office, amongst others. These are not subject to minimum fares, therefore you can touch in before 06.30 on a weekday and pay the discounted single fare, although this fare will count towards the undiscounted peak cap (which does not offer a Railcard discount), not the discounted off-peak cap. Once this has been added to your Oyster card, you must not give your Oyster card to anyone else to use.
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Old 16th July 2012, 01:17   #8
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6.1.6 Two Together Railcard

The Two Together Railcard offers a discount of 34% on the full fare when both named cardholders travel together. Both named cardholders must travel for the discount to be valid.
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Old 16th July 2012, 01:18   #9
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6.1.7 Network Railcard

A Network Railcard has no restrictions on who can purchase it, save that the person is over the age of 16. It costs £30 per year and provides a 34% discount on any ticket wholly within the Network Railcard area in Standard Class only.

Network Railcard-discounted tickets are available from 10.00 onwards on weekdays, with some exceptions, subject to a minimum fare of £13. There is no minimum fare at weekends or on public holidays.

London Travelcards have separate minimum fare arrangements. For details please see Section 5.9.5.
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Old 16th July 2012, 01:18   #10
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6.1.8 Gold Card

An annual season ticket acts as a Gold Card where the origin and/or the destination station is inside the Annual Gold Card area. Note that the area was recently extended, validity in certain new areas is determined by TOC.

The holder of a Gold Card enjoys a wide range of benefits. Section 5.4.7 contains a more detailed breakdown of these benefits.

An annual Travelcard season ticket issued on an Oyster card will also come with a Gold Card Record Card. If an annual Travelcard is issued on paper, you are also entitled to load your Gold Card onto an Oyster PAYG (Pay As You Go) card to benefit from discounted off-peak fares. Once this has been added to your Oyster card, you must not give your Oyster card to anyone else to use.

Section 5.10 offers a more detailed explanation of Travelcard season tickets.
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Old 16th July 2012, 01:18   #11
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6.1.9 Local Railcards

There is a variety of local Railcards offering residents discounts on travel in the local area.

In addition, some local authorities, such as Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire County Council, offer those with local authority-issued concessionary bus passes a discount on rail services (in this case 50%).

In other cases, such as Hull, the local authority offer a standalone pass allowing free travel for the disabled on certain services.

A list of local Railcards is provided below:
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Old 16th July 2012, 15:16   #12
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6.2 Group Travel

For ten or more passengers, many Train Companies have dedicated sales teams to sell tickets for your group, which tend to be cheaper than full-price individual tickets. If booking for a group of this size, it is advisable to obtain quote(s) from relevant Train Company(s) appropriate to the route. Sometimes it can be cheaper to use a collection of tickets discounted under other schemes, the details of which are provided in this section.

Group Day tickets are available for groups of ten or more passengers travelling together within the London zonal area in a number of different zonal combinations. For more details, please see here. Unfortunately Group Day tickets are not valid throughout the London zonal area on National Rail, for which an alternative scheme, such as GroupSave (using the cheapest outboundary Travelcard) might offer better value.

In addition, many Train Companies offer discounted fares on selected flows for groups of three or more passengers. (Northern Rail offer discounts for two passengers when travelling together on selected flows.)
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Old 16th July 2012, 15:16   #13
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6.2.1 GroupSave

There are three distinct GroupSave schemes.

GroupSave Main Scheme

The more common one is used by the majority of participating Train Companies, as listed below:
  • c2c;
  • Chiltern Railways;
  • First Great Western;
  • Great Northern/Thameslink;
  • Greater Anglia;
  • London Midland;
  • London Overground;
  • Southeastern;
  • Southern;
  • South West Trains;

Between 3 and 9 adults can travel together on the majority of (Super) Off-Peak Singles, Returns and (outboundary) Travelcards for 1/3 off. Where Off-Peak Day Singles and Returns are not available, the corresponding Anytime Day Singles and Returns may be discounted. GroupSave tickets are not valid until 09.30 on weekdays (09.15 from Bedford). There is no time restriction at weekends and on public holidays.

A child under 16 may take the place of an adult, however there must be at least one adult in the group. Up to four additional children can accompany the main party and travel for a flat fare, single or return, with some Train Companies, eg. Southern (£2 flat fare). Furthermore, two children under the age of five can travel free of charge with each fare paying passenger. All passengers, including accompanying children, must travel together at all times. In the unlikely event that one passenger becomes absent, it is advisable for the remaining party to carry all the tickets with them when travelling (including the one for the absent passenger), as officially the tickets are only valid when presented as a complete set. In this scheme, each passenger will be issued with a separate ticket.

There are certain dates on which GroupSave is not valid. These dates are detailed on this page. GroupSave is not available in First Class, or on the Night Riviera sleeper service between London Paddington and Penzance.

Please note that GroupSave is not available on journeys wholly within the n-Network area, ie. Zones 1-5 on this map. These fares are priced by West Midlands PTE. You can check the fare setter for your fare using brfares. A Super Off-Peak Group Day Return is available for travel solely within this area for a flat fare of £6, covering up to four people and valid after 18.30.

GroupSave East Midlands Trains

East Midlands Trains use a revised GroupSave scheme. Terms and conditions are similar to the other scheme in respect of the main adult group size and the discount offered, although only one ticket is required for the whole party and the ticket will be printed with the number of passengers as one. The ticket type should indicate the actual number of passengers covered by this ticket. Under this scheme, GroupSave is only offered on flows where a GR3, GR4 or GR5 fare exists, and an example of which is given here (GroupSave fare between Leicester and Nottingham for four adults). You can use brfares to check whether this is the case for your journey.

Up to four additional children aged 5-15 can travel with the main group for a £1 flat fare each.

GroupSave ScotRail

ScotRail use a similar GroupSave scheme to East Midlands Trains, in that only selected flows offer this discount - those with a GR3, GR4 and/or GR5 fare. There is no child flat fare offer. The routes where this offer is available are:
  • Glasgow - Edinburgh on all routes;
  • Dunblane - Glasgow or Edinburgh;
  • Stirling - Glasgow or Edinburgh;
  • Alloa - Glasgow or Edinburgh,
and intermediately.

ScotRail GroupSave fares are valid on all operators on permitted routes, except CrossCountry.
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Old 16th July 2012, 15:16   #14
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6.2.2 Small Group Discounts

Many TOCs offer discounts for small groups travelling together. Unless otherwise stated, any further discounts such as Railcard discounts do not apply and the group must travel together at all times. Some examples are listed below.

Chiltern Railway

Chiltern introduced the Small Group Discount after the revision of the GroupSave scheme, which meant that four adults travelling together faced a 1/3 increase in fare. With this offer, three or four adults can still travel for no more than the cost of two adult tickets. An additional four children aged 5-15 may travel with the main group for £1 each.

This offer is available on Off-Peak Return and Off-Peak Day Return fares to London, and Off-Peak Day Travelcard fares from stations served by Chiltern outside the London zonal area.

Normal time restrictions apply in line with the fare being discounted. In addition, this offer is not available before 0930 on Mondays to Fridays. Tickets with the Small Group Discount are only valid on London Midland and Chiltern services outside the London zonal area.

East Coast

East Coast offer discounts of around 25% to groups of 3-9 on East Coast Advances when (and only when) tickets are bought on the East Coast website. The "G" symbol next to "EC Advance" in the booking engine means that this discount is being applied. East Coast's web discount does not apply if the Small Group discount applies.

Northern Rail

Northern Rail offer Northern Duos (two Off-Peak tickets for the price of one and a half) on selected routes across its network. These tickets are available through all booking channels.

Arriva Trains Wales

If there are from three to nine of people travelling together, they can save money by buying a ‘Small Group Day’ ticket, which gives each person 25% off the full price ticket. All of the travellers get a ticket but they do need to travel together for during both outward and return journeys.

Small Group Day can be used after 09.30 Monday to Friday and anytime on weekends and Bank Holidays, and is available on journeys on the Arriva Trains Wales network where the fare is set by Arriva Trains Wales. Tickets are only available where there is a corresponding Off Peak Day or Anytime Day ticket on the journey being made. The product may be restricted on some days when there are sporting or other special events on the ATW Network.

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Old 16th July 2012, 15:16   #15
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6.2.3 Family Travelcards

Selected Train Companies offer (outboundary) Family Travelcards for unlimited off-peak travel within the London zonal area. The maximum group size is 2 adults and 4 children. They can be particularly useful for people without a Family & Friends Railcard.

Section 5.9.4 contains a more detailed explanation.
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