Memories of PT Travel

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6Gman

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To head off a thread on Disputes & Prosecutions that is at risk of going seriously off-topic I thought I'd start a thread here for memories of PT (i.e. Privilege Travel - Staff Concessions - Free Passes etc) travel.

To kick off I'll throw in my happy circumstance of having had an entitlement since birth (son of railway staff, who then worked on the railway long enough to gain lifetime entitlement post-redundancy). My mother was also a recipient throughout her life (daughter then wife of staff). The family has had continuous entitlement since at least 1912! Though I doubt that's a record.
 
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32475

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I enjoyed Priv travel thanks to my Dad working for BR and used to love going on trips for nothing or not much at all from Wick to Penzance. I only wish I had used it more than I did however the highlight of using my free travel was when I was a student in Canterbury and went up to Manchester on Friday afternoons to see my girlfriend/ future wife. When I could I would take the Manchester Pullman (the older Met-Camm stock) but I seem to remember I had to pay a 30p supplement. Happy days!!
 

Cheshire Scot

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Two particular memories, being able to travel on one of the 'staff trips' the APT, and years later through a colleague who worked for Eurostar, taking a pre-service round trip to Paris.
On the Eurostar trip, having come through security we did not realise we had to wait in the lounge and made our way to the platform shown on the departure screen. After quite a few minutes an official appeared and asked us how we had got there. 'We just followed the signs to this platform'. He escorted us back to the lounge and hopefully Eurostar were able to close the gap in their security which we had inadvertently exposed.
 

Andy R. A.

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Although working for BR it was useful that you could get Priv fares on the Tube as well. The single fares varied from around 3p single after decimal money came in, up to 9p towards the end of the 1970s and into the 1980s. This fare would double if you travelled to some of the 'outer' tube areas as shown on the back of one of the tickets, but it was still good value for money, with the return fares double that of the single fares. It was a real asset which meant I didn't own a car until my late 20s when I moved out of London eventually to work elsewhere.


SCAN0264.JPGSCAN0265.JPG
 

hexagon789

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My grandad worked for BR, so had a free pass for himself and my grandmother. I remember travelling free on his pass many times as a child. I'm not sure if free dependants (ie accompanied children) is still a thing as I seem to recall some years later a guard charging a discounted child fare (I think the usual railcard 34%).
 

Cheshire Scot

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My grandad worked for BR, so had a free pass for himself and my grandmother. I remember travelling free on his pass many times as a child. I'm not sure if free dependants (ie accompanied children) is still a thing as I seem to recall some years later a guard charging a discounted child fare (I think the usual railcard 34%).
Whilst dependants e.g. children have been included from way back, and I think still are, I think officially taking grandchildren is a relatively recent innovation, to balance non-staff railcard benefits although that said (1) I'm sure most staff would have turned a blind eye and (2) pre BR conditions varied and were retained into BR service. I recall someone quoting what the LMS gave as being different - and better - than what became standard, so maybe grandchildren were a throwback to pre nationalisation conditions.
Of course today's TOCs all have their own schemes which, apart from offering discounted travel throughout the industry, can be very different e.g. after some years First Group introduced to their TOCs a 'box card' giving a number of instances of free travel on all First Group TOCs in addition to free leisure travel on your own TOC.
 

AndrewE

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I think that because Pensioner's railcards allow accompanied grandchildren to travel for a flat fare, so retired staff ("BR") travel cards do too. I have used it a few (dozen?) times, wish it could have been more!

Seeing as this is the nostalgia thread, I remember that priv children were (like all priv fares) quarter the public open single or return fare. Most unjust, as children's day returns were often cheaper...
Then they invented the "Rail Riders club." Kids joined for a couple of quid and got 20 vouchers each exchangeable for a return-ticket at 50 pence as long as they were accompanied by a fare paying adult, I think. Instead of paying £2 or more for our kids on the monthly visits to my parents, our kids then travelled for 50P! We still had to buy priv singles and returns for ourselves though!
 

6Gman

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Whilst dependants e.g. children have been included from way back, and I think still are, I think officially taking grandchildren is a relatively recent innovation, to balance non-staff railcard benefits although that said (1) I'm sure most staff would have turned a blind eye and (2) pre BR conditions varied and were retained into BR service. I recall someone quoting what the LMS gave as being different - and better - than what became standard, so maybe grandchildren were a throwback to pre nationalisation conditions.
Of course today's TOCs all have their own schemes which, apart from offering discounted travel throughout the industry, can be very different e.g. after some years First Group introduced to their TOCs a 'box card' giving a number of instances of free travel on all First Group TOCs in addition to free leisure travel on your own TOC.
It may have been in some respects, but possibly not in others. My grandfather visited the Dawlish Railway Convalescent Home on a number of occasions and my mother recalled that their free pass only got them to Pontypool Road and it was quarter-fare from there. The impression she gave was that it involved trailing to the booking office while the engine was changed but she may have been winding me up.

Post-1948 it became a national free pass of course.
 

hexagon789

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Whilst dependants e.g. children have been included from way back, and I think still are, I think officially taking grandchildren is a relatively recent innovation, to balance non-staff railcard benefits although that said (1) I'm sure most staff would have turned a blind eye and (2) pre BR conditions varied and were retained into BR service. I recall someone quoting what the LMS gave as being different - and better - than what became standard, so maybe grandchildren were a throwback to pre nationalisation conditions.
Of course today's TOCs all have their own schemes which, apart from offering discounted travel throughout the industry, can be very different e.g. after some years First Group introduced to their TOCs a 'box card' giving a number of instances of free travel on all First Group TOCs in addition to free leisure travel on your own TOC.
I have no idea what the exact conditions were, only that it was a BR pass and what I outlined above. Thinking on it further, I think that when he did have to pay for a ticket for me it was capped at something like £5 max as well, wish I could remember the details exactly.
 

Gloster

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As mentioned in another thread, around 1983, on just about the only occasion that I hadn’t used up all my annual allocation of free tickets, I applied for one from Rodwell to Crowden (closed 1952 and 1957, respectively). It was issued.
 

6Gman

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I have no idea what the exact conditions were, only that it was a BR pass and what I outlined above. Thinking on it further, I think that when he did have to pay for a ticket for me it was capped at something like £5 max as well, wish I could remember the details exactly.
I think there was a scheme to allow grandchildren to have free/ discounted travel when travelling with PT cardholders. Not sure of the details as it was never relevant to our circumstances.
 

hexagon789

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I think there was a scheme to allow grandchildren to have free/ discounted travel when travelling with PT cardholders. Not sure of the details as it was never relevant to our circumstances.
Probably something along those lines then
 

Cheshire Scot

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Thus far no one has mentioned Passes / reduced Fares for Foreign administrations, also Privs. on UK preserved lines.
The ability to travel on many Preserved Lines for typically half the public fare usually tempts me into the shop to add to the railways coffers and make up the shortfall in fares revenue the railway has experienced from my visit.
Continental passes, not only of value for travel from the UK, but also to travel around whilst at ones holiday destination - and not just in Europe - although in some countries 'privatisation' has eroded the facilities somewhat. Sadly retired facilities are less generous but still not to be dismissed.
And not forgetting post privatisation TOC entrants are eligible for European travel facilities although I am sure not all aware - just consult someone locally who travels around a lot, they will know the ropes, or go onto the RDG website under the Staff Travel heading.
 

furnessvale

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Although working for BR it was useful that you could get Priv fares on the Tube as well. The single fares varied from around 3p single after decimal money came in, up to 9p towards the end of the 1970s and into the 1980s. This fare would double if you travelled to some of the 'outer' tube areas as shown on the back of one of the tickets, but it was still good value for money, with the return fares double that of the single fares. It was a real asset which meant I didn't own a car until my late 20s when I moved out of London eventually to work elsewhere.
The real killer for that was the inability to use a machine to get your ticket. At busy times the queues at ticket office windows were offputting to say the least, and I would often buy an ordinary ticket from a machine rather than queue.
 

davetheguard

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I bought these two priv singles for a journey to Paris & back in 1987. Both were bought in advance in the U.K. from the "ERTC" (presumably European Rail Travel Centre?) international ticket office at London Victoria. Dieppe to Paris at £2.38 for 178 kms seemed very cheap even at the time; it feels like an absolute bargain now!
 

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306024

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My first memory of having a priv card was that it also gave you a discount on a cup of tea. A priv tea at Liverpool St was 9p instead of 10p!

The old blue card point to point tickets were a source of amusement for some. Apply for ‘Thurso to Continental Port‘ and you could be anywhere in the country along that rough line of route. Bowling to Bat and Ball was my favourite though, while Continental port could mean anything from the Hook of Holland round to Dieppe I think.

The self-dating boxes were a big improvement, both in flexibility and generosity, although explaining they were valid for two days was sometimes needed in the early days while staff got used to them.

However the biggest plus is the European free passes. Have made extensive use of these over the years, but again the valid for two days discussion was frequent. Helpfully Rail Delivery Group now provide this explanation in all the necessary languages.

In Belgium I was once asked why I had bothered dating it at all. “We are all railwaymen together” said the conductor, while in Switzerland I was asked to explain all about them to a trainee SBB conductor who hadn’t seen them before. That wasn’t easy given all the different companies involved.

Holding an Amtrak discount card was fun, as no one in the States I encountered had seen them before either. Must have spent an hour at Penn New York while they got the rule book out. All resolved in the end, but hard work.

The best though was having a ‘letter of introduction’ for Australia. Presented it at the booking office in Melbourne, and was sent to the admin office. Turned out the timetable planning was done there too, so when they asked what I did in the UK I got a tour of the office where we could compare how we each did the job. Was there for a couple of hours!

Yes privatisation in many countries has diminished the usefulness and made it more complicated, but still very much worth having.
 

6Gman

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The real killer for that was the inability to use a machine to get your ticket. At busy times the queues at ticket office windows were offputting to say the least, and I would often buy an ordinary ticket from a machine rather than queue.
Oyster Cards are a boon in that respect.

And, yes, I remember the endless queue at Euston to buy a 7p PT single!
 

ChiefPlanner

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My first memory of having a priv card was that it also gave you a discount on a cup of tea. A priv tea at Liverpool St was 9p instead of 10p!

The old blue card point to point tickets were a source of amusement for some. Apply for ‘Thurso to Continental Port‘ and you could be anywhere in the country along that rough line of route. Bowling to Bat and Ball was my favourite though, while Continental port could mean anything from the Hook of Holland round to Dieppe I think.

The self-dating boxes were a big improvement, both in flexibility and generosity, although explaining they were valid for two days was sometimes needed in the early days while staff got used to them.

However the biggest plus is the European free passes. Have made extensive use of these over the years, but again the valid for two days discussion was frequent. Helpfully Rail Delivery Group now provide this explanation in all the necessary languages.

In Belgium I was once asked why I had bothered dating it at all. “We are all railwaymen together” said the conductor, while in Switzerland I was asked to explain all about them to a trainee SBB conductor who hadn’t seen them before. That wasn’t easy given all the different companies involved.

Holding an Amtrak discount card was fun, as no one in the States I encountered had seen them before either. Must have spent an hour at Penn New York while they got the rule book out. All resolved in the end, but hard work.

The best though was having a ‘letter of introduction’ for Australia. Presented it at the booking office in Melbourne, and was sent to the admin office. Turned out the timetable planning was done there too, so when they asked what I did in the UK I got a tour of the office where we could compare how we each did the job. Was there for a couple of hours!

Yes privatisation in many countries has diminished the usefulness and made it more complicated, but still very much worth having.

The Amtrak debacle I can recall , to buy at Washington DC ended up in them having to phone NYC for advice , guess they do not see many of them.

Had a good experience on NS when a senior guard had about 4 trainees with him and was delighted to be able to show the FIP coupons to his trainees and explain in in some detail what they needed to learn - followed by many questions on good scenic routes to travel in the UK for his own personal trip planning. Quite rare though in my experience to see continent issued FIP over here. (but they do exist)
 

Mag_seven

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but again the valid for two days discussion was frequent. Helpfully Rail Delivery Group now provide this explanation in all the necessary languages.

Its a discussion I still have to this day (although my entitlement to a full set each year will soon run out)
 

32475

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Inspired by this topic, I have dug out some old tickets and an international travel pass. These just go to show how ridiculously cheap Priv travel was not to mention those journeys that were absolutely free.
The Brighton to Kyle ticket was a trip which I didn’t actually do at the time but I did eventually do the Inverness to Kyle line four years ago. I took my old ticket with me on the train just for fun and presented it for the on board inspection. The guard would have clipped it willingly if only he’d still been able to deal with an edmondson ticket!3A0A31BE-29D0-43BF-BD71-F0ADA56C5714.jpeg
 

Merle Haggard

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Thus far no one has mentioned Passes / reduced Fares for Foreign administrations, also Privs. on UK preserved lines.
The ability to travel on many Preserved Lines for typically half the public fare usually tempts me into the shop to add to the railways coffers and make up the shortfall in fares revenue the railway has experienced from my visit.

There's something that puzzles me about Rail Staff Travel on preserved lines.

The ones that offer it are obliged to do so as they are party to the agreement so that their own paid staff can get reciprocal rights on the national network.

I don't know what discount the heritage railway staff get, but the Watercress Line, East Lancs and the line to Aviemore have all sold me tickets at around a quarter fare. Other railways only offer half or less but the discount on the Severn Valley is small - only about £1 cheaper than a public ticket booked in advance. On the ones offering a good discount I make sure I spend the difference on the railway, above what I would normally spend.

One railway I've used has booking clerks very averse to selling R.S.T. tickets. I've clearly asked for a railwayman's reduced rate ticket, showed my identity card - on at least one occasion, the booking clerk repeated it all back to me - but on all three occasions I was however sold a full fare ticket and my card debited accordingly. The first time, in a Spring, I just assumed that there had been a massive fares increase, and found out too late to complain. On the other two occasions, when I pointed out the mistake, the clerk immediately changed it, but without much comment and no sorrow, so I do wonder... on the same line, I have pointed out the reasoning, but the response was 'Well, I don't get cheap travel!'.
 
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I'm a lucky old sod who's got an all stations Silver 1st class pass which I'll keep for the rest of my life, and that means I don't use my priv card very often; however, the new one's validity started on 1st April and when I put it in my wallet I thought the endorsement on the front had changed, and so I looked on the back. I was surprised to see that endorsement 8 reads "Available also for First Class privilege tickets between former GWR stations"; I believe the reverse of the card is standard for 1st or Standard class travel, so are there still some people alive using ex GWR conditions?

I worked in the goods office at Port Sunlight back in the mid 1960s and there was one guy who was still on his old company terms (I THINK he was ex CLC); this gave him 1st class travel on the old Mersey Railway, so he traveled standard class from Port Sunlight to Rock Ferry, then 1st class under the river to James Street, then back to standard for the rest of his journey home from Exchange

Retired staff can buy £2 return tickets for any children - they don't have to be related - between any two points on the national network; however, they are only valid in Standard class, and so 1st class passholders have to down-grade to use the benefit. Grandchildren under the age of 5 can travel free with their grandparents in 1st class; one of my grandchildren looked much older than he was when aged only 4, and so we sometimes got enquiring looks from staff who were checking tickets!

There is quite a lot of inter-availability between Network Rail and London Transport lines in the capital, and sometimes it's quite odd; since March 2020, a map of the London rail network has been available which shows it all - thankfully! I remember having quite a long argument at Paddington about five years ago, and nobody on the gate line - or their manager - knew that a BR all stations pass was valid on the Bakerloo Line between there and Queen's Park. TfL Rail, Overground, and the Elizabeth Line - when it eventually opens - are part of the National Rail network, and so are automatically covered by passes/privs, but there was an odd-ball (now corrected) where it was possible to travel on the Jubilee Line between Stratford and Canning Town but not on Docklands between those points, even though Docklands replaced a former National Rail service (Docklands can now be used between Stratford and Custom House, but you can only board/alight at West Ham and Canning Town intermediately). Another odd one is on the District/Circle line between Paddington and Notting Hill Gate; problem is you can't leave a train at Notting Hill Gate, so you have to take the Central Line to White City or beyond!

Before dated travel cards were introduced, I once worked with a guy who planned his year's travel out and then booked his allocation as singles; I think at that time he was entitled to ten free return journeys, and so his twenty singles would start of with, say, one from Wick to Penzance, then a second one would be Penzance to Scarborough, then the third from Scarborough to Pembroke Dock, and so on. Every one would be for a route which would pass through Derby (where he lived), and he would start his travels off by buying a priv to his starting point, then use his first single as far back as Derby; then the second trip he would use the remaining part of his first one as far as Penzance, then his second single back as far as Derby, and so on.

He was single and at least one of his elderly parents was still alive at the time that travel cards were introduced; I was speaking to him one Monday and I asked him if he'd been anywhere over the weekend, and he replied something like "only to Swindon to see my family". I asked if he went via London or Cheltenham, and he replied "Pwhelli"; I replied with something like "pardon?" and he explained his trip.

Priv travel cards start their validity at 10pm on the night before the date shown on the front, and at that time there was still a late train from Derby to Crewe; however, this left Derby before 10pm, and so he bought a priv to get his as far as the first station reached after 10, and used his travel card from thereon. At Crewe, he knew that the first train to Shrewsbury would be unlocked, and so he got in and snuggled down for a bit of a sleep, and at Shrewsbury he got the first train down the Cambrian to Pwhelli; he stayed on that, and came straight back to Shrewsbury. I then asked if he went on to Swindon via the Salop & Hereford to Newport, or via Birmingham and Cheltenham, and he replied "the Central Wales to Swansea!" I think he made a detour via Bristol on his way from Swansea to Swindon, but he returned to Derby the easy way via Cheltenham on the Sunday night.

As in #3, I also went on one of the Eurostar test runs, in my case with my late wife to Brussels; we went out Standard, back 1st, and we ate and drank for the whole of the return journey. In the early days of Eurostar it was worth paying the supplement to travel first class as the food offering was really good; not just a take-it-or-leave-it-tray like now.

Regarding continental free travel, there used to be a travel company called Martin Rooks (later Panorama) who provided holidays specifically for BR staff so that they could use their travel concessions; in the days before budget airlines, it was a tremendous benefit - my wife and I went with them to Schladming in Austria in September 1973, and at that time she was still employed by BR and so got free travel in her own right rather than as my spouse, and so the total travel cost was something like £2.50 each - £1.25 for the Port Tax tickets each way between Dover and Ostend! We travelled in couchettes between Ostend and Salzburg, and we were then supposed to take a train to Bischofshofen and then another on to Schladming, but OBB had learned that there were a number of BR staff making the journey between Salzburg and Schladming and provided a coach just for us which they shunted between trains at Bischofshofen.

I don't know what the current position is regarding Heritage Railways, but I do know that when Alan Garraway was GM of the Festiniog Railway back in the 1960s, he had a BR priv card and so some sort of reciprocal arrangement must have existed at that time
 

WesternLancer

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I'm a lucky old sod who's got an all stations Silver 1st class pass which I'll keep for the rest of my life, and that means I don't use my priv card very often; however, the new one's validity started on 1st April and when I put it in my wallet I thought the endorsement on the front had changed, and so I looked on the back. I was surprised to see that endorsement 8 reads "Available also for First Class privilege tickets between former GWR stations"; I believe the reverse of the card is standard for 1st or Standard class travel, so are there still some people alive using ex GWR conditions?

I worked in the goods office at Port Sunlight back in the mid 1960s and there was one guy who was still on his old company terms (I THINK he was ex CLC); this gave him 1st class travel on the old Mersey Railway, so he traveled standard class from Port Sunlight to Rock Ferry, then 1st class under the river to James Street, then back to standard for the rest of his journey home from Exchange

Retired staff can buy £2 return tickets for any children - they don't have to be related - between any two points on the national network; however, they are only valid in Standard class, and so 1st class passholders have to down-grade to use the benefit. Grandchildren under the age of 5 can travel free with their grandparents in 1st class; one of my grandchildren looked much older than he was when aged only 4, and so we sometimes got enquiring looks from staff who were checking tickets!

There is quite a lot of inter-availability between Network Rail and London Transport lines in the capital, and sometimes it's quite odd; since March 2020, a map of the London rail network has been available which shows it all - thankfully! I remember having quite a long argument at Paddington about five years ago, and nobody on the gate line - or their manager - knew that a BR all stations pass was valid on the Bakerloo Line between there and Queen's Park. TfL Rail, Overground, and the Elizabeth Line - when it eventually opens - are part of the National Rail network, and so are automatically covered by passes/privs, but there was an odd-ball (now corrected) where it was possible to travel on the Jubilee Line between Stratford and Canning Town but not on Docklands between those points, even though Docklands replaced a former National Rail service (Docklands can now be used between Stratford and Custom House, but you can only board/alight at West Ham and Canning Town intermediately). Another odd one is on the District/Circle line between Paddington and Notting Hill Gate; problem is you can't leave a train at Notting Hill Gate, so you have to take the Central Line to White City or beyond!

Before dated travel cards were introduced, I once worked with a guy who planned his year's travel out and then booked his allocation as singles; I think at that time he was entitled to ten free return journeys, and so his twenty singles would start of with, say, one from Wick to Penzance, then a second one would be Penzance to Scarborough, then the third from Scarborough to Pembroke Dock, and so on. Every one would be for a route which would pass through Derby (where he lived), and he would start his travels off by buying a priv to his starting point, then use his first single as far back as Derby; then the second trip he would use the remaining part of his first one as far as Penzance, then his second single back as far as Derby, and so on.

He was single and at least one of his elderly parents was still alive at the time that travel cards were introduced; I was speaking to him one Monday and I asked him if he'd been anywhere over the weekend, and he replied something like "only to Swindon to see my family". I asked if he went via London or Cheltenham, and he replied "Pwhelli"; I replied with something like "pardon?" and he explained his trip.

Priv travel cards start their validity at 10pm on the night before the date shown on the front, and at that time there was still a late train from Derby to Crewe; however, this left Derby before 10pm, and so he bought a priv to get his as far as the first station reached after 10, and used his travel card from thereon. At Crewe, he knew that the first train to Shrewsbury would be unlocked, and so he got in and snuggled down for a bit of a sleep, and at Shrewsbury he got the first train down the Cambrian to Pwhelli; he stayed on that, and came straight back to Shrewsbury. I then asked if he went on to Swindon via the Salop & Hereford to Newport, or via Birmingham and Cheltenham, and he replied "the Central Wales to Swansea!" I think he made a detour via Bristol on his way from Swansea to Swindon, but he returned to Derby the easy way via Cheltenham on the Sunday night.

As in #3, I also went on one of the Eurostar test runs, in my case with my late wife to Brussels; we went out Standard, back 1st, and we ate and drank for the whole of the return journey. In the early days of Eurostar it was worth paying the supplement to travel first class as the food offering was really good; not just a take-it-or-leave-it-tray like now.

Regarding continental free travel, there used to be a travel company called Martin Rooks (later Panorama) who provided holidays specifically for BR staff so that they could use their travel concessions; in the days before budget airlines, it was a tremendous benefit - my wife and I went with them to Schladming in Austria in September 1973, and at that time she was still employed by BR and so got free travel in her own right rather than as my spouse, and so the total travel cost was something like £2.50 each - £1.25 for the Port Tax tickets each way between Dover and Ostend! We travelled in couchettes between Ostend and Salzburg, and we were then supposed to take a train to Bischofshofen and then another on to Schladming, but OBB had learned that there were a number of BR staff making the journey between Salzburg and Schladming and provided a coach just for us which they shunted between trains at Bischofshofen.

I don't know what the current position is regarding Heritage Railways, but I do know that when Alan Garraway was GM of the Festiniog Railway back in the 1960s, he had a BR priv card and so some sort of reciprocal arrangement must have existed at that time
Excellent recollections, thanks for writing them. Enjoyable to read!
 

Ashley Hill

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I'm a lucky old sod who's got an all stations Silver 1st class pass
When I started on the railway I used to see a lot of the silver and gold passes,some were the metal lion and wheel fob type in a pouch while others were the credit card type. TBH I haven't seen either for years!
 
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When I started on the railway I used to see a lot of the silver and gold passes,some were the metal lion and wheel fob type in a pouch while others were the credit card type. TBH I haven't seen either for years!
When BR was privatised, it was something like clerical staff graded CO1 - CO5 got standard class travel with a priv card having up to 20 boxes to be dated (the actual number depended upon length of service) Management grade MS1 got first class travel with a card with twenty boxes, and this also applied to MS2s up to a certain salary; MS2s above that salary and MS3s got a Blue Status Pass, and this continued to be regional specific even after regions were abandoned. Management grades MS4 and MS5, and executive grades EG1 and EG2 got Silver Status passes which were all stations and some CalMac Clyde ships, and then EG3s and above got Gold Status passes. Family members got matching travel benefits up as far as MS2s without Status Passes, but families of MS2s to MS5s with Status Passes "only" had priv cards, but families of EG graded staff had Silver or Gold passes to match the employee's.

I only came across one person who had a metal fob rather than a credit card type pass. I can't remember when it happened, but Executives were previously called Senior Officers and graded S01 upwards accordingly; the guy who had a fob had been a SO before they became EGs, so perhaps he got it at that time

The railway was militaristic; as well as having Senior Officers, canteens in headquarter offices were called messes!

My first memory of having a priv card was that it also gave you a discount on a cup of tea. A priv tea at Liverpool St was 9p instead of 10p!
If you showed your priv card at any BR operated station refreshment room and said you were OCS, you got a discount on a cup of tea - but not on a coffee!
 

exbrel

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I remember (just),around 1970ish going Crewe to Dover, on a free pass and then across to Calais just paying port charges on the return, and also i arrived on Euston after a England v Scotland, the station was packed, so went for a cup of tea underneath the station in the staff canteen reduced just for a bit of room.
 

D6130

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IIRC, ex-GWR clerical and management staff of all grades were entitled to first class travel facilities for life....but I doubt that there will be many of them still around these days.
 

RT4038

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I'm a lucky old sod who's got an all stations Silver 1st class pass which I'll keep for the rest of my life, and that means I don't use my priv card very often; however, the new one's validity started on 1st April and when I put it in my wallet I thought the endorsement on the front had changed, and so I looked on the back. I was surprised to see that endorsement 8 reads "Available also for First Class privilege tickets between former GWR stations"; I believe the reverse of the card is standard for 1st or Standard class travel, so are there still some people alive using ex GWR conditions?
My Dad joined the GWR at 16 in July 1947 and was entitled to the GWR conditions up to retirement and beyond. Although he died a few years ago, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that a 90 year old might still avail themselves, if they had the inclination! Can't be many now though. As it happens he had First Class entitlement anyway, but the former GWR pension conditions benefitted him at retirement. I believe former GWR staff also had entitlement to a First Class free ticket for their honeymoon(!), unlikely to be used now.
 

Ashley Hill

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When I joined the railway in the mid 80s as a YTS trainee we were not entitled to Priv but were given a free YP railcard. If we needed to go anywhere on duty we were either issued one of the blue edmondson tickets or issued with a Western Region Bearer pass. These were duty passes endorsed Bearer rather that an individual's name and were expected to be handed in immediately after use. A group of us were sent to Port Talbot to carry out a freight train survey. Three spotty oiks appearing to spot trains was too much for one Goldie who questioned how trainspotters had come into possession of such passes.He calmed down after phoning our manager who then asked why we were spotting? We weren't,we were merely recording the formations of passing trains :D.
One lad on our course was dismissed after using his Bearer pass to bash 50s on the Pad-Oxfords.
 

6Gman

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My Dad joined the GWR at 16 in July 1947 and was entitled to the GWR conditions up to retirement and beyond. Although he died a few years ago, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that a 90 year old might still avail themselves, if they had the inclination! Can't be many now though. As it happens he had First Class entitlement anyway, but the former GWR pension conditions benefitted him at retirement. I believe former GWR staff also had entitlement to a First Class free ticket for their honeymoon(!), unlikely to be used now.
And, of course, a GWR employee might have wed a much younger wife later in life who would have continued to qualify.

I think it's only in the past few years that the US Government paid its last Civil War pension!

EDIT: Last pension was paid in May 2020, albeit to a dependent child rather than a widow. The last widow entitled to a pension, albeit she didn't claim it, died on 16th December 2020 ! ! ! ! She was 17 when she married her 93 year old husband.

So a GWR-entitled PT holder in 2021 seems quite routine. :D
 
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