Frequently Asked Questions?

Most frequently asked questions

  • Which train companies give Railcard discounts?
    A:

    You can use your Railcard on all franchised train operating companies that provide services within England, Scotland and Wales.

    Railcards do not give discounts on Eurostar services, Charter services, and Heritage Railways unless state otherwise.

     


  • Can I use my Senior Railcard at any time of day?
    A: No. Railcard discounts are available throughout Britain but they are not available on tickets for morning peak period services for journeys wholly within London & South East Network Railcard area on Mondays to Fridays. (The exceptions to this discounted fare rule are when you travel at weekends and on Public Holidays).


    The times of morning off-peak services do vary by route and are normally related to the availability of Off Peak  Day tickets. It's best to check with ticket office staff before buying your tickets.

  • Can I use my Railcard on any Train Company?
    A: Yes. Your Railcard is accepted by all of the Train Companies who operate Passenger Railway Services in Great Britain, except Eurostar. Special excursions and charters are also excluded.

  • Can I use my Railcard to buy my ticket on the train rather than at a station?
    A: Only if there is no ticket office, or the ticket office is closed and there is no ticket machine available to buy your discounted ticket at the station at which you began your journey. If this is the case you can buy your discounted ticket from ontrain staff. Otherwise, if ticket facilities were available at the station you could be charged the full price Standard Single fare.

  • Can I use my Railcard to buy tickets for other people?
    A: No. The Railcard is for your use only, and provides discounts only on tickets bought for your own use. It does not cover anyone accompanying you.

  • Will I have to pay the full fare if I forget to bring my Railcard when I travel?
    A: Yes. You must show your valid Railcard when you buy your ticket. You also need to have your Railcard with you on each journey and present it to staff when your ticket is checked aboard the train. Failure to present both your Railcard will mean you have to pay a full fare, which is not refundable.

  • Can I travel on discounted tickets if my Railcard expires before I complete my journey?
    A:

    Discounted tickets are only valid if you are using them with a valid Railcard. If you Railcard expires before the end of your journey then you will need to renew it to be able to complete your trip using expired tickets. If the only Railcard you have is expired you will not be able to continue to use your discounted tickets.


  • Can I reserve my seat if booking a ticket in advance?
    A: Yes, providing that there are reservations available on the service on which you are travelling. Many train companies will allow you to reserve a seat free of charge on longer distance journeys. Please check with the local ticket office staff before buying tickets.

  • Can I get a discount on Season tickets and period Travelcards with a Railcard?
    A: No, we’re sorry but the Railcard gives no discount on these types of ticket.

  • Can I use my Railcard on Sleeper Trains?
    A: Travelling on a Sleeper Train usualy requires two payments: one for the rail ticket and one for the berth. The Railcard will give you a discount on the rail ticket element, but not on the berth fee. From time to time, the different Train Companies providing sleeper services may advertise special offers for Railcard holders.

  • Will I receive the Railcard discount on any chargeable items I take on the train with me?
    A: The Railcard discount does not cover charges on various articles or animals. For details about which items carry a charge, and details of the charges, please call National Rail Enquiries on 03457 48 49 50.

  • Can I use my Railcard in conjunction with Train Company special offers?
    A: Yes. You can use it with the 2FOR1 Days Out Guide promotions and most offers given by train companies. Please note that your Railcard may get you the full 1/3 discount on some Train Company special offers, but many offers include a smaller discount or no discount at all. It's best to ask at your local station for details of a specific offer, or call National Rail Enquiries on 03457 48 49 50. Alternatively, you can visit www.nationalrail.co.uk.

  • Can I use my Railcard to save on more than just train travel?
    A: Yes. Please see our Member’s Area for the latest offers.

  • Can I use the Railcard in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland?
    A:

    Railcards can be used for rail discounts in the area known as Great Britain (England, Scotland and Wales). They cannot be used for rail travel in either in Northern Ireland nor the Republic of Ireland.

    If you live in the Republic of Ireland or Northern Ireland you can buy a Railcard to use for travelling in Scotland, Wales or England. For more information on concessionary rail travel schemes in Northern Ireland please see www.translink.co.uk or the Republic of Ireland please see  www.irishrail.ie.


  • Senior Railcard Terms & Conditions
    A:

    There are important terms and conditions that you need to understand before you use your Railcard. Please click on the link to the Senior Railcard terms and conditions to read these:

    Senior Railcard - terms and conditions


  • Links to Railcard Terms & Conditions
    A:

    There are important terms and conditions that you need to understand before you use your Railcard. Please click on the link to the Railcard you are purchasing to read the terms and conditions relevant to you:

    16-25 Railcard - terms and conditions

    Family & Friends Railcard - terms and conditions

    Senior Railcard - terms and conditions

    Two Together Railcard - terms and conditions


  • Can I laminate the paper Railcard I have bought from a station to protect it?
    A:

    No. Please do not laminate your Railcard. In most instances the heat of a laminating machine will turn the surface of your Railcard black, damaging it and making it illegible. If this happens you will need to buy a replacement Railcard (for a fee of £10 if you have had no previous replacements).

    Laminated Railcards cannot be accepted by rail staff as the lamination makes it difficult to validate that the Railcard has not been tampered with.

    To protect your Railcard please keep it in a plastic ticket wallet which is available for free from any staffed station.




Can't find an answer? Get in touch

If you are having problems purchasing your Railcard, or if you have comments about the Railcard service, call or email us. You can also write using the postal address.

[email protected]

0345 3000 250 (07:00hrs to 22:00hrs)

National Railcards
PO BOX 6616
Arbroath
DD11 9AR

 

Train Companies

If you have any questions concerning rail ticket prices or journey planning National Rail Enquiries will be happy to help you.

If you have any comments about a specific rail journey please contact the train company that provides the service. You can find their contact details by clicking on this link train company list.

 

Transport Focus

If, after contacting us, you remain unhappy with any aspect of our service you may want to contact the independent transport watchdog, Transport Focus. Contact details are shown below:

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 0300 123 0860

Freepost RTEH-XAGE-BYKZ
Transport Focus
PO Box 5594
Southend on Sea
SS1 9PZ

 
[email protected]
0345 3000 250 (07:00hrs to 22:00hrs)
National Railcards
PO BOX 6616
Arbroath
DD11 9AR

 

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