Update: 14 March 2018: As of 6.41pm yesterday, the RDG confirmed that the 10,000 quota of 26-30 Railcards, made available as part of the national trial, had sold out.
A national trial for a digital railcard enabling those aged between 26 and 30 to save a third on train fares has been launched today, although the website is struggling to cope with the “exceptionally high volume of traffic”.
From today, 10,000 26-30 Railcards have been made available at www.26-30railcard.co.uk or over the phone on 0844 871 4036 for £30. Once purchased, you’ll need to download it to the Railcard app on a smart phone and you can then start travelling (and saving) straight away.
The move follows a trial of a digital 26-30 Railcard for customers living in the Greater Anglia rail network area from 6 December 2017.
However, people trying to buy the national railcard today have experienced problems doing so as the website keeps crashing.
A spokesperson for the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents train operators and Network Rail, comments: "We're sorry to those who have been unable to buy a trial 26-30 Railcard this morning. This is due to the exceptionally high volume of traffic on the 26-30 Railcard website. We are increasing the capacity on the website to better manage the high level of traffic. Railcards are still available to purchase and people should keep checking @_Railcards Twitter and Facebook pages for updates.”
The spokesperson adds: “The trial of the 26-30 Railcard is part of the rail industry’s long-term plan to change, improve and boost communities by enabling more people to travel by train. Research being gathered as part of the 26-30 Railcard trial is being used to inform discussions with the government about a national roll out, and to develop new products that make leisure travel easier and better value for customers.”
How the 26-30 Railcard trial will work
Here are the key features of the 26-30 Railcard trial:
- 26-30 Railcard holders will get 1/3 off standard anytime and off-peak fares, as well as off standard and first class advance fares, across the whole National Rail network.
- Between 04:30 and 10:00 Monday to Friday, a £12 minimum fare will apply.
- The 26-30 Railcard will only be available to customers who are aged 26-30.
- The 26-30 Railcard will only be available as a digital Railcard, not as a physical card.
- If your phone runs out of battery or gets lost, the Railcard can be transferred to another mobile device.
- If you are aged 30 at the time that the Railcard is purchased, you may still travel at the discounted fare throughout the validity period of the Railcard, even if you become 31 years old during that time.
- The 26-30 Railcard won’t apply to season tickets, Eurostar, and most London Underground and Docklands Light Railway tickets – unless using Oyster pay-as-you-go.
It's worth checking if your local rail provider runs its own alternative money-saving schemes - some do.
We've also rounded up some tips on cutting the cost of rail fares here: https://www.moneywise.co.uk/household-finances/drive-commute/11-tips-to-...