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The Veterans Railcard - all you need to know

The Veterans Railcard has been designed to give former members of the UK Armed Forces and their families discounted rail travel, saving them 1/3 on many rail fares throughout the UK.

The Railcard currently costs £21 for a 1-year Railcard, or £61 for a 3-year Railcard, until 31 March 2021. This introductory rate will be increasing to £30 per year from 1 April 2021.

The card allows eligible RAF Benevolent members and a companion to enjoy 1/3 off most rail fares, and 60% off for up to four children aged 5 – 15 years.

The card has been designed to work in a similar way to other railcards and includes a card for rail travellers aged 26-30, and another for teenagers aged 16-17. Valid on both long and short trips, it allows you to travel to all parts of the UK, including anytime during Public Holidays, weekends and throughout the week.

If you're looking for more information about the Veterans Railcard or you're thinking about investing in one, you've come to the right place. We've created a helpful guide outlining everything you need to know.

Railcard eligibility

The Veterans Railcard is available to any veteran. It is estimated that between 1.6 and 1.7 million veterans currently qualify for the railcard, with thousands taking advantage of the scheme since its launch on the 5th November 2020.

Can family members also use the Veterans Railcard?

The new railcard also offers discounts to a spouse, providing they are travelling with the card holder, and 60 per cent off for up to four children aged between 5 and 15 years old.

Why was the Veterans Railcard created?

The railcard is part of the Government's plans to do more to support those who have served their country and comes after the creation of a new Office of Veterans' Affairs (OVA) to provide lifelong support for veterans. It is hoped that the railcard will help boost veterans' job prospects, strengthen family bonds, and allow them to enjoy the benefits of cheaper travel.

Are there any restrictions?

There are several restrictions on when and where you can use your Veterans Railcard.

A minimum £12 fare applies for all journeys made between 4.30am and 9.59am, Monday to Friday, excluding Advance fares. This minimum fare does not apply on Public Holidays or any dates in July and August. Your Railcard cannot be used on:

  • Season tickets, including Travelcard Season tickets
  • Tickets for travel on Grand Central services
  • Tickets for travel on Hull Trains services
  • Eurostar tickets
  • Specific promotional offers from some train companies
  • Tickets for special excursions or Charter trains and some coach/bus links, including Railair services
  • Most London Underground and Docklands Light Railway tickets (unless using Oyster pay as you go)
  • PlusBus tickets

For full details of where and when you can use your Veterans Railcard, click here.

Where can I buy one?

You can buy a Veterans Railcard online here. You can also download and complete an application form, and send it off in the post. If you buy your card online, you will be able to choose between a digital Railcard, which can be downloaded onto your phone, or a physical Railcard, which will be sent out in the post.

All veterans must be aware that this railcard is not the same as the Veterans Concessionary Travel Scheme Pass and that this railcard is part of the Government's new veterans' strategy to support all former servicemen and women.

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