Railcards are finally joining the 21st century with a new service from the Rail Delivery Group. An app downloadable on Apple and Android phones will be launched in autumn this year which allows users to access their railcards in digital format.
This will enable millions of train travellers to travel without physical cards – drawing an end to full fare tickets being purchased on account of leaving paper-format rail cards at home.
This could potentially save users hundred of pounds each year.
This new digital service will be available for 16-25 and Network Railcard with the rest set to follow soon after.
There is no increase in cost – digital railcards will cost the same as paper railcards – which currently stands at £30. A Disabled Persons railcard costs £20.
Four million railcards are currently in use across the UK – with the 16-25 railcard being used by 1.6 million travellers.
The 16-25 railcard was launched in 1974 and since 1991, 21 million cards have been issued – giving holders a third of rail fares.
Speaking to This Is Money, Jacqueline Starr, managing director of customer experience at the Rail Delivery Group, said: ‘Railcards have joined the digital age just like the new generation of young people using the iconic card which started it all, helping to connect the country.
‘Railcards save customers cash so they can take more train trips and have more to spend where they go, supporting local communities – and we’re making them easier to buy.’
Rail users will also be able to benefit from a change in penalty rules which sees people who forget to bring their railcard, receive a refund on the full price fare if they can present the railcard at a later date.
While a one year card costs £30, you can buy a 3-year card for £70. This allows people who are about to turn 25 to take out a three year card and enjoy all the benefits of a 16-25 card until they are about to turn 28.