england rail pass for english resident

I have always thought that certain rail passes were only for those living elsewhere; that my son, who resides in England, would not be eligible for a britrail England pass as we, Canadian residents, are. With that in mind, we purchased two first class passes, one senior, one adult, for ourselves: 3 days within 2 months.

Rail Europe (from whom we bought the passes) has told me that our son IS eligible for a pass because he is a citizen of the US and has a US passport. I am dubious about this advice, especially since his US passport contains a British visa allowing him to live and work in Britain until 2017.

We would love to buy him a BritRail pass but want to follow the rules and prevent a most unpleasant situation if the Rail Europe advice is wrong, as I believe it is.

Does anyone have knowledge of this situation.

Posted by Nancy
Corvallis OR
2278 posts

According to the BritRail website you can buy a pass if you are NOT a resident of the UK. Even though your son is a US citizen he is currently a resident of the UK so I would think he would not be eligible.

This is just my reading of the information on the website, for an official answer why don't you contact BritRail either by email or phone?

Posted by Marco
Oxford, United Kingdom
1989 posts

Britrail website is quite clear that it is residency rather than nationality that is the criterion. A UK national resident in Canada would by eligible for example. Britrail used to try to make its website inaccessible from the UK.

As you are using passes that are so limited in scope (only 3 days in 2 months) he may well be able to buy advance first class tickets to match your itinerary at a decent price if bought early enough.

There is also the Britrail Guest pass, but I'll leave that to someone more familiar with it as to whether that is any good although it may be too late if you have bought your own passes.

Posted by beyergaber
2 posts

Thanks for confirming that the "advice" I was getting from Rail Europe was inaccurate and self-serving. I am usually suspicious when a vendor tells me something that runs contrary to others, when their faulty opinion is connected to selling me something. I will pass on their generous advice.

Posted by Laura
Rick Steves' Europe
8835 posts

The one pass that a British resident qualifies for is called the BritRail Guest Pass. We don't publicize this since it works for so few people. You have to book the passes together and your son must travel with you. If he needs to travel separately to meet you or to go home, then he must buy a separate ticket for that trip. See http://www.raileurope.com/rail-tickets-passes/britrail-guest-pass/index.html. If you already competed the order, then Rail Europe probably won't change it, but if the order is on hold, then they can.