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British Railcards

Does anyone know if the Senior or 16-25 railcards are available to non-UK citizens?

Posted by
39 posts

It is my understanding that the senior one is, however you actually have to be there to get one. The reason for this is proof of identity etc. We bought the "family" one a few years back and again it was just a matter of showing passports or somesuch to prove ages. We are aussies.

Posted by
48 posts

Thanks, Robyn. The website says that you can order one online with a UK drivers license or a passport, and a digitized passport-type photo. I just wasn't sure if that meant a UK passport or one from any other country.

Posted by
39 posts

Tania, Having a look at the site I think it's any passport, but specifically a UK licence. I guess go through the process and then if it doesn't accept the passport details you'll know you will have to get it there! The other thing is depending on how far in adavance you buy it, will affect the expiry date. Cheers

Posted by
588 posts

You don't need to actually have a railcard when you order a ticket online. You only have to be able to show it to a ticket inspector along with your ticket when you are travelling. Booking a long distance ticket in advance usually brings a lower price, but you could usefully leave getting the railcard until you arrive in Britain. However, it does take ten minutes or so, so you should allow the time.

Posted by
48 posts

Bob, So we can buy the tickets now, using the discount, and pick up the railcards when we get to the train station? Also, do you know if I can get a 16-25 railcard for my daughter, or can we get a discount with an ISIC card. We are flying into Manchester and taking the train to Harrogate immediately, so I'd like to get the tickets now at a lower price.

Posted by
27405 posts

You can buy these railcards in the UK. They are not available by post unless you have UK identification.

The question about the passport by the poster above - they mean a UK passport. You can use any suitable ID when buying over the counter.

No ISIC discount.

Both railcards cost £26 and give 1/3 off on most trips, so each holder will need to spend £71 before you break even.

The trip from Manchester Airport is about 2:20 and one train an hour with one change in Leeds, the other with two changes, Manchester and Leeds, but for the extra change you do save about 5 minutes. I didn't see any advance tickets on the national rail website.

Posted by
48 posts

Thanks Nigel (and Bob and Robyn) The prices I found were £70.30 (no railcard) and £54.30 (with railcard), plus we'll be taking another train from Harrogate to London later in the week and my daughter is spending the semester at Goldsmith (Greenwich). With all that, the cards will easily pay for themselves. Now I just have to figure out the age-old question: If the flight lands at 7:30, which train should I get tickets for? 9:05, 10:05, 11:05???????

Posted by
27405 posts

Tania, the fares you have sound high. It was much less when I looked.

What day do you arrive? Do you want First Class or Standard? They both get there the same time, you know.

Can't use some railcards in First.

Posted by
48 posts

We arrive in Manchester at 7:25 on Monday 13 September. I found the prices on the National Rail site.

Posted by
27405 posts

Its been several years since I last landed at Manchester so I can't say how long it will take you to get out.

If your train trip starts before 0930 you will be in what is called "peak" time, and you will need a peak ticket called Anytime. After that time you can use an "off-peak" one, called, imaginatively, Off-peak.

For a single (one way) Manchester Airport to Harrogate, standard class (there are 2 classes of travel, First and Standard), I have just looked and see:

Monday 13 September 2010 Outward

dep 08:41 Manchester Airport [MIA]to Harrogate [HGT]
arr 11:03 2:22

2 changes £25.10 Anytime

and

09:05 Manchester Airport [MIA]

Harrogate [HGT]
11:33 2:28

1 change £25.10 Anytime

and

09:41 Manchester Airport [MIA]

Harrogate [HGT]
12:03 2:22

2 changes £23.40 Off-Peak

and

10:05 Manchester Airport [MIA]

Harrogate [HGT]
12:33 2:28

1 change £23.40 Off-Peak

and so on each hour.

You would take the one-third off for railcards from these.

If you want to save yet more money you could buy (in advance) Advance tickets for £7.00 from the Airport to Leeds, then £6.60 Anytimes onward to Harrogate. Difficult when flying in from overseas because you have to commit, non-refundable, to a specific train. The 16-25 railcard would not be helpful there, as it has a £12.00 minimum fare for each leg before 10:00.

I hope this helps....

Posted by
48 posts

Nigel; Thank-you, thank-you, thank-you!!! You have helped clarify several things. I checked again and it turns out the £54.30 was for all three of us. Also, including a later trip to London, I would only save £11.95 total with a Senior card. I think we'll go for the Offpeak tickets: It's not that long a wait, and if we are delayed, we can take a later train.

Posted by
29 posts

Can someone tell me if I can get more than one 2for1 deals on the same rail ticket? We will be in Brackley and plan to take the train in from Bicester North station to Marylebone (let me know if there is a better stop) to catch a bus to see London. It seemed cheaper than staying in London. Also, will it take a whole day each to see the following sites:
Tower of London
Hampton Court Palace
Kensington Palace
Never took a train or bus in my life. Thanks for the help.

Posted by
27405 posts

Yes Pamela, if do them on the same day as the ticket.

Marylebone is an excellent station. Just a block away is Baker Street Underground station where you can join a hop-on hop-off bus tour.

Tower of London - at least half a day plus queues

Hampton Court Palace - at least half a day, and more if you want to see the gardens

Kensington Palace - a couple of hours

Pamela, I wonder how much you are able to save being in Brackley and commuting. That will put a big dent in your wallet if you want days in London and wind up paying Anytime fares, and a big dent in the amount of time you can enjoy such a wonderful city as London...

Posted by
29 posts

We are staying in Brackley for free but if it would be better to stay in London to do those sites, where would you suggest? We are trying to keep things as low cost as we can.
Thanks

Posted by
27405 posts

Hard to compete with free! That gives you lots of scope!

Have you thought about using Kings Sutton instead of Bicester N? It seems closer to you.

If it were me, I'd stay for free. You can't beat a home environment, and you are so close to Banbury, Oxford, and the Cotswolds.

Posted by
29 posts

Thanks Nigel for your help. I have more questions to ask you. If I take the train from Kings Sutton to London during off-peak time, it doesn't give me much time in London, does it? After paying for the train, car parking and hop on-hop off bus, I probably should stay in London. I thought getting a 2for1 would make up the cost but it won't make up the time.
Know of any cheap and cheerful places to stay for a few nights near bus stops?

Posted by
27405 posts

Sorry Pamela

I know trains, but I don't know hotels / Bs and B / hostels in London ... ;-(

Perhaps starting a new thread for that...?

Posted by
48 posts

Pamela, we booked a B&B through At Home in London.