Updated: Apr 24
The Government has launched cheap ticket offers in April and May to get a cash-strapped and covid-averse public back onto the trains and replacement buses. In the longer term the Government is considering a range of new railcards to boost train travel. The options under consideration reportedly include:
The Hungry Traveller Railcard – this will give travellers 25% off on-train food, bringing the price of a Kit Kat back below a pound and an individual fruit pie back below five pounds. It will also offer discounts at some station concessions, including food and drink from the Real Cornish Pasty Company, the Continuity Cornish Pasty Co. and the Judean Popular Pasty Company, although pasties are excluded from the offer.
The Lucky Traveller Railcard – this is the railcard for passengers with a sense of adventure (beyond the usual uncertainties about whether the train will turn up). Railcard holders will be entered into an annual draw to win train tickets to iconic destinations, such as Wigan, Lympstone Commando, Kyle of Lochalsh and Worcester Parkway. Travellers will also receive scratchcards with prizes ranging from copies of the Metro newspaper, 10% off non-sale items at DFS, and commemorative toothpicks.
Over-90’s Rail Card – the Government aims to increase rail use in this age group, which has been in decline since the cancellation of the Red Star Parcels service. This will give travellers discounts on toilet facilities and will offer complementary Werthers Originals in first class. Special steam trains for rail card holders will have extra long station stops, extra loud on-train announcements and a ban on passengers aged under 42.
A spokesman for the Department for Transport said that the government is putting extra effort into boosting rail travel because railways are a critical part of national infrastructure and because, regardless of what you do for them, motorists and airline passengers just moan and moan and moan.