News

Updated 10 September 2020

Contents

Use of Rail Staff Travel leisure facilities during the Covid-19 period - update 10 September 2020

Since lockdown restrictions were eased further and the UK, Scottish and Welsh governments have advised that people can use public transport for non-essential journeys (subject to any localised restrictions), you might be considering taking the train. We want you to be able to travel with confidence. Wherever you are going we are doing everything we can to keep the railway safe for everyone.

The National Rail Safer Travel Pledge means we are taking extra steps to make your journey safe. We are:

  • Maximising space – running more trains and carriages to make extra room.
  • Boosting cleaning – cleaning trains and stations more regularly.
  • Helping with hygiene – making it easier for you to keep your hands clean.
  • Improving information – with people and technology to help you at every stage.

If you take the train, we ask that you follow any specific guidance issued by your Train Operating Company. Additionally this advice is subject to local variation, for example in areas experiencing a local lockdown. 

Specifically, we ask that you:

  • Travel at quieter times so that operators can ensure there is capacity for essential workers and other commuters.
  • Wash your hands before and after your journey and carry hand sanitiser with you if you can.
  • Bring a face covering to wear unless you are exempt, this includes inside rail stations and on trains.
  • Buy your ticket before travel using contactless payment if possible.

Use of all Rail Staff Travel facilities is subject to these supplementary Rail Staff Travel restrictions this year. Some operators will only allow you to travel if you have made a reservation before boarding. The information on how do to this and the restrictions are published on the Where Can I Go and Restrictions page and updated frequently as the travel situation changes.

Some operators may introduce queueing for services at busy times, including weekends, to restrict passenger numbers on specific services.

10 September 2020

Publication of the Summer 2020 restrictions - updated 10 September 2020

The Summer Restrictions 2020 have been published even though the timetable change has not yet taken place. The restrictions will come into effect if the timetable change is implemented later this year.

There is also an additional document - Supplementary Staff Travel Restrictions for Summer 2020 - produced in response to the Covid 19 outbreak. These additional restrictions are effective immediately and will be updated regularly as social distancing requirements change. Version 10 of this document was published on 10 September 2020.

You can find both documents on the Where Can I Go and Restrictions page.

10 September 2020

Keeping in touch with retired employees

Rail Staff Travel are provding occasional updates on staff travel matters by e-mail. If you think we do not have your e-mail address and would like to register it with us, or have recently changed any of your contact details, please submit a Retired Data Check (XX12) form which you can find on this Forms page

Please share this information with any colleagues or friends who may benefit.

3 September 2020

Travel on P & O Ferries - updated 13 August

We were previously advised that P&O were running an optimised schedule and with the social distancing protocols currently in place, some summer sailings have no or very limited availability left. However we have now been informed that aside from the Dover to Calais Sunday 23 August 03:25 service there is now more availability. This is subject to change, and you should check availability via their website on an individual sailing basis.

18 August 2020

Travel on Stena BV Harwich to Hook of Holland ferries

Stena BV can only carry a small percentage of their usual volumes of passengers and vehicles. As a result, for the next few weeks the quotas of FIP concessionary and free travel are reduced significantly and availability is extremely limited.

The Stena call centre will be able to advise of the availability on specific services. The phone number is in the Rail Staff Travel Guides which you can find on the Where Can I Go and Restrictions page.

We will continue to issue Stena BV FIP coupons for those who request them, but Stena can make no guarantee that there will be availability when you intend to travel.

13 August 2020

FIP Coupon applications

We have a temporary solution to issue FIP coupons so you can now make applications.

The postal service is experiencing delays in some areas. Applications can only be accepted using the online form on this website and must be made a minimum of three weeks before your intended outward date of travel.

The solution has a limited production capacity. If the number of applications exceeds the capacity, we may have to suspend the service.

Please only apply for FIP coupons if you are certain that you will be travelling and bear in mind that there is a risk we will not be able to deliver coupons in time for your trip.

If we post coupons to you, we will no longer accept unused ones back (including images of them cut up), even if they do not arrive in time for your travel date.

Please check the Travel Tips for Europe guide on the Where Can I Go and Restrictions page for the latest travel information on carriers in Europe. For instance, reservations are now mandatory on some services in Poland.

9 July 2020

Rail Staff Leisure Card (formerly TOC Priv) renewal for 2020/21

The Rail Staff Leisure Cards for Non-Safeguarded Staff and Dependants valid from 1 July 2020 until 30 June 2021 will be posted out by Royal Mail starting on Monday 8 June. Please allow at least two weeks for delivery.

The Rail Staff Leisure Card is the new name for the TOC Priv Card (see the news item below for more details)

If you have not received your Rail Staff Leisure Card by Monday 22 June, please contact Rail Staff Travel by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Please include your full name, home address and postcode in the e-mail so that we can easily locate your rail staff travel record.

If you have received your Rail Staff Leisure Card(s), but some are missing for dependant children, then the most likely reason is that you have not completed a child declaration. You can find the XX05 form for this on our forms page. Once a child declaration is received, we will send out Rail Staff Leisure Cards, but this is likely to take longer than usual.

If you do not notify us by 31 July 2020 of any missing cards, then the usual replacement fee will apply.

4 June 2020

TOC Priv Card renamed Rail Staff Leisure Card

The TOC Priv Card is being renamed the Rail Staff Leisure Card. Its function is unchanged and it will be valid until 30 June 2021. It can still be used to purchase discounted Anytime and Off Peak tickets for leisure travel, and also get discounts on some Rover and Ranger products.

New Rail Staff Leisure Cards for 2020/21 (to replace your current TOC Priv Card 2019/20) will be posted to home addresses during the 3rd week in June.

  • If you have changed home address recently and have not informed Rail Staff Travel, please submit a Change of Address (XX15) form which you can find here. This will reduce any delay in you receiving the cards for you and your eligible partner and dependants.
  • If you have an outstanding Child Declaration your child will not receive a card. You can submit it using a Child Declaration (XX05) form which you can find here.

Rail Staff Travel has started work on being able to issue Rail Staff Leisure Cards as an ITSO smartcard with an integrated photograph, hopefully from June 2021 onwards. If you do not already have a staff travel product issued by Rail Staff Travel which has your photograph, you can upload photographs for you and your eligible family members using our Photo Upload

7 May 2020

Temporary suspension of child dependant earnings limit

The Scheme Rules allow dependant children in full time education to undertake employment providing it does not exceed the weekly income limit (currently £141.40). During vacations they may undertake periods of temporary employment irrespective of earnings, providing that the period does not exceed 3 months.

As schools and universities are closing during the Covid-19 outbreak, we are relaxing the child dependant earnings limit until 30 September 2020. This will enable young people to undertake work which assists the economy and their neighbours without putting their dependant Rail Staff Travel facilities at risk.

If you are completing a Child Declaration XX05 form and your child falls into Eligibility Code 1 but

  • Is not attending education due to the Covid-19 outbreak, and;
  • Is working and earning over the weekly income limit of £141.40,

then you should still declare eligibility code 1 but there is no need to supply pay slips.

Please note that this relaxation of the weekly income limit does not apply to those dependants who fall into eligibility codes 2 to 5.

From 1 October 2020, the child weekly earnings limits will be re-instated. From this date, if your child exceeds this weekly income limit, then they lose eligibility for their Rail Staff Travel facilities, and you must return them immediately by signed for delivery to Rail Staff Travel.

23 March 2020

FIP coupons and the International Reduced Rate Card after Brexit

Rail Staff Travel is a member of FIP, an association within the UIC (International Union of Railways). This membership of FIP enables RST to issue FIP facilities (FIP coupons and the International Reduced Rate Card) on a reciprocal basis with the other FIP association members.

The RST membership of FIP is entirely unconnected to the United Kingdom's membership of the European Union. The FIP facilities currently enjoyed by active and retired staff, partners and dependants will continue after Brexit when the United Kingdom is no longer a member state of the European Union.

There is no change to this news item since it was first published on 18 September 2018. It has just been moved to the top of this news page as the withdrawal is now imminent.

27 January 2020

Buying FIP discounted tickets and reservations for SNCF services

From 1 January 2020, FIP ticket sales and reservations for all SNCF TGV and Intercités services within France and some international TGV services operated solely by SNCF will no longer be available to travel agents. This change affects all rail staff in Europe, not just those in Britain.

SNCF offer FIP fares and reservations at SNCF ticket office counters in France or from their French contact centre which is open 7 days a week from 7am to 10pm (French local time). 

The telephone number for the SNCF contact centre is 00 33 1 84 94 3635 (international call rates apply). The SNCF website shows the typical busy times when call wait times are extended www.sncf.com/en/service-client/nous-contacter/telephone

The contact centre phone introduction is in French and lists various options. If you remain silent, at the end of the introduction it will say “For this service in English press #85”. Entering #85 on your phone will connect you to an English-speaking operator.

To save a lengthy and expensive phone call, please check the latest version of our Travel Tips for Europe guide before you call them. It is best to have planned your journeys and know the specific train services you want to book before you call. Remember that FIP facilities are not available on Ouigo or Intercités 100% Eco services. These low cost operators sell tickets through their own website only, and fares may be cheaper than the FIP discounted fares on equivalent SNCF services. The SNCF contact centre is unable to quote or sell you fares on Ouigo or Intercités 100% Eco services.

To make a booking, you will need to quote the FIP International Reduced Rate Card numbers for every person in your group to the SNCF agent. We have no information on the SNCF contact centre transaction fees or ticket delivery options.

18 October 2019

RST Contact Details

From the UK, call us on: 0207 841 8274
Phone lines are open from 9am to 4.30pm each weekday (excl Bank Holidays)
Email us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Write to us at: Rail Staff Travel, PO Box 72071, London EC1P 1JD
From outside the UK, call us on: +44 20 7841 8274
Unfortunately, we cannot offer a "face-to-face" service for personal callers.
However, in the case of genuine emergency (e.g. travelling to a close family member's funeral), we will do our best to help. Owing to building security requirements, you will need to phone in advance rather than just arriving at our offices without notice.
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