News

Updated 27 January 2020

Contents

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

Staff Travel Card renewal for 2020/21

The production of Staff Travel Cards for Safeguarded Staff and Dependants valid from 1 April 2020 until 30 June 2021 is scheduled for March 2020. We expect to start mailing these out in the 3rd week of March, to enable them to be received before the start date of 1 April. An update will be provided here when the exact mailing date is finalised.

(The renewal of TOC Privilege Cards for non-Safeguarded Staff and Dependants is scheduled for later in the year, and more information will be added to this page when the schedule for that renewal is finalised).

24 January 2020

Gold and Silver Status Passes – January 2020 update

Both the Gold Status Pass and Silver Status Pass are issued as SmartCards are expected to operate the gates at Smart-enabled stations.

The roll-out of Smart-enabled gates is nearly completed. The only TOC where the gates are not yet enabled is MerseyRail. There may also be one or two other stations on other TOCs where the roll-out is not yet finished.

16 January 2019

FIP adjacent carriers rule

An FIP regulation states that If a coupon has been part-used on a carrier adjoining or bordering the country of issue, it may not be used again for any further journeys on this carrier after a return journey has been made to the country of issue. For many years the definition of the carriers adjoining or bordering Britain has listed SNCF, SNCB, NS, NIR, and CIE (France, Belgium, Holland, Northern Ireland, and the Republic of Ireland).

The definition of the carriers adjoining or bordering Britain has been amended and now only lists EIL (Eurostar), StL (Stena Line – North Sea) and SLL (Stena Line – Irish Sea).

Coupons issued for travel on SNCF, SNCB, NS, NIR, CIE which are part-used may be used after the return journey has been made to Britain (providing they are still within the 3 month period of validity, and there are unused date boxes).

This is effective from the date of publication of this notice.

7 January 2020

Residential pass renewal

The residential pass renewal is being done in two phases. Residential passes in the first phase were posted out on Tuesday 12 November 2019. Residential passes in the second phase will be posted out on Wednesday 4 December.

If your residential pass no longer meets your commuting requirement due to a change of home address or work location, you must contact Rail Staff Travel.

If your residential pass does not arrive in the post, please contact Rail Staff Travel. Notifications of non-delivery after 31 January 2020 will be subject to the replacement fee.

2 December 2019

GWR acceptance of SWR staff passes during industrial action

GWR have confirmed that they will accept active and retired SWR staff passes during industrial action on certain routes as below, except on the following dates: 15th, 16th, 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th December.

  • Bristol Temple Meads - Salisbury via Warminster (except on trains shown in the Staff Travel Restrictions booklet)
  • Salisbury - Portsmouth Harbour/Havant (except on trains shown in the Staff Travel Restrictions booklet)
  • Yeovil Pen Mill - Salisbury via Castle Cary and Warminster
  • Exeter - Paddington via Newbury (but not via Bristol Temple Meads)

SWR active and retired staff passes are not valid on any other GWR services.

SWR active and retired staff passes are not valid on any GWR services on 15th, 16th, 24th, 25th, 26th and 27th December.

All holders are staff passes are reminded of these rules from the Staff Travel Restrictions, particularly where services may be more crowded than usual during industrial action.

When travelling using your staff travel facilities, priority should be given to fare-paying passengers. Whenever possible, cardholders should travel on lightly-loaded trains. If a train is crowded, cardholders should allow fare-paying passengers to take seats. Specifically, Active Staff and dependants must vacate seats on request in First Class accommodation where fare paying passengers are standing. Although Retired Staff and dependants may be asked to vacate their seat in First Class accommodation they do not have to.

29 November 2019

Staff Travel Restrictions for Winter 2019-20

The Staff Travel Restrictions for Winter 2019-20 valid from 15 December 2019 to 16 May 2020 have been published on the Where Can I Go and Restrictions page.

29 November 2019

Change of FIP identity

From 1 January 2020, we are changing our FIP identity from ATOC/GBPR to GB National Rail.

FIP International Reduced Rate Cards were last issued by RST in December 2018 to cover 2019 and 2020. These are branded with ATOC/GBPR and will not be updated until the main renewal of all cards scheduled for December 2020. They remain valid for discounted travel on all FIP member services during 2020.

FIP Coupons issued by RST for travel on or after 1 January 2020 will be changed to show GB National Rail.

All FIP members have been briefed about this change, so there should be no issues with ticket inspection in Europe by staff working for FIP members.

FIP International Reduced Rate Cards and Coupons issued by the 42 FIP members will be updated starting from 1 January 2020. However, this update is likely to take around 2 years for all members to complete, so visitors to Britain using FIP facilities may still present some which show ATOC/GBPR, and these remain valid on TOC services in Britain.

28 November 2019

Status Pass maps for the London area

New maps have been added to the Where Can I Go and Restrictions page. These show the availability of status passes in the London area including the inter-available routes on London Underground services. The notes with each map show how stations which can be passed through but not used for entry and exit are highlighted.

A map is in preparation which will show Staff Travel Card availability within the London area, and will be published as soon as it has been finalised.

The maps are available on-line only. Rail Staff Travel is not making have hardcopies available. The maps are strictly for personal use only by staff travel facilities holders and may not be published in any form, including images of them uploaded to internet and social media sites.

7 November 2019

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

Changes to the availability of upgrades on Eurostar services

Eurostar has confirmed its policy on upgrades on staff discounted fares. Only holders of 1st Class FIP cards or 1st Class Staff Travel cards are permitted to buy discounted tickets for travel in Standard Premier accommodation. Upgrades for holders of discounted Standard class tickets to Standard Premier accommodation in advance or on the day of travel will not be permitted.

This arrangement is effective for tickets purchased from today, or upgrades sought from today. For tickets already purchased for future travel, these will be honoured with no requirement to pay any additional sum.

3 September 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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