News

Updated 6 May 2021

Contents

Publication of the Summer 2021 Staff Travel Restrictions

The Staff Travel Restrictions for Summer 2021 have been published on the Where Can I Go and Restrictions page.

Where Train Operating Companies require mandatory seat reservations, or where they are strongly recommended, the Staff Travel Restrictions contains information on how staff may make these reservations. The instructions are different for each operator. For all other Train Operating Companies, seat reservations may be made at National Rail station ticket offices. 

The Staff Travel Restrictions may be updated between May and December 2021 as Train Operators adapt to local and national changes. You should check for the latest version before travelling.

6 May 2021

Rail Staff Leisure Card renewal for 2021/22

(This news item only applies to non-safeguarded employees. It does not apply to safeguarded employees issued with a Staff Travel Card who have continuous service in the rail industry since at least 31 March 1996.)

Rail Staff Leisure Cards for 2021/22 will be posted to home addresses in June. Once a dispatch date has been confirmed by our supplier we will update this news item.

Changes of address. We no longer accept home address changes via e-mail. You can only change it using the online XX15 form.

  • If you have not informed us of a recent change of home address, please submit the Change of Address (XX15) form.
  • If you are moving between now and the end of June please let us know by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can put a hold on your record until you have moved. Once you have moved please submit the XX15 form and cards will then be issued.

Child Declarations. These are required annually for dependant children aged 18 and over. If you have an outstanding Child Declaration, your child will not receive a card. Please submit a Child Declaration (XX05) form.

Mandatory photographs. If you have not submitted a photograph for yourself or eligible family members the card will not be issued. You can submit photographs using the Photo Upload page.

If you move home address and do not let RST know before we post the cards to you in June and you are unable to retrieve your card(s), we will charge a replacement fee per card to send them to your new address.

20 April 2021

Use of Rail Staff Travel leisure facilities when national lockdowns or local tiered restrictions are in force - update 8 April 2021

On Monday 12 April, certain restrictions currently in place in England will be relaxed. Travel advice may be different between England, Scotland and Wales, so please check before travelling. You should also follow public health advice and if you or the people you live with have symptoms of COVID-19 (Coronavirus), you should stay at home and not travel.

Seat reservations are mandatory on some services and strongly recommended on others. The Staff Travel Restrictions published on the Where Can I Go and Restrictions page tells you how to make seat reservations.

The rail industry is doing all it can to ensure that you can travel with confidence. This includes additional cleaning and placing hand sanitiser at key locations. Please follow any specific guidance issued by theTrain Operating Company. 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.
  • Wear a face covering (unless you are exempt), both inside rail stations and on trains.
  • Buy your ticket before travel, and if possible use contactless payment.

8 April 2021

Buying FIP discounted tickets and reservations for SNCF services - updated 11 March 2021

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.

11 March 2021

Staff Travel Card renewal for 2021/22 - updated 5 March 2021

Staff Travel Cards for employees and eligible family members valid from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2022 are due to be posted out starting on Tuesday 23 March.

If cards have not been received by 13 April please contact us by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. confirming

  • your full name, address and postcode
  • which member of your family has not received their passes.

We do not currently have an inward telephone service. Any emails received after 31 July reporting non receipt of Staff Travel Cards will incur a replacement fee per card. A replacement fee will also be charged per card if you have moved address and not advised RST and cannot retrieve your card(s).

Cards will be sent separately for:

  • a dependant aged 18 or above where you only recently submitted the child declaration
  • a new family member where you have recently submitted the application

Cards will not be sent for dependants aged 18 or above where a Child Declaration form (XX05) has not been submitted. If you have not received a card for this reason, please complete the XX05 form along with the appropriate evidence to support your declaration.

5 March 2021

Renewal of FIP International Reduced Rate Cards - updated 25 November 2020

FIP Cards for 2021/22 are being sent out by post on Wednesday 25 November. They are valid for two years from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2022.

Change to the replacement process for all active and retired employees:

  • If you have moved home address and not let RST know and you are unable to retrieve your card(s) , we will charge a replacement fee per card to send them to your new address.
  • If you do not receive your cards at the address we hold for you, we will replace them free of charge if you tell us before 31 January 2021. After this date we will charge a replacement per card to send them to you.

25 November 2020

Travel on DB-AG services with FIP facilities

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, DB-AG has not published a list of restricted trains for the Winter 2020-21 timetable period. A list may appear during the first part of 2021 so if you are planning to travel on DB-AG services, please check our Where Can I Go and Restrictions page.

DB-AG have introduced Loading Indicators (Auslastungsanzeige) on www.bahn.com and in their DB Navigator App. DB AG request you choose alternative services to those ones marked with Exceptionally High Loading (Außergewöhnlich hohe Auslastung). Details of how to interpret the Loading Indictors on the website and in the DB Navigator App is included on page 66 of our Travel Tips for Europe guide.

20 November 2020

Heathrow Express

From Sunday 1 November 2020 free travel is available on Heathrow Express services with any of the following:

  • A Staff Travel Card with a dated box
  • A Gold Status Pass
  • A Silver Status Pass
  • A Western Region Blue Status Pass

The availability of Priv rate travel on presentation of a Staff Travel Card or Rail Staff Leisure Card as outlined in our Where Can I Go guides is unaffected by this announcement. For more information please check the Where Can I Go and Restrictions page.

30 October 2020

Photographs on Rail Staff Leisure Cards

In 2021 the Rail Staff Leisure Card will be issued to non-safeguarded employees and family members with the photograph of the holder printed on it. This will remove the need for employees and family members to carry a separate photo ID card when using their Rail Staff Leisure Cards for buying tickets and travelling.

Although the renewal of cards is not scheduled until June 2021, Rail Staff Travel need you to upload your photographs as soon as possible for you and any eligible family members.

Photographs will be mandatory for all holders of Rail Staff Leisure Cards, including children under the age of 16.

You can upload them easily online using our Photo Upload page.

When you upload a photograph, an e-mail confirmation will be sent to you. Please note that sometimes mail services direct these confirmation e-mails to your spam or junk folders.

If Rail Staff Travel do not receive a photograph, then you and/or your family members will not receive your Rail Staff Leisure Card(s) in the next renewal.

Safeguarded staff in receipt of a Staff Travel Card can ignore this request.

25 September 2020

Validity change for the 2020/21 Staff Travel Card

In the Spring of 2020 there was a period of time during which travel by train was for essential journeys only.

A decision has been made that the Staff Travel Card issued to Safeguarded Staff for the year 2020/21 which is printed with an end of validity date of 30 June 2021 will be extended to 30 September 2021.

This will give holders an additional 3 months in which to use the allocation of date boxes for free travel on National Rail services only.

In this 3 month extension period the Staff Travel Card dated boxes will not be valid for free travel on London Underground inter-available routes, nor for use on any of the other reciprocal carriers.

The 2020/21 Staff Travel Cards will not be re-issued with a new end of validity date. National Rail TOC ticket inspection staff will be briefed of this change to allow you to use dated boxes until 30 September.

Staff Travel Card 2020/21 summary of validity:

  • 1 April 2020 to 30 June 2021. Use on all services as shown in the Where Can I Go guide for Safeguarded Staff.
  • 1 July 2021 to 30 September 2021. Remaining dated boxes can be used for free travel on National Rail services only.

All usage is subject to any Staff Travel Restrictions published on the RST website.

The Staff Travel Card for 2021/22 will be issued as usual on schedule in early March 2021 and will be valid from 1 April 2021 to 30 June 2022.

24 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

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

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.

27 January 2020

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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