It's a sad day when your young person's railcard runs out. The card provides 16-25-year-olds with a much welcome third off the cost of rail travel. While there are ways to extend your eligibility – by buying a new one just before your birthday, for instance – that hefty discount generally isn't available to those of us above the age of 25.
But that could be about to change, according to reports from MoneySavingExpert (MSE), which says one train company is planning a new 26-30 railcard from December and a possible national rollout in 2018. The card will offer passengers a third off most fares and will be trialled by Greater Anglia, which runs services in Cambridgeshire, Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk.
The scheme will make 10,000 cards available to begin with and will "go national in early 2018", according to a document circulated online. MSE claims the document appears to be a recent internal staff briefing from the Rail Delivery Group (RDG), which represents train companies.
While neither the RDG nor Greater Anglia have confirmed the plans for a national 26-30 card yet, another promising sign is that the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), part of the Rail Delivery Group, seems to have registered for website domain names including 26-30railcard.com, MSE reported.
A spokesperson for the RDG said: ''We can't comment on this at the moment, but we are always carrying out research and working with the train companies to develop new offers that make leisure travel easier, and better value for money," the BBC reported.
It's not yet clear how much the new railcard will cost, but similar cards cost about £30 for a year. It's likely to require a £12 minimum fare for tickets, other than advance fares, between 4.30am and 10am Monday to Friday and will exclude public holidays and dates in July and August, reported MSE. It will only be available as a one-year card, not three, unlike the 16-25 railcard, and will come in the form of an app rather than a physical card.
Steve Nowottny, news and features editor at MSE, said that although the details are sketchy, it's "great news for passengers who are a little too long in the tooth for the 16-25 Railcard". He continued: "If the trial's successful, it'll mean you'll now be able to benefit from discounted fares until your 31st birthday." Bring it on.