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Successfully added railcard

Along with thousands of others, my eldest has just made the transition from 11-15 zip to 16+ zip.  Prompted by the letter received in late August I applied online for the new card.  As his school is just outside London I had to print a letter for the school to sign and stamp, then take the letter and payment to the post office.  However, the photo and age verification were completed online which no doubt sped up the process.  Less than two weeks later the zip photocard arrived.

Yesterday I went up to Canada Water to try and get his 16-25 railcard discount added.  I was a bit nervous after hearing horror stories of free bus travel disappearing when the railcard was added, plus I didn’t know whether they’d need my son there at the time.  Hopefully the fact that we used the same photo for both applications was a benefit because the two cards definitely belonged to the same person.

Anyway, I needn’t have worried because the clerk carefully tabbed down to the second discount field and the whole process took less than a minute.  I didn’t get a printout, but as I’d seen his screen while he was doing it I was reassured that all was ok.  The final test will come when he uses it, but I’m confident it will all work as planned.

2 Responses

  1. Hi Mike – Interesting to read that you’ve now tested this process yourself. We had exactly the same situation when ordering a new 16+ Photocard, but the combination of online application followed by paper verification worked fine and the card was delivered five days later.

    But I was very concerned to read (Hussain 5/10/12 on your “Railcard Discounts” page) that a station was able to accidentally delete a child discount when adding a Railcard. It seems that caution is well advised – avoid part-time outer London Tube stations and print out Mike’s ticket office instructions from this site.

    I recently repeated the process of loading a 16-25 Railcard onto my son’s new year 16+ Oyster Photocard. I know from last time that part-time Oakwood wasn’t a good bet, so this time I tried Southgate, which is open all day. It turns out they see Railcards all the time, being next door to an FE college, and they were very efficient.

    I’m sure you noticed that your son’s 16+ card is only valid for one year? You have to pay £10 each year to renew it. Given that the Railcard will always expire on a different date, that means re-loading the Railcard discount twice a year for each child over 16 – that’ll be four times a year for me! I bet most people don’t bother (or are unaware) – there has to be a better system!

  2. Hi Dave,

    Interesting that a station near an FE college is a good bet, thanks for that. As to the issue of repeatedly adding the railcard to different Oysters, we will make the next railcard a 3-year version which will cut down updates a bit. It would be good if the online railcard database could talk to the TfL photocard database and automatically add the railcard discount and expiry if elligible. I guess data protection would probably scupper such an idea though.

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